Rocklopedia Reviews!

Aimee Mann: @#%&*! Smilers

Calling @#%&*! Smilers the loosest, most straightforward Aimee Mann record in a long time isn’t necessarily much of a compliment, what with the album coming as it does after a muddled, meandering Christmas collection (One More Drifter in the Snow) and an ambitious, excellent but misunderstood classic rock concept album (The Forgotten Arm), but even if it had arrived directly ... more »

By Janet • June 25, 2008
Categories: Aimee Mann, Artists | Tags:

Alejandro Escovedo: Real Animal

Alejandro Escovedo’s last studio album, The Boxing Mirror, was his first project following a nearly-lethal bout of Hepatitis C, and, accordingly, the album sounded just the way Escovedo’s fans expected it would-brave, ambitious, triumphant. Sure, it mostly avoided the sorts of navel-gazing and musings on mortality that brushes with death tend to provoke in artists, but make ... more »

By Janet • July 1, 2008
Categories: Alejandro Escovedo, Artists | Tags:

Beck: Modern Guilt

Contrary to what a song like “Loser” might suggest, Beck tends to be a pretty thoughtful, deliberate artist, to the point that you can generally tell a lot about his albums just by their covers. The cheerfully bizarre image on the front of Odelay, for example, reflected that album’s absurdist humor, and set the tone ... more »

By Janet • July 6, 2008
Categories: Artists, Beck | Tags:

Ben Taylor Review

Rocklopedia! was fortunate to be at a recent Ben Taylor (along with excellent guitarist David Saw) concert. While on stage, it was obvious that James Taylor and Carly Simon had passed their musical genes down to him. His relaxed stage presence (barefoot) while ... more »

By Janet • May 30, 2008
Categories: Artists, Ben Taylor | Tags:

Bob Dylan: Tell Tale Signs – The Bootleg Series Volume 8

Who knew, at the time of their release, that Good as I Been to You and World Gone Wrong, two albums of traditional blues cover songs, would turn out to be two of the landmark recordings in Bob Dylan’s career? Little-heard and often dismissed as stopgags between the real Dylan albums, the two ... more »

By Janet • October 19, 2008
Categories: Artists, Bob Dylan | Tags:

Bruce Springsteen: Magic

There’s something ironic about the timing of Bruce Springsteen’s Magic, an album that finds him working with his famed E-Street Band for the first time since 2002’s The Rising, and only the second time since Born to Run in 1984. Heralded as The Boss’ return to form as a bandleader and as a rock and roller, Magic comes ... more »

By Janet • June 28, 2008
Categories: Artists, Bruce Springsteen | Tags:

Coldplay– Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

More than almost any other act in 2008, Coldplay isn't really a band so much as a brand-- or at least that's how it feels sometimes. It's not their craft, or even their songs, that gets them the most attention, but their comforting reliability, the fact that, for three albums straight, they've traded in the warm, enveloping sounds of Chris ... more »

By Janet • June 24, 2008
Categories: Artists, Coldplay | Tags:

Conor Oberst: Conor Oberst

Is Conor Oberst indie rock’s answer to Ryan Adams? It certainly seems that way. After all, both men began as prodigiously talented youths, with personalities so volatile and expectations so lofty, it was difficult to imagine them doing anything but shining brightly for a few moments and then burning out for good. Much to everyone’s surprise– even ... more »

By Janet • September 9, 2008
Categories: Artists, Conor Oberst | Tags:

Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs

Who knew, listening to Transatlanticism when it first came out five years ago, that it was the first chapter in a three-album story arc, one that would end in a tragedy fit for the Bard himself? In Act I, the band established itself as the Next Big Thing; it wasn't that Transatlanticism was their first record, or even their first ... more »

By Janet • June 24, 2008
Categories: Artists, Death Cab for Cutie | Tags:

Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue [Legacy Edition]

The untalented Beach Boy? Don’t believe it. Dennis Wilson’s legacy as the resident hack of the Wilson family– a lousy musician whose mama made his brothers include him in the family band– has become so well-documented over the years that it seems even the most positive reviews of Wilson’s music begin with back-handed compliments expressing surprise ... more »

By Terry • September 6, 2008
Categories: Artists, Beach Boys | Tags:

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