beck - modern guilt

Beck: Modern Guilt (2008)

To start, this was not the Beck album I thought I was going to write about.  I went into the morning happy to revisit an old friend, a sunny, chill psychedelic folk album that reminded me of gots lazy days and warm introspection.  Well, that album was Morning Phase, an album I apprarently don’t own despite really enjoying.  Instead, I have Modern Guilt, Mr. Beck Hansen’s brief but listless 2008 effort that starts promising but ultimately leaves almost no impression once it’s over. Continue reading “Beck: Modern Guilt (2008)”

beatles - let it be, let it be naked

The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)

Let It Be feels like the loose, shaggy dog of The Beatles catalog.  Recorded before but released after Abbey Road, the stories behind the album – the acrimony between the band, the various (and rejected) Glyn Johns, the final polish by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector and eventual release after the Beatles officially broke up – all of this overshadows the original intent: that of four guys getting back to their roots, playing together the kind of rattling rock and roll they loved in the beginning.  Continue reading “The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)”

beastie boys - the mix up

Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)

It’s been a while, so in my head I was getting The Mix-Up confused with The In Sound From Way Out.  THAT album is a compilation of the instrumental tracks from the previous Beastie Boys records.  THIS record is the official seventh studio album from the mixmasters, an all original instrumental album that serves as a respite from the hard rap stance of To The 5 Boroughs, and for me personally it’s one of the best records to just throw on a chill to, a laid back groove session that reinforces the chemistry between Diamond, Yauch, and Horovitz. Continue reading “Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up (2007)”

bathory - nordland ii

Bathroy: Nordland II (2003)

The 12th and final album from Bathory is a continuation of the Nordland saga set forth on 2002’s Nordland I.  For better or worse, Nordland II is a case of “second verse, same as the first” meaning there are pockets of brilliance and pockets of just waiting for the next song to come on.  You can argue whether one album is better than another, but the truth is there’s a remarkable consistency to the records.  That consistency however means everything feels interchangeable instead of progression that leads to fabled destination. Continue reading “Bathroy: Nordland II (2003)”

bathory - nordland i

Bathory: Nordland I (2002)

After Twilight of the Gods solidified the place of Bathory among the progenitors of viking metal, things went a bit astray.  Quorthon put out a solo album, and Bathory went back to the blackened thrash of the earlier albums for a time.  Nothing quite seemed to congeal.  That is until Nordland I, the first of a planned four-part masterwork that would bring back the viking metal in full force to walk through the tales of Nordic myths and legends.  This was my first real experience experience with Bathory, and similar to to when I first heard it, there’s a lot that works and admittedly a bit that doesn’t. Continue reading “Bathory: Nordland I (2002)”

baroness - blue record

Baroness: Blue Record (2009)

Baroness rightly became metal and indie darlings after their Relapse debut, and Blue Record, their 2009 follow-up earned even more accolades.  So why do I have such a hard time getting entry into its many, many strengths?  After giving it a few more listens the past few days, I think I have the answer.  It still doesn’t top Red Album for me, but I can really see this as the album (or record) where the band finally carve out their real identity, one of passion and pain and a heart that strives for light. Continue reading “Baroness: Blue Record (2009)”