Friday, August 29, 2008

“Dirty Rob EP” by Dirty Rob (Pop/Rock Artist from California (CA))

"Dirty Rob EP" is an excellent five-song psychedelic pop debut from California musician Dirty Rob. With a delivery reminiscent of the front man for Queens of the Stone Age, Dirty Rob's overall performance is exceptional. His vocals are well suited for all of the songs' arrangements, from the acoustic and piano pop songs to heavily distorted hard rock tracks and back, all the while incorporating great danceable beats into his sound. Dirty Rob makes statements with his songs and, though the lyrics are memorable and the choruses simplistic and catchy, they are also political and critical of society at large. "Dirty Rob EP" was produced by experienced producer Danny Saber, and it sounds nothing but professional and ready to burst through the speakers. "She's Got Game (I got played)" is a fun song you can dance to with catchy lyrics, heavy guitars, and a solid solo. "Troubled Mind" closes the EP out with an introspective track with an acoustic arrangement and heartfelt lyrics. "Dirty Rob EP" is a great introduction to the talents of Dirty Rob, and it leaves the listener in eager anticipation for his next release. Fans of psychedelic pop that you can dance to, check out this EP.
-Chris & the Review Team
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Sunday, August 17, 2008

“America (The Sound of Colour Realized)” by Roberta Kelly (Pop Artist from Germany)

"America (The Sound of Colour Realized)" is a two track, inspirational, easy listening CD single from seventies disco goddess Roberta Kelly. This recording marks Roberta's first release in over thirty years and is due to her newfound hope for the nation via the nomination of the agent of change himself, Barack Obama, for President of the United States. "America" is an anthem for the future of the country, recognizing the struggles of the modern day and attempting to encourage, motivate, and inspire the listener into do their part in the betterment of the United States. It is a song of unity, of equality, of hope, of embracing freedom, of redemption, and of America once again becoming the place where dreams come true. The recording quality is great, and should sound great when booming through the speakers at the Democratic National Convention. "America (With Speech Version)" incorporates Obama's acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination into the intro and outro of Roberta's song, maximizing the song's inspirational potential. "America (Original Version)" is simply Roberta's original recording of the track soon to make its way onto a new Roberta Kelly full length. For a good easy listening track with an American and Democratic flavor, pick up "America (The Sound of Colour Realized)."
-The RadioIndy Reveiwer Team
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

“Notes from the Edge” by Notes from the Edge (Pop artist from California(CA))

"Notes from the Edge" is the self-titled pop rock/classical fusion tribute album brought to you by a talented group of musicians. Notes from the Edge are comprised of Kathy Fisher, who provides a beautiful pop vocal performance on each track, arranger/pianist/guitarist Mark Governor, and a string quartet led by cellist Peggy Baldwin. Together, the group plays Governor's classically-influenced variations on well known, indie, and pop rock songs from the likes of Radiohead, The Killers, Bowie, Queen, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Imogen Heap, and Björk. Simpy put, this album delivers both as a tribute with beautifully sung vocals and as an album with great classical arrangements. "Notes from the Edge" was produced by Governor, and it sounds great Рclean and polished. "No Surprises" introduces the album by paying tribute to Radiohead with a great piano and string quartet arrangement, combined with a stunning vocal performance. The track succeeds in collectively showing you what Notes from the Edge is truly all about. "Hey You" pays tribute to a great Pink Floyd song with strings, soft piano, and nice vocal layering that fuel a sweet vocal performance. "Under Pressure" is a far more flattering tribute to the Queen and David Bowie hit than Vanilla Ice managed, with finger snaps and the string quartet at it again. "Notes from the Edge" is a cutting edge album that brings together two distinct genres to create a stunning masterpiece of a tribute. Fans of classical and/or popular rock music, feast your ears on this one.
-Chris & the Review Team
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“Long Way To Morning” by The boots (Pop Artist from Finland)

"Long Way To Morning" is a true-to-its-roots rock album from Finnish outfit The boots. This album is filled with great rock arrangements from a set of tight and experienced musicians who nicely incorporate progressive and blues elements into their sound. The electric guitar drives the entire album, with great riffs and solos alike, splicing themselves throughout and solidifying the sound. Their influences draw from the '60s, '70s, and '80s from the likes of The Beatles, The Doors, Electric Light Orchestra, and a variety of rhythm 'n blues pioneers. Suffice to say, that is where their sound sticks. The songs are catchy and melodic, complimenting the rock arrangements nicely. The production quality of "Long Way To Morning" is quite good and the entire record sounds polished, though some of that must be accredited to the band. You can really tell that talent played a big role in the quality of the product. "Corduroy Man" has a great rock & roll arrangement, bluesy guitar solos, and a catchy chorus. "Never Meant to Shine" is a ballad with incredible vocal layering, an acoustic lead, and electric riffs. "Long Way To Morning" is another hit album from a longstanding mainstay of the Scandinavian rock scene. Fans of classic rock and great blues guitar, check out The boots.
-Chris & the Review Team
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

“The Hard Way” by Andy Burch (Pop Artist from New Zealand)

"The Hard Way" is a five song, folk-pop EP from New Zealander singer/songwriter Andy Burch. This EP is filled with profound, acoustic-driven songs with solid backing arrangements that give it a great folk-pop feel. Burch's vocal performance is quite good and unique it it's own right. His strong New Zealand accent tenderly bursts through each word somehow similar to Scottish pop rock artist Paolo Nutini. The lyrics are thoughtful, intelligent, and narrative, and all of the songs have catchy hooks and a great pop appeal. "The Hard Way" is also well-produced, giving each song a nice polished and professional sound. "You'll Become a Love Song" is a fully realized track that begins as a pop song that is heavy on the acoustic end, with brief electric solos scattered through the first verse. Soon enough it becomes heavier and turns into a rock song. "Airport Radio" is another great pop song, with an incredible arrangement and intelligent lyrics, including the verse, "Oh oh I don't know but/I think I better go get Jesus on the phone but/There's no dial tone, looks like we might/Have to make it on our own." "The Hard Way" is a solid EP that show's Burch's lyrical and musical prowess, and leaves the listener wanting more. Fans of intelligent folk-pop and thick New Zealand accents should give Andy Burch a try.
-Chris & the Review Team
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"Crazy Kind of love" by Winslow (Pop Artist from Ohio(OH))

"Crazy Kind of love" By Winslow is a fantastic mix of pop,rock and funk that is a true breath of fresh air, as it is truly innovative and against the norm. The album starts off with the stellar track "Breakdown." Good choice in leading off the CD. As soon as you pop this bad boy in, Winslow hits you with a funky slap bass line that assures you that Winslow isn't some generic rock band. "Control" is the standout track on the album and is very rememinencent of bands like Maroon 5 and Red Hot chili Peppers. The bass work on this album is amazing. as well as the horn section. The combination of the two really make this album jump into drive. The album is chock full of great musicianship from every member and is real treat for anyone looking to get away from the norm and lose yourself in the grooves. Be sure to check this one out regardless of what kind of music you are into, as it has a special quality that appeals to many genres. If you are a fan of funked out bass licks and high energy grooves, get ready to bug out with Winslow.
-Ross Shotland
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“Truth Stained Lies” by Ron Morris (Pop Artist from Pennsylvania(PA))

"Truth Stained Lies" is an infectious folk-pop album from an amazing storyteller in Ron Morris. Morris uniquely combines his well-trained, country influenced, crooning vocal style reminiscent of James Taylor with the folk-pop sound of The Weepies and The Weakerthans. Suffice to say, it works extremely well. "Truth Stained Lines" is a great collection of pop songs with great storytelling lyrics, catchy hooks and nice melodies. Morris' arrangements are also creative and solid. He occasionally relies on humming melodies and clapping hands, yet still knows how to keep it simplistic and pleasant. Morris produced this album himself and it sounds great, with each track staying true to its original conception. "Believe What You Will" opens the album with great lyrics, a nice melody, a fitting arrangement and finger snaps to boot. "March On" is a great folk song with captivating storyteller lyrics and puts Morris' vocal range on display. "Andy" is primarily a piano piece, but also features backing acoustic guitar coupled with another outstanding lyrical and vocal performance from Morris. "Truth Stained Lies" is an album that Ron Morris has obviously poured his heart and soul into and he should be nothing but proud of the results. Folk-pop fans, add this album to your collection post haste.
-Chris & the Review Team
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Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Live at the M Bar" by Peggy Judy (Pop Artist from Los Angeles, California(CA))

Peggy Judy's "Live at the M Bar" is a throwback to classic cabaret lounge jazz album that features comedic crooner style vocal performances. The album is, of course, very upbeat and the element of a live atmosphere really captures the true energy of the act. Peggy makes her grand entrance on "Everything's Coming Up Roses," the fourth track of the album, and she enters with a bang. Her big voice and apparent talent as a performer she displays on the album make it easy to see how fun her live shows are. Smooth show tune-esque vocalist Kevin Kennard joins the party on several tracks and is quite hilarious himself. The musicians behind the singers are top notch, know the genre well, and are highly creative and gifted performers. The recording quality of "Live at the M Bar" is great, really highlighting the trueness of the vocals and coming away with a clean sound on a live album. Highlights include "The Morning After (with Kevin Kennard)," beginning with a teaser for a brilliant comedic rant about the subject at hand that is truly hilarious. Peggy's rendition of "Everything's Coming Up Roses" features a classic swanky arrangement and a powerful performance indeed. If you enjoy classic cabaret and huge personalities, you will love this album.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"From The Outside In" by Francesca de Valence (Pop Artist from Australia)

"From The Outside In" is an adult contemporary soft rock EP highlighted by the powerful and passionate voice of Francesca de Valence. Listening to Francesca makes you think of some of the greats such as Carole King and Sarah McLachlan. This Australian has a true distinction and a timeless quality to her voice. She delivers with so much passion, yet she retains an intimate quality in crafting her emotion-driven music. The arrangements behind her are solid and complimentary to her style. The recording quality of "From The Outside In" is quite good; Francesca's vocals are laid down and mixed beautifully, the instrumentation is crystal clear, and the overall sound is dynamite. Highlights include "Breathe," which has a wonderful arrangement and a great variance in the delivery of the vocals. "My Somebody To Love" is a powerful and catchy song and has all the makings of a single. "Jealousy" has a bit of a country vibe to it, some nice changes and features, and another strong vocal performance. If you enjoy powerful, emotion-driven female singer/songwriters and adult contemporary, you will love Francesca de Valence.
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Sunday, August 3, 2008

"Superhero Madness" by Parallel (Pop/Rock artist from South Carolina (SC))

"Superhero Madness" is the fourth release from Southern alternative rock outfit Parallel. This album screams mid-nineties, bringing back the heyday of the alternative rock movement with music and vocals that remind the listener of an array of their likely influences – Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, 3 Doors Down, Stroke 9, Nine Days, and Nickelback. "Superhero Madness" is lyrically diverse and filled with emotionally charged piano ballads, Southern anthems, catchy choruses and the distinct feeling that something is missing in the world. Parallel worked with seasoned, professionals producers John Kurzweg and David Cox to record the album, so it has a polished sound and is ready for the mainstream. "If You Believe" is a soulful piano ballad with a nice melody, a catchy chorus and introduces an instrument less frequently used among '90s alternative artists. "Love is Gone" is a Southern my-baby-left-me song with a powerful and gritty vocal and another inescapably catchy chorus. Overall "Superhero Madness" is an enjoyable album and an admirable continuation of a classic influential music genre. If enjoy the mid-nineties alternative rock sound, give Parallel a try.
-Chris & the Reviewer Team
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"The Many Moods of The National Convention" by The National Convention (Pop/Rock artist from Massachusetts (MA))

"The Many Moods of The National Convention" is an upbeat alternative indie pop album from The National Convention. Each track on "The Many Moods Of" was originally written for acoustic guitar by the man behind The National Convention, Eric Poulin. With a little help from his friends, Poulin has created a solid album full of great arrangements that include horns, piano and full band. The National Convention is clearly inspired by many of the sounds of the '70s and combines them with alternative pop both musically and vocally to create an overall sound similar to Belle & Sebastian and Kings of Convenience. As a result, the album is full of upbeat songs, catchy lyrics and fun melodies that you won't easily tire of. "The Many Moods of" was recorded in the basement of a Massachusetts studio; thus creating a quality of sound on the finished product that is very complimentary to the genre. "Favorite Complication" opens with a jazzy piano beat and follows with intellectually stimulating lyrics on a variety of subjects. "Local on the Eights" is an instrumental track that opens with a sort of vaudevillian piano keying and turns into a soothing musical performance by the guitarist, pianist and drummer. "The Many Moods of The National Convention" is a remarkable album with great arrangements and lyrics. It certainly brings about a longing for the return of AM radio. If you are a fan of '70s influenced alternative pop, give The National Convention a shot.
-Chris & the Reviewer Team
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Friday, August 1, 2008

"Nikki Corfield and the Pocket Rocket Band" by Nikki Corfield and the Pocket Rocket Band (Pop artist from the United Kingdom)

"Nikki Corfield and the Pocket Rocket Band" is the self-titled Brit pop album brought to you by a strong group of UK musicians. The key characteristic of this album is the powerful vocal performance from Corfield. Her strong, British alto voice is similar to contemporary Brit pop female vocalists Amy Winehouse and Duffy. The Pocket Rocket Band backs Corfield's vocals nicely with solid work on the keyboard and guitars, producing a diverse musical styling. Combined, the group has created an album filled with great arrangements, from bitter pop songs to heartfelt piano ballads. The recording quality of this self-titled album is excellent, with polished beats ready to hit the clubs and quiet ballads with clean instrumentation and vocals at the forefront. "Still Waiting" opens with a great acoustic guitar solo over a nice piano progression that shortly thereafter introduces a beat that turns the song into a pop dance number. "End of the World" is a soulful piano ballad about feeling overwhelmed that has a great arrangement, including a string section. "Feel the Love" has a more poppy and upbeat feel that has a significantly sunnier disposition than the rest of the album. "Nikki Corfield and the Pocket Rocket Band" is an impressive self-titled album with an outstanding and big vocal from Nikki Corfield and talented backing arrangements from the Pocket Rocket Band. Fans of Brit pop and soothing female vocals should grab this album.
-Chris & the Reviewer Team
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