Thursday, November 6, 2014


Run The JewelsRun The Jewels 2
In Hollywood, they say sequels usually suck. In music, that is normally true, but like Hollywood you find those gems that become classics like The Godfather Part II is better than the first one, Empire Strikes Back in better than A New Hope, The Dark Knight is better than Batman Begins. In music, it is just as rare to do this. Led Zeppelin II is equal to their debut, Action Bronson’s Blue Chips 2 is better than Blue Chips, Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life is better than Vol. 1….In my Lifetime. Now, comes Run The Jewels 2. A hip-hop record that not only blows their debut out of the water, it makes Killer Mike and El-P the best hip-hop duo since OutKast arrived 20 years ago. RTJ2 is a social and oral document of the times we live in and a verbal slaughtering on every level. The only thing more aggressive than El-P’s beats is the sound of a black metal bands roaring guitars and that is not even touching on Killer Mike’s lyrical flow and words. What Killer Mike does on RTJ2 is become a hip-hop news commentator to tell us what it is like outside of our mindless lives and that we need to wake up, no wonder Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine jumped on to work with these two to craft the hip-hop album of the year.

Damien Rice My Favorite Faded Fantasy
Eight years after his fantastic album 9, Ireland’s Damien Rice returns with a record that is more personal, much more deeper, and most of all, much more touching than any singer / songwriter has given in his absence. My Favorite Faded Fantasy is a touching folk record that makes us remember why we missed him and also makes us remember why we need more of him – all of him.

Yusef IslamTell ‘Em I’m Gone
The iconic folk master returns with his 14th album and while he doesn’t go too deep in his lyrics, his famous messages of love, peace, and freedom are all there and in our troubled times, we need his words to hang on to.

IceagePlowing Into The Fields Of Love
The Danish punks return with their third record and how they could become much more fiercer and heavier than last year’s You’re Nothing is beyond anyone. Plowing Into The Fields of Love is pulse pounding thrash slam of sound that will make you hang on for dear life from start to finish.

YawnLove Chills
The Chicago art rockers return with their sophomore album and bring with them a great adventure into the psychedelic than they have previously given us. Love Chills is a bit more polished, a bit more mature, but still daring from the Chicago quartet.

Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter
The Iowa metalheads return with a new line-up, new masks, but the same brutal intensity that has made their 19 year career so successful. Surprisingly, this is their fifth record after all of these years, so when they release an album it is always an event and curiosity lingers as to what they are going to do next. The Gray Chapter, a tribute to late member Paul Gray, is a throwback sound to the band’s early years and shows that they are regrouping to move forward.

Team Spirit Killing Time
The long awaited debut from the New York garage rockers finally arrives and it does not disappoint. An instant party starter, Killing Time, is so much fun to listen to and packed with enough catchy tunes, it will have you singing them songs for days.

Paulo NutiniCaustic Love
The Italian-Scot returns after a five year hiatus and brings with him a darker sound that may turn some of his pop fans away but can also bring in a whole new audience. Caustic Love is chock full of tracks written from the heart, clearly about a broken relationship, and how he plans to go forward.

Rancid - …Honor is All We Know
The California punk icons return with their first record in five years and still bring with them the same angst, energy, passion, and love they have had for over 20 years. While work on this record began back in 2011, massive changes to the songs and ideas were altered for them to finally give us their eighth record and for fans of the band, it seems to have been worth the wait.

Mariachi El Bronx III
The third installment from The Bronx’s mariachi alter ego still, this band still knows how not to take themselves too serious but still make their music serious business and it can be heard, especially in their other form.

Yelle - Complètement fou
France’s pop princess Yelle returns with her third album. While Complètement fou misses the adventurous musical spirit it’s predecessor, Safari Disco Club had, it still packs a perfect pop punch.

Philip SelwayWeatherhouse
Radiohead’s drummer moves from behind the kit to the front and takes center stage on his second solo album, Weatherhouse. While it must be hard to be in a band with Johnny Greenwood and Thom Yorke and try and do a solo career in their shadow, Selway bravely does let his guard down and gives us a piece of someone who generally does not have the spotlight shine on him.

GodfleshA World Only Lit By Fire
The British industrial metal OG’s return with their first album in 13 years and while it doesn’t disappoint in dynamics, it doesn’t mark any new territory that they haven’t covered already. Godflesh, a band that set the bar for acts like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, don’t pull out any surprises on this album, but also give us a reason to enjoy new music, but after over a decade long hiatus, you wish for a bit more effort.

Sick of it All Last Act of Defiance
The NYHC legends 11th album is more Sick of it All doing their thing and why after nearly 30 years together they still matter and their sound is still a staple to a scene that holds more importance than almost any other.

Asteroids Galaxy Tour Bring Us Together
The Danish pop giants Asteroids Galaxy Tour return with their third album and while the talent is there, it seems as if the fun and fury are not. Bring Us Together is a lackluster AGT record from a group that is not known for lackluster records.

Ariel Pink Pom Pom
The adventurous Ariel Pink comes back with his 10th album and is still weird, still adventurous, but also, still so let of center it is hard to put a finger on it.