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Compact Replay

Just another Doors Anniversary CD

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11


MATC Times


MATC Times


MATC Times

Now this was a cool Christmas present. The Black Keys have been a major force in trying to bring, back to basics guitar rock and roll into the forefront. They've done well for themselves releasing six albums with their latest El Camino (Nonesuch) being their seventh studio release.

Here they've been reunited with producer Danger Mouse (Cee-Lo, Beck, Ike Turner) who helmed last years Brothers album. The Keys have such a powerful dynamic, being a two-member band with heavy-footed drummer Patrick Carney covering vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach's back.

Not much separates this album from their previous efforts but on El Camino it seems as though Danger Mouse keeps Auerbach's guitar solos to a minimum and concentrates having guitar, bass, drums and keys all playing as one. When he does solo, it carries that much more oomph.

This album is a mover, it's perfect to use while at the gym, not a lot of mid-tempo ballads here, with the acoustic based "Little Black Submarines" an exception. Standouts include "Sister," "Stop Stop," "Lonely Boy" and "Money Maker."

Let's get this out in the open first and foremost; we here at The TIMES are huge Roots fans. Really not much they have or can do wrong after their previous 10 albums. With maybe, the exception of their latest, the concept album undone (Def Jam.)

It's just that it's real tuff for a hip-hop band to release an effort attempting to be a concept album, which tells a cohesive story from beginning to end. As a genre, what separates hip-hop from everything else is about the little stories in each and every song. Without that foundation hip-hop can become unfocused.

undone tells the story of Redford Stephens, a New York guy and his untimely death which then looks back at his life from that point to his birth. It's not easy to accomplish but ?uestlove and the band work in earnest to succeed.

Musically it's pretty laid back as far as Roots albums go but it's motivated by it's content.

Standouts on this surprisingly short (40 minute) effort includes "Stomp," "Make My," "The OtherSide" and "I Remember" on an album that will be looked back upon as another positive step in the career of this amazing Philly group.

Hey this is really pretty cool and a dammed great album to boot. Chimes of Freedom The Songs Of Bob Dylan (Fontana) celebrates both Amnesty Internationals 50 years of helping those who are unjustly imprisoned or impacted because of their political beliefs as well as celebrating the music of Bob Dylan.

Four cd's of various artists taking their turns interpreting this countries greatest poet/song writer in Dylan. With 73 songs, calling this project ambitious is an understatement and with so many artists participating you get some amazing interpretations.

Some guys who wear their political awareness on their sleeve are givens being here like Sting, Ziggy Marley and Pete Seeger. But Sugarland? Miley Cyrus? Raphael Saadiq? Really? Yea and it's awesome!

Dylan's work has always been so across the board, he can go political, religious or romantic from one song to the next or even mid-song so this album has amazing diversity.

Everything here is spot on but for some real standouts check out Saadiq's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," Diana Krall's take on "Simple Twist Of Fate," "Outlaw Blues" by Queens Of The Stone Age, Adele's recorded live "Make You Feel My Love," maybe the best thing here "Like A Rolling Stone" by Seal and Jeff Beck while Dylan appears himself on the original studio version of the projects namesake "Chimes Of Freedom."

You know I can only take so much of these Anniversary re-issue cd's.

After a while it seems like the artist is really gouging their fans for every possible dollar. For me this is the case with The Doors L. A. Woman 40 (Elektra.)

True there might be only three official versions released on CD but when you count the numerous imports and box sets you could choke a horse. The latest boasts a new track and you can tell by the songs title, "She Smells So Nice," it isn't anything more than a loosey-goosey jam.

The second CD is all unreleased material and while the booklet calls them alternate takes they sure sound like simple run-throughs to me that offer nothing new in lyrics or arrangements and are slightly different than the original released versions.

So yet here's another version of their sixth and final studio album, before lead vocalist Jim Morrison's death. I guess for you completists this is a big deal and that's cool for you to run out and grab it but I'm gonna wait for the next anniversary re-issue… well maybe the version after that one.

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