25 June 2014

Beatallica - Abbey Load


Obviously cover bands are nothing new, that's been doing the rounds since the dawn of rock n' roll, nor is an act that fuses two musical legends together, but bring them from two very differing fields of music, and we could end up with a horrifying result or a cleverly crafted piece. In this case, US band Beatallica, as the name suggests, melds together the works of The Beatles and Metallica.

Hailing from Milwaukee, their pseudonyms are clearly a mix of names from the Fab Four and the First Men of thrash and I'll give you a couple of examples. The John Lennon/James Hetfield frontman is called Jaymz Lennefield, and we have a bassist in Kliff McBurtney, clearly a McCartney/Burton fusion, not only that but virtually of their song titles are melded together too, like The Thing That Should Not Let It Be. Fans of both bands will instantly recognise these numbers.

It's clear that for their next project Beatallica wanted to blanket cover Abbey Road, with Metallica overtones as a backdrop, so the Reload album title forms part of this album to form Abbey Load. However, there was a couple of problems in doing that. First of all, the George Harrison Estate wouldn't permit them to cover Something and Here Comes The Sun, while I Want You (She's So Heavy) has already been recorded in a mashup with The Call Of Klutu (read the album blog the song is taken from here).


So, Abbey Load. I Saw Here Standing There is just about the only song here that doesn't borrow its riffs, or hooklines from anywhere else, all the rest follow the familiar Metallica pattern of deep guttural chord structure and occasional thrash traits. Most notable ones are Michelle played to the tune of For Whom The Bell Tolls which I find strangely addictive, Polythene Pam melded with My Apocalypse, all adding to the fun and novelty factor. But sadly, just not enough. There's of plenty of variety, for example in Blackbird, which follows the acoustic trend, but omitting the vocals from it. And Come Together has an interesting riff borrowed from Through The Never.

The rest of the album? Really doesn't do it for me unfortunately. The medleys from Sun King to The End are all the same and even though each track barely runs for two minutes each, it's still not giving me the urge to make me want to listen to it again. And even with Lou Reed quoting Her Majesty (yet another Metallica connection, read the blog here) this is too much of a hit or miss. Plus the pedestrian crossing photo is a heavily used cliche thirty five years on. They've done other material which I understand has had more favourable reviews, but rather forgettable this save for a couple of chunky power metal backdrops.

6 out of ten. Now I see where you were going but not quite there.
Best track : Michelle

Buy Abbey Load here on Amazon
Listen to the album here on Spotify
Listen to it here on Deezer
Official Beatallica Website here
Official Facebook Page on this link here

VerseChorusVerse - VerseChorusVerse


(Here was the first review - it has since been updated - please read all of it though.... - Ed)

Now this is new territory for ATTIWOLTMOWOS - a review of something that is not going to be in the shops for a while!  This is sort of scary and weird, but don't worry - we will plough forward and continue with the review.  This is the first album to be released by VerseChorusVerse (aka - Tony Wright) who we have reviewed on here before (see the VCV EP review which I have linked just there, and purchase/listen to it!!!) so we are familiar with his work before.  Now a few months ago, on the Pledge Music website, VCV put up a pledge campaign for his new album which has recently closed.  For people that pledged (like yours truly here), on 15 July the album was released as a download.  Now the album is not getting a physical release until late September/Early October, so how is this album, has it delivered on the pledge and what is it like?

Musically this is a bigger experience than with the ep, not saying the ep is poor; just that there has been an improvement.  The first ep is charming and wonderful, but this is a step up.  Most of the song here are with a full band and it has just enhanced the experience that is VCV.  The depth of songs such as "We Spoke With The Night" and "Our Truth Could Be Their Lie" just cannot be underrated.  The album is driven on by Tony Wright's vision.  This is his truth and by deity is it not a shining example of great song writing. Some moments of this album don't reach the height of the stand out tracks - "Help Myself" and "Common Prayer" are the weakest tracks on the album for me, but this is not to say they are poor.  Quite from it, they are of a stellar quality - "Common Prayer" is a slow haunting ballad and "Help Myself" is a slow banjo country ballad which is shared with a lovely female backing (no idea who it is, but she harmonizes with VCV very well.  So if they are the weakest tracks, how about the rest of the album?

Well, to give you the short answer - this is superb.  The album as a whole is a wonderful experience which I hope to hear live one day from Mr Wright.  But whilst I'm not going into each song, I want to highlight a few tracks.  Firstly when I first heard "We Spoke With The Night", I thought I had heard the best song Tony had wrote.  It is a slightly rockier number compared to what he usually does and brings the whole band vibe to the forefront and reminds me of a band from the North East of England called The Rye who were in existence in the late 90's and were one of my favourite acts so finding a song which reminds me of them is a personal joy here.  Secondly, as stated before, this album as a whole does not have a weak track, they are all wonderful.  And finally, I want to talk about the track called "Three".  Apart from the fact it should have been the third track on the album (joke Tony ;-) ) this is quite possibly a contender  for best song of the year, let alone best song on the album.  It sounds like nothing else I have heard, imagine Nine Inch Nails gone folk - it is dramatic, haunting and when it kicks in with its odd time signature and the vocals that could tempt an angel out for a pint, it is the jewel of the album.  Seriously, wait till you hear this track.

So, final thought - well, it is a brilliant album that has been released here.  Unlike some of the other projects which I have seen on Pledge Music, it has felt a lot gentler – not as ego driven, a lot more natural and personal.  Tony has been very contactable during the pledge and delivered everything upon the correct date.  I have really enjoyed listening to this album, it is perfect for the summer, and I am sure it will be a really winter warmer as well.  Beautiful.


****UPDATE****

Since I originally completed this blog, the album has been released to the great public.  Also, as outline in December, "Three" was indeed the ATTIWLTMOWOS 2013 song of the year!  Just briefly I will have a look at each track as well (I have changed my style a little and the OCD in me needs to do this....

"Our Truth Could Be Their Lie" is a fantastic stomping opening track; the organ in the back ground brings the guitar and energy which makes it a wondering opening track. You can feel the passion in the track and the lyrics are wonderful as well.  "No More Years" is a jaunty song which has the fingers clicking along to a brilliant number.  The song feels like it is about aim for freedom after years of being in a trapped situation. I still get that initial shiver of joy I did when I first heard it last year, it is one of the best numbers on the album.  "Help Myself" is next and the mood is slowed down with a slide guitar and backing vocals with Katie Richardson.  More reflective that the first two, it shows the softer side of VCV.  It sort of reminds me of the time I saw him supporting Jonah Matranga in Newcastle, it was a great gig and the laid back feel of the song is very much like that show.  When I first wrote this blog I said it was one of the weakest tracks on the album; well I was wrong on that one.


"We Spoke With The Night" needs to be shared with the world, it is a tale about a special lady and the music is just as special.  It has such an epic feel that it was dangerously close to being the top song of the album.  Note that I say it was almost the top song of the album - that title goes to the magnificent and wrongly placed "Three" (still think you missed a trick there Tony - Ed).  This seems to be a tale about Tony leaving the band And So I Watch You From Afar.  It has a mournful and heartbreak tone, as I stated before the music sound like how I imagine Nine Inch Nails if they went folk and it is still utterly breathe taking to this day.  I need to get this played on the radio again very shortly.  "Big Red Van" follows the dynamic duo and again it feels like it is talking about leaving ASIWYFA, it is very positive and I love the combination of lyrics and slow stomp that is on offer here.

The superbly long titled "You Can't Win Back Your Freedom If You've Never Been Free At All" is a protest song and what a protest song it is.  Telling it like it is and it does it with a smile on the face.  Fuck Billy Bragg, this is the protest I can get behind.  "Common Prayer" is strange, eerier and dark.  It is simple and effective, but it is one of the darkest moments of the album.  It may not be one of my favourite moments of the album, but I can see the purpose behind it.  I have no doubt that this will send shivers up and down the spines of people all around the country.  "Unified Unity (Sing For Seeger)" is another quite and simple number, calling for a peaceful revolution to the problems that Tony sees in the world.  Again, it is a great protest song and incredible positive.  Ending the album is "Close Your Eyes, Fall Asleep"; this is a beautiful lullaby that ends album on a graceful and gentle moment.

My feelings towards this album have not changed since I first reviewed it, I find it incredibly engaging and beautiful created.  Tony has made a stunning album, toured the UK and even played festivals as well.  I really hope he can make it far with this album (and hopefully with other works that are to come).  So as it was when I did the first review - one word for this album; beautiful.



8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top track - Three

You can purchase the MP3 version of the album on Amazon here


You can keep up to date with VCV activities on his Facebook page here 

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Here is a link for our Deezer users

Here is the official video to "Three" & a live performance of "We Spoke With The Night"


24 June 2014

Faith No More - Angel Dust



I must be brutally honest, as Funk and Alternative Metal goes I've never been a big fan of them, but with Faith No More, ever since I heard From Out Of Nowhere!!!, it's always given the urge to pick up my guitar, turn the Marshall Amp to maximum volume and strum all six strings and pretend I've got Roddy Bottum's keyboards ably backing me up on the introductory/verse parts. There's always a soft spot I find in myself whenever they get the occasional play on the DAB radio.

Hard to believe and obvious that many impressionable 16 year olds at the time would relate to, that The Real Thing (read the blog here on this link) has graced our ears for nearly twenty five years. Now I have heard it in full and I must say that Eddie Carter has been a tad harsh with his appraisal, especially after I heard a few early snippets with Chuck Mosley (a few arguments are forthcoming I suspect). And the likes of We Care A Lot wasn't much cop quite frankly. First, the singles Nowhere!!! Epic and Falling To Pieces might dominate the album, but for me they're a lot more encouraging and inviting than you might think. Overplayed tunes? Maybe Epic was back then, but many a band is never sold on one song.

FNM disbanded before the Millenium, after 17 years as an entity then regrouped ten years later. Since the reunion concerts they've gone off the boil in recently, that is until mid 2014 when Mike Patton hinted at doing "something creative." No doubt it's raised a few eyebrows, so soon as any hint of their material comes into the fold, we'll be certainly onto it. So in the meantime, I thought to take a nosey at this, Angel Dust, supposedly named after an analgesic recreational drug prevalent from the 1960s onwards. Mind you, I still can't work out why the band decided to have an egret on the sleeve even if it's a beautifully imposed work or art. Maybe it's just a matter of personal taste, but this is just as weighty and fresh over twenty years later.

If Faith No More were looking to take a more experimental approach, then I'm sure it's not a cop out, but there are one or two indicators on this album hinting at doing something different. For example R.V. has Jim Morrison-type poetry running throughout, which may have provided influences for Huey Morgan, slow and easy it feels like a wasting yet purple patch moment. Patton's running commentary throughout the song is just compelling, as well as Smaller and Smaller, a contrasting number. Seems to run on a similar chord and beat to Epic save for the top end shrieks in the chorus "Biiiiiiiiiiiiite!" However, the further the song progresses, the even more oddball the change in rhythm, and it's the same deal with a sightly down tuned Malpractice with some unusual riff approach. If you can envision some of the most improbabilities in life happening, this comes close in the structured songs.


Aside from the risk taking, there's also some more assured material, like the obligatory chanting in Midlife Crisis (which is what got me into Angel Dust from the start), the more clean and relatively straightforward Kindergarten. Be Aggressive is probably lyricist Patton's more bolder write ups coupled with some horror styled organ pipes in the beginning. Talking about ejaculation and swallowing is more than suggestive and nothing's left to the imagination, but I've still enjoyed listening to the song. A Small Victory moving towards the end is perhaps not their best showing here, lyrically, musically all feels very lightweight and not to the usual chaos so I'm not bowled over by it.

However, my faith is restored by Crack Hitler has a different choral approach "telephone call" feel about it, all good towards the end of Angel Dust, while the top end screaming returns on Jizzlober, and the hook changes all complement the entertainment factor. More organ pipes and a soprano group is an addition and perhaps an afterthought, FNM are clearly not afraid to diversify. The final two covers, Easy and Midnight Cowboy I don't find any real need for, but at least with the latter they've done a reasonable effort, so it doesn't really take the gloss off what I think is a seriously underrated album thankfully.

As I said earlier, it feels as fresh and ageless, but not all of it is perfect, in particular Small Victory, and the two cover tracks at the end, nevertheless it's a big step on The Real Thing. Here Mike Patton is finding good stride in his lyrical compositions, the vocal ranges from high bass to top end screaming and everything then was becoming more fathomable now. Of course they were the obvious singles showcase in Midlife Crisis and Everything's Ruined but you have to delve further into Angel Dust as substance goes, it's there alright.

9 out of ten. Almost perfect....almost.
Best track : Be Aggressive

Buy the album here on Spotify
Listen to Angel Dust here on Spotify
Deezer listeners can click on this link here
Official Faith No More Facebook page here
Official Faith No More website on this link here

Blackberry Smoke - The Whippoorwill


Sometimes in the world, album releases are staggered between territories; usually by a few months or so.  This album was originally released in the USA in 2012 were it has been making more in roads than their previous three releases.  However it was only released in Europe in February 2014, by Earache music (again, just like the Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie album, I just find it strange the change at Earache).  Whilst I know there can be a delay in releases, two years seems a bit too much; but that is by the by - the UK and Europe finally get the chance to hear the latest Southern Rock band to be making waves in American, they have also been noted as one of the bands to keep track of in 2014. The first thirteen tracks of the album are the original American release, with two live tracks and a bonus song added to the end.  So, is the hype and wait worth it....

Starting the album is "Six Ways To Sunday", this slice of Southern rock bogie is something that is done a million times before, the opening bogie that is coming from this song brings memories of Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Black Crowes (but without The Rolling Stones obsession).  It is a good time song, not original but I don't think that is what this band is about.  "Pretty Little Lies" is another solid rock song which brings to mind images of summer in fields around sunset.  Again, it is pleasant enough it is not exactly memorable.  "Everybody Knows She's Mine" is next, it is the first ballad on the album and you will already know it before you have heard it.  The solo, the keys dancing around the song and the heartfelt lyrics that have always been the corner stone of a Southern rock album; this song tries to make a magic out beans.  "One Horse Town" is another slow number, out of the opening four tracks it is the strongest so far.  A story of growing up in the back of nowhere, it is a tale familiar to many people.  I can see the appeal in regards to this number, but again it is just a decent but unspectacular song.

"Ain't Much Left Of Me" is the fifth track on here, but I would struggle to pick it out of a line up.  I cannot fault anything so far, I always admire people that make music even if it is not to my taste; but whilst I am not expecting originality, I would expect something to be memorable.  But this is like a bad guy from Dr Who, you forget about them after a while if they are not a Dalek or a Cyberman.  "The Whippoorwill" is the next ballad on the record, but it is more of the same to be honest; well played, but once over you will struggle to remember it.  "Lucky Seven" is actually the seventh track on the record as well, the OCD in me loves that sort of thing; shame the song is like the other tracks on here.  Actually, that is a like - it is one of the best songs that is on the album to be honest, but again it is like a blank wall to me.  No matter how well done, it is still blank. Next is "Leave A Scar" which brings up the pace, the bogie is back and it is a much better number again.  I can see why they keep this sort of stuff to a minimum, but I do think they would let the rock out a bit more than they do.

"Crimson Moon" is more serious and business is about to pick up; but it doesn't, it is just as predictable, well played and dull as the others. "Ain't Got The Blues" does nothing to help the cause of the album and I have found myself struggling to remember the song. "Sleeping Dogs" does what it said on the tin, it send the audience to sleep to be honest.  Quite possibly the only song on the main album that was really poor in both feel and playing.  "Shakin' Hands With The Holy Ghost" is much better, it has a fire that was missing in the last song and 80% of the album.  With this number, it at least tries to be exciting and that should have been the end of the album proper.  However, they ended the original release with "Up The Road" and whilst it has obvious send the crowd home with a little bit of easy, it might have been better if they swapped the tracks around.  The bonus track "Country Side Of Life" is throw away and I can see why it was left off the album to begin with; the last two tracks are live versions of "Pretty Little Lie" and "Six Ways To Sunday" and it is probably for the best that they were the tracks chosen to be honest.

The thing with this album is that it is well played, the band does what they do with style and it cannot be said that they are not good players; but I think it is just the equivalent to a music coma.  Now, whilst there has been a recent wave of new Southern Rock bands making waves such as Rival Sons and Black Stone Cherry, I cannot see these guys joining them on that massive stage with links to The Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even the Allman Brothers.  They are just too generic of the genre to make it out of the pack, a little too pedestrian and tame.  They sound better when they rock on this records, but I find it to be a little dull; when I say a little I mean a lot and I think they have a good management team to have been pushed this far.  Maybe it was kept in America for a reason.....

1 out of ten - You really are touching the bottom of the barrel

Top Track - Shakin' Hands With The Holy Ghost

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Blackberry Smoke website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Here is a link for the Deezer users out there

Pet Shop Boys - Behaviour


I know it has been quite lately on here, but I am hoping to get a few things up over the next week or so.  I started with the Jack White album, but now I want to look at something from my past.  Without giving my age away, I have always had a big love of 80's pop; but mostly the strange end of it - Depeche Mode, Erasure, and A-Ha. But as well as the Bananarama's and other bands, I also had a huge amount of Pet Shop Boys albums.  This is the fourth album from the London based duo and is now approaching its 24th anniversary.  When this album first came out, I found it disjointing to the rest of their collection; it was too different and grown up for my tastes.  It felt reflective and mournful; it was not for me at that time.  But over the years I have wanted to return to it for a serious listen, so as I am doing a blog now it would seem that the opportunity has presented itself.  Has aged changed my view, has the album matured or have it just kept a constant?

Starting the album is the almost seven minute long "Being Boring".  With guitar work from recording session legend J.J. Belle, this song is so trapped in its own past it could be classed for English Heritage status.  It is the story of a person who is remembering days passed and looking towards a bleak future.  It is depressing, mournful and not what the band had been doing beforehand.  Of course, I love it.  It is one of the most perfectly crafted pieces of music that was ever committed to tape and it is still as powerful today as it was back in 1990.  It is pop perfection and I was a fool to doubt it all those years ago.  Next is "This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave" which features Johnny Marr from Smiths/Electronic fame.  Whilst this does not have the passion and drive of the "Being Boring", it again has aged incredible well.  It still has a foot in the 80's to be honest, but it is bring the sound to a future that was at that point unknown.  The band would admit that this album was influenced by Depeche Mode's 'Violator'.  On the first two songs, that is not so much a suggestion but a fact.  They took that dark aspect of themselves and brought it to the forefront.  "To Face The Truth" follows on and is another retrospective looking track.  Whilst it does not have the power of the first two tracks, I have to admit that it is still a decent number which is not as exciting as the first two.

"How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously" is the most PSB track on the album, it is sarcastic, dark humoured and full of that 80's bravado and style.  It is also a song with a guitar solo from Neil Tennant on it, which is something I never thought I would ever type.  It is a strange piece in some ways, but it shows that the band could still try to keep some of their fans happy whilst trying to flex their music wings. Coming next is "Only The Wind" which is another ballad of sorts.  It is a standard affair that would not have been out of place on an early A-Ha album, but some of the dramatic keyboard used by Chris Lowe on it clashes with the overall theme of the song which detracts from the beauty of the work.  "My October Symphony" is a little bit more uplifting in someways.  With more work from Mr Marr on it, it would have been really good.  However, it just feels like a reworking of "Being Boring".  It just feels like a re-telling of a story which was done so well earlier that it does not need to be done to a lesser effect later on; it is a shame really.  However, things get back on track with "So Hard".  This track was the first single off the album, its video was shot in Newcastle and North Tyneside (Neil Tennant was actually born in my hometown of North Shields); so to see this video with landmarks I see every day was very special whilst growing up.  Thankfully, this tale of a destructive relationship falling to pieces is equal to the video and still gives me excitement all these years later.

"Nervously" is a strange number, it wants to be reflective but the music does not quite match the intention behind the song.  I can see what was behind the song, it is about that strange feeling about the early relationships; but it does not quite come together here, it is close but there is no cigar.  "The End Of The World" is another throw back to the band's more nightclub days, but it does have the sombre mood that has been the major theme going through the album.  It is a strange mix, but again as with "My October Symphony" I feel like I have been in this song before with the Pet Shop Boys.  It feels like a re-working of "It's Alright" from 'Introspective' but without the drama, again not a bad thing; but it is not something I would have chosen to do as the original was so good.  Ending the album is "Jealousy" - wow.  This song just nails that dark mood of the album to the mast; it is so bitter, twist and full of venom that I cannot describe the chills that I feel when I hear it. To compound the matter, it was released as the last single of the album.  How in the blue hell is this a chart single??? It is dark and evil, it makes sense that it was done as it is the stand out track of the album.  But it was a strange choice to say the least for a chart hit, but what an ending.

This album has matured in places with grace and dignity, it has some of the Pet Shop Boys darkest, with some of their more special moments and it is a shame that they have not done another album like it.  This seems to be them throwing their serious hat into the ring and then they have never returned.  Maybe they thought this was enough for them, I can see an argument for that as well.  They would do separate songs that were as sombre, but overall this is the band at its most bleak.  Yes it has a few filler tracks, but overall I find that the album stands better now than ever.  It is a piece of work which I now listen to more than anything else they have ever done, seems like teenagers don't know everything.....

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track - Jealousy

You can purchase the remastered version from Amazon here, but the original is also on there too

You can visit the Pet Shop Boys website here

You can listen to the deluxe version of the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer user (and for some reason it is coming up in Spanish for me), here is a link for you

23 June 2014

Jack White - Lazaretto


Well the story of Jack White has been told many times before on different blogs and publications, that it feels like a waste of time doing it here.  But, I do tend to give a brief history in regards to an artist/band when I do a bog; so I will give a brief history -Jack White (born John Anthony Gillis) was born in 1975 and has had a successful career by many standards.  He was part of the White Stripes with his wife/sister/who knows which toured the world to great acclaim; the man's side projects (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, etc) are also successful, as is his record label Third Man records.  He has made many successful collaborations with people such as Van Morrison, Electric Six, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan and others.  You would think he would be a happy man, but recently (and on other occasions) his personal life and arguments with other bands and people seems to be more in focus than his musical adventures.  It is times like these when some people would say that there is no such thing as bad publicity (especially if you have an album coming out).  However, the album also has to stand up as well.  Now apart from a few songs here and there, I have never really had the love for Jack White that some of my friends and colleagues do; some of his stuff has been very pretentious for me.  But in the spirit of things such as trying something different, I will give this a spin and see if it is worth the fuss that the indie press has been giving it.....

Starting with "Three Women", the southern blues is in full flow on this record.  Almost gospel and folk in places, it is a clever opening which covers all of Mr White's leanings.  Obviously as it is a full band, it is much fuller than the White Stripes, but it seems to have a better soul than the Raconteurs for me. It is built on a simple piano and guitar combination that makes for, let's say an interesting beginning.  Title track "Lazaretto" is next and continues the basic album 101 - take the first song and up the ante.  I have to admit the solo in the middle of this song is fantastic, the boy can play and this is much more in the blues section of White's mind set.  There is also a little bit of a funk in the mix as well.  "Temporary Ground" again from basic record 101 - take the mood down a notch, don't peak too early; the country song with bring the rock in.  I find it a bit of a filler track, my mind drifted over all the listens to review the song and I am still struggling to remember much of it.  "Would You Fight For My Love?" is next and the start could be used for a modern western, all drama at the beginning, then silence followed by a moody and bitter song that makes "Temporary Ground" even more forgettable.  However, I am still finding the album to stalling a little after the opening bravado, even though this is a good try.

"High Ball Steeper" is another slice of drama in a tea cup that is starting to show a limited selection from Mr White.  Whilst I cannot fault his playing and the man knows a guitar and how to make it howl, the song is much more engaging as well with the oft kilter string section and tripping piano splattered like blood on the wall; but I am not hearing anything that I have not heard from the man before and it is not as exciting as it is being made out to be. "Just One Drink" is somewhere between shite and garbage - less said the better apart from this; Tom Waits does this sort of thing much better.  "Alone In My House" is a folk number that works a hell of a lot better, it is just simple and strums along nicely.  Again, it is not making the world change; but this is not what this song is about.  It is just a simple tune that is to be sung along to in a festival or show, maybe he should keep it simple more often.

"Entitlement" is a slow country number with a slide guitar beginning and is a pleasant number which will be done to bring the audience down and reflective.  Again, it is played very well but just like the all conquering Robert Plant/Alison Krauss 'Raising Sand' album, it is so dull and boring that I tuned out again. "That Black Bat Licorice" has the blues/garage rock back in effect and whilst it is not doing much for me personally, it is a light speed improvement on "Entitlement" and some of the other tracks here.  It is not the best track on the album, yet at least it seems to make some sort of sense and have a wonderful solo near the end that wraps around the main riff.  "I Think I Found The Culprit" has the country mood making another appearance and it is much better on repeated listens; it is not my thing, but I have a feeling that this is a recurring theme for me and Mr White.  Ending the album is "Want & Able" which is starts with strange shouting and then Mr White leads a piano into the song into a sort of tribute to songs such as "Abide With Me" and that Christian hymn that everyone knows, but they have forgotten the original source.  It ends the album in a way which is probably most fitting as I will explain.....

This album is well played, I cannot not fault there or with his drive (although I do think he should pick a style and stick to it); but once again Jack White has made an album which is more Emperors’ new clothes than Emperor's triumph.  There is nothing on here which I have not heard done better by other people, nothing new or original, and nothing innovative or even outside of his usual comfort zone to make it even bearable.  I have tried with many of his works, some have been better than others but it just does not fit with me.  When he keeps it simple, that is when he is at his best; but he tries to be a clever man and it might sound great to the hipsters and then I remember the great time I had with a hernia.  The reason "Want & Able" is most fitting to end the album is that it shows what Mr White is trying to do the most - take pictures of the past and keep it that way.  Only thing is that at one point, you have to move on.


3 out of ten - Not for everyone but played well

Best Track - Lazaretto

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Jack White website here

Here is a link to his artist page on Third Man Records

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

Here is a link for Deezer users...

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