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Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

Let the monomania continue! I picked up an original of this at a record swap for a few bucks on a whim and was wowed! I brought a CD-R of it to CES one year and wowed crowds with the recording without identifying the chick singer.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 1 comments

Originally issued by Elektra in 1969 as EKS-74053 in November, of 1969, this record shows Butterfield feeling the cultural and political heat of the times, beginning with Gene Dinwiddie's anti-war opener, "Love March."

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 1 comments

Elvis’s first post-Army album created a sensation when it was released just one month after he entered Nashville Studio B on March 20th, 1960, two week after his release from the Army. Unfortunately, for Presley and RCA Elvis Is Back! wasn’t a big seller because it didn’t contain any hits. Presley had been away for two years.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

Decemberist leader Colin Meloy has crafted a charming, hour long folk/ rock opera based on an ancient Japanese fable dealing with greed, loyalty and betrayal. A poor man finds a wounded crane, which he rescues and returns to good health. Shortly after releasing it back to the wild, a mysterious woman arrives at his home. The two fall in love and get married. To make ends meet, she agrees to weave silk garments to sell at the local market. Her only condition for doing the work is that he never watches her doing it.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

A straight-ahead, often fast-paced blowing session led by Plas Johnson, a versatile alto and tenor saxophonist who’s been heard by tens of millions, but known by very few. The theme from the “Pink Panther” includes Johnson’s most famous sax lines, but he’s played sessions for Frank, Peggy, Nat, Ella, Sarah, Ray, you first-name them.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

Based on this uneven, less than memorable effort by Jean-Benoit Dunckel (who calls himself Darkel here), the whole is greater than the sum of the parts of the French minimalist electronica duo known as Air. With his partner Nicolas Godin, Mr. Dunckel produces some of the most arresting, three -dimensional, self contained electronic and acoustic soundscapes you’re likely to experience.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

Recorded and released during one of the most tumultuous and disturbing periods in contemporary American history, Emergency Ward! is a grand, exasperated plea for peace and understanding by one of the great soul/jazz voices of the 20th century.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 0 comments

The British minimalist art/punk band Wire’s first three spare, angular albums, originally issued in 1977, 8 and 9 weren’t big sellers then and unfortunately the chances are they won’t be this time either, though I sure hope they do well enough to encourage 4 Men With Beards and other labels to reissue adventurous and worthwhile, if not the most popular music.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 1 comments

For my money, the greatest YES album, musically and sonically was 1971’s The Yes Album (Atlantic SD 8283), recorded Autumn of 1970, and if you can find an original, thick “1841 Broadway” pressing, get one. An audiophile-quality reissue generated from the master tape would be nice, but unfortunately, Rhino took it upon itself to reissue it recently in their first, undistinguished entry into vinyl, and it wasn’t very good.

Album Reviews
Michael Fremer Feb 01, 2007 1 comments

Krauss and company’s tuneful, crossover bluegrass-pop may not be pure enough for the dogmatic, but for the rest of us, the smooth-to-the-touch instrumentals and lilting, lockstep harmonies bring mountain-sense and countrified order to a chaotic world however far into the pop arena the group occasionally strays.