Express Milwaukee - Album Reviews http://expressmilwaukee.com/articles.sec-204-1-album-reviews.html Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT en hourly 1 Matt Schofield: Far As I Can See (Provogue Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23154-matt-schofield-far-as-i-can-see-%2528provogue-records%2529.html Xavia Reija: Resolution (MoonJune Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23155-xavia-reija-resolution-%2528moonjune-records%2529.html  Barcelona drummer Xavia Reija heads a trio on Resolution that moves easily across the musical spectrum. Some tracks fall dangerously to fusion (but with more sonic edge than most); others thrum with the rhythmic resolve of rock but with the fluidity of jazz; other segments launch into spacy excursions of electrical

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Eric Carmen: The Essential Eric Carmen (Arista/Legacy Recordings) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23156-eric-carmen-the-essential-eric-carmen-%2528arista_legacy-recordings%2529.html  Despite this 45-year-spanning two-disc set, what’s most essential in Eric Carmen’s career occurred before the breakup of his group, The Raspberries, in 1974. Posthumous adulation for Big Star aside, The Raspberries defined

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Max and the Invaders: Runnin’ on Fumes (MaxTone Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23146-max-and-the-invaders-runnin%25E2%2580%2599-on-fumes-%2528maxtone-records%2529.html  Long-lived Milwaukee ska proponents The Invaders have lengthened their name to allay confusion with a similarly monikered Wisconsin British Invasion cover band. But the addendum to their handle gives occasion for Max and the Invaders to expand aesthetic horizons with appropriations

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Johnny Cash: Out Among the Stars (Columbia/Legacy) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23147-johnny-cash-out-among-the-stars-%2528columbia_legacy%2529.html Neither the great lost treasure nor the dreck some critics have described, Out Among the Stars is a good example of what Johnny Cash was up to in the decade before Rick Rubin distilled the best of the Man in Black into the Dark Prince of Outlaw Cool. This previously unreleased 1981 session 

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Imarhan Timbuktu: Akal Warled (Clermont Music) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23148-imarhan-timbuktu-akal-warled-%2528clermont-music%2529.html   The Tuareg are a traditionally nomadic people roaming the southern Sahara. Life had been rough for them in recent years with the Libyan civil war and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism forcing many into refugee camps. One bright note has been the emergence of a distinctive Tuareg

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Dean Wareham: Dean Wareham (Double Feature) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23080-dean-wareham-dean-wareham-%2528double-feature%2529.html  Because his voice weds the sweet side of Lou Reed’s mumble to the melodic side of Tom Verlaine’s whimper, Dean Wareham might have gotten a head start among influential indie- and underground-rock figures

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Ahmed Nasheed: Dhaalu Raa (Asasi Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23081-ahmed-nasheed-dhaalu-raa-%2528asasi-records%2529.html  Remote in geography and from the concerns of the outside world, the Maldives is an Islamic republic spread out over 200 islands in the Indian Ocean. The inhabitants developed their own rhythms and poetry over the centuries, yet Western rock found its way to the insular nation in the ’60s

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Well Informed Citizens: Swindlers and Thieves (Citizen Recordings) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23061-well-informed-citizens-swindlers-and-thieves-%2528citizen-recordings%2529.html Ani Cordero: Recordar http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23062-ani-cordero-recordar.html  Like many Puerto Ricans, Ani Cordero shuttled between the mainland U.S. and the Caribbean while growing up. On the prolific singer-instrumentalist’s latest project, Cordero curates a collection of socially conscious songs from 20th-century Latin America. Many writers and nations

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Machine Mass: Inti (MoonJune Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-23063-machine-mass-inti-%2528moonjune-records%2529.html   Machine Mass covers a lot of ground within the context of what’s still often called, for lack of a more familiar term, “avant-garde jazz.” Some tracks sparkle with East Indian influences, others wax funky or deliver an almost rock band drive. The trio features Dave Liebman (saxophone), Tony Bianco

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Suburban Mutilation: The Opera Ain’t Over Til the Fat Lady Sings (Beer City) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22953-suburban-mutilation-the-opera-ain%25E2%2580%2599t-over-til-the-fat-lady-sings-%2528beer-city%2529.html  By the time Green Bay’s Suburban Mutilation released their only album in 1984, their most notorious member, Norb Rozek (Rev. Norb), had already become an international hardcore punk celebrity. His often hilarious, always eye-catching fanzine, Sick Teen, was a precedent to The Opera Ain’t

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Silent Force: Rising From Ashes (AFM Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22954-silent-force-rising-from-ashes-%2528afm-records%2529.html  Some bands enjoy a certain amount of success and then just disappear. That’s what happened with Silent Force, a metal outfit led by German guitarist Alex Beyrodt (who went on to success in Primal Fear, Sinner and Voodoo Circle) and released four acclaimed albums between 2000 and

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Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain (Domino) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22851-aztec-camera-high-land-hard-rain-%2528domino%2529.html Aztec Camera was a fresh alternative to most everything when their debut album was released in 1983. In an era of hardcore punk fundamentalism and icy techno-pop, the Scottish band wedded acoustic textures to lively rhythms and irresistible pop hooks with echoes of Spain and India. Arriving just a tad late, the 30th 

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Yonat: Daybreak http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22852-yonat-daybreak.html  Now living in the San Francisco area, onetime Milwaukeean Yonat Mayer offers sparkling, sometimes danceable folk/R&B hybrid sound. Though Yonat numbers Sheryl Crow and Lauryn Hill among her formative influences, it takes no great stretch of imagination to envision her sharing an imaginary Lilith Fair bill

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Michael Bloomfield: From his Head to his Heart to his Hands: An Audio/Visual Scrapbook (Columbia Legacy) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22834-michael-bloomfield-from-his-head-to-his-heart-to-his-hands-an-audio_visual-scrapbook-%2528columbia-legacy%2529.html  This extraordinary guitar hero and innovator’s legacy is finally addressed with a reissue package including three CDs and a new DVD film: Sweet Blues: A Film about Michael Bloomfield by Bob Sarles

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Juhani Aaltonen: To Future Memories (TUM) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22835-juhani-aaltonen-to-future-memories-%2528tum%2529.html  Finland seldom races to mind as a center for avant-garde jazz, yet the nation on Europe’s northeast corner has been home to a thriving scene. Prominent among Finnish improvisers is saxophonist-flutist Juhani Aaltonen, 78 years old but undimmed and leading a young ensemble in edgy

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Sunblind Lion: The Sanatorium (Homegrown Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22755-sunblind-lion-the-sanatorium-%2528homegrown-records%2529.html  If your band is going to be gone for a third of a century, why not return with a grandiose conceptual bang? Sheboygan’s Sunblind Lion know from grandiosity, being arguably the Badger State’s most renowned progressive rock proponents in their heyday. For their comeback, they’ve opted for

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Tina Turner: Love Songs (Parlophone) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22756-tina-turner-love-songs-%2528parlophone%2529.html Buttressed with stories of her abusive marriage to mentor-musical partner Ike Turner, Tina entered the ’80s as a woman whose pop music declarations on love and desire carried unusual weight. Love Songs collects her love-oriented hits from the ’80s and ’90s, plus one ’60s collaboration

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Mehmet Ali Sanlikol: whatsnext? (DÜNYA) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22757-mehmet-ali-sanlikol-whatsnext-%2528d%25C3%259Cnya%2529.html Duke Ellington might have liked whatsnext?; Gil Evans and Lalo Schifrin might also have endorsed this recreation of orchestral jazz with a decided bent toward the jazz-influenced TV and movie scores of the ’60s and ’70s. Turkish born, Boston-based composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol wields a big

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Cibo Matto: Hotel Valentine (Chimera Music) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22717-cibo-matto-hotel-valentine-%2528chimera-music%2529.html 1,000 Umbrellas: re:thingk (Mental Health Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22718-1000-umbrellas-rethingk-%2528mental-health-records%2529.html 1,000 Umbrellas is an accomplished Milwaukee duo whose members played together in the ’90s band Tolstoi’s Tricycle. Regrouping for a long-in-the-making debut album, vocalist-guitarist Allan Williams and percussionist Brian Wendtlandt weave textured acoustic rock around heartfelt lyrics and

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Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (Rhino) | Otis Redding: The King of Soul (Rhino) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22699-aretha-franklin-the-queen-of-soul-%2528rhino%2529-otis-redding-the-king-of-soul-%2528rhino%2529.html  If Aretha Franklin was the Queen and Otis Redding the King of 1960s soul music, their union was consummated in the song they shared but whose meaning they disputed. Redding’s “Respect” was a forceful entreaty from a man to his woman. Franklin turned the song on its head, transforming it

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Jasper Rude: Let Me In http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22700-jasper-rude-let-me-in.html  For un-ironic, classic-styled hard rock, with no winks or nods to more modern sounds, not even the metal that would spring forth from it, turn to Milwaukee’s Jasper Rude, who conjure the specters of Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, et al. Throughout the 12 tracks on their latest offering, they

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One Horse Towne: One Horse Towne http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22671-one-horse-towne-one-horse-towne.html Brian Lynch: Unsung Heroes: A Tribute to Some Underappreciated Trumpet Masters, Vols. 1 and 2 (Hollistic MusicWorks) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22646-brian-lynch-unsung-heroes-a-tribute-to-some-underappreciated-trumpet-masters-vols-1-and-2-%2528hollistic-musicworks%2529.html  Recent jazz rarely swings or sings with the fire and verve of these straight-ahead sessions. Grammy-winner Brian Lynch, Milwaukee’s greatest baby-boomer gift to jazz

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Alejandro Almenares: Casa De Trova Cuba 50’s (Tumi Records) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22647-alejandro-almenares-casa-de-trova-cuba-50%25E2%2580%2599s-%2528tumi-records%2529.html  Alejandro Almenares rides a comfortable, lilting Cuban groove throughout Casa De Trova

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Various Artists: From Another World: A Tribute to Bob Dylan (Buda Musique) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22592-various-artists-from-another-world-a-tribute-to-bob-dylan-%2528buda-musique%2529.html  Bob Dylan has been an inspiration to musicians all around the world and on From Another World some of them give tribute by performing his songs. None of the tracks can be called a cover in the strict sense and most are virtually unrecognizable for reasons that have nothing to do with language

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Jeremy Spencer: Bend in the Road (Propelz) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22593-jeremy-spencer-bend-in-the-road-%2528propelz%2529.html  Along with fellow guitarist Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer was the creative mind behind Fleetwood Mac’s early incarnation as one of Britain’s best late-’60s blues-rock bands. After their third studio album, Spencer left to join a Christian commune in the U.S. Some of those spiritual echoes can be

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Gary Numan: Splinter: Songs From a Broken Mind (Machine Music) http://expressmilwaukee.com/article-22594-gary-numan-splinter-songs-from-a-broken-mind-%2528machine-music%2529.html  Having recently collaborated with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Gary Numan gives his latest album an industrial sound à la NIN, but it doesn’t smother the essence of who he is, like on 2011’s disappointing Dead Son Rising. Numan replaces Reznor’s combat boots with soaring synthesizers

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