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Archive for December, 2007

Noah Georgeson - Find Shelter

I’ve listened to Noah Georgeson on Devendra Banhart‘s collection Love Above All. He produced the work of some famous folk artists, a friend of mine recommended this album so I checked it out.

Noah Georgeson has a strong and mature musicianship. In Find Shelter, Noah plays from slow folk to elaborated guitar-based songs like Tied to the Coast.

I just disliked the synths, they sound like cheap crap stuff. Otherwise I’d absolutely love this album.

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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

I am (or was) a huge fan of Dream Theater. I love the albums Images & Words, Awake, A Change of Seasons, Scenes from a Memory and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
Train of Thought is OK despite the fact I think it gets boring fast. Octavarium is strange, they have good moments but the bad ones are longer. Plus the “strange” tracks like The Answer Lies Within and I Walk Beside You, which I totally dislike.

I don’t know if the problem is in myself.
The last years I’ve got myself digging more and more experimental stuff. But I think Dream Theater is a band with creativity problems. As most bands are.

People change, bands change, music changes. It’s natural, it’s good. The problem is, you can not feel in love with it anymore.

That’s what happened with Dream Theater and me. Their ToT and Octavarium created some distance between “us”. Still I was in love with them.
But Systematic Chaos called it a day.

Don’t be fooled by the first 2:10 of In the Presence of Enemies Pt.1, the album is not that concise and inspired.

LaBrie‘s voice is great. He’s sounding clear as crystal. But all his talent is thrown off the window with the horrific I-have-to-rhyme lyrics. Not even the best singer could make good vocal lines with such geometric lyrics. You can notice this problem specially in Forsaken, maybe the worst track.
It’s hard to think they’re the same band who composed vocal elaborated songs like Voices and A Change of Seasons.

They tried making another Glass Prison with Constant Motion, but it sounds just not inspired to me.  At this point we can clearly see that Portnoy is taking more and more place in vocals. It’s not bad, when it’s full of effects.

The Dark Eternal Light is the best track in my opinion. They’re more authentic here, and they got it fairly right most of times.

It’s just before Repentance. A track I just dislike. I cannot listen to it entirely. First time I checked Repentence I was waiting for an instrumental explosion, but it doesn’t happen.

Sincerely, I tried Systematic Chaos more than once, and postponed this review as long as I could. But my opinion haven’t changed: Systematic Chaos is the worst DT album in my opinion.

I was wondering whether Hot Hot Heat‘s Happiness Ltd. or DT‘s Systematic Chaos is my worst 2007 disappointment. But I already hated HHH‘s Elevator, so I wasn’t surprised with Happiness Ltd.
That means I think Systematic Chaos is my worst 2007 disappointment so far.

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Devendra Banhart - Love Above All

Love Above All is a collection of Devendra Banhart’s recommendations on what’s happening in underground folk today.
I like the mostly stuff here. My favs are Jana Hunter, Feathers and Matteah Baim.

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Battles - Mirrored

Battles is labeled as an experimental supergroup. The drummer comes from Tomahawk and the guitarist from Don Caballero. You can only have good expectations.

Mirrored impressed me on the first listening, but there are something in their music that gets better every time I listen to it again. Maybe there are a lot of calculated details, which I’m discovering with time.

I love the creative synthesizers everywhere but in my opinion the highlight is the drums.

Very good stuff.

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The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works

Personally, Ire Works was the most awaited 2007 album only after The Mars Volta‘s The Bedlam in Goliath (which was postponed to january).

DEP is with no doubt my last most interesting discovery in metal genre. They’re maniacly complex, brutal with melodic jazzy/experimental passages. And the best point: they’re absolutely authentic.

I was impressed with their 2004’s Miss Machine and their EP with Mike Patton. So I obviously thought Ire Works would shock the brain out of my head.

Ire Works is awesome, with no doubt, but not so much as I thought it’d be. They’re less experimental. They’re a little less brutal to bring on a new element to their essence: grunge hard rock (that you can check on Black Bubblegum and Milk Lizard). Unfortuantely the worst part of Ire Works is the last track Mouth Ghosts. You can see they’re trying different things, but I think they’ve gone too far from their core to make a flamenco-like beat.

In spite of these let downs, they’re good enough to sound amazing afer all. I love the electro stuff they’ve put together with their sound. The top of this mixture is the instrumental When Acting As A Wave, my fav track. It looks like someone in DEP was listening to Venetian Snares. Great moment.

The best 2007 metal album I’ve listened to so far.

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Kula Shaker - Strangefolk

I had some good expectations on Kula Shaker‘s return with Strangefolk.
But unfortunately this album don’t call my attention on any aspects. I’ve listened to it at least 5 times and nothing’s happened.

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Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is a lot of things, but overall it’s pretentious. Pretentious in a good way, since it seems Devendra tried to put into one album everything he likes.

SRDTC kicks off with his usual folk. After some tracks he goes to samba, pop, soul and after all  he comes back to folk.

I must say I don’t pay much attention to his purely folk songs.

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