Monday, May 09, 2005

The New Music 2

Another week, another list of CDs coming out and things I'm looking forward to...

Weezer - Make Believe: Here's another fine effort from geek rockers, Weezer. On a first time run-through I found that "Make Believe" is a little more melodic than the Weezer I'm accustomed to, but there's nothing there that really breaks any new ground or shakes up the status quo. Then again, when has Weezer ever been about shaking up the status quo?

This is about as good a Weezer album as you're going to get - one of the best I've heard, I'd say, since the blue album. 10 solid rock and roll songs with catchy hooks, nice guitar solos and frank vocals and lyrics. Weezer fans should really enjoy this one and the casual shopper has nothing to fear from picking up "Make Believe" as an impulse buy.

Dave Matthews Band - Stand Up: I haven't given this album a total sit down and listen yet, but first impressions leave me thinking that Stand Up owes more to Dave Matthews' solo effort, Some Devil, than it does to its predecessor, Busted Stuff. The tone of the album is a bit quieter, the arrangements are little simpler, and things feel pretty scaled back overall.

I'm glad they switched it up a bit for this album because the same thing all the time is not always a good thing, and Stand Up is a nice shift in style reminiscient of Between These Crowded Streets (which followed Crash with a more organic, live, jazzy feel).

Fans of Matthews will likely embrace and love this album and I can't blame them. The songs may be more somber but they're no less engaging or catchy. Matthews' sharp songwriting is in good form and the album, overall, is very rewarding.

Sloan - A Sides Win: I know I've mentioned this disc before, but seeing as you yanks are getting it a week later than us up here in Canada, I figured I'd cheat a little and mention it again, officially, in The New Music.

While I'm no great fan of greatest hits compilations, Sloan's "A Sides Win" is a solid collection of all the singles released by the band since their inception almost 15 years ago. From their grunge inspired debut single, "Underwhelmed", to the exclusive 'made for the compilation' track, "All Used Up", everything you need to know about the band is right here. The 16 tracks on the disc comprise most of Sloan's strongest material but are totally representative of the rest of their catalogue. If you enjoy what you hear here, I highly recommend you check out some of their proper albums.

I should also mention the absolutely fabulous DVD that is included with the CD which features 14 music videos covering the singles releases, rare TV performances and behind-the-scenes footage, and some extras that are just as fun to browse through as the rest of the disc.

Until next week...


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