Manufacturer: Roc A Fella
Brand: Umgd/Def Jam
Late Registration is the follow up to Kanye's smash debut The College Dropout. The first single 'Diamonds From Sierra Leone' samples vocals of the legendary Shirley Bassey. Highlights include 'Gold Digger' featuring Jaime Foxx and 'Hear Em Say' featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5. John Mayer also makes a guest appearance on what is sure to the album of the year. Def Jam. 2005. For haters eager to see Kanye hit a sophomore slump--no such luck. Late Registration can't replicate the novelty of last year's College Dropout, but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album. Lyrically, Kanye's only improved a notch but musically, the album sounds incredible, especially with co-producer Jon Brion helping polish the songs to perfection. Tracks like "Heard 'Em Say" (featuring Maroon 5's Adam Levine) and "Hey Mama," are richly textured in their soulfulness while the flint-edge of "Crack Music" and "Gone" (feat. Cam'ron) will appeal to the street-oriented. There's a few duds on here--the sickly-sweet, syrupy "Bring Me Down" (feat. Brandy) being one of the worst offenders--but when the album's good, it's very, very good. In short, Kanye's detractors may not be swayed in their resistance to his charms but not only will his past supporters be rewarded but Late Registration has enough appeal to earn new crowds of fans. --Oliver Wang
Late Registration is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released on August 30, 2005, by Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place over the course of a year at Record Plant Studios, Chalice Recording Studios, and Grandmaster Recording Studios in Hollywood, and at Sony Music Studios in New York City. West collaborated with American record producer and composer Jon Brion to produce Late Registration, and the album features guest contributions from artists such as Jay-Z, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Brandy, and Adam Levine, among others. Upon its release, Late Registration received rave reviews from music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 2006 Grammy Awards and an Album of the Year nomination. It appeared at the top of several publications year-end lists of top albums. Rolling Stone named it the best album of 2005, and included it at number 118 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012
Hot Fuss features eleven nuggets of reel-you-in storytelling genius and musical nectar. These eleven tracks span from the "very Vegas â€“ like Ziggy came to town" first proper single release "Somebody Told Me";"Mr Brightside" - a tale of jealousy that depicts that moment in a relationship when you realize that your other half might be playing away and this thought takes up residence in your psyche feeding the worst fears and visualisations your imagination can then throw at you. Youâ€™ll find two-thirds of a murder trilogy in "Midnight Show", which starts off harking back to "Lipgloss" before veering into far darker territory than old Jarvis would ever have flirted with, in Pulp days at least, and "Jenny". These two are connected by the story of a murder of a girl by her jealous boyfriend. The first part of the trilogy, "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", will, you can be sure, make an appearance at some point in the future. Itâ€™s a deliciously ambitious series that! belies the bandâ€™s tender years. Elsewhere, meanwhile: "On Top" celebrates where Brandon feels the band is at, while stalkerâ€™s tale "Andy Youâ€™re A Star" and "All These Things That Iâ€™ve Done," saw Flowers realise his dream of using a gospel choir in their recordings. The Killers match postpunk guitars with a synthesizer overlay that recalls '80s New Wave without burying their sound in nostalgia. On their debut, Hot Fuss, frontman Brandon Flowers plumbs his imagination for tales of murdered lovers ("Jenny Was a Friend of Mine," "Midnight Show"), voyeurism ("Mr. Brightside"), and sexual confusion (the single "Somebody Told Me"), Flowers and his mates are obviously canny students; the total effect is of a playacted obsession, but one made irresistible by their skillful, catchy songs. If there's an occasional misstep (the painfully earnest line "I got soul but I'm not a soldier" from "All These Things That I've Done"), it seems of a piece with the Killers' influences. As it is, Hot Fuss is one of several rece...
"Minutes to Midnight" is rock's most anticipated album of the year. This album redefines one of today's most adventurous, accomplished and acclaimed bands. Minutes to Midnight stands to defend Linkin Park's status as the hardest-rockin' softies in mainstream music. Like its predecessors Hybrid Theory (2000) and Meteroa (2003), Minutes to Midnight flexes plenty of decibel-heavy muscle ("Given Up," "Bleed It Out," "No More Sorrow") and made-to-order, melodic radio fare ("Leave Out All the Rest," "Shadow of the Day," "In Pieces"). But for all its volume, Linkin Park likes to paint its heart openly on its sleeve with suspicious sonic drama, as in the palpably saccharine "Valentine's Day." Fortunately, co-producer Rick Rubin brings all these elements to pinnacle effect with the surprise "Hands Held High." On past efforts, the combination of breezy keyboard, arpeggiated guitar, choral vocals, and a military snare-beat would yield another slab of smarm, here MC Mike Shinoda drops the two best verses of his career, blending vocal styles with singer Chester Bennington for a moving piece that's as welcome a repertorial addition as Linkin Park is ever likely to muster. --Jason Kirk
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers calls the band's first new album in four years, Stadium Arcadium, the most-anticipated album of the spring, "the best thing that we've ever done....There's this weird kind of sublime, subliminal undercurrent that is suggestive, in a spirited way, of our earliest records." Exuding all the passion, energy, and funked-up rock that have made the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of the most popular bands in history, the 2-CD Stadium Arcadium, simply put, will knock your socks off. Four-year career hiatuses followed by sprawling double-albums could spell trouble for a band of the Chili Peppers' stature: consider they'd originally recorded enough for three discs. The restless, trouble-plagued outfit that helped break alternative rock into the mainstream with a potent fusion of punk 'n' funk in the '80s finds itself two decades on almost completely devoid of the former's energetic abandon, while the latter's effusive rhythms are considerably subdued over the course of this two-hour, 28-track collection. It's not so much that the Peppers have lost their muscular, often uber-macho edge as they have willfully tamed it in service of mature reinvention here. The mellower, often introspective, if no less potent pop ethos that characterized the crossover hit "Under the Bridge" blossoms fully here on tracks like disc one's "Snow," "Wet Sand," and the jazz-cool of "Hey." The title track, "Desecration Smile," and "She Looks To Me" finds them venturing further into laid back pop ballad territory, while the tricky rhythms of "Dani California," "Charlie," and "So Much I" eventually kick into familiar top gear on the pop-savvy "Tell Me Baby" and hip-hop seasoned "Storm in a Teacup." It's not that there's a paucity of musical adventure here ("If" and "Animal Bar" finds them wafting into Floydish neo-psychedelia while "Make You Feel Better" seems to channel no less than Joe Jackson) but that it's delivered with a subtlety--and dare we say it?--tasteful musical restraint that's a stark contrast to ...
Matchbox 20's debut album Yourself or Someone Like You is a remarkably sophisticated album from so young a band. From the groove that buoys the disarmingly rustic "Back 2 Good," to the incendiary rush that surges through "Busted," Matchbox 20 never fails to strike a universal chord. The band's distinctive vocals and incisive hooks give the songs an emotional undertow that is perfectly matched by the band's instrumental skills. Certified Multi-Platinum (12 times) by the RIAA. (10/01) The sound of Southern rock gets a facelift for the '90s on Yourself or Someone Like You, the record that made Florida's Matchbox 20 a success story. Rob Thomas's charismatic and passionate vocal delivery carries this collection of captivating, personal-story songs, based on honest, heart-felt lyrics rich with cathartic emotion. Anyone who's felt so scarred by love that they can't imagine taking the chance of getting hurt again will relate to a song like "Push" (an exhilarating feminist anthem disguised as just another relationship-on-the-rocks song). A much-needed break from the alternative pack. --Gail Worley
Five years is a long time by most people's standards, but when such a period passes between albums by Nine Inch Nails, the turbulent electro-noir behemoth conducted by Trent Reznor, it's par for an increasingly elaborate course. With Teeth follows a period of intense self-investigation, a psychological shelf-clearing. It's an album that startles with its clarity, with its renewed vigour. A catalogue of grievances perhaps, like all his records, but possessed with more of a will to fight back than any other Nine Inch Nails release to date. Interscope. 2005. Trent Reznor has always been a one-trick-pony, but it's a damn good trick: sunny melodies filtered through ferocious electronics. Unfortunately, the trick's impact was often watered down by a tendency toward petulance and self-absorption. Still, almost six years after NIN's last release, The Fragile, the trick itself has lost none of its Teen-Beat-from-hell appeal. With Teeth blisters from the start with "All the Love in the World," and tracks like "The Collector" take full advantage of Dave Grohl's sledgehammer drumming. Reznor stretches occasionally, trying out different tactics, from crunchy, overtly commercial rave-ups ("The Hand That Feeds") to borderline New Wave ("Only"). But Teeth isn't about stretching. It's about doing the same trick, only better, with less clutter and more bite. By neatly distilling the sparseness of Pretty Hate Machine with Downward Sprial-style density, it ends up being the most focused record in the NIN catalog. â€“Matthew Cooke
All-American Rejects ~ All-American Rejects While comparisons to nerd-rock dandies Weezer are probably inevitable for the fabulously named All-American Rejects, discerning listeners will note that where the cheeky lyrics about painfully awkward love end, the group's rhythmic force picks up, positioning the Oklahoma crew more as a geeky Green Day than the above-named preppy pop dabblers. No shame in that--on their major label debut, the All-American Rejects marry punk and pop with a clear sense of purpose and no particular loyalty to either form, cherry-picking the best of each and arriving at a spiky, effervescent middle ground. Singer Tyson Ritter is especially convincing in his role as hapless lover. But on tracks like the muscular "Too Far Gone" and the vaguely orchestral "The Last Song," Ritter's comrades drive the whole shebang home with instrumental freight. And you'd have to be pretty hard-hearted not to find yourself echoing the sing-singy strains of "Swing Swing" and "My Paper Heart." Fans of ironic pop--Box Car Racer, Fountains of Wayne, and their ilk--get crackin'. --Kim Hughes
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
No Description Available.Genre: Popular MusicMedia Format: Compact DiskRating: Release Date: 23-AUG-1994 Resembling at times a soft-sung Robert Plant, Buckley was an intuitive vocalist capable of dizzying arabesques and choir-boy sweetness. He is joined here by a tight band for 10 tracks highlighting his stylistic range--Pearl Jam bluesy on "Eternal Life," impossibly serene on Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," art-school noisy on "So Real," Led Zep daring on "Mojo Pin." Unorthodox, this was the debut of '94. --Jeff Bateman