Kylie Minogue – X

KyliexI had a hard time deciding whether I would make this album of the week or not. I decided to just write a plain review. I believe in my opinion it just falls short of being an album of the week.

I have really only listened to it a few times, and it has slowly grown on me, so maybe I would be prone to call it album of the week later on.

Anyway… X is almost two years old already. It came out just over four years after Body Language, and just over six years after Fever. A respectable amount of time between albums. Fever being the album that she once again found commercial success with, at least in North America, as she did well with Light Years just over a year prior in the U.K. and Australia.

X is definitely still Kylie style wise, however if does not quite feel as much dance orientated as Fever, and not umm sensual like Body Language. A tad unrelated, I just noticed Emilíana Torrini helped write “Slow”, as well as “Someday” from Body Language. I would not have thought so from Fisherman’s Woman, but after hearing Me and Armini it seems plausible! I digress.

“2 Hearts” is catchy, and worthy to be the first single. It turns out it is actually a cover, originally done by Kish Mauve on their 2005 self titled ep!

“Wow” and “In My Arms” are two more quality tracks, both are also singles. My favourite track not selected as a single would be “Speakerphone”. It was produced by the Swedish duo Bloodshy & Avant, composed of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg. They also produced and help write another similar track in feel from the album, “Nu-di-ty”. They are known for their catchy numbers, from Britney Spears’ “Radar” and “Toxic”, to former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens’ “Sweet Dreams My LA Ex”, and Christina Milian’s “AM to PM”. The latter two are both the first single from the respective artist’s first album.

All in all, another solid release from the Australian Kylie. I would say this one is her album that is the most electropop. I’d say since Impossible Princess, but I suppose that would be more classified as trip hop. It has been a while since I listened to it.

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Foo Fighters and 1995

I am listening to the quality debut from the Foo Fighters, 14 years ago (whew!), back in 1995.

Looking back, there were numerous great releases that year. I just thought, in another 14 years, we’ll look back at 2009 and say the same thing. There is a lot of lacklustre releases coming out nowadays, but the same surely applies for 1995. That aside, I am focusing on the positives.

Radiohead released The Bends (13 March 1995), Elastic released their self titled debut the next day. Another debut came from Supergrass, I Should Coco, 15 May 1995. And Oasis released (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? 2 October 1995.

On this side of the pond, The Presidents of the United States of America released their debut, The Presidents of the United States of America. No Doubt released their commercial breakout, Tragic Kingdom. And 311 released their self titled album.

In punk, Pennywise released About Time (13 June 1995), which in my opinion is easily in the top 5 of that era of new school punk. Rancid released …And Out Come the Wolves (22 August 1995), taunting the major labels, and staying on the indie Epitaph. And Green Day released their second major label album, Insomniac (10 October 1995).

A few others:

Pulp – Different Class
The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Björk – Post
Blur – The Great Escape
Ben Harper – Fight for Your Mind
2Pac – Me Against the World
Garbage – Garbage

See more here: 1995 in music.

Quick Picks August 7 2009

jorlFirst is Joan Osborne‘s second studio album, Righteous Love. The follow up to her proper debut (since her first release was a live recording) which was her commercial breakthrough. It scored her the hits “One of Us”, “St. Teresa”, and “Right Hand Man”.

Righteous Love did not garner the attention of Relish. It does feel a little less accessible, yet it is still a good album. I believe I do prefer Relish, even though it has been a while, it has a bit more of a playful feel. My favourite track I would say would be “If I Was Your Man”. “Baby Love” is another good track.

apwiaSecond is Alice Peacock‘s third release, Who I Am. It is considered to be within the adult alternative/pop-rock genre. While she is also called a folk singer. I am not too familiar with folk, for the most part. However this release is fairly solid.

Her major label debut, her self titled second album, featured John Mayer and Emily Saliers from the Indigo Girls. Both guests being Sony recording artists, while her major lable debut was on Sony.

This album finds her back on her indie Peacock Music, in cooperation with Universal though.

“Time” has a bit of a jazzy feel to it, as does “I’m Still Here”. While “Runaway Day” is a good poppy number.

So all in all it is an album that would make for a good listen just about anytime.

Audioslave – Out of Exile (LP of the Week)

aooeOut of Exile, being Audioslave’s second album, and second to last. I really have to listen to the albums that are sandwiching this one. The eponymous debut, and Revelations, the final album from Audioslave.

Out of Exile is the one I am most familiar with, and feel, based on reviews that it is probably their best album. Again, I have to listen more to the others, but this is definitely deserving of the album of the week title.

The album starts with what was the third single, “Your Time Has Come”. Audioslave of course being Rage Against the Machine, but with Chris Cornell on vocals (as far as band members goes). And of course not as political. With that said, Tom Morello’s guitar skills are featured. The number 26th greatest guitarist of all time according to Rolling Stone. The track starts off with a nice guitar intro, and has a brief solo before the bridge. The accompanying bass line is not bad either.

The lead off single, “Out of Exile”, is track two on the album. It starts off quite mellow, and is generally a fairly mellow track. It also has a good albeit brief guitar solo in it.

“Doesn’t Remind Me”, the fourth and final single was rightly nominated for a Grammy in 2006 in the category of Best Hard Rock Performance but lost to System of a Down’s “B.Y.O.B.”. Also nominated that year in said category was Nine Inch Nails for “The Hand That Feeds”, Robert Plant for “Tin Pan Valley”, and Queens of the Stone Age for “Little Sister”.

Interestingly though, in my opinion some of Tom Morello’s best guitar work is on the tracks that were not singles. That is to not to say that the singles were not good. “Drive Me Slowly” features Tom Morello’s signature guitar playing fairly early on. It is the first album track that was not a single. “The Worm” also features some quality Tom Morello guitar playing, especially his work after the two minute mark.

“Man or Animal” is probably my favourite track, if just for the intro. It features a nice guitar and drum intro that will have you nodding your head. The bass soon kicks in, and the song kicks into high gear soon after that. The Tom Morello part of the track is probably also one of the best on the album.

I had not paid attention to the producer, so I was surprised to see it was produced by Rick Rubin, as was the Audioslave debut.

No doubt, this is a modern rock staple.

Future Music

As usual, there is a lot of good music on the horizon. Here is a look at some.

I was surprised to see that Kid Cudi’s debut album has not been released yet. I heard “Day ‘n’ Nite” here and there, not thinking much of it. Then when I really started paying attention, I quite liked it. He did release a mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi, which essentially got him noticed. I may check it out in the meantime. So his debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, is slated for September 15.

I was also surprised to see LeToya Luckett’s second album is not out yet either. The first single, “Not Anymore” feels like it was released ages ago. February 3 according to Wikipedia, while the video was released on March 10. She is already on her second single, “She Ain’t Got…”. The album, Lady Love, is set for an August 25 release.

Continuing the theme, I was also surprised to see the Lil Wayne rock album has not been released yet either. It has been delayed, and is now set to be released November 24. It is titled Rebirth.

Again, continuing the theme, however this time genre wise, hip hop, R&B, etc. The long, long delayed Eve album is now set for a late December release. It will now be titled Flirt. Originally it was Here I Am.

Now that Eminem’s latest album is out, we are one step closer to the highly anticipated new Dr. Dre album. 50 Cent’s upcoming album, Before I Self Destruct, is set to be released September 29, so Detox, Dre’s album, should be out sometime after that, before the end of the year.