Archive for February, 2011


When you have classical opera training behind your belt in rock music, you can’t lose. Pat Benatar is no exception to this rule with her release of Crimes of Passion.

Both Benatar and Giraldo kick the album off with a nice request for a man to treat a woman with dignity with the album-opener “Treat Me Right” – which is a stark contrast to her previous album opener: the hit single “Heartbreaker” on her first album In the Heat of the Night“Treat Me Right” is also a rather significant song in rock music history: it was the second music video that aired on the then-fledgling Mtv.

However, knowing Benatar’s trademark angry style, she kicks it into high-gear shortly after with the hit single “You Better Run” where she screams the chorus you better run/ you better hide/you better leave from my side. She continues this on the heavy-lyric-laden but guitar driven (no thanks to her husband Neal Giraldo) “Hell is for Children.” “Hell is for Children” is a song that speaks of the horrors of child abuse.

One nice change on this album is the fact that this time Benatar shows her soft side with such songs as the lushful rocker “Never Wanna Leave You” and her beautiful albeit with a rock touch cover of the Kate Bush classic “Wuthering Heights.”

Overall the album is a great album. B+

 

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You have to hand it to people like Deborah Gibson – the woman is talented and will

In 1987 Deborah Gibson released "Out of the Blue," making her the youngest person at the age of 16 to ever write, produce and record an album

always be good at what she does. Gibson still holds the record for being the youngest person to ever write, produce, and have a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song Foolish Beat.

While most young women at the age 16 are busy either catching the attention of guys or earning their drivers liscence, Gibson, along with producer Fred Zarr, were collaborating on what would become her debut album Out of the Blue.

Some of the songs occasionally slip into the slope of cheese albeit very slightly. Take for instance the track Red Hot. It’s rather unlistenable due to the repetitive drum track – it sounds too electronic and does not fit the song.

One thing that is great about this album is the fact that a great deal of the songs are catchy and even danceable. On Out of the Blue, she talks about finding new love – something that is relatable regardless of age because, literally, love comes from “out of the blue.” The hit single Shake Your Love is reminiscent  of Motown artists such as Martha Reeves and the VandellasDancing in the Streets albeit with an 80’s twist. Overall these are the songs that make this album great overall.

One of the greatest highlights is the underrated bass-happy Fallen Angel. The bass line is what makes the song great.

A

 


You have to hand it to Styx, they are pretty bold and brash when it comes to politics for an art-rock band. On their concept 1983 release Kilroy Was Here, they don’t hold back on their anti-censorship stance.

Kilroy was Here follows the story of a former rock star, Kilroy (lead singer Dennis De Young), living in prison in a future where rock n’ roll is illegal due to the the hands of of the MMM (Majority for Musical Morality) and a fascist government. The album picks up in the future where robots manufactured in Japan, called Mr. Robotos, work nonstop in jobs once held by humans. In addition to this bleak future, there are the ever-present anti-rock music rallies where citizens literally burn guitars, records, and other rock paraphernalia.

However there is a rebel leader, Jonathan Chance (Tommy Shaw), who wants to bring back rock music. The album follows both Chance and Kilroy’s attempts to prove Kilroy’s innocence as well as break up the MMM.

Kilroy Was Here is a clear stab at the then-prevalent Moral Majority and Tipper Gore‘s Parental Music Resource Center – better known as the PMRC.  This is due in part to Christian fundamentalists branding their song Snowblind as “satanic.”

The album itself is a great album both musically and, for the most part, lyrically. On almost every single the synthesizer reflects the eerie time that this world could come to if such a power akin to the MMM were to be in power.

Overall I would highly recommend this album if you are a big musical fan, but otherwise forget it.

However, it is still entertaining to watch.


The Police, as a band, are completely unpredictable. No two releases or songs are like the other. Ghosts In the Machine (1981) is no exception. One minute you maybe listening to a straight-up pop number and the next minute you maybe listening to a reggae-tinged song.

The album’s overall strong points are the first tracks, which are the album’s singles: Spirits in the Material World and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.

However, there is a little bit of weakness on this album. On Invisible Sun, the overall sound is very monotonous with a catch on the chorus.

But the album kicks into overdrive with a fretless bass line that every bassist would dream to play on Hungry For You (J’aurais tojours faim de toi). The bass lines only get better on the next track, the one and only Demolition Man – which is only 6 minutes long. As a novice bass player, I shudder but accept the challenge to play this particular bass line.

One thing that is unique about this album is the usage of the french language. Though most of The Police’s albums have french title, such as their previous album  Zenyattta Mondatta, this one has an english title but contains a song in almost complete french – Hungry For You (J’aurais tojours faim de toi).

Overall the album is a great album. B+