Steelheart/Steelheart

Steelheart is a rock band based in Norwalk, Connecticut. Formed in 1990, the band is fronted by vocalist Miljenko Matijevic.

The Analysis—-

Love Ain’t Easy—-Right out of the gate, you are smacked with the classic sounds of many hair metal bands….what is different is the incredible vocal. The soaring screams die to a regular tone at the drop of a hat. The sing a long chorus which includes the rest of the band is catchy as hell…I love the intermittent gallop of the guitars and the slight blues infusion….fantastic.

Can’t Stop Me Lovin’ You—- Another classic sounding track that brings back more than a few memories. The blues infusion from the guitar section is incredible…it gives the song a ‘dirty’ feel. The vocal is nice….some nice soaring vocals here and there…this guy could really scream. When the chorus smacks you in the forehead…it stays there.

Never Before—-Dirty and filled with a heavy blues infusion. The musicianship from this band was incredible…but of course…it was always the vocal that kept things fantastic. I mourned the end of this band…just because I loved the screams so much….and the way he could hold a note!!! Just incredible.

Never Let You Go—-Perhaps this bands best known track and for good reason. The vocal histrionics are literally breathtaking…the song is full of emotion…fantastic guitars and of course a vocal that will go down in history. Did you know this vocalist recorded all the vocals for the film Rock Star? This track screams for long hair and fans blowing it during a video shoot!

Everybody Love Eileen—-I have always like this track quite a bit as well…although the vocals are more down to earth, it is just a fun song to me. The double guitar attack gives the song a really big feel. I like the occasional growl that is emitted….even though I swear it says Irene when he sings….lol.

Sheila—-Down and dirty southern feel to this song…my least favorite on this release. I have never been a fan of Southern rock…..I surrender!!!

Gimme Gimme—-Returning to a full of guitar attack with this track, it has ‘hair metal’ written all over it. At times it makes me think of Warrant. The song is not bad…not a favorite…just adequate filler. The sing a long chorus saves the song as it sticks in your brain for a bit…..

Rock N’ Roll—-Again with those super human screams….the music on the track moves at a pretty damn fast pace which surprised me. The song still has a southern edge to it…but the inclusion of the whole band on the chorus makes it fun….and of course…those screams….there is even a nice drum break before the guitar solo.

She’s Gone—-Following the ‘hair band’ recipe….another ballad to balance out the release. This track is phenomenal…the soaring guitars take you someplace else in your headphones. The sentiment is something we can all relate to…when the song reaches it’s climax….you are blown away….the build-up is worth it.

Down & Dirty—-Ending the release on a strong note, I really miss these guys after re-visiting this CD. The vocal is strong right out of the gate…the band was so tight. The chorus involves everyone…giving the track a huge sound. A great end to the release.

****1/2 out of 5

Donna Summer/Donna Summer

LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012),[1] known by her stage name, Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter, and painter. She gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 12-month period. She also charted two number-one R&B singles. Summer has reportedly sold over 140 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.[2]

While influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in Europe, where she met music producers, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte.

She returned to the United States, in 1975 with mass commercial success of the song Love to Love You Baby. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love“, “Last Dance“, “MacArthur Park“, “Heaven Knows“, “Hot Stuff“, “Bad Girls“, “Dim All the Lights“, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)“, and “On the Radio“. “Last Dance” won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song on the “Thank God It’s Friday” movie soundtrack. She became known as the “Queen of Disco”, while her music gained a global following.[3]

Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida.[4] In her obituary in The Times, Summer was described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.”[3] Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music.[5] In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Donna Summer is the tenth studio album of American singer Donna Summer, released in 1982. It featured the Top 10, Grammy-nominated “Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)” single.

The Analysis—-

Love Is In Control—-I have always been a ‘secret’ Disco lover…and Donna WAS the queen. I just adore this track…I believe it was also featured on the Flashdance soundtrack as well. The beat is funky…the back drop vocals give the song a nice depth. This is a standout track in her catalog. I love all aspects of it and never tire of listening to it.

Mystery Of Love—-Flush with nice layers of music at the onset, the arrangement allows Summer to show her true vocal range and talent. This is a sweeping dance song…with nice tempo increases and decreases. It is not a favorite track…but the more you listen to it the more it seems to grow on you.

The Woman In Me—-Oozing sexuality from the onset, Summer whispers her introduction and proceeds to deliver a romance filled opus. The song…the beats, the instrumentation is lush and sexy…really nice.

State Of Independence—-Perhaps my favorite Summer song of all time…I love the reggae infused music…the forceful deliver of the vocal…the sheer joy of the music makes me excited and feel jubilant.Summers voice is so strong…and when the choir of voices join in on the track…you are transported to a much better place. This is all about equality…unity and togetherness….

Livin’ In America—-This track lets you know…right from the onset, that it was recorded in the 1980’s. The beats and orchestration is clear. Summer seems to strain a bit with her vocal and the song is laden with background singers. It is not a throwaway track, but by no means a standout either.

Protection—-With a bit more metallic infusion to the music, Summer tells yet another sad tale of lost love and loneliness that somehow is dance able! The chorus is huge and it sticks in your brain…never giving you a moments peace. This is a really great track.

Hurts Just A Little—-Returning to a bit sappier sound once again, the standout on this track are the incredible horn and choir of voices. All of this allows a hollow song to sound really huge. One does not expect the electric guitars either…nicely done!

A Breath Away—-The vocal…at the beginning of this track seems really pushed to the back of the mix and lacking force. The music seems to overpower the entire feeling of the song. I don’t care for this.

Lush Life—-I know that this song has been around forever…a classic standard…sung over and over by many people. I am jaded on this track…in my opinion no one ever sang it better than Rickie Lee Jones.This rendition is rather fantastic though. The vocal range and enunciation’s are fantastic…..the feeling is there…it manages to transport me….not quite like Rickie….but it is more than adequate.

***1/2 out of 5

The Bee Gees/One

The Bee Gees were a pop music group formed in 1958. The group’s line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a rock act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as prominent performers of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&Bfalsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.

Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England, until the late 1950s, and formed the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in Queensland, Australia, and then to Cribb Island. After achieving their first chart success in Australia as the Bee Gees with “Spicks and Specks” (their 12th single), they returned to the UK in January 1967 where producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience.

The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time.[1][2] They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997;[3] the presenter of the award to “Britain’s first family of harmony” was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, a “family act” also featuring three harmonising brothers.[4] The Bee Gees’ Hall of Fame citation says “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”[5]

Following Maurice’s sudden death in January 2003 at the age of 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name after 45 years of activity. In 2009 Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again.[6] Robin died in May 2012 at the age of 62, after a prolonged struggle with cancer and other health problems, leaving Barry as the lone surviving member of the group.

The Analysis—-

Ordinary Lives—-Before I even get started with this, let me say…this is really one of my very favorite Bee Gee’s releases. There are no false pretenses…little or no falsetto’s….only straight forward miraculous pop music that still resonates with me today…on with the show! This track…with some spoken word and huge harmonies is a focal point of this release…Barry sings in lower tones….Robin and he harmonize in a miraculous way…this is soft and syrup filled…but sticks in your head and makes you wake in the middle of the night screaming lyrics because it will not leave you alone…. this is pure masterpiece crafting…the loss of this band is sad….I miss them.

One—-Meant to be the center[piece of this release, make no doubt…this is pure pop craft…but in my humble opinion…not the best track on this release. This is strong…a huge chorus that begs for repeated listens…a bass line that sticks in your brain….harmonies that are amazing…a bit of falsetto…but nothing to overt. This is a masterpiece.

Bodyguard—-With a revolving vocal line that was Robins, there is a bit of falsetto here…but nothing to detract from the wistful harmony and beautiful arrangement. This has a real 70’s throwback feel to it…the harmonies just make me want to cry. This is a masterpiece…a very unappreciated release…this is one classic song after the other.

It’s My Neighborhood—-Although this rather beefy song was played lots live, it never brought the attention that the Brothers intended….this is a great track…funky with horns and a huge bass line. This was written by Maurice…it is pleasant….but it never materialized the way it was intended. This is so underrated!

Tears—-Full of the plush and luxurious sound that the trio were known for, this is a tear jerk-er at it’s finest. When the three voices combine…you are transported to a better time and place. This is like velvet that rubs your skin on cold nights…I could never ask for more…this is just a fantastic release!!!

Tokyo Nights—-Written and primarily preformed by Robin, this is one of the most addictive tracks on this release. This is full of classic sounds…Robins odd vocals…a nice instrumentation and a god damn addictive melody that stays in your brain for DAYS! If you are a fan…you must own this release!

Flesh And Blood—-From the onset, a rather quiet song….perhaps this was a throw away track…it falls a bit flat when stood up next to the previous track…but once that huge chorus hits…you will sing along to it. Not a failure…but not huge either.

Wish You Were Here—-Another slower 70’s inspired ballad…but that is not to say this is a bad recording. I love the harmonies…the bring immediate comfort and a warm feeling to me. The falsetto in the far background adds to the depth of the song. This is remarkable…never heard…but really appreciated among true fans.

House Of Shame—-Another track penned by Maurice, this is really nice. The beats are huge and remind you of glory days. Of course it is keyboard inspired. You almost never hear Maurice sing…so this is a real treat. The chorus is literally HUGE…it has that recipe…it will stay in your brain.

Will You Ever Let Me—-Rhythmic and horn laden, this is a nice track….Barry has never sounded better. This is fantastic….the refrain is catchy…but the chorus takes you over…reminding you of a long lost Michael Jackson track. Nice!

Wing And A Prayer—-Ending the release with a strong finish, the melodies that these Brothers produced are incredible. The falsetto is hear and the catchy melody is already living in your brain….this is truly a fantastic release.

****1/2 out of 5

Behemoth/Demonica [Deluxe Edition]

Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gdańsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground.[1][2]

Until the late 1990s, the band played a traditional black metal style with heathen lyrical content, but soon changed to that of occultand thelemic themes written by their lead vocalist Nergal and Krzysztof Azarewicz. With the 1999 release of Satanica, the band demonstrated their presence in the death metal scene, while retaining their own signature style characterized by the drum work ofInferno, multi-layered vocals and Middle-Eastern influences. Despite Behemoth having been labeled as death metal or thrash metal-influenced, Nergal has mentioned that he does not like the band to be labeled.

The Analysis—-

Of My Worship—-Beginning in the grand manner such as this band is known for, the chants at the onset make the tone even more frightening than necessary. The mayhem is not far to be followed as the release takes place….Nergal….one of my favorite Black Metal front men was in sure command of the band even in this earlier release.

Summoning—-Melding from one song to the other seamlessly the guttural vocals were a surprise when I first heard this earlier release…compared to the production they have now. This has a nice evil and dark overtone…giving me never ceasing pleasure in the words that I still can’t catch all of…it is a brilliant release though….giving us a nice taste of the masterful releases to come.,

The Arrival—-With faux wolves and funeral music at the onset, this is a rather dark opus…leading you to wonder how much of this is real and how much is show…..

Dance Of The Prague—-In full form, I feel we finally have the first proper song on this release….the puked vocals are literally insane…full of vitriol and anger…the wolves bay in the backdrop and the screams are intense as fuck. The lines are spewed forth with anger…blackness and and a death growl…this is a pretty intense release.

Fields Of Maggots—-Strong right out of the gate with a death growl, Nergal delivers line after line of indistinct yet somehow scary as hell vocals. The anger…the wrath…the despair…the seething are all over the song…yet a remarkable melody manages to float through the backdrop of the entire thing…this is art!

Deathcrush-—Another seamless track that makes this release seem like one long song…if I have a criticism, it is the sameness of the entire thing…there is little variety to be found here…but the message is clear…they came to kick ass and take names…there is no other explanation needed…again, there is a nice rhythm melody running through the backdrop of this song…it makes it a damn near masterpiece…this is a classic and undisputed release.

Moonspell—-Perhaps one of the best known and fan favorite releases from this record, it is easy to see why it has stood the test of time. This is much more in the style that Behemoth has become known for…the dueling guitars…the maniacal drums…the guttural vocal…the song is huge…despite the lack of true production. I love this track…it has always been a favorite…just for the energy and darkness of it!

Bless Thee—-With a nice rhythm section intro, the song does have an almost marching feel to it…the guitars are huge…and the addition of occasional feedback and fuzz makes it even darker than you would think…this is excellent!

Nergal enters with his distinctive gut growl and twists the entire thing into something dark and evil…this is pure freak-in’ metal…no bones about it!

Pure Evil—-This has a bit of tin sound to the guitars…but you have to understand the early production I guess. I hate that the vocal is pushed way to the back of the mix…but it has progressed with subsequent release….I like this…but the sub par production takes what could have been a really great opus and made it a bit small.

Transylvania Forest—-This track is a barrage of noise coming at you through every side. You are inundated with huge sounds from every angle…the voice…the fast…speedy guitars…the drums….beat to a pulp….can you say Red Bull!!! This is an incredible track.

Homelands—-Another fairly well known track in certain circles that has stood the test of time, this is a signature song from this band.This has every element that you could desire…and the production is 1000 times better than expected. The layered vocals are a nice change and this is the Behemoth people love. This is machine gun styled music that will kick your ass into next week…..jeez I love Nergal!

Thy Writer—-Huge walls of sound…a very upfront production….wistful orchestration…..this is a huge track….I love the musical aspect of the entire thing. There are nice mood shifts on this track….it just does not rip your face off…but also makes you feel the music.

Surviving—-Melodic and pleasing to my palate, there is still an element of darkness that appeals to me. The guitars are huge…the vocal…much more in your face if moving as fast as the music….these bonus tracks are exceptional…leaving you wanting more and more!

Dark Triumph—-A bit dark and sludge filled for me…but the productive vocal saves the song for me…I like the rhythm of the song….it keeps pulling you more and more forward in your chair waiting for more…this is incredible! The guitar break is hard core…..the bass section kicks in and makes you want to smash your head in the wall.

Moonstation—-Coming out of the darkness with a strong guitar intro, this has art written all over it. I love the wall of noise this band manages to produce…add the voice and the wall is made out of indestructible brick. This ‘throw-away’ track is a freak in’ masterpiece…..all hail Nergal!

Ruse—-The onset of the track allows you to know this is an opus in the making….but instead becomes….

Aggressor—-One track becomes another and gives us this slow dark melodic masterpiece that showcases Nergal and his wist fullness to a tee. This is fantastic….the talk-singing is extraordinary….the deep tones of thje song are fantastic….the putrid vocal are almost vomited in your ears…how incredible!

Goat With 1000 Horns—-When this began….it made me think of King Diamond…..god damn fantastic track this one…I love the energy…the dark and the speed of the track. This is so much better produced than the earlier parts of this release….I could not as for more from this band. All Hail Nergal.

**** out of 5

Gary Numan/Jagged—-Live

Jagged Live is a live album by English musician Gary Numan. The album was released in 2007 by Mortal Records and is a recording of Numan’s concert of 18 March 2006 at the London Forum. The show was the official launch of the new studio album,Jagged, which was released a few days before.[1]

The CD is an exclusive fan club release via Townsend Records.[1] A DVD of the concert was also released.

Gary Numan (born Gary Anthony James Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician. Most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (as Tubeway Army) and “Cars“, Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a loyal cult following.[1]

Numan, whose signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.

The Analysis—-

Intro—-The intro to this release is much like any Numan show…..atmospheric and dark with screams of adoration from the die hard fans that have embraced him for close to 40 years…I am indeed one of those people. I will not hide the fact…I have loved this man through thick and thin…the sucess and the horrible releases…..he just gets better and better…if you don’t know him….go find him!!!!

Pressure—-As the intro finishes and Gary enters the stage, the crowd literally erupts in an almost orgasmic release of energy…..Numan fans are like no other. The music that is emitted is remarkably true to the studio release of this CD…the technology that Gary almost prayed for. The voice enters….it is empty yet emotional…you feel pain and hurt…elation and despair..this is remarkable after all of these years….this man can do no wrong. The NIN inspired sounds are huge and all encompassing…the recording is immaculate….there is little to be disappointed with. The tale of hurt and alienation is perfect!

Fold—-One song is seamless into the next as the journey of this original recording continues….Gary is in top voice…you feel every word that he delivers. His tales of disdain for God and his lack of immediate happiness are all over this release. This is a remarkable recording….continuing to go on the journey that he has created with the last 4 studio releases. This is comforting….sad…but it is incredible all at the same time…this is wonderful.

Halo—-The elation of the crowd is all over this recording…you can’t deny the fan adulation. The song begins as ypou would expect…..delivering a muscular live feel to as opposed to the studio release. The machines that Numan has always embraced do not let him down…this is a standout on this release…the tales of alienation never grow old…the disdain for God is all over…but the whine of the voice portrays a pain that you can’t ignore…this is just incredible…..I smile through his pain…is that wrong?

Slave—-Again….the show is like a seamless CD that goes from one track to the other…the creaks and groans that were produced in the studio are copied without fail. The bass sound lacks a bit in muscularity…but the voice comes out of the dark and puts everything in its place. Numan croons at times…screams at times and even seems to moan at times….displaying a full range of emotion that never lets you down. The song…is a let down…until the end…much like on the release…the roar of incredible anger comes through….you feel the rage and the anger…the melody though never leaves. Gary is a master….this is WHY!!!

In A Dark Place—-The atmosphere at a live Numan show is incredible…and this recording makes you feel as if you were right there. The music lacks some depth…but it never misses the replication factor. The sarcasm in some of the lines Numan delivers is not lost in the translation. When this song really opens up…you are swept in the industrial styled crashes and bangs. This is a pretty damn good replication of a CD that was never a favorite until now. Numan delivers that whine….so well live….damn he is a hero!!!

Haunted—-With a huge marching Industrial style sound at the onset, Numan delivers more of his trademark rants against faith that he cannot embrace…the huge sound of the song makes you realize the irritation and longing for something to believe in,……Numan is not an unbeliever…he just does not know what to believe in….the hurts of life distance him from faith and this song is a clear story of his hurt and indecision…this is incredible…sad but joyous…a man admitting faults…and hoping for belief….I love this man!!!

Blind—-The familiar atmosphere and introduction…as any live recording…this has never been a favorite of mine…but it is put in its place for a reason…because it shapes the story of the release….the track has always been a cold…but such is a Numan release….this makes you hurt if you listen to it at the right moment in your life…the delivery is genuine…and the masked pain is real.

Before You Want It—-With a really quiet intro, Numan continues his constant rant….which the die hard fans have come to accept…if nothing else…the man makes you think about a creator or grand master in the life realm…this never leaves me….being a person of faith….I want to sit and talk with Gary…spout about Grace and Acceptance…but he would dismiss me in a moment…still I love the questions…because we all have them….this is a fantastic release…making you question everything…him/….you…and HIM. How masterful…..music matters!!!

Melt—-The creaks and groans of the music…reminds you that Gary has been taking notes from Trent…..lol. This is a huge song…..God…belief….the mystery of the three beliefs….some nice female vocals in the backdrop. The whole track is seemliness preserved from the recorded copy…this is masterful…you feel the questions and the pain…the abandonment and the urge to believe in something…this is just incredible.

Scanner—-Minimalist even in its recorded version, the live redux has musch of the same feel…but there is an underlying keyboard line that keeps the whole song alive. Numan makes you want to cry sometimes…he feels a pain that you can not get to…I’m not sure where it all comes from…but it makes you embrace him even more. This is a man oon a mission of discovery…even at 54…we never stop wanting to know something about ourselves….amazing how one CD can bring out so many thoughts…

Jagged-— What begins as an almost silent end to this show…evolves into a great whispered delivery that transports you to another realm and makes you a believer of sorts…this is not a favorite track…..it reminds me too much of things past…but it is the closer and will make you think…as the rest of this release did…..not bad for an old guy…lol!!!!

**** out of 5

Devilment/The Great And Secret Show

Members: Dani Filth – Vocals Colin Parks – Lead Guitar Nick Johnson – Bass Guitar Aaron Boast – Drums Lauren Francis – Keyboards & Vocals.

The Analysis—-

Summer Arteries—-I eagerly awaited this release as I am a huge Cradle fan…with a bit of trepidation as well. The opening of the release is a swell of calm before the mayhem ensues….reminding me of another Cradle release to be honest. The song has a great marching beat that is fast paced and a bit mild. Dani is in great voice…the 6 plus minute opening does not disappoint though…the screams and the growls are in tact…this is a nice hold over until Cradle return….I like it at first listen. The melody is contagious and the metal feel is genuine…really nice.

Even Your Blood Group Rejects Me—-With a gentle piano interlude intermixed with fast blazing guitars, the song is off to a strong start from the onset. Dani delivers a vocal that is remarkable…the marching melody and the ghostly lyrics will be right up your alley if you are a Cradle fan…this sounds just like a great Cradle CD that they never recorded…the music is muscular and more metal …there is much less orchestration here…but this rocks…have no doubt.

Girl From Mystery Island—-Beginning with a nice guitar and a scream from hell, this has rapidly become a favorite track of mine….the song moves at a frantic pace and the familiar female backdrop singer is there…as ever present as on a Cradle release. This is muscular in sound…I wonder sometimes how he can fit so many words in one sentence…this will not disappoint, like so many off shoot bands. The only drawback is the announcement of tour dates…leaving a new Cradle release still in the air.

The Stake In My Heart—-Really nice from the very onset, the drums are maniacal on this track. The speed and that scream make this a nice centerpiece of the release. Dani can do no wrong in my book…this is quite an extraordinary release…the creative output from this man makes me feel a bit inadequate…this is just fantastic. When that chorus hits you…it will be embedded in your head. Really fantastic!!!

Living With The Fungus—-The guitars begin the song set way back in the mix…but emerge as the song develops. Dani lets loose with a death scream that makes me smile from the word go. The musicianship is masterful….delivering a nice stomp between classic Maiden and Priest. It is the voice though…always there and always classic.

Mother Kali—-This begins rather bizarre…but your fear need not rise as the band returns to a classic sound. There are a lot of interesting things going on in this song though…sometimes delivering an Indian music type strain in the back of the mix…but still it comes to full realization as you listen. The chorus is damn catchy….you will forgive the experimentation.

Staring At The Werewolf Corps—-With a large atmospheric sound, the song begins rather quiet and sedate…but you know that the familiar strains are not far behind…this reminds me of fog and fear….the guitars enter and give the song a galloping sound that brings comfort. I still wonder how Dani can sing in such a way…I don’t question…I’m just glad he can. This is not a great track…but it serves to round out the release.

Sanity Hits A [Perfect Zero]—-No unnecessary interludes here, the song begins strong and with a purpose…Dani enters with a growl and begins a dark tale that is as we would expect. This is masterful and strong…dark tales and a welcoming sound make you forget the few middle filler songs…because this man can sing with the best of them.Not perfect…but acceptable.

Laudanum Skull—- I don’t even know what Laudanum means….but as the song begins, we are blessed with that familiar Cradle dirge before the ear splitting scream kicks off the song as it should be. This is adequate…again…it all sounds a bit the same…but it is not an unwelcome criticism….that is why I bought it…I wanted Dani and Dani you get on this release. There is little different about the music…it is the strong voice that is welcoming. The female croon returns in the backdrop…giving the song needed atmosphere and fear….not bad!!!

The Great And Secret Show—-The onset of the song reminds me of how so many Maiden songs began in the 90’s…soft with a huge building sound. This is another favorite of mine…the keyboards emerge and the song is a masterpiece. The voice return and you are welcomed back into the dirge fold. This is the centerpiece of the release…and the song placement by the producer is masterful…just right to keep you from becoming bored. This track is huge and makes me smile in comfort. The guitars crunch…the drums are huge and the chorus is a great concert staple I’m sure!!! This is fantastic.

Beds Are Burning [With Bam Magera]—Who could imagine such a band covering Midnight Oil…..but indeed they do…and the outcome is nothing less than masterful. Where Bam is involved is a bit weird…but you can’t deny that this is incredible. I really love this cover…one of the annals….this is fantastic.

Psycho Babble—-Almost silent as the song begins…the keyboards fade away as the drum heavy track ensues. There is a nice rhythmic sound to this song…you can not dent the catchy feeling of the entire thing. This is an adequate song….welcoming is the voice and the sway of the song…but this so called bonus track could have been turned into a killer Cradle composition…but I will take it as it is….

Even Your Blood Group Rejects You—-A second redux of this track….from some Soundtrack or the other, this seems even more masterful than the original…I like the atmosphere…the fear that is portrayed by the music. There is more orchestration and wisps of evil than before…you can’t deny the wonder of the song…a great way to close out this release. Will this off shoot band continue…I have no idea….when will the next Cradle release terrorize us…I have no idea…but at least we have this in the interim.

***1/2 out of 5

The War On Drugs/Lost In The Dream

The War on Drugs is an American indie rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 2005. The band consists of Adam Granduciel (vocals, guitar), David Hartley (bass), Robbie Bennett (keyboards), Charlie Hall (drums), Jon Natchez (saxophone) andAnthony LaMarca (guitar).

Founded by close collaborators Granduciel and Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs released their debut studio album, Wagonwheel Blues, in 2008. Vile departed shortly after its release to focus on his solo career. The band’s second studio album Slave Ambient was released in 2011 to critical acclaim and extensive touring.

Written and recorded following extensive touring and a period of loneliness and depression for primary songwriter Granduciel, the band’s third album, Lost in the Dream, was released in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim and increased exposure. Previous collaborator Charlie Hall joined the band as its full-time drummer during the recording process, with saxophonist Jon Natchez and additional guitarist Anthony LaMarca accompanying the band for its world tour.

The Analysis—-

Under The Pressure—-Beginning like every favorite 80’s record I have ever owned, the voice is introduced and the disappointment never comes. This is lush and full of emotion…not only in the voice…but transferred into the music as well. There is a sadness that is perfectly combined with a joy…a full, textured song that is so pleasant…it makes me want to cry.

Red Eyes—-Beginning again with that jangly guitar that reminds me of the greatest 80’s indie bands, this is so damn pleasant I’m not sure what to do with myself…the mystical and smoky sound leaves no doubt in my mind why it was everyone’s pick for 2014…that voice…oh that voice…and the mood…the atmosphere…the sadness…but the under lying joy…this is heaven…or the closet thing to perfection I have heard in a very long time…

Suffering—-A bit more sedate at the onset, this still has a pleasing taste to my pallet. The voice…reminds me of Jim James from My Morning Jacket…the music on this track is minimal but so damn lulling. I just lose myself in the release…such as the title would suggest….this is full of joy…pain…angst and hysteria…all is a moment…..then it changes….I love music!

An Ocean Between The Waves—-With a nice hyper beat at the onset, the band continues to deliver the trademark sound from the onset…the atmosphere is palatable. I can fee; such pain in the voice…but so many other emotions as well…this is a release that makes you feel…want and long for things you want to feel. This is remarkable…I could never ask for more from one release.

Disappearing—-Beginning with an almost Roxy Music sound at the onset, the quiet yet emotive voice brings everything to the front of your brain….you feel pain…longing and the need to be better than you are all at the same time…this release is one of those rare things that makes you fel so much..it is hard to listen to often…cause you realize all you are not!

Eyes To The Wind—-Man….I hate to beat a dead horse…but this is The Smiths….The Cure…The La’s and My Morning Jacket all rolled into one huge release…I can’t begin to explain the emotions that these lyrics and pleasant muscianship awakens in me….I haven’t felt this alive in years…theres a little Dylan in here too!!!!

The Haunting Idle—-Haunting is a good word for the title of this song…the emotions are deep with the expression of the music from the very onset…talk about a journey…this is just simply remarkable. I think only Morrissey can inspire such feelings in me….this is literally incredible…a mysterious journey through sounds that inspire emotions!

Burning—-Returning to that remarkable jangly sound that seems to fit the voice so well, this is another great fit on this release…although I find myself at this point craving a little brighter sound…I don’t suppose that will happen. This is still soothing and pleasant despite the curse of ‘sameness’ that it inspires. Pretty damn wonderful.

Lost In The Dream—-The title track of the release makes me realize the name of the release…it is indeen a track you can become lost in…the voice reminds me of so many others…but remains remarkably its own despite all of that. This is so damn pleasant…it makes me want to scream with joy…cry with despair…and start the whole damn thing all over again. This is a release that will last for a very long time…

In Reverse—-Ending this remarkable release much as it began….you are reminded that you have been on one mans journey through pain…discovery…joy and sadness….MY GOD….I love music that makes me feel….this CD makes me feel something different everytime I hear it…that spells one thing….CLASSIC!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]