Archive for album review

Album Review: Purity Ring, Shrines

Posted in Album Review, Music News, Music Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, July 23, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

Canada is known for loving their strong bier and the sport of hockey. Lately, I have been loving the electronically hip music that they have been sending south of the border through the airwaves. Purity Ring is one of these bands that has been making my ears go fully erect. They are out of Montreal and have been slowly seducing their fans by releasing a single here and there over the past few years.

Their debut album, Shrines, comes out on July 24th but I was able to get my hands on it at their show this past Sunday night at First Avenue in Minneapolis. The album adds 7 fresh tracks to the previous 4 singles that have been floating about the worldwide web. Throughout the 11-track full-length album the elctro-pop duo provides a perfect blend of new wave digital beats along with beautiful lyrical melodies. Continue reading

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Album Review: Miike Snow, Happy to You

Posted in Album Review, Music Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

Happy to You starts out in formidable Miike Snow fashion with a relaxing and engaging sound. “Enter the Joker’s Layer” captures you from the start with the groups ability to blend digitally appealing sounds around the harmonious voice of frontman Andrew Wyatt. “The Wave” comes in with a cavalry sounding drumline fit for a king. It is a song that focuses on the overall sound with a strong but softening drumline. This theme is carried out through the entirety of the album. Miike Snow made us wait 3 long years for their sophomore album but I am not surprised by the quality of work that was produced. Now, if I could only pick their complex Swedish minds to interpret Continue reading

Album Review: Phantogram, Eyelid Movies

Posted in Album Review, Music Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Sunday, June 17, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

At first, I was upset to be arriving late to the second day of Lollapalooza in 2011. My attitude and mindset were altered instantly as we walked up into the crowd where Phantogram was performing. At the time, I was clueless to what I was being mesmerized by. It is one of those festival moments that I will never forget as I became a Phantogram fan. The focus of their show was music off of their debut album Eyelid Movies. Now, I am going to pay homage to the band and review one of my favorite albums of recent years.

If there was one thing that I understood after seeing the duo out of Saratoga Springs, New York it was that Phantogram’s album was expected to be great from start to finish. Let me tell you Eyelid Movies did not disappoint me and it will not disappoint you either. It starts with “Mouthful of Diamonds“, a track that showcases the various talents of this duo. They blend elements of electronic music with hip-hop beats while demonstrating a canny ability to have lyrics that draw you in. Phantogram continues to showcase their talent of blending all of these components throughout the length of the album.

When I’m Small” reiterates that the Continue reading

SOJA to Perform on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”

Posted in Music News, News with tags , , , , , , , on Friday, March 2, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

SOJA, the inspiring reggae group from DC, will make their national television debut on March 12th. They will be making this debut in light of their recent success with the band’s new album Strength to Survive. The performance will happen on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” which airs at 11:35 pm EST on NBC. If you ever have attended one of their live shows, you know the energy that the band will bring to the stage. We all know they will shine in the spotlight on national television with this being another avenue to spread their message. If you haven’t been to one of their shows, it is highly recommended you tune in on the upcoming Monday in March. What else do you have to do?

Besides checking out these other articles on SOJA…

SOJA Concert Review @ the Cabooze – Minneapolis

Mind Inversion Exclusive Interview with Jacob Hemphill

Album Review: SOJA, Strength to Survive

Album Review: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Country

Posted in Music Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

Wow, from the start of the new album Country by Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad I am amazed and I am astonished. I first heard of this band while attending a G-Love and the Special Sauce show at First Avenue in Minneapolis. Their live show was an unreal jam session filled with plenty of energy that got the crowd dancing. Country may get your foot tapping a bit while you are sipping a whiskey down at your local saloon.

Country is an album with an acoustic, slowed down blue grass sound with folk and reggae roots. They describe their music as folk and that the fans should know that there is just good music and there is just bad music. The band said they hear so many people when asked, “what kind of music they like?” reply with the answer, “everything but country.” GPGDS wanted to break the mold that all country music is not typical country and that folk is in all forms of music. It is funny because I am one who has said, “I am into everything but country.” I am also on the record saying that, “I like Johnny Cash but do not consider him to be country but more of a folk artist.” This means I understand fully what Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad is talking about.

Now, saying all that I can appreciate this album even though at times I am not sure that I am listening to GPGDS. At other times I am reminded of the elements that made me fall in love with this band. In the track “Kids in the Square” they pick up the tempo a bit and make for a blue grass jam that could get you dancing. Next, the song “Healing” which has a reggae feel in a blue grass song reminds you of GPGDS of past. “New Speedway Boogie” has the softest sound with the loudest vocals on the album and again reminds you of classic Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. This little section of their new album is my favorite especially after the slow start with the first four songs.

I suggest you head over to the website and give the new album a listen before forming an opinion. It will help you decide if you want to support this new project for the group from Rochester, NY or if you want to take a break so the music is more refreshing when the next album comes out. I know I am going to support GPGDS and can appreciate the new sound off of Country.

Album Release Date: January 31, 2012

Album Review: SOJA Strength to Survive

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, January 27, 2012 by Eric Gilardi

Strength to Survive is the new album by the DC-based band SOJA. This album is produced by John Alagia who has worked with the likes of Dave Mathews, John Mayer and O.A.R. to name a few. By the time you are a couple of tracks into the new album you can tell that the 7-piece band has progressed their sound beyond the spectrum of reggae. They definitely are perfecting a blend of reggae sound with meaningful melodic lyrics and a rhythm that puts a smile on your face as you reflect on your own life.

Strength to Survive is balanced so well from the start with the more funky in-your-face track “Mentality” to their powerful ballad “Don’t Worry.” If you listen to the lyrics in “Don’t Worry” it has such a positive message in such a somber sounding song. Truly a gift to anyone who is a having a bad day. Almost everyone in the world will be able to relate to this song that does not have the authentic reggae sound but has the positive message associated with the genre.

Strength to Survive is an album you will find yourself singing along to in no time, trust me. It will make you reflect a lot on one’s life, as well. The track “Gone Today” makes you think of how precious your life really is, “Let You Go” brings you back to question past relationships, and “Everything Changes” makes you think we are blind to changes that need to be made because of how good we have it. In my mind, this song also represents what the band wants its music to represent; a calling to the world to make a difference, help one another and live in peace.

Strength to Survive kept on surprising when my favorite track “Not Done Yet” hit my ears. The electronic feel following the chorus is what really made me perk up. Again, this song made you reflect on your life. Then it speaks to you in such a way that it puts you in a direction to live out your dreams and bless the world with your presence. This message is a very consistent one throughout the albums entirety.

Strength to Survive is one book you can judge by the cover because it will give you exactly what it says; strength to survive. You get more meaning and direction from this album at a much better price than going to see a therapist. If getting their message out to their fans was their goal with this new album then mission accomplished.

You can check out my review with Jacob Hemphill here.

Album Release Date: January 31, 2012

Album Review: Freeway & Jake One, The Stimulus Package

Posted in Music Reviews, Video with tags , , , , , , on Monday, February 22, 2010 by Tim Althaus

If this album doesn’t prove that Rhymesayers Entertainment is one of the most dominant forces in Hip-Hop, I truly don’t know what will. I remember hearing about this album at Soundset last year, and even then, I knew that this pairing was going to be something special. After hearing these two collaborate on White Van Music, it was quite evident that Freeway & Jake One needed to do more work together. I still have quite a few albums I am highly anticipating, but I can assure you that this album is going to remain in my top 10 for the year; it’s just that good. Continue reading