Friday, December 6, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SUFJAN STEVENS & TIMO ANDRES/THE DECALOGUE!

SUFJAN STEVENS & TIMO ANDRES
THE DECALOGUE

12.6.19


One of the most critically-acclaimed singer/songwriters of the millennium, Sufjan Stevens is also entirely unpredictable. From lo-fi Folk to shimmering Electronica, Stevens has crafted a series of releases that allow him to continually refine his craft while keeping his audience intrigued and, ultimately, delighted. Regardless of what instrumentation he chooses to use for each album, his unique songwriting and his approach to haunting layered vocals makes each album distinctly his own. Ever since he broke out of ‘cult status’ with albums like SEVEN SWANS and ILLINOIS, Stevens has been able to chart his own musical course without repeating himself. It doesn’t hurt that he’s won plenty of awards along the way as well as being nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar (amongst others).

Monday, December 2, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: MÖTLEY CRÜE/DR. FEELGOOD (30th ANNIVERSARY)

MÖTLEY CRÜE
DR. FEELGOOD 
(30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

Available NOW!

Mötley Crüe began life as just another Hard Rock band playing the dingy clubs in Los Angeles. Now, 38 years after forming, they are Rock ‘n’ Roll icons. What happened between then and now is legendary. From drugs and debauchery to tragedy, triumph and the firing and rehiring of their vocalist, the four members of Mötley Crüe – Nikki Sixx (bass), Tommy Lee (drums), Mick Mars (guitar), and Vince Neil (vocals) – have survived to tell the tale. Anyone that has read their book THE DIRT knows that the band never held back as they enjoyed the splendors of their fame and fortune. They were proof that you shouldn’t really enjoy success without at least a little excess…

Sunday, December 1, 2019

SPACE/The Anthology (6CD Box Set) review!




SPACE
THE ANTHOLOGY: 
FIVE STUDIO ALBUMS, B-SIDES, AND RARITIES (6CDs)
(Edsel Records)

Available NOW!



Space was the first – and, so far, only - “Multi-Dimensional Cinematic Technicolor Pop Band”. Hailing from Liverpool, it’d be easy to compare them to The Beatles, OMD, The La’s, The Icicle Works, Deaf School, Echo & The Bunnymen, Yachts, and any other great band that came from that small but influential part of the world.  However, Space sounds nothing like any of those artists... or anyone else for that matter. To be honest, their uniqueness bas been both a blessing and a curse. Ask Space fans what the band means to them and most of the time, each answer will be different. However, a band that always challenges itself - and musically evolves with each album release - may not be as appealing to a mass commercial audience. Space is a band ten steps ahead of the charts and it doesn’t seem that anyone has quite caught up with them yet.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

LANNIE FLOWERS/Home review!

LANNIE FLOWERS
HOME 
(Spyderpop Records)

12.6.19


While he is known in some circles as a Power Pop artist, Lannie Flowers’ music does not belong to one genre. You could also confidently file his records under Rock, Americana, Pop, Alternative Rock, and Folk/Country. He makes the kind of records that sound great whether you hear them blaring out of a roadside diner jukebox, a portable AM radio, or an audiophile’s hi-fi system. Most importantly, he writes songs that easily connect with the listener through heartfelt honesty. When you hear a Lannie Flowers song, you get a first-hand peek inside the man’s heart, mind, and soul. Without pretense, Lannie turns a simple listening experience into something much deeper and more fulfilling. However, he knows his way around a melody and he is never in short supply of sharp, catchy hooks. So, call him Power Pop if you want but don’t be surprised to discover that there are so many different musical layers baked into a Lannie Flowers musical soufflé.

Friday, November 22, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: TERENCE BLANCHARD/HARRIET (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK)

TERENCE BLANCHARD
HARRIET
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Available NOW!


While not billed as a ‘super hero’ movie, HARRIET most certainly deserves that designation. Based on the life of slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, the movie tells the story of a woman whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, who wrote the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard, HARRIET stars Cynthia Erivo as Tubman alongside Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, and Janelle Monáe. A film about Tubman has been rumored in Hollywood for years and has now finally made its way to the big screen.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

FRIENDS AGAIN/Trapped And Unwrapped (Deluxe 2CD Edition) review!

FRIENDS AGAIN
TRAPPED AND UNWRAPPED
(Deluxe 2CD Edition/Cherry Red Records)


The Scottish Rock/Pop music scene has always been ripe with talent. In fact, there have been so many great Scottish artists/bands, it would be impossible to list them all. From Pilot, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and Bay City Rollers to BMX Bandits, Belle & Sebastian, and The Orchids, the Rock, Pop and Indie Charts have been filled with acts that understood the mechanics of Pop music and how to create art from inspiration. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Scotland gave birth to many great bands that didn’t bother the U.S. charts all that much but are highly regarded today: The Bluebells, Aztec Camera, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Endgames, Altered Images, and Orange Juice. One band that certainly deserves to be added to that list is Friends Again.

Friday, November 15, 2019

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: JULIANA HATFIELD/SINGS THE POLICE!

JULIANA HATFIELD

SINGS THE POLICE

11.15.19


Juliana Hatfield has remained an unpredictable artist during her 30+ year career. Since the formation of Blake Babies in the late ‘80s, straight through her most recent solo work, she has surprised critics and fans with her many musical projects. Since Blake Babies’ original demise in 1991, she’s formed her own band Juliana Hatfield Three as well as getting involved in many other projects including Minor Alps (with Matthew Caws of Nada Surf), The I Don’t Cares (with Paul Westerberg), The Lemonheads, and more. Along the way, she’s been involved in a few Blake Babies reunions while continually movie forward as an artist.