Album Reviews

I recently picked up a few new albums via iTunes and have been listening to them a good bit in the car whilst I have been traveling. As always, I like to let people know when I find some good music, so I thought I would review and perhaps recommend a couple to you.

The first record I picked up was The Statler Brothers greatest hits. Just kidding!

Really though, the first one is Leeland's sophomore release entitle Opposite Way. Leeland's first record Sound of Melodies was a solid first-record, with hardly a bad song on it. It was one of those records that I could put in and listen all the way through without having to skip any songs. Now a year or so older and a bit more experienced, Leeland has put out another solid record. The first song on the record (which was also their first single from the album) called "Count Me In" seems to pick up where they left off in the first album. These guys must have a degree in Catchy, Melodic choruses. Not to mention the lead singer Leeland Mooring has such great lyrics. He writes unapologetic words of praise and worship, but crafts songs that more-often-than-not avoid tired, overused cliches that praise and worship music is shamefully famous for.

The first half of the album stays strong. However, there are a few songs in the middle that seem to drag a bit for my taste. I am keyed in until about song 4, and then my attention starts to wane. But then the end of the record picks back up by song 8 or so.

All in all, I think it is a good record. I would agree with other reviews that Leeland didn't fall into the dreaded sophomore slump. However, I will say that with such a strong first album, the bar was set really high. While I don't think Opposite Way is quite as strong of an effort, I do believe Leeland has shown that they know how to crank out catchy and meaningful worship songs that not only allow the listener to be encouraged, but also threatens to sweep said listener in a frenzy of soaring praise to God....and I'd say worse things could definitely happen. Scale of 1-10, 10 being the best album ever made in the history of time and 1 being only a mere step up from the disaster that was The Crash Test Dummies debut that you know you bought cause you couldn't get that MMMMMMMMMM song out of your head, I give Leeland a 7......a breath of fresh air.

Ok, I'll try not to dissect so much on the next two albums. The second of my recently acquired tune-age is a band called Edison Glass. Chances are if you've hung around me at all recently you've heard me talk about this band. They are from New York, and they are really really good. This record called Time is Fiction (definitely a post-indie title if ever there was one)and is also their sophomore release. Some of you will find Edison Glass strange and unenjoyable. You other, more intelligent, sophisticated and well-rounded readers (HA!) will find them delightfull quirky, immensely talented, and surprisingly thought-provoking. I really like their lyrical stylings. Full of hope and grace, yet not to the detriment of their well-thought-out and artful packaging! I give this album an 8.

The final record is by a new group called Secret and Whisper. I think this record entitled Great White Whale will win the award for guilty pleasure for me this year. Don't get me wrong, they are a good band. However, the sheer overuse of double-base drum licks and obviously solid state-which-can-only-mean-one-thing....-artificial-harmonics-galore distortions should be the first things that turn me off. Add that with the eerie fact that the lead singer sounds like Sebastian Bach (oh come on....Skid Row...you knew that....you just didn't want to admit it!) and you have all the ingredients for a wannabe post-1980s-hair-band disaster. But alas, they pull it off, and I can't stop playing the record! Don't get me wrong, their are no silly long guitar solos, and no spandex pants (I hope), but there is an obvious nod to a day thankfully gone by. In any case, I think half of my fascination with Secret and Whisper is my attempts to reach the previously-only-attained-by-a-dog-whistle vocal notes that the lead singer belts out. That in-and-of-itself makes the album worth having. All in all I give this album a 6.5.....the .5 is for having a big white friendly looking Whale for the cover art.

Ok, so for those of you who are still reading (because I have a feeling that many stopped after review/recommendation #2) let me know if you've pick up anything new that is worth checking out (and NO Taylor Swift, Barry Manilow, nor Ludacris is worth checking out....so just keep those to yourself). And do yourself a favor and at least try one of those albums. You'll be glad you did......or maybe not.....if not then it's your own fault for going and getting music you've never heard....but if you do get it and are glad that you did...then.....you're welcome!

4 comments:

Much like you are a picky eater (and I love ya for it, by the way... it's great entertainment) I am a picky listener. Don't hate me for that.

March 31, 2008 at 6:35 PM  

Leeland's first album didn't really impress me (or what I heard of it which mostly consisted of clips on iTunes and on myspace). But recently I bought Let's Go and Cold Condition by Edison Glass. That junk is oh so awesome! I'm lovin' me some Edison Glass, brotha.

And you said the magic words (artificial harmonics, Sabastian Bach, high vocals); I'm definitely checking out Secret & Whisper.

I also have a guilty pleasure; it's called Stryper. So Secret & Whisper may not be that much of a stretch for me when it comes to 80's revival.

April 2, 2008 at 2:04 PM  

I first heard of Leeland Mooring from the song Beautiful Lord. He did a version with Marc Byrd. Some time later, the first Leeland ablum came out and I was blown away. It was fresh and legit.

The second album is on par for the first few songs, then takes a turn the later half. Not as catchy, but lyrically meaty.

April 4, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

you're going down big fella, I can taste that chic-fil-a milkshake now!!!! mu-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

ha


ha

April 7, 2008 at 6:55 PM  

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