Album

The Moment

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I read a review of this album which said it was very good, so I requested a copy for Xmas. Life was complex and it took me nearly 2 weeks before I had a listen. I wasn't terribly happy as I hit play but I was smiling half way through the first track When the Moment Comes. Half way through the next track Pistol I was practically dancing as I walked down the street with headphones on. Up until this point the music was great but the vocals occupied a relatively narrow, gravelly range - no complaints, but my expectations were set.

Wrecking Ball

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Wrecking Ball is Bruce Springsteen's 17th studio album and, wow, is he angry. This is an album about the current state of the US, the lack of accountability for and following the global financial crisis, a lack of hope, and then, perhaps, hope for the future. The production is big, stadium-like rock but with enough layers to make it interesting. The lyrics are comparatively simple compared to some of Springsteen's earlier storytelling. The musical influences vary from rock, though country, Irish folk, gospel, country and R&B.

Sing In My Meadow

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When Sing In My Meadow, the third installment in Cowboy Junkies' 4 part Nomad Series, was released I downloaded it (from the Cowboy Junkies clubhouse - surprise, surprise: I bought a subscription), got busy with other things and promptly forgot about it for a week. I had heard various rough mixes on the Junkies blog and had been wondering how it would fit together as an album.

Demons

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When I first read that Demons, the second album in Cowboy Junkies 4 part Nomad Series, would be a collection of covers of songs written by some guy called Vic Chestnutt I was disappointed. I had never heard of Chestnutt and I was hoping for more original material penned by Junkies songwriter Michael Timmins... so I decided that 3 out of 4 (in the series) wouldn't be a bad outcome.

Renmin Park

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Renmin Park is Cowboy Junkies first album in their 4 part Nomad Series, recorded to mark 25 years together as a band. This is a very good album and I like it a lot... but it doesn't sit comfortably with me in quite the same way as every other Cowboy Junkies album I own (i.e. most of them). I guess that this might be because it is "the experimental one" in the series and I see Cowboy Junkies as a guitar-based band. This album has many Chinese influences, based on songwriter Michael Timmins' extended stay in China.

Wilderness

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I caught the tail end of Sophie B. Hawkins' live performance on 26 July 2004 at the House of Blues in Chicago, where she was supporting Chris Isaak. I was very impressed by her passionate performance featuring some rather large vocals - not Joplin-esque screaming but big nevertheless. So I bought Wilderness, which was her current album at that time.

The Long Run

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The Long Run was the Eagles' last studio album before their 1980 breakup. It is the culmination of the domination of the band by Glenn Frey and Don Henley, and the departure of the other remaining co-founder Randy Meisner. The 4th co-founder, Bernie Leadon had left several years earlier. The move away from country rock to to a heavier pop-rock sound (although still with some country influence) was also complete. That said, the album is also more musically diverse than it's predecessor Hotel California.

Howl & Moan

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Abbe May is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from Perth, Australia. I first saw her here in Canberra when she was featured in Deborah Conway's Broad Festival in 2007. If you haven't seen or heard Abbe May before there are also a couple of RocKwiz TV performances that are definitely worth watching (these are the solo performances - the duets are also well worth a look). Howl & Moan is Abbe May's debut album released in 2008. It features her band The Rockin' Pneumonia playing a range of roots-based rock tracks, predominantly quite heavy, grunge-inspired blues-rock.

Even

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My introduction to Even came via some performances by singer-songwriter-guitarist Ashley Naylor on SBS's RocKwiz. I found his solo performance very entertaining but when the first couple of lines of Get Off My Cloud came out of his mouth I was stunned. It was just so clear that Naylor "got" the song - he's obviously a big fan of music.

Any Better Time

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Any Better Time is another album sent to me by my friend Dan. He grew up living across the road from singer-songwriter Christine Santelli and he thought I might like this roots-infused album that she has recorded. Santelli has a voice that sounds like it is full of cigarettes and whisky. Various tracks on this album encourage comparisons with people like Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge but Santelli occupies her own space, playing an interesting mix of folk-country-rock... or something like that. This is her seventh album and it is very good.

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