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View Remedy Lane profile

Rating 9/10

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Remedy Lane (2002)

Pain of Salvation

Progressive Metal

"Remedy Lane" is probably the best album of Swedish prog-metal band Pain of Salvation. As a matter of fact, Pain of Salvation is one of my favorite prog-metal bands. They have a strong influence on me, which yields only to my all-time favorite Dream Theater's one. Great arrangements, excellent vocals, and original performance manner distinguish Pain of Salvation advantageously from such prog-metal veterans as Queensryche and Fates Warning, whom I don't like much for some monotony of their performance. As regards specifically to "Remedy Lane", this album represent the striking example of how excellent this genre may be when music is created with artistic explorations and searching for something new, without keeping to the beaten track. This is an amazing album from innovators of progressive metal. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Igor Brynskich | Aug 28, 2006

View Shoot the Boss profile

Rating 9/10

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Shoot the Boss (1998)

Monkey Mafia

Electronica

Monkey Mafia is an alias used by Dj Carter to record his music. His music is influenced by Kraftwerk, Public Enemy, Schoolly D, and such styles as electronica, hip-hop and even rock of the '60s, soul, dub, dancehall, and reggae. His style might be called as dynamic mix of reggae and funk. "Shoot the Boss" consists of the material recorded by Dj Carter on London label Deconstruction during 1995-1998. This album is recommended as a guide to the planet's dance clubs, it's typical, but not entirely predictable, however. As for vocal appeared on this album, it's quite vivid and does have the pronounced African origin. It excellently combines with cutted out rhythms. Everything is neat, thought-out, without the excesses. The final track "Long as I Can See the Light" is worth mentioning for tender girlish vocal and charming arrangements.

Reviewed by Nik Kendell | Aug 27, 2006

View Rush profile

Rating 8/10

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Rush (2005)

Jay-Jay Johanson

Electronica

Jay-Jay Johanson is a jack-of-all-trades: he's a vocalist and DJ, in his time of youth he was a punk and jazzman, by education he's an architect and graphical designer. Many fashion shows in Paris and New York are held to the accompaniment of his sets. His music is trip-hop and pop, the unusual broken rhythms and even retro. He's an astonishing man. His album "Rush" was recorded in Stockholm and Paris - in two studios and with two producers. The Parisian part with dance music was produced by Jean-Pierre Ensuque while the Stockholm part was produced by Magnus Frykberg. Because of this fact the album is quite ambivalent - it's joyful and melancholy, thoughtful and ironic, calm and rhythmic. As a result we can see the mix of Scandinavian philosophic sadness and Parisian Bohemian festivities. This music is ideal for agreeable evening with beloved. It's a bit strange, sentimental, a little unearthly, a little wanton, but it's very attractive.

Reviewed by Nik Kendell | Aug 26, 2006

View La Revancha del Tango profile

Rating 9/10

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La Revancha del Tango (2001)

Gotan Project

World

Frenchmans Phillippe Cohen Solal, Eduardo Makaroff and Christophe H Mueller, who are people really charmed by tango, disclose this style from the new point of view - they mix the inflammatory Argentine rhythms with electronic sound. "La Revancha Del Tango" is the first full-fledged album by Gotan Project. In contrast to their colleagues from Deep Forest and 1 Giant Leap, Gotan Project don't only use the achievements of the style, but also invite modern Latin-American musicians to take parts in their recordings. And all these violin, guitar, piano, contrabass, and accordion do sound very strikingly together with electronic accompaniment. As a result, the album leaves warm emotional impressions. All the tracks are various, but all of them are charged with southern energy. Behind soft trip-hop with southern accent the classical Argentine tango stands, which is further supported by sensible voice of Cristina Vilallonga. Feelings don't become quite during the album, and they carries the soul away to the world of southern passions and pleasures. In short, tango is back.

Reviewed by Nik Kendell | Aug 25, 2006

View Human After All profile

Rating 2/10

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Human After All (2005)

Daft Punk

Electronica

Daft Punk might have joked if they called their album "Human After All". I absolutely don't understand where the humans on this album are! This is absolutely mechanized and lifeless album. All its music is continuous hoarse and howling synthesized parts looped over the same theme and mixed with totally straightforward beats. Voices crippled by vocoder repeat the titles of tracks again and again, without end. Only two tracks gave hope to me - "Make Love" and "Emotion". They're a bit more quite against the rest of the album, but anyway they have made the same way - it's a looped piece of melody, an iterative rhythm, and the same vocoder again. Thus, a word "human" is inserted in the album's name absolutely wrongly - it would be hard to listen to even for robots. Crudely and slovenly, it's very likely destined to hurt the ears.

Reviewed by Nik Kendell | Aug 25, 2006

View Mezzanine profile

Rating 9/10

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Mezzanine (1998)

Massive Attack

Trip-Hop

This is a deep and an interesting album by the ones of trip-hop originators from Britain. By the way, music represented on this album might be called "progressive trip-hop" because virtually all its compositions constitute electronic music performed upon prog/art-rock background. This is meditative, sometimes slightly tense, sometimes melancholy music, which abounds in various studio effects during the album. The sound engineering of it is of high quality, made on high level, and in spite of minimalism of the style, all the themes are extensive and interesting. On the whole, trip-hop is very particular to sound, so not every band can realize it in all its beauty. By the way, Liz Frazer (Cocteau Twins) took part in recording of this album - she's wonderful British vocalist. She didn't only perform the songs, but also took part in writing them. Massive Attack don't only realize trip-hop in all its beauty, but also introduce something new to it, and they do it the best way.

Reviewed by Nik Kendell | Aug 24, 2006

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