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11.29.2006 | Ronnie Wood - Anthology: The Essential Crossexion:

Upon first listen this two disc restrospective is an excellent introduction to Ronnie Wood. The first disc is represented by his solo work, including some live performances and peppered with covers. The second disc is a compilation of tracks from the bands he's been a part of. Starting with the Birds to Creation, The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, Rod Stewart and ending on The Rolling Stones. Is it essential? Probably not. Is it interesting and fun listen? Absolutely.

  • Purchase for $18.95

  • 11.28.2006 | Review: The Who - Endless Wire:

    Upon first listen they do nothing that tarnishes the legacy they have already left. Nor, however, do they do much to either reinforce it or push it forward. Still, it's a perfectly adequate album full of potential for future greatness.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $9.72

  • 11.27.2006 | Review: Various - These Are Some Serious Time:

    Upon first listen this reggae/hip-hop compilation actually posts some great tracks. It certainly exceeded my expectations even if it did have a couple that didn't really win me over.

  • Check out the MySpace
  • Purchase for $14.57

  • 11.23.2006 | Review: Various - Running With Scissors Motion Picture Soundtrack:

    Upon first listen I'm not sure if this is the order of the songs in which they appear (if they do at all) in the movie or if this was put in this order as an afterthought. Either way, it is wonderfully done. The flow is much better than most compilations and Soundtracks.

  • Purchase for $14.41

  • 11.22.2006 | Review: Various - Plague Songs:

    Upon first listen I am glad I had a little backstory on this album. 10 artists, 10 plagues in the Bibile, 10 songs about said plagues. While most of the songs are great and I can't wait to check out a few of the artists' further work, it certainly doesn't work as an album, bouncing from electronic beats to acoustic guitar to Imogen Heap. It's odd.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $10.75

  • 11.21.2006 | Review: Various - Paint It Black, The Compilation of The Rolling Stones Cover Tracks:

    Upon first listen this disc reinforced my new found enjoyment of The Rolling Stones, despite the butchered songs that are covered here. Except The Flying Pickets' cover of Get Off Of My Cloud. You simply must check it out.

  • Download Grand Funk Railroad's take on Gimme Shelter (courtesy of Stereogum)
  • Purchase for $13.49

  • 11.20.2006 | Review: Pet Shop Boys - PopArt, The Hits:

    Upon first listen I can only take so much of that incessant synthesizer. Sadly, that happened at about track 2 of disc 1. But I persevered, finishing both discs but with little respect for a band that's a cross between what would become the Scissor Sisters and Depeche Mode. Though that cover/medley/mash-up of Where The Streets Have No Name/I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You is really good.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $12.74

  • 11.17.2006 | Review: Various - The World Is Gone:

    Upon first listen there was nothing about this band that grabbed my attention. It just kind of plods along, doing its own thing and changing styles on every track. Until the last track, which is quiet, folky and serene.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $11.10

  • 11.16.2006 | Review: The Prize Fighter Inferno - My Brother's Blood Machine:

    Upon first listen this album is only for fans of Coheed and Cambria as it's not likely to convert any new fans. With that said, it's fairly decent. It won't make up for the last Coheed album nor the lack of a new one but it's solid in its own right.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $10.26

  • 11.15.2006 | Review: Mastodon - Blood Mountain:

    Upon first listen this may be the most frustratingly inconsistent album of the year as the band switches between a dozen different genres over the course of 12 tracks. Yes, they are all heavy, but that's where the similarities end.

  • Stream clips from the album
  • Purchase for $9.44

  • 11.14.2006 | Review: Johann Johannsson - IBM 1401, A User's Manual:

    Upon first listen I had a vague feeling of what this album would sound like, based on the name of the artist, the name of the manual and the packaging it all came in. And while I wasn't wrong, it still is a mostly instrumental album seemingly about using the IBM 1401, I was misguided in my inital thoughts that I'd not like it. The opposite has happened and I loved it. It hit all the right highs and the lows and didn't bore me to sleep. I haven't enjoyed an instrumental album this much since the last Explosions in the Sky disc.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $9.99

  • 11.13.2006 | Review: Gomez - Five Men In A Hut, As, Bs and Rarities 1998-2004:

    Upon first listen this two disc Best Of/Rarities compilation is certainly not the place the start for this band. It jumps all over the map landing in one genre only to be transported to another. It's catchy only to be mundane and fast only to be slow. Not all is lost, however, as longtime fans of the band (or at least those that were fans for the 6 year period these discs represent) should find adequate amounts of material to continue to be fans.

  • Stream some of the album
  • Purchase for $16.95

  • 11.10.2006 | Review: Jeremy Enigk - World Waits:

    Upon first listen Mr. Enigk (of Sunny Day Real Estate fame) has made his solo career based on what I consider to be epic pop music. He's built up such a large sound while he delivers such minimalism. His first solo album is certainly better at everything he does well, but fans will no doubt enjoy this one. Just don't look for it to convert any new fans.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $10.72

  • 11.09.2006 | Review: Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards:

    Upon first listen I wonder how I and many other bloggers neglected to make a comparison to Maroon 5. I still think my previous comparisons to the likes of Radiohead, White Stripes and Interpol are valid and I realize these tracks are reworkings of their EPs, which I enjoyed, but I think I missed the boat on the Maroon 5 correlation.

  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Purchase for $9.42

  • 11.08.2006 | Review: Scissor Sisters - Ta Dah:

    Upon first listen most of the campiness of their debut is gone and I just can't get into it. Does it make me want to dance? Sometimes. Does it make me smile? Sometimes. Is it like Andrew WKs The Wolf in relation to I Get Wet? No.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $9.99

  • 11.07.2006 | Review: REM - And I Feel Fine... [The Best of the IRS Years 1982-1987]:

    Upon first listen it's certainly REM. I know I should be more familiar with their material considering their place in history and their effect on indie music, but I'm not. I'm not even sure I've even listened to their last greatest hits album in its entirety. But alas, I have persevered and made it though both discs of this one. Some of the tracks are make the hair on the back of my neck stand up with their charisma and energy. Some of the tracks don't. But at the end of the day there's enough here to make me go explore the rest of their catalog.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $11.99

  • 11.06.2006 | Review: Joanna Newsom - Ys:

    Upon first listen it seems as though Joanna Newsom has gained a lot of confidence since Milk Eyed Mender. That confidence gave way to an album of five tracks, all more than seven minutes long (with the finale hitting sixteen). There are moments in which everything clicks and it is sublime like only Joanna could deliver, but there are others when it just seems like she's whining into the microphone which makes for a very uneven album and its no wonder it has gotten such little press since being released.

  • Stream Sprout And The Bean
  • Purchase for $11.89

  • 11.03.2006 | Review: My Morning Jacket - Okonokos:

    Upon first listen this 2 disc live set turns the quiet little rock band that brought is Z into a loud big arena rock band. Does it work? Sometimes.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $14.78

  • 11.02.2006 | Review: Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire:

    Upon first listen Sean's nasally voice takes a few tracks to get used to, but once you do, hunker down because you're in for a treat. Perhaps the best straight up pop records this year with it's wonderful melodies, lush background and sirly atmosphere.

  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Purchase for $15.57

  • 11.01.2006 | Review: Lemonheads - Lemonheads:

    Upon first listen it's a tad formulaic. More of the same guitar-based pop/rock that's been done a thousand times this year (and last year and the year before, etc.) I wish I could compare and contrast to earlier Lemonheads albums but I don't have the requisite frame of reference.

  • Stream No Backbone and Baby's Home as well as clips of the rest
  • Purchase for $12.19

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