Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
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Artist: Jess Glynne
Album:
I Cry When I Laugh
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Glynne's songwriting pushes pop a bit from the center mark. This is good. Take a few points away because some tracks have similar sounding choruses. Her vocals have character but seem a bit nervous at times.
Key Songs: "Hold My Hand", "Rather Be", "Saddest Vanilla".
Artist: Beach House
Album:
Depression Cherry
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

The tracks are swimming in reverb at the Beach House. Many tunes are longer than what they ought to be. Yet there is a certain appeal that draws you in despite the generally depressive sound. Overall, the songwriting and arrangements are good.
Key Songs: "Sparks", "Space Song", "PPP".
Artist: Chris Cornell
Album:
Higher Truth
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

The tunesmith behind Soundgarden jettisons the heavy guitars in favor of lighter, crunchy and acoustic ones. The songs are solid though a few more hooks might have been in order. Cornell's vocals are as good as ever.
Key Songs: "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart", "Before We Disappear", "Murderer Of Blue Skies", "Higher Truth", "Our Time In The Universe".
Artist: The Weeknd
Album:
Beauty Behind The Madness
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

You get a good amount of art and originality on this album. It doesn't stray fat from R&B and pop influences. Listen to the entire record knowing there are no weak spots here.
Key Songs: "Can't Feel My Face", "Dark Times".
Artist: Iron Maiden
Album:
The Book Of Souls
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

As Maiden albums go, this double CD is better than average though no new creative ground is broken here. The guys are in the groove and tight as ever. Producers, Shirley and Harris should have squeezed the good stuff onto one CD (despite the eighteen minute ending track.)
Key Songs: "If Eternity Should Fail", "The Man Of Sorrows", "Empire Of The Clouds".
Artist: Carly Rae Jepsen
Album:
E-mo-tion
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

In an effort to make every track into a hit, Jepsen and company created a bland un-e-mo-tion-al record. Most of these songs use the same overused studio techniques that have been copied for years.
Key Songs: "E-mo-tion".
Artist: Duran Duran
Album:
Paper Gods
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

This once cutting edge band is now trying to carve out a patch in a very crowded field. The key songs are good. The remaining tracks have traditional Duran elements but lack inspiration and fall short of the mark.
Key Songs: "Pressure Off", "What Are The Chances?".
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 22
Artist: Ashley Monroe
Album:
The Blade
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Monroe writes and sings traditional Nashville straight out of the Grand Ole Opry. The key songs on this effort do not reach as high as her previous release, yet there is a southern charm that persists throughout this convincingly good album.
Key Songs: "On To Something Good", "The Blade".
Artist: Keith Richards
Album:
Crosseyed Heart
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

You are going to need more than one stiff drink in order to get through this almost hour long record. The great Rolling Stones songwriter assembled a package of duds here. The musicianship sans vocals is good. The arrangements are not.
Key Songs: "Crosseyed Heart".
Artist: Jason Derulo
Album:
Everything Is 4
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

You get a fair amount of originality on this one. Each song was written from scratch and sounds different. This is somewhat of a rarity these days. There is a lot of auto tune used, but the remaining vocals are impressive.
Key Songs: "Want To Want Me", "Painkiller", "Broke"