Album Reviews

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Nathan Zeller  |  Nov 30, 2020  |  0 comments
Should you ever flip through my music library you’d notice that I actively avoid accumulating too many “simple” pop albums. Needless to say, my selective collecting has its reasons. At this point in time, I’d not be shocked to discover that there are a million songs containing the simple lyric “I love you”; of course, that’s just what that line is: simple. That is exactly why my probable million song estimation truly disappoints.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 17, 2020  |  15 comments
“I have to admit that this (D2D) recording technique was completely unknown to me before. When I ultimately realized what it entailed, I had mixed feelings at first.” So admitted Jakub Hrusa, the Bamberg Symphony’s 39 year old Czech-born conductor, who joined the orchestra in 2016. Based on the stunning musical and sonic results it was well worth whatever trepidation resulted from the decision to proceed with the recording of Czech-born Bedrich Smetana, which took place July 2th/26th, 2019 in Bamberg, Germany’s Joseph-Keilberth-Saal concert hall. (please forgive the lack of proper accents over the names).

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 12, 2020  |  14 comments
One ferocious and one mellow, these two John Coltrane albums dropped last month by Verve in association with Acoustic Sounds serve as both a great intro for the unfamiliar and as possibly the best sounding versions of both and of course affordable too.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 02, 2020  |  12 comments
This March 25, 1962 recording of Ella Fitzgerald performing live at Berlin’s Sportpalast is remarkable for several reasons, starting with the then 44 year old’s exuberant, high energy performance backed by the trio of Paul Smith on piano, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass and Stan Levey on drums.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 30, 2020  |  4 comments
Shortly after their 1970 sophomore album Fun House’s release, Detroit proto-punk legends the Stooges played the Goose Lake Festival in Jackson, Michigan, 80 miles west of Detroit. Intended to be a Midwest Woodstock of sorts, with acts like the Small Faces, Jethro Tull, and Chicago (among many more) the 3-day festival drew 200,000 attendees over a stifling weekend. The environment became tense; in this LP’s liner notes, Jaan Uhelszki writes of 500 people attending the Open City LSD bad trip rescue tent, with countless others also being stoned on PCP masquerading as cocaine. Still, the festival itself was well-organized. Bands played on a rotating stage, were limited to 45-minute sets without exception, and a six-foot fence and trench blocked performer/crowd interaction.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  32 comments
Talk about bad luck: Love And Theft Bob Dylan’s first album in four years, his 43rd (at the time, including live and studio) and the follow up to the million-selling, triple-Grammy Award winning (including “Album of the Year”) Time Out of Mind had a September 11th, 2001 drop date. Buildings dropped instead.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  12 comments
Analogue Productions returns with another in its very popular “Wonderful Sounds” series that began with a Christmas compilation and followed up in 2018 with a female vocalist assemblage.

Nathan Zeller  |  Oct 24, 2020  |  31 comments
Every Canadian is bound to hear the question: “What does Canada offer to the world?” Maple syrup seems to be the general consensus among friends. While delectable, I’m not here to discuss maple syrup. After all, this is AnalogPlanet, not BreakfastPlanet! Rush better answers the question (Not to mention, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen the Band!, Arcade Fire and BTO (etc.)_ed.).

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 24, 2020  |  1 comments
As promised in the original Starz vinyl report, I got the standard edition to compare to the disappointing glow-in-the-dark 2LP.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 20, 2020  |  28 comments
Lang Lang, a certified classical music "superstar" much loved by audiences for his performances of the romantic repertoire and detested by the cognoscenti and critics for being overly dramatic and self-indulgent, waited until age 38 to release a fully realized recording of Bach's mathematically certified "Goldberg Variations"—a piece definitely at odds with his romantic "sweet spot" and one he says he mastered—at least technically—20 years ago, though he performed it for a teacher at age 17 from memory.

Nathan Zeller  |  Oct 11, 2020  |  7 comments
We find ourselves during the ongoing pandemic abstaining from pleasurable activities like hanging out on the street. Listening to the 1970’s power pop group Big Star will one day help ease the way back to that once taken for granted lifestyle.

Discovering older musical acts like Big Star is for a child of the 21st century like me mostly a matter of pure luck. I happened upon Big Star’s song “Thirteen” on an episode of “That ‘70’s Show” airing on Netflix. That tune, a captivating piece of tender musical perfection, led me to discover Big Star the group and boy, am I thankful for that!

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 09, 2020  |  30 comments
Another murder most foul to revisit. Where were you on December 8th 1980 when the terrible news broke that John Lennon had been assassinated? A girlfriend and I were having dinner with Chuck and Nancy (not Schumer and Pelosi) and with Arnold and Maria (yes, Schwarzenegger and Shriver).

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 02, 2020  |  29 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don’t have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months’ new releases.)

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 29, 2020  |  12 comments
As I reached my home the other day after an early morning run a neighbor pulled over in his car and asked how I was doing. I said, “great, under the Covid-19 circumstances”. Noting my Biden/Harris lawn sign he said “The Democrats have been taken over by the progressives. Doesn’t that bother you?” I said “No, I’m fairly progressive myself. The GOP has been taken over by Trump, who isn’t sure he’ll hand over the reins of power if he loses the election, doesn’t that bother you?”

Ty Webb  |  Sep 28, 2020  |  2 comments
In this, the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday, Yarlung Records offers a recording worthy of the master, a delectation from the Janaki String Trio that was originally recorded in 2006 in Zipper Hall. The sonics are as inviting as the playing.

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