Review: The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street:

Upon first listen it seems like a transitional album, filled with a dozen or so different styles and techniques, seemingly in an attempt to determine the future of their signature sound. As to be expected, some works and some doesn't, but by track 18, I had heard enough of the Stones for one sitting.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $10.99
  • 9.28.2006

    Review: Strike Anywhere - To Live in Discontent:

    Upon first listen it's good to know that I wasn't misguided back when Chorus of One came out as this disc collects that EP as well as some outtakes and covers. Overall it's pretty uneven but works to tide fans over until their new disc gets released.

  • Download Chorus of One
  • Purchase for $9.77
  • 9.27.2006

    Review: The Who - Odds & Sods:

    Upon first listen this is a very aptly titled album, collecting a lot of the extraneous tracks by The Who onto one disc. Most of the tracks work and it almost seems like a competent album all on its own even if you know the source of the material.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $11.14
  • 9.25.2006

    Review: Strike Anywhere - Exit English:

    Upon first listen I can't believe how much I dislike this record over their previous EP and LP. Granted it's been a few years since I listened to either, but when I heard they had a new album out soon I wanted to fill in the gap. What I found was a band that went from balancing the fine line of melodicism mixed with hardcore and punk to a band that had embodied the 'screamo' that became popular after the first record.

  • Download Infrared
  • Download To The World
  • Purchase for $9.77
  • 9.22.2006

    Review: The Who - Quadrophenia:

    Upon first listen I wasn't expecting them to top Who's Next. But they did. Not only did they better themselves, they made what may be the perfect rock and roll record. It's got everything you could want in a rock album and more. The best part is that after 17 tracks and 2 discs, you're not bored with what you just heard.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $11.98 (I've been a member for well over a year now with no complaints)
  • Purchase for $13.70
  • 9.21.2006

    Review: The Rolling Stones - Beggar's Banquet:

    Upon first listen it is cleary evident that the Stones were (still are?) a singles band. The problem is that 6 or 7 of the 10 tracks here are really good singles.

  • Stream 5 tracks in full and clips from the other 5
  • Purchase for $11.98
  • 9.20.2006

    Review: Matthew Friedberger - Winter Women:

    Upon first listen this may be the most traditional thing that the sibling Friedbergers have ever released. Not to say that it's at all traditional, just the most traditional.

  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Purchase for $13.63
  • 9.19.2006

    Review: Ratatat - Classics:

    Upon first listen I wasn't a a very big fan this time around either. Still missing some words or perhaps just a crescendo or two.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $9.89
  • 9.18.2006

    Review: John Ralston - Needle Bed:

    Upon first listen this is a great album of pop that's catchy and not cheesy and heartfelt but not sappy. It's not quite an album per se, but a great collection of solid pop songs.

  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Stream Gone Gone Gone (album standout) and When We Are Cats
  • Purchase for $7.92
  • 9.15.2006

    Review: OutKast - Idlewild:

    Upon first listen this album is consistently inconsistent. The few standout tracks are surrounded by mediocre-at-best filler and skits. And for the love of all things sacred, can we PLEASE put an end to skits? PLEASE? Moving on, there are a couple of great tracks, usually the ones that aren't rap/hip-hop derivative and are more jazzy outings. While I had wanted to see the film that this disc accompanies, I am now a little hesistant to put down my hard-earned $73 (or something) to see it in the theater.

  • Stream the majority of the album
  • Purchase for $11.99
  • 9.14.2006

    Review: Jennifer O'Connor - Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back to the Stars:

    Upon first listen it seems a little too glossy. It's certainly not a bad album and some of the tracks are very good, but at the end of it you'll be just a little dissapointed.

  • Download Today (via I ROCK CLEVELAND)
  • Purchase for $10.47
  • 9.13.2006

    Review: The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely:

    Upon first listen it's not as immediate
    at The Sunset Tree (last year's #2
    ), but it just as rewarding lyrically. It has a more somber
    tone to it and will take some time to fully get into, but I have little
    doubt that it will be worth it.

  • Download
    Get Lonely

  • Purchase
    for $9.20
  • 9.12.2006

    Review: Mars Volta - Amputechture:

    Upon first listen it's either the greatest thing they've done, or the worst. A lot of the songs sound similar and most of it just sounds like the same old Mars Volta. On the other hand, who says there's anything wrong with more of the same from a band like Mars Volta? When I heard Deloused, I had the knee-jerk reaction of joy. When I heard Frances, I had the opposite knee-jerk reaction (though I grew to love it). With Amputechture, however, I'm stuck somewhere in the middle and it's either a good thing or it's not, but only time will tell.

  • Stream Viscera Eyes (May have full album stream at some point today)
  • Purchase for $9.99
  • 9.08.2006

    Review: Bel Auburn - Lullabies in A and C:

    Upon first listn they steal from requisite Brit-pop influences such as Coldplay (though not as poppy) and Radiohead (not nearly as dense) to come away with a sound that is uniquely theirs. It mostly succeeds in it's teetering-on-electronic-but-still-rock meanderings and has an almost soothing laid back approach to the vocal delivery. All-in-all I'm walking away a fan and someone intrigued further by this not-well-enough-known artist.

  • Download the entire album (it's certainly worth your time and their bandwidth)
  • Purchase for $12 (just PayPal it to jared@belauburn.com)
  • 9.07.2006

    Review: Against Me! - Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live in London!!!:

    Upon first listen I hope that this is not representative of the current live show that Against Me! is putting together, because I would not want to see them. I have seen them (about 3 years ago) and it was certainly one of the best shows I have ever been to, but either they suck live now or they have no business putting out a live CD (hoping the latter is more accurate).

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $9.71
  • 9.06.2006

    Review: Bob Dylan - Modern Times:

    Upon first listen it's a rather enjoyable blend of his previous 2 albums (Time out of Mind and Love and Theft). Though he claims to trilogy, they are stylistically incestual in both their delivery and musicianship. What I haven't seen anyone else mention is how 'real' and 'alive' the production on the album is. At times it really feels like you're in the studio with My. Dylan. Overall Dylan continues to make some of the most compelling music you can find anywhere.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase the regular edition for $9.98
  • Purchase the limited edition with bonus DVD for $16.08
  • 9.05.2006

    Review: Review: TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain:

    Upon first listen, I never got into their first album and certainly didn't understand all the praise it received, but it all manages to click here. Look out for this one to make a lot of "Best Of" lists.

  • Stream Wolf Like Me
  • Purchase for $10.35
  • 9.04.2006

    Review: The Who - Who's Next:

    Upon first listen this is the album that it all comes together for me concerning The Who. It's the most complete without being too long-winded. It's loud when it needs to be, it's soft when it needs to be.

  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Purchase for $5.99 (You must join as a member, but it only costs $5.99/month and you get an album every month)
  • 9.01.2006

    Review: the pAper chAse - Now You Are One Of Us:

    Upon first listen it's not nearly as striking as Kitchen Knives nor does it have the same cohesive feel that BlacK Heart has. In the end it's too overdramatic, overdone and downright cheesy.

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  • Purchase for $10.47