Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
©2016 Master Seven. All rights reserved.
All non-Master Seven material is copyright via their respective organizations
Website design by Random Seven
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 20
Artist: Mumford & Sons
Album:
Wilder Minds
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

It is always good when a band takes on the challenge to move from a successful album to a new or different format. But that change needs to be accompanied with more good songwriting. And that's where Mumford falls short on this one. Their throwback "rock" tracks are simply dull, unoriginal or have those same worn out chord progressions.
Key Songs: "Believe", "Broad-Shouldered Beasts".
Artist: Kacey Musgraves
Album:
Same Trailer, Different Park
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

This country (and progressive country) record was written by Musgraves and friends. The tracks are interesting despite the absence of a hit tune. Musgraves' vocals sit right with these "country life" lyrics. The engineering is simple, organic and light.
Key Songs: "Dandelion", "I Miss You", "Keep It To Yourself".
Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Album:
Monuments To An Elegy
Year Released: 2014
Rating:

This lazy effort by Billy Corgan is uninspiring and is a blemish on some of his past work. The eight-page booklet included with the CD is mostly illegible and doesn't even list the track names.
Key Songs: "Drum + Fife", "Anti-Hero".
Artist: Randy Bachman
Album:
Heavy Blues
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Wow! The riff from the first track is an obvious lift from The Who's, "Won't Get Fooled Again"! The remaining tunes are old hat from the 1970s. The lyrics are a bit weak but the guest list is quite strong. .
Key Songs: "We Need To Talk".
Artist: Neil Young
Album:
The Monsanto Years
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Neil Young tells it like it is. His music however is the same as it has been for decades. You won't get a "Cinnamon Girl" or "Heart Of Gold" here but you do get a healthy dose of reality. If this doesn't get you off your seat nothing will.
Key Songs: "Workin' Man", "If I Don't Know".
Artist: Kacey Musgraves
Album:
Pageant Material
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Musgraves ups the country ante as she gently pushes the traditional country envelope with a modern perspective and touch. Her fresh lyrics go beyond the old cheating and heart aches of the past to wisdom and experiences we can all relate to. This is one of the better country records for this year.
Key Songs: "High Times", "Pageant Material", "Die Fun", "Fine".
Artist: Tame Impala
Album:
Lonerism
Year Released: 2012
Rating:

Kevin Parker's formula is to use solo John Lennon-type music as a base, add a good active bass part and pile on a lot synthesizer and/or guitar parts. The best part is a plethora of hooks. The worst is that too many vocal parts sound alike. Additionally, there is too much repetition across the tracks..
Key Songs: "Mind Mischief", "Music To Walk Home By","Feels Like We Only Go Backwards".
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 20
Artist: Florence + The Machine
Album:
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Florence Welsh is one of those rare songwriters who can draw you in with mainstream material and then push that boundary into original art She can easily drive into the parking lot paved by Joni Mitchell. Her vocals are strong and distinctive with a respectable range. This is one of the best albums released in 2015.
Key Songs: "Ship To Wreck", "Queen Of Peace", "Delilah", "Mother".
Artist: Olly Mars
Album:
Right Place Right Time
Year Released: 2012
Rating:

This album typifies what is currently released these days. The songwriting is average as in a basic verse, "big chorus" and an obvious lack of hooks. Typically, the production is good but there is really nothing to draw you in.
Key Songs: "Army Of Two", "Troublemaker", "Hey You Beautiful".
Artist: Calvin Harris
Album:
18 Months
Year Released: 2012
Rating:

You get a lot of simple hooks and hits on this collection. There is plenty of variety due to the several featured artists. Yet after each verse and/or chorus Harris gravitates to the same EDM riff.
Key Songs: "Feel So Close", "We Found Love", "Let's Go".