Countach (For Giorgio): Shooter Jennings

Rating: 90%

R-8178705-1458149484-7459.jpeg.jpgIn 2016, Shooter Jennings released what I think was a great experimental album. It takes the 1980’s New Wave, Pop, Synth, Country, and Alternative music and throws it together. It also features a few guests including Marilyn Manson.

The music is somewhat complex sounding, but it isn’t. I picked up guitar and found myself playing right along with the music. It has a lot of great melodies and electric beats to the tune of Country music. Only Shooter could pull this off.

The music itself is very tight, rich, distinctive, and creative. You can tell this was a well thought out album. I will be honest, it can be a bit overwhelming. If you’re into Country, but not Alternative music then walk away. As for me, this album is killer.

Track listing:

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Countach
From Here To Eternity
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone
Born To Die
Chase
Love Kills
The Neverending Story
Cat People

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Change of Address: Krokus

Rating: 50%

Change_cover.jpgIn 1986, during the rise of Glam and Hair Metal, Krokus released their ninth record. I think that Krokus was more or less trying to jump on the band wagon of the Pop music disguising it as Glam Rock. I don’t think this experiment worked at all.

Musically, this album has it moments, but it’s rather shapeless and can be a tad bit bland. There is no drive to it. Words can not describe the opening Pop sounding drum intro to the entire album with song number one. After the band comes in, it’s almost as if I was listening to the soundtrack of “Top Gun.” So, Krokus fans beware, this album is a Pop Rock mixed with Glam Rock album from start to finish. Lot’s of keyboards effects and ballads.

The musicianship for being what the music is, is good. I will admit that. Marc Storace’s vocals are good. The riffs are a bit weak, but the guitars of Fernando von Arb and Mark Kohler is OK. The rest of the rhythm section consisting of bassist Tommy Keiser and drummer Jeff Klaven provides the necessary tempo and melody to make this album work. 

Track listing:

Side one

“Now (All Through the Night)” – 4:23
“Hot Shot City” – 3:48
“School’s Out” (Alice Cooper) – 3:16
“Let This Love Begin” – 5:02
“Burning Up the Night”  – 3:46

Side two

“Say Goodbye” – 5:18
“World on Fire” – 6:12
“Hard Luck Hero” – 4:12
“Long Way from Home” – 5:06

Vertical Smiles: Blackfoot

Rating: 50%

VerticalsmilesalbumSo, the 1980’s had no mercy for Southern Rock as the keyboards and pop music swooped in, taking over every music genre. Well, Blackfoot was no exception. Just as Molly Hatchet, Ted Nugent, and ZZ Top were trying to find there way, Blackfoot followed right behind.

Musically, the album begins with two covers that are very pop and alternative influenced. Lot’s of synthesizers. Where’s the Hard Rock you might ask? Well, it’s there, buried deep within the song structure. But, I can’t seem to hear it from the New Wave styles. “Git It On” is one of the better songs on the record, but it too is somewhat weak even though it has solos, riffs, and vocals. It fall victim to the 1980’s sound. I am really missing “Train, Train.”

The musicianship is lacking. Ricky Medlocke vocals are very mild. His guitar is very weak. Think of Kevin Bacon in the movie Footloose. Even the main riffs and solos are just not explosive. The rest of the band is following in Ricky’s steps. Disappointed.  

Track listing:

Side one
“Morning Dew” (Bonnie Dobson cover) – 5:27
“Living in the Limelight” (Peter Cetera cover) – 4:02
“Ride with You” – 3:33
“Get It On” – 4:29
Side two
“Young Girl” – 4:24
“Summer Days” – 3:19
“A Legend Never Dies” (RPM cover) – 3:03
“Heartbeat and Heels” – 3:15
“In for the Kill” – 3:50

The Fame Monster: Lady Gaga

Rating: 95%

The_Fame_Monster2009 saw Lady Gaga release this ep called “The Fame Monster.” Now, it’s been known that I have liked Lady Gaga’s music for some time. I think she is a brilliant artist and entertainer.  The reason I got into her, was the fact that talk radio was always putting her down and degrading to women. So, I did the next best thing. I wanted to hear for myself as to why she was always being attack. I found the opposite when I listened to her. Her music actually speaks many truths.

This ep contains several good songs. The difference between this album and her debut “The Fame” is the fact that she seems to be more comfortable as her vocals are much stronger. She is proving that she is the next sensation rather than a fad. This album has somewhat of a cleaner sound to it. It has lots of great “Club Beats” or Techno style beats to dance to if you’re into that sort of thing. Great melodies and music. I do like her darker and more sexual themed lyrics.

High points, on this ep included “Bad Romance”, “Monster”, and “Teeth.” I do like “Alejandro”, but it does kind of drag out. “Telephone” would be a great song only if you dropped the duet vocals of Beyoncé. I am not a Beyoncé fan at all.

Track listing:

1. “Bad Romance” 4:54
2. “Alejandro” 4:34
3. “Monster” 4:10
4. “Speechless” 4:31
5. “Dance in the Dark” 4:49
6. “Telephone” (featuring Beyoncé) 3:41
7. “So Happy I Could Die” 3:55
8. “Teeth” 3:41