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Thread: My CD Reviews!

  1. #241
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
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    Doro
    Under My Skin - A Fine Selection of Doro Classics
    AFM Records - 2012
    http://www.dororocks.net

    The AFM best of collection for Doro Pesch collects material from her time with the label as well as live or re-recorded versions of other classic tracks.

    The 32 track, 2 disc album comes with handwritten notes and observations about the tracks from Doro herself. There are 3 videos ("Warrior Soul", "Let Love Rain On Me" and "Herzblut") included as well.

    A lot of the live version and re-recorded versions of the tracks leave something to be desired for me. Her biggest song "All We Are" (recorded when she was still with the band Warlock) was redone in 2007 and while it is still a powerful anthem, the original is still the best.

    There are 8 tracks that were re-recorded with the Classic Night Orchestra. With the exception of "Strangers Yesterday", the original versions were all better. "Metal Tango" and "Love Me In Black" came out well but still left me desiring those original tracks.

    There are four German language tracks on the album and "Fur Immer" fares the best to my ears.

    The ballad "Walking With The Angels" features a duet with ex-Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen.

    On Disc 1, you also want to check out "Above The Ashes" and "Always Live To Win". The second disc features an acoustic version of "Rare Diamond", which is one of my favorite Doro songs. The song "1999" actually rings no bells with me from past albums, but it was an excellent song. The song "Wildfire" is on the disc and it is one of the songs she has never performed live.

    Doro wrote 3 songs for world boxing champion Regina Halmich to use as entrance music. "She's Like Thunder" is decent, but I didn't like "The Queen".

    A couple of issues with the CD. The track listing is fine for what it is, but it leaves out a lot of her better songs. I don't know if it is a rights issue or what, but this could be considered Volume 1 of a series if she decided to do another release.

    While I am a huge Doro fan, I don't always remember what song comes from what album. It would've been nice if the album credits had included that information. Oh, and there really was no need to include 2 versions of the song "Celebrate" on the same release.

    Overall, this compilation serves its intended purpose of being a cross section of Doro's catalog. she's a hugely important artist in the metal world. But for longtime fans, this release is more a tease with all the alternate versions of the songs we know and love.

    GRADE: B MINUS

    The track listing:

    01. All We Are (Version 2007)
    02. You're My Family
    03. I Rule The Ruins
    04. Celebrate
    05. The Night Of The Warlock
    06. Strangers Yesterday
    07. Walking With The Angels
    08. Metal Tango
    09. Thunderspell
    10. Herzblut
    11. Warrior Soul
    12. My Majesty
    13. Für Immer
    14. Love Me In Black
    15. Always Live To Win
    16. Running From The Devil
    17. Above The Ashes
    18. Let Love Rain On Me

    CD2

    01. Celebrate (Full Metal Female Version)
    02. Rescue Me
    03. Rare Diamond (Acoustic Version)
    04. Angel In The Dark
    05. 1999
    06. In Liebe Und Freundschaft
    07. I Lay My Head Upon My Sword
    08. Tausend Mal Gelebt
    09. Wildfire
    10. Breaking The Law
    11. She's Like Thunder (Version 2005)
    12. The Queen
    13. You Won My Love
    14. Lonely Wolf

    Multimedia Bonus

    * Warrior Soul (Video)
    * Let Love Rain On Me (Video)
    * Herzblut (Video)



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  2. #242
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
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    You can check out my review of the Black Country Communion CD Afterglow via this Pop-Topia.com link.

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  3. #243
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    My Top 10 CDs of 2012 list is now up at Classic Rock Bottom. You can check it out via this link.
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    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  4. #244
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    You can check out my review of the Dokken CD Broken Bones via this Pop-topia.com link.

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  5. #245
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    My latest review is the Beth Hart CD My California. You can check it out via this Pop-topia.com link.

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    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  6. #246
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
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    My latest CD review is up. You can check out the review for the S.U.N. debut album Something Unto Nothing via this link.

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    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  7. #247
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    Heart
    Fanatic
    Legacy Records - 2012
    http://www.heart-music.com

    The title of the new Heart album would be a generally apt description of my love for the band. I got into them with their self-titled album back in the 80's and the follow up album Bad Animals, but I readily went backwards to explore the entirety of their back catalog. I also carried onward from the two albums mentioned previously. I even got to see the band live in concert once.

    Yes, I'm a big fan. That fact makes it very hard to say that, after listening to the disc five times and living with my thoughts for a LONG time before writing the review, the Fanatic album was drastic disappointment for the most part.

    Despite employing a heavier and more raw sound on a number of tracks, the music couldn't cover up for what I thought was a lack of decent lyrics on a lot of the songs.

    While Heart is known for rockers and ballads, the material did not seem to blend well together here. The title track (which you can hear via a Youtube video below) has that heavy sound but the pedestrian lyrics left me quite near to yawning.

    Slowing things down from the uptempo songs like "Dear Old America", the track "Pennsylvania" comes off as being completely nonsensical. My reaction to other numbers like "Walkin' Good" (which featured a guest appearance by Sarah McLachlan) or "Mashallah!" was a shrug of the shoulders and a vocal comment of "Eh..."

    It's not all bad though. The song "Skin and Bones" was a lively little song and the shading to the vocals from Ann Wilson give off a very slinky kind of vibe. The song "A Million Miles" was surprisingly good and I really liked the heavy sound of "59 Crunch" which featured both Ann and Nancy Wilson on vocals.

    Heart's landing in the descriptive term of "classic rock" is fine by me but despite a couple of songs I did actually enjoy, the material comes off as a classic rock band trying to stay relative in an age when they don't quite have the same musical chops they had in their heyday. It kills me to say that but while others have loved Fanatic, I found it a chore to get through each time I put the disc in the player.

    GRADE: C MINUS
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  8. #248
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    Jimi Jamison
    Never Too Late
    Frontiers Records - 2012
    http://www.jimijamison.com

    Billed as a Jimi Jamison solo album, I have to wonder if Frontiers Records thinks we are all stupid.

    Bear in mind that while I actually like the songs on Never Too Late, this CD being a Jamison solo album could possibly violate those truth in advertising laws.

    The album is filled with a bunch of up tempo rockers that capture Jamison in fine voice. The music soars with those vocals and it would generally be considered a really good release if you just listened to the album and didn't read the liner notes.

    Three songs stand out from the rest for me. All of them are rockers. Despite not being completely sold on the lyrics of "Street Survivor", the song got a thumbs up from me. The album closer "Walk On (Wildest Dreams)" was good as well. However, the best song was "Not Tonight". With the big backing vocals giving the song a big lift it was pure melodic rock happiness!

    Unfortunately for me, I did read the liner notes. It would appear that Jimi Jamison showed up, cut his vocals and called it a day. He had about as much to do with the creation of the album as a guy asking "Do you want fries with that" has to do with the success of McDonald's.

    I would've been happier if Frontiers had called this The Erik Martensson Project. Why?

    Well let's run down the list of what Martensson did on Never Too Late. He produced the album. He played lead and rhythm guitar, as well as bass and keyboards. He also provided backing vocals. Oh, and he co-wrote every song on the album.

    That last one would normally not be an issue, but Jamison was not one of the co-writers on any song. He didn't write the words or music for any of the tracks on HIS own solo album. I don't know the track record for Jamison in terms of songwriting, but this is just embarrassing. How can something be yours if you had nothing to do with creating it?

    All the song publishing credits are listed to Frontiers Records no less. Doesn't that mean that any publishing royalties for use of the songs go straight to the label?

    Musically, the album is very good. I'd give it a B Plus for that reason alone. But in fairness to this not being a REAL Jimi Jamison solo album, I can't really give it a grade at all.

    Much like the Toby Hitchcock solo album Mercury's Down, the singer is simply a guest appearance on his allegedly own release.

    It may be never too late, but in this case it is entirely too late to avoid calling Never Too Late a farce.
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  9. #249
    Lowe/Piece/Understatement Artycool8or's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
    Jimi Jamison
    Never Too Late
    Frontiers Records - 2012

    It would appear that Jimi Jamison showed up, cut his vocals and called it a day.
    Jamison was not one of the co-writers on any song. He didn't write the words or music for any of the tracks on HIS own solo album.
    All the song publishing credits are listed to Frontiers Records no less. Doesn't that mean that any publishing royalties for use of the songs go straight to the label?
    Holy Milli Vanilli !!!

  10. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artycool8or View Post
    Holy Milli Vanilli !!!
    No that is not correct. He sang the songs at least. As I said in the review, overall the music is good, but Jamison not being involved in any other way was disappointing since it is HIS name on the disc.
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  11. #251
    Lowe/Piece/Understatement Artycool8or's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
    No that is not correct. He sang the songs at least. As I said in the review, overall the music is good, but Jamison not being involved in any other way was disappointing since it is HIS name on the disc.
    Yeah it is, but you are looking at the wrong angle.
    It's Erik Martensson and Frontier Records that pulled Milli Vanilli, by posing Jimi Jamison on the front.

  12. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artycool8or View Post
    Yeah it is, but you are looking at the wrong angle.
    It's Erik Martensson and Frontier Records that pulled Milli Vanilli, by posing Jimi Jamison on the front.
    Well that makes more sense, though Milli Vanilli for me was about the two guys not actually singing on the record. Jamison at least did that.
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  13. #253
    Lowe/Piece/Understatement Artycool8or's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
    Well that makes more sense, though Milli Vanilli for me was about the two guys not actually singing on the record. Jamison at least did that.
    True, but to all honesty would you even notice that CD, let alone buy it, if Jamison wasn't involved, and let's say it was Erik Martensson Project with Artycool8or singing?

  14. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artycool8or View Post
    True, but to all honesty would you even notice that CD, let alone buy it, if Jamison wasn't involved, and let's say it was Erik Martensson Project with Artycool8or singing?
    If it had been The Erik Martensson Project with Jimi Jamison on vocals, I probably would've still bought the CD because Jamison was involved. I just don't like to get a disc thinking one thing and have it turn out to be another.
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  15. #255
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    My review of the new Queensryche CD Frequency Unknown is now up at this Pop-topia.com link.

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

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