August 31, 2017

Jennifer Lopez - This Is Me...Then (2002)

*European release. Contains 2 bonus tracks and 13 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B, Pop
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© 2002 Epic Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Don't pay attention to the title, which is absolutely nonsensical and bewildering -- it suggests that This Is Me...Then is a compilation, which it isn't, and it also suggests that this has some sort of theme, which it doesn't -- and concentrate on the music, which is the strongest, sultriest, best music Jennifer Lopez (who has abandoned the moniker J-Lo) has recorded for any of her three albums. This, of course, doesn't mean that it's a radical musical departure, though there are differences here -- the glitzy dance-pop has been phased out, there's a stronger urban soul vibe, particularly on the lush surfaces and sexy grooves -- but it does mean that the album has a solid set of songs and a sharp production pitched directly at the mainstream of 2002, yet with nice allusions to classic soul and early-'80s pop-funk and soft rock. Since Lopez is a celebrity and a regular feature on gossip pages in the early days of the 21st century, and since she's unabashedly mainstream -- her only attempts at street-cred are on the laughable lyrics to "Jenny From the Block," where she insists that success hasn't spoiled her yet and she's the same ol' Jen she's always been (if so, why the paparazzi on the back cover?) -- it's easy for some listeners to dismiss her, but it's harder to make to make a pop album as easily enjoyable as this. Sure, there are some flaws -- as mentioned above, "Jenny From the Block" is silly and no matter how much you love Ben Affleck, "Dear Ben" is unbearably mawkish -- but all mainstream pop albums stumble through filler. What counts is the overall feel and the highlights. Here, the feel is sexy, stylish, and fun, and there are numerous highlights, all feeling effortless. And if you think that's easy to do, take a listen to a few other pop-R&B albums from late 2002 (Stripped and Charmbracelet come to mind) and hear how good this record is.

tags: jennifer lopez, this is me then, this is me... then, 2002, flac,

Jennifer Lopez - Rebirth (2005)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
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© 2005 Epic Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The last time Jennifer Lopez made an album -- 2002's This Is Me... Then -- she was deeply love with actor/Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ben Affleck, a relationship immortalized in the video for "Jenny From the Block" and "Dear Ben," a ballad that rivals Billy Bob Thornton's "Angelina" as the greatest celebrity love song of the 2000s. Of course, the relationship was also immortalized in the notorious Martin Brest disaster Gigli, released eight months after This Is Me, and that film's abysmal box office was the beginning of the end for the couple, whose engagement was called off in early 2004. Lopez rebounded quickly with a marriage to Latin pop singer Marc Anthony and with the new romance came an opportunity to restart her career -- hence Rebirth, the title of her fourth album. While she doesn't avoid the subject of her highly publicized romantic life, she does bury two seemingly confessional ballads at the end of the record (not counting the album-concluding reprise of the opening single, "Get Right"). Voyeurs may find interest in "He'll Be Back" (a tune not written by Lopez, but a breakup song that certainly recalls the Bennifer saga) and "(Can't Believe) This Is Me" -- a collaboration with her new husband that suggests Lopez may not have learned the lesson of Gigli -- but they're easily the worst moments on an album that's otherwise a sleek, sexy blast. Apart from those turgid ballads, Rebirth is a straight-ahead dance album, alternating between sweet, breezy pop tunes like the irresistible "Still Around" and hard-driving club tracks like the surprisingly heavy, infectious "Cherry Pie." Lopez may not be a flashy singer, but she's appealing on record precisely because she and her collaborators -- chief among them executive producer Cory Rooney -- know those limitations and present them in tuneful packages with big, exciting beats. Since it doesn't deviate from the blueprint she's followed on her first three albums, it's hard to call this record a literal creative rebirth, but song for song, Rebirth has more energy and better hooks than her other albums. It may not be deep, but it sure is fun -- and after the tumult of 2003 and 2004, Lopez sure does deserve to have a little fun.

tags: jennifer lopez, rebith, 2005, flac,

Jennifer Lopez - Love? (Deluxe Edition) (2011)

*Contains 5 bonus tracks & 16 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A
Language: English, Spanish (Espa├▒ol)
Genre: Pop, Electronic, R&B
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© 2011 Island Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Given her promotion to the Paula Abdul seat on American Idol, there’s a distinct irony in having the first sounds on Jennifer Lopez's Love? all twisted through a vocoder: she may be judging the pop purity of legions of hopeful singers, but even she can’t resist the siren call of the computer. Of course, Lopez was never, ever about singing; she was about style, particularly the kind that passes for fashionable at glitzy high-rise discos. She was lucky enough to launch her career at the turn of the millennium, when it was still possible to have big dance crossover hits, but as her career marched on, the beats took prominence over the melody, a particular problem considering how slight Lopez’s voice is. She’s sweet enough a presence, but she needs powerful hooks to cut through the gloss, which she by and large doesn’t do on Love? Instead of being a return to the high-glitz pizzazz of “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” this is pop in form only, never quite mustering up the energy to be infectious, never having a hook to drag a listener into its orbit, so listless that neither Lil Wayne nor Pitbull can drag it into focus. It’s high-sheen wallpaper, so flimsy that it peels away immediately after application.

tags: jennifer lopez, love, deluxe edition, love?, 2011, flac,

DJ Cam - The Beat Assassinated (1998)

*French pressing. Track list remains the same.
Country: France
Language: English, French (Le Fran├žais)
Genre: French Hip-Hop, Electronic
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© 1998 Columbia Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: dj cam, the beat assassinated, 1998, flac,

Various Artists - The Unbound Project: Volume 1 (2000)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2000 Ground Control Records
AllMusic Review by Nick Pfeiffer
After releasing the No More Prisons project, Realized is at it again, this time with the compilation The Unbound Project, Vol. 1 focused on the unjust incarceration of Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abul-Jamal. All of the artists participating on this CD have donated their royalties to the legal defense fund of Abul-Jamal and are united around the cause of exposing the flawed criminal justice system. Accompanied with the album is a brief essay that explores the indications of a "prison industrial complex" and its affects on the youth of America, especially minorities. The essay and the album together create a real eye-opening experience and The Unbound Project, Vol. 1 truly enlightens its observer. The album commences with a sure shot from Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek) titled "The Human Element," which is equally entertaining as it is perceptive, and it is undoubtedly the best cut on the album. Other guests include Iriscience of Dilated Peoples, Aceyalone, J-Rocc, Saul Williams; the posse cut "Mumia 911" features everyone from Zach de la Rocha to the Roots' Black Thought. In the end, some of the tracks are slightly weak on the production side; however, it's not just how the music sounds, but what the lyricists are conveying. Pick up The Unbound Project to find out what's really going on -- you may not like what you find out about America, but you cannot expect the mainstream media to disseminate the truth.

tags: various artists, the unbound project volume 1, vol 1, 2000, flac,

Various Artists - Independents Finest: Volume 3 (2002)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2002 Ill Boogie Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: independents finest volume 3, vol 3, various artists, m boogie, 2002, flac,

August 29, 2017

El Imperio - Monopolio (1999)

*Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo.
(A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.)
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish (Castellano)
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1999 Zona Bruta
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: el imperio, monopolio, 1999, flac, el monopolio, sr t cee, zarman,

Pacto Entre Castellanos - Espa├▒a Es Una Puta: E.P (1998) ☠

*Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo.
(A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.)
Country: Spain
Language: Spanish (Castellano)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Hardcore Hip-Hop
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1998 Avoid Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: pacto entre castellanos, espana es una puta, espa├▒a es una puta, 1998, flac,

Alice Cooper - DaDa (1983)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1983-1990 Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Gary Hill
This album was very disappointing from a sales point of view, and that is certainly a shame. As Alice Cooper albums go, this one is really far above average. It seems to be one of his albums that tried to merge the older, creepy style with a newer, more alternative style. From the spooky opening tones of the title track, that horror movie chic that Cooper did so well is quite apparent. Other tracks, such as "Former Lee Warmer," also do well at capturing that sort of a mood. Still, there are lighter-hearted, more alternative rock-type pieces such as "Scarlet and Sheba" and "Enough's Enough." One the humorous side, Cooper gives "I Love America" and "Dyslexia." The lyrical pun to the latter cut is absolutely priceless. This album is a rather varied release, showcasing several sides of Cooper's musical tastes, but it is all very entertaining. If you missed it when it first came around, do yourself a favor and give it a try now.

tags: alice cooper, dada, 1983, flac,

Alice Cooper - Special Forces (1981)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1981-1990 Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
Since the original Alice Cooper band was a major catalyst in the creation of punk rock (Cooper's snide lyrics, the band's raw rock, etc.), by the early '80s Cooper decided to re-embrace the genre after such overblown albums as From the Inside distanced him from his roots. The resulting album, 1981's Special Forces, was Cooper's most stripped-down and straightforward since his classic early-'70s work. But without the original Cooper band to back him up and help out with the songwriting, it's an intriguing yet sometimes uneven set. Cooper was heavily into the guns and ammo publication Soldier of Fortune at the time; hence the album title and lyrical subject matter. The opening track, "Who Do You Think We Are," is one of Cooper's punchiest rockers, and one of his most overlooked, while "Seven & Seven Is," "You Look Good in Rags," and "Vicious Rumours" are also rocking highlights. A faithful rereading of the Billion Dollar Babies nugget "Generation Landslide" is included as well, titled "Generation Landslide '81 (Live)," even though it was, in fact, entirely created in the studio (with added audience cheers). While Special Forces didn't return Cooper to his earlier status as a chart-topping superstar, it is certainly one of the strongest and most interesting releases of his post-1975 period.

tags: alice cooper, special forces, 1981, flac,

Alice Cooper - Zipper Catches Skin (1982)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1982-1990 Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco
By 1982, Alice Cooper's brand of shock rock had been shoved out of the pop-chart spotlight by new trends like punk and new wave. To counteract this decline in popularity, Cooper worked elements of these sounds into his style and also played up the satirical/comedic angle to his music. The result was Zipper Catches Skin: while it's not a success on the level of Billion Dollar Babies or Welcome to My Nightmare, it is surprisingly listenable. The songwriting subjects are some of the most unusual of Cooper's career, which is saying a lot: "Tag, You're It" is a primarily spoken word spoof of slasher films, while "Zorro's Ascent" depicts the world's most famous swordsman facing down death. However, the strangest of these songs is "I'm Alive (That Was the Day My Dead Pet Returned to Save My Life)," which speaks for itself. These lyrics are often too cutesy for their own good, but this is effectively made up for by the well-crafted, tuneful music that backs them up. Cooper is also assisted by an enthusiastic and energetic performance by the band, who transform tunes like "I Better Be Good" and "Remarkably Insincere" into effective fusions of hard rock riffing and new wave staccato rhythms. While the experimental spirit that drives these songs is refreshing, none of the songs ever jells in a way that would create a cohesive album and none of the songs is strong enough to join the ranks of classics like "School's Out" or "No More Mr. Nice Guy." That said, Zipper Catches Skin contains enough solid tracks to make it a worthwhile listen for hardcore Alice Cooper fans.

tags: alice cooper, zipper catches skin, 1982, flac,

August 27, 2017

Usher - Raymond V Raymond (2010)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
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© 2010 LaFace/Jive Records
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
The making of Usher’s sixth studio album was inevitably affected by the end of his marriage and its aftershocks. “Papers,” the early buzz single for Raymond V Raymond, bears the closest relation to the turbulence he experienced. He pours himself into that song more than any other on the set, and breakup lyrics don’t get much more specific than “You don’t think I know what’s up, but sweetheart that’s what ruined us” or “I done damn near lost my mama.” The song was awarded the top spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, most likely for its lyrical uniqueness since the song does not break out of an exceptionally repetitive twiddle. Many of the songs on the album have to be taken on their own, stripped of context; otherwise, determining what applies to Usher’s real and fantasy lives can be problematic. (Either way, it’s evident that long-term relationships might not be for him.) The sleek dancefloor track “So Many Girls,” one of a few songs in which Usher sounds dead in the eyes, going through the motions, desensitized by the bounty of women at his feet, is followed by the sarcastically titled “Guilty,” where he whines “I guess I’m guilty for wanting to be up in the club” -- which warrants a response like “Yes, attached 31-year-old man, that’s correct.” A few songs before that is a quasi-redemptive ballad “Foolin’ Around”; he humbles himself, seems to take responsibility for his actions, then casually drops “Guess that’s just the man in me, blame it on celebrity.” The album’s catchiest uptempo song, “Lil Freak,” featuring Nicki Minaj, is effective despite itself, swiping the synthesizer line from “Living for the City” -- a classic containing Stevie Wonder's most angered social commentary -- for the sake of Usher’s lesbian tryst. (The combination is as wrong as Eugene McDaniels' “Compared to What” and a soft drink commercial.) Otherwise, the slow jams and the few moments when Usher sounds as if he's having actual fun win out. Two of the best happen to be collaborations with Jam and Lewis and the Avila Brothers. “Mars vs Venus,” a very slow jam, soars, while “Pro Lover” is a breezy, casual number filled with sweet dub accents.

tags: usher, raymond v raymond, 2010, flac, raymond v. raymond, vs,

U.D.O. - Thunderball (2004)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2004 AFM Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Upon the final demise of German metal legends Accept in 1998, the man who was its voice, the unmistakably shrill Udo Dirkschneider, pretty much stepped into the breach with his self-named band U.D.O. and sought to carry on with a sound and style that, like a saber-toothed cat of some sort, remains frozen in time. Not that what worked in 1984 will necessarily work in 2004 -- but most U.D.O. fans also happen to be semi-frosted relics (sorry!) from the same time period, Thunderball's carefully orchestrated nostalgia pieces may prove to be just what the doctor ordered. Truly, later day Accept rarely sounded as authentically '80s as Thunderball's title cut and subsequent offerings "Fistful of Anger," "Hell Bites Back" and "Tough Luck II" -- all of them packed with precisely jagged guitar riffs, thundering gang-choruses, and of course Dirkschneider's vocal power-drill slicing everything to tatters. The co-songwriting presence on all of these tracks of original Accept drummer, now guitarist Stefan Kaufmann (the man responsible for many of their greatest hits of yore) is of course crucial to their remarkable time-erasing accomplishments, and its fair to assume that the absolutely incredible "Pull the Trigger" is guaranteed to have everyone's Balls to the Wall. Now, for those who have had enough of the Accept comparisons, let it be known that not every track here sounds like a carbon copy of another band's gimmick. Slower selections such as "The Land of the Midnight Sun" and "The Magic Mirror" aren't nearly as obvious; the string-laden power ballad "Blind Eyes" rips off Demon's "Into the Nightmare" instead; and the hilariously absurd polka-metal of "Trainride in Russia" is certainly unique -- ridiculous, but unique. All in all, and easy comparisons notwithstanding, Thunderball's not a bad Accept -- I mean U.D.O. -- album at all.

tags: udo, u.d.o., thunderball, thunder ball, 2004, flac,

U.D.O. - Mission No. X (2005)

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2005 AFM Records
AllMusic Review by Erik Hage
Those who only know Udo Dirkschneider from his German metal band Accept, which (via "Balls to the Wall") enjoyed a shimmer of success during the '80s metal heyday in the U.S., won't find any surprises with his newer project, U.D.O. The latter group's genesis actually goes back to the late '80s, after the split of Accept (who would reunite in the mid-'90s). Many '80s metallers had a tendency to dismiss their lumpen roots in later years; Rob Halford explored Trent Reznor-like industrial music in the wake of Judas Priest, while Tommy Lee went all indie rock and emo on 2005's Tommyland. Dirkschneider is woefully unbound by the tides of taste, however: the gargled, glassy shriek and power chords you hear on Mission No. X ("mission number ten") are precisely the same flourishes he employed when "Balls to the Wall" was on the lips of fashion-challenged headbangers everywhere. Tracks such as "24-7" and "Mean Streets" seem suspended in hard dollops of '80s amber, right down to guitar tone and production value. The former track also displays one of Dirkshneider's lyrical tendencies: using his English skills to glory in opaque, youthful clich├ęs: "You're going to live it, 24-7...24 hours, seven days a week!/You're going to give it, 24-7...24 hours, seven days a week!" (The other tendency would be inscrutability: witness the confounding call to "Put your balls to the wall!"). This album is clearly and unabashedly for that shrinking clutch of metalheads still trying to feed their jones for '80s power metal.

tags: udo, u.d.o., mission no x, no. x, flac, 2005,

U.D.O. - Dominator (Limited Edition) (2009)

*European release. Contains 1 bonus track & 11 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2009 AFM Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
The '80s officially ended on January 1, 1990, but for metal and hard rock fans, the early ‘90s felt a lot like the '‘80s -- that is, until Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's 10 (both 1991 releases) made grunge explode commercially, and caused alternative rock to become rock's primary direction. After that, bands playing ''80s-style metal or '80s-style hard rock sounded very dated. But for some metalheads, the '80s never ended -- and Dominator is a 2008/2009 recording that finds former Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider continuing to party like it's 1985. Like many other albums that Dirkschneider and his band U.D.O. have recorded in a post-Nevermind, post-10 world, Dominator finds the veteran headbanger stubbornly clinging to '80s-style power metal. But the fact that Dominator sounds so dated by late-2000s standards is not necessarily a bad thing -- certainly not if one still has a passionate craving for pre-''90s metal. "Heavy Metal Heaven," "Stillness of Time," and other fist-pumping tracks don't break any new ground for Dirkschneider, but they're solid and inspired nonetheless. After all these years, he still belts out old-school power metal with plenty of conviction -- and he never sounds the least bit bored on this 44-minute CD. If Dirkschneider had grown bored with this type of material, it would show. But that isn't the case at all. His passion and intensity remain. So his refusal to change with the times is probably for the best. Bottom line: headbangers who still treasure the albums that Accept, Judas Priest, and AC/DC recorded in the ‘80s will find that Dominator, although not essential, is a worthwhile, if predictable, addition to U.D.O.'s catalog.

tags: udo, dominator, u.d.o., 2009, flac, limited edition,

U.D.O. - Steelhammer (Limited Edition) (2013)

*European pressing. Contains 1 bonus track & 15 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2013 AFM Records
Review by Rustyn Rose for Metalholic.com
It has been more than a quarter century since Udo Dirkschneider walked away from Accept and formed his namesake band, U.D.O. In that span he and his band have made some pretty impressive albums, with a few so-so efforts in the mix. This month the mighty Teutonic vocalist and a revamped line-up return with their 14th studio effort, “Steelhammer”. The album is easily U.D.O.’s most impressive effort in recent memory, putting a fresh face on the band’s classic style.
Steelhammer” is 14 tracks deep, and there really isn’t anything that one might consider filler. So the band has certainly made the investment of time and money worthwhile. The album’s cover art is classic metal and for some reason reminds me of Judas Priest’s “Defenders of the Faith”.
In 2012, the band’s longtime guitarist Stefan Kaufman stepped down for health reasons. He has also been Dirkschneider’s writing partner and the band’s producer. To add to the loss fellow guitarist Igor Gianola who had more than a decade in the band stepped down as well.
Finding new guitarists was an exhaustive process but he found two virtuosos in the form of former Amberian Dawn guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen and Russian multi-instrumentalist Andrey Smirnov (Everlost).
Writing the album proved much easier than Udo might have imagined. The stocky singer needed only to look stage-left at his bass player of 16 years to discover a new songwriting partner. Fitty Weinhold has been with U.D.O. since the band’s fifth studio album, “Solid”. Ironically the same album which saw Kaufman initially joined the band.
Full review here..... 

tags: udo, u.d.o., steelhammer, steel hammer, 2013, limited edition, flac,

U.D.O. - Decadent (Limited Edition) (2015)

*European release. Contains 1 bonus track & 14 tracks total.

Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
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© 2015 AFM Records
Review by Nicholas P for New Noise Magazine.com
If the heavy metal of the future is the heavy metal of the past then what is the heavy metal of the past? The answer is FOREVER!
Udo Dirkschneider can still belt out some really great vocals. His singing is clear, and resembles the range he had from the 80s in an uncanny sort of way that could only be explained by just coming out and admitting he is sort of divine. The tracks on Decadent are reminiscent of the Metal Heart days of Accept. Those solos!
The album does serve as a reminder to the masses that Udo should be considered among the heavy weights of old school poster boys for heavy metal. It’s easy to get lost in the hype of a release by a legend, but this one is genuinely good. Yes, there are fantastic rocking tracks on the record like the title track and “Speeder.” “Speeder” has some interesting harmonics, and a great riff to accompany Udo’s unreal low growling scream. Like I pointed out the guy has pipes on loan from God. They’re not going anywhere probably ever, like Brian Johnson’s from ACDC. Udo has some pretty filthy musicians backing him on this one too. Fitty Weinhold from Bullet has been with him for the long haul, but the addition of Gamma Ray guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen and a relatively unknown guitar player from Moscow named Andrey Smirnov have each added their pull of weight to a great project.
U.D.O. continues the true sound of classic metal from Germany. Decadent is a strong album that I would recommend if you are interested in the continuation of 80s sound, speed metal, and angry German men playing fast music. (Nicholas P)

tags: udo, decadent, 2015, u.d.o., flac, limited edition,

Usher - Usher (1994) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre: R&B
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1994 LaFace Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: usher, usher album, flac, 1994,

Usher - My Way (1997) ☠

Country: U.S.A
Genre:  R&B
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1997 LaFace Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Usher proved that he had a strong, soulful voice with his self-titled debut, but he fulfilled his potential on his second record, My Way. What makes Usher distinctive from his urban loverman peers is the fact that he doesn't oversing; he simply delivers his songs soulfully. Unfortunately, he falls prey to uneven material, just like any of his peers, but there are more strong songs on My Way than many contemporary R&B albums from the late '80s. Both Jermaine Dupri and Babyface contribute seamless productions and fine songs; respectively, "You Make Me Wanna..." and "Bedtime" are their best ballad contributions. Even if the ballads are usually seductive and romantic, cuts like the funky "Just Like Me," which features a cameo from Lil' Kim, might make you wish Usher didn't play it cool all of the time. And while it's refreshing to hear a hip-hop/urban R&B album clock in at a reasonable running time, it would have been nice if the tenth track was something other than a remix of "You Make Me Wanna..." Nevertheless, it's a strong second effort that showcases Usher at his best.

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August 26, 2017

Whitesnake - Trouble (1978)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1978-1987 EMI Records
Review by Matt Collar for Allmusic.com
Trouble was Whitesnake's first "real" album, setting the template for virtually all of the band's ensuing career, pre-1987 American sellout. (Snakebite, released earlier that year, was split between David Coverdale solo sessions and actual group recordings.) This was a group made up of seasoned veterans after all, and they knew exactly what it was they wanted: edgy hard rock based on R&B. They also knew who was boss: Coverdale, who after enduring a minority stake in the mighty Deep Purple, was now clearly established as top dog and de facto leader of the new outfit. (When he relinquishes lead vocal duties to guitarist Bernie Marsden on "Free Flight," it's because he wants to.) And what a slick, powerful outfit it was, too, with guitarists Marsden and Micky Moody compensating whatever visual shortcomings they may have had with their rock-solid six-string partnership, and former Purple organist Jon Lord holding it all together in the back. "Take Me with You"'s nonstop boogie and persistent slide guitar hook sets things into motion on a frenetic note, but it's the next song, "Love to Keep You Warm," which earns its stripes as a bona fide Whitesnake classic, largely due to its seductive, deliberate strut. In retrospect, concert fave "Lie Down (A Modern Day Love Song)" is a tad too simplistic and has not aged well at all, but the pairing of "Nighthawk (Vampire Blues)" and "The Time Is Right for Love" provides an amazingly succinct look back (the first is built upon a very Purple-esque stop-start riff) and ahead (the second introduces a cool melodic recipe which would characterize the band's later-day sound). The title track represents the album's high-water mark, its rollicking blues shuffle declaring it a worthy successor to Coverdale's original tour de force with Purple, "Mistreated." A few unexpected oddities throw the album off-balance here and there, not least of which the instrumental jam "Belgian Tom's Hat Trick" and an unexpected, stuttering cover of the Beatles' "Daytripper," but all things considered, it is easy to understand why Trouble turned out to be the first step in a long, and very successful career.

tags: whitesnake, white snake, trouble, 1978, flac,

Whitesnake - Lovehunter (1979)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1979-1987 EMI Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
For all of its musical merits, Whitesnake's second full-length album, Lovehunter, is probably best remembered for its lurid cover painting (featuring a very naked female and a very large snake) rather than the band's ever-improving recipe for blues-infected hard rock. The group's performance in the studio environment remains strangely tame, however, and though blaming the producer seems like the obvious explanation, one has to wonder if this is the case when a veteran like Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) is at the helm. Still, all things considered, the record is quite consistent; the band is equally at home rocking through the foot-stomping "Long Way From Home," and gliding through the bluesy ballad "Help Me Thro' the Day." "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues" combines near-perfect songwriting with one of Coverdale's maturest and most compelling lyrics, while the masterful slide guitar of Mickey Moody literally ignites the awesome title track. The gorgeously simple piano treatment of "We Wish You Well" closes the disc in fine fashion.

tags: whitesnake, white snake, lovehunter, love hunter, flac, 1979,

Whitesnake - Come An' Get It (1981)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1981-1987 Geffen Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Despite the massive talents of vocalist David Coverdale and his supporting cast of musicians (not to mention the unimpeachable resum├ę of producer Martin Birch), Come an' Get It was another maddeningly average Whitesnake album. A thoroughly boring set that played it too safe and yielded no lasting live favorites, Come an' Get It was competent to the max -- in the hands of a debuting artist, it may have qualified as a classic -- but for a near-supergroup of such experience and pedigree, it instead smacked of severe underachievement. Rare highlights include the driving energy of "Hot Stuff," the lively bar-room piano of "Wine, Women and Song," and the wistful, acoustic balladry of "Till the Day I Die." But these share space with run-of-the-mill bluesy rockers like "Don't Break My Heart Again" and "Would I Lie to You" -- all of them hard to fault, but equally impossible to praise. Yawn! Even the quasi-epic "Child of Babylon" fails to live up to initial promise, a half-hearted effort that easily defines the entire record's abiding sense of indifference. No doubt a reflection of Coverdale's own fluctuating interest in the group, Come an' Get It's confounding mediocrity would thankfully give way to the just as inexplicable brilliance of 1982's Saints & Sinners and 1984's Slide It In -- a two-towered climax of Whitesnake's career that displayed a newfound zest in urgency and inspiration.

tags: whitesnake, come an get it, 1981, flac, white snake,

Psycho Realm - A War Story: Book II (2004)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2004 Sick Symphonies ‎
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: psycho realm, a war story book 2, book ii, flac, 2004,

Alice Cooper - Lace & Whiskey (1977)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hard Rock
Style: Rock & Roll
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© 1977-1990 Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Barry Weber
As the rock & roll that made him famous began to grow stale, Alice Cooper found himself desperately trying to revive that fad with Lace and Whiskey. There are no shocking songs here -- just flat, dull melodies that sound like a bad combination of '50s rock & roll and classic '70s rock. One exception to the album might be the Top 20 hit "You and Me," but even this somewhat catchy ballad doesn't save the album from being a bore. Although it isn't as horrible as many critics have claimed it to be, Lace and Whiskey still fails to get anywhere beyond mediocrity.

tags: alice cooper, lace and whiskey, lace & whiskey, 1977, flac,