– Rock Formats Music Reviews (10.25.11)

By: Michael D. Vogel

© October 25, 2011. Michael D. Vogel. All Rights Reserved

Published in:

Revved Magazine – October 25, 2011

Examiner.com – December 2, 2011 

 

Songs

Stevie NicksSecret Love

From The Release In Your Dreams (Reprise)

Members: Stevie Nicks – vocals; Lindsey Buckingham – guitar, vocals; Glen Ballard – guitar, keyboard, piano; Mike Bradford – bass; Tom Bukovac – electric guitar; Mike Campbell – bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, percussions; Rob Cavallo – guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums; Waddy Wachtel – guitar

Producer: Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard

Origin: Phoenix, AZ

Website: stevienicks.net

Facebook: /stevienicks

YouTube: /StevieNicks

What you should know: – Stevie Nicks has definitely got that certain something. Whether it’s solo or with 1998 Rock & Roll Hall fame inductee’s Fleetwood Mac, her distinctive voice has been a fixture of contemporary music for the past 40+ years. Her voice and song-writing skills have always been her most powerful instruments, composing some of rock radio’s biggest and most memorable songs, including “Rhiannon,” “Stand Back,” “Landslide” and “Edge Of Seventeen.” Throughout her career, Stevie has maintained her signature style, one that has always held a certain natural and unique synthesis of diverse rock and ethereal personalities blended into one magical musical cacophony.

The first track from In Your Dreams, her 7th solo album, and first since 2001’s Trouble In Shangri-La, is “Secret Love,” a fresh, radio-friendly track, delivered with a stunning level of emotion that spotlights her flowing vocal style, combined with the song’s majestic melodies, creating a sound that is unparalleled at Rock radio.

Stevie will be wrapping up her 2011 US tour in Las Vegas in October with a few additional shows scheduled for Australia the following month. Former Eurythmic and In Your Dreams co-producer Dave Stewart will be joining the tour for these special performances. The “In Your Dreams” tour will make stops in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Wollongong and Canberra. Not to be discounted are the ever present rumors that Fleetwood Mac will tour again in support of a new album – plans, that have been put on hold for the moment while Stevie and Lindsey Buckingham tour in support of their individual solo efforts. ^m^

Lenny KravitzStand

From The Release Black and White America (Roadrunner Records/Atlantic Records/RRP)

Members: Lenny Kravitz – vocals, acoustic, electric guitar, piano, synthesizer, bass, drums; Craig Ross – acoustic & electric guitar

Producer: Lenny Kravitz

Origin: New York, NY

Website: lennykravitz.com

Twitter: @lennykravitz

Facebook: /lennykravitz

YouTube: /lennykravitz

What you should know: – With songs like “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” “Fly Away,” “Believe” and “Let Love Rule,” to name only a few of the many hits that have come from 8 albums and yielded more than 38 million records sold worldwide, it is fair to say that radio has had a long standing relationship with Lenny Kravitz. A New York City native, Lenny Kravitz has proven he has the groove, swagger and guitar chops to bring it with the best of them. One of the première musicians/singer/song-writer of the current rock era, Lenny has tirelessly developed and promoted his image and music to be defined solely by its individual qualities and uniqueness.

On its initial week, Black and White America, the latest release from Lenny Kravitz, debuted at #18 on Nielsen SoundScan’s sales chart, selling just under 20,000 copies. Not a bad beginning for an album that has seen only one radio single so far – “Come On Get It,” the album’s lead track, was performed in front of a nationally televised audience during the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. With that being said, it’s now time to delve deeper into another brilliant album from the four-time Grammy Award winning artist’s 9th studio album and first released under a new multi-album deal with Atlantic/Roadrunner Records.

The second single from Black and White America is “Stand,” a funky and seductive fusion of sound that puts Lenny’s full range of abilities on display. Radio programmers have already responded to the poppy single, making this rockin’ lil piece of ear-candy a Top 30 track on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart. While “Stand” may be a nice pop song, it also comes with a message, “we all have the power to face our demons,” Lenny sings. Timely and inspirational, “Stand” showcases all the best elements of Lenny’s unique style, while reinforcing the theme for the album – the dynamics of growing up in an interracial environment. “This is what I know and how I had to live,” Lenny states. “It’s where we are in America with a lot of people having to deal with the fact that it’s not just white America–it’s black and white America, and everything in between.”

In concert with Black and White America’s release, Lenny has been center stage, scoring four highly coveted opening slots for U2 on their sold-out US stadium tour this past summer as well as performances on the “Today” Toyota Concert Series, “AOL Sessions” and “YouTube Presents,” in addition to tours of South America and Europe, and rounded out by a full-scale trek of the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan.

If you haven’t already, there is no better time than the present to make a “Stand” for Lenny’s unique brand of 70’s R&B/Funk/Soul (with a bit of rock guitar thrown in for good measure) – one listen is all you’ll really need! ^m^

12 Stones Bulletproof

From The Release Only Human (Executive Music Group)

Members: Paul McCoy – vocals; Eric Weaver –guitar, vocals; Justin Rimer – guitar; Mike McManus – drums, percussion, vocals; Brad Reynolds – bass

Producer: Skidd Mills & 12 Stones

Origin: Mandeville, LA.

Website: 12stones.com

Twitter: @12stones

Facebook: /12stones

YouTube: /12stonesvideo

What you should know: – In 2002, Rock radio was introduced to the adrenaline-infused sounds of 12 Stones, a band that was signed to Wind-up Records within 15 months of forming. With lead vocalist Paul McCoy earning a Grammy in 2003 for his duet with Amy Lee on Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life,” the band was already off to a good start. In the following years, 12 Stones released three critically acclaimed studio albums and an EP under the Wind-up Records banner, while having several songs prominently featured in the movie trailers for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Elektra, The Scorpion King and Daredevil as well as the official theme song of the WWE’s Judgment Day 2002 pay-per-view extravaganza. But, despite all this, plus a handful of radio tracks and combined sales in excess of 2 million albums sold, the band announced in 2010 that they were leaving their label home of nine years, stating “We felt it was time for a change. We have a vision for this band that we feel is best pursued elsewhere.” Not to be deterred by this decision though, 12 Stones announced via their Twitter and Facebook pages that a new, full-length album would still be released in 2011.

Radio programmers and fans alike are expecting big things to happen with 12 Stones most recent release, Only Human, their 4th studio album. With every step, the band continues to build on a rapidly growing cult fan-base at both Rock and Alternative radio. Their latest record, and first release for their new label, Executive Music Group, is no exception! After just one listen to the lead single from Only Human, it is easy to see why the new album picks up where Anthem For The Underdog left off.

Both melodic and aggressive at the same time, “Bulletproof” is a hypnotic first sampling that showcases 12 Stones rapidly developing cohesive skills as songwriters and musicians. “Bulletproof,” the opening offering from Only Human, is pure power rock, with an emphasis on power! This is one track that is sure to grab the attention of rock and alternative radio listeners alike, and have the coming back for more!

The band is currently out on the road in support of Only Human. ^m^

 

Albums

Heart

From The Release Red Velvet Car (Legacy)

Members: Ann Wilson – vocals, flute; Nancy Wilson – acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, autoharp, vocals; Ben Mink – acoustic, electric & lap steel guitars, viola, keyboards; Craig Bartock – dobro; Ric Markmann – bass; Ben Smith – drums and percussion; Geddy Lee – whistle

Producer: Ben Mink

Origin: Formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the band calls Seattle, WA. home.

Website: heart-music.com

Twitter: @officialheart

Facebook: /heart

YouTube: /thebandheart

What you should know: – If you are in the mood for some passionate, soul-searching music, then what could be better than a new record from Heart? Crafting some of Rock radio’s most enduring tunes, including “Magic Man” & “Barracuda” to name a few, it has become a tradition from these Seattle rockers – the sisters Wilson and company to produce kick *ss rock albums!

With a career that has spanned over four decades and produced Top 10 hits from hard rock and metal to folk rock and adult contemporary, Heart are firmly rooted in most radio formats. A career that began with the album Dreamboat Annie in the 70’s, has set the stage for a string of Top 10 albums on the Billboard charts that has continued through their most current release, Red Velvet Car – confirming why Heart are among the most commercially lasting rock bands of all time.

Long time rock radio favorites, Heart return with their 13th studio album, Red Velvet Car, an album which see’s the band revisit their hard rock and acoustic roots of the late 70’s. The first studio album in six years, Red Velvet Car, is a slow burning yet dynamic rocker, filled with songs about life and love, that builds with a certain power and force throughout each song as well as across the entire album.

With tracks like “WTF,” the album’s title track – “Red Velvet Car,” “Wheels” and “Hey You” as examples, Heart demonstrate once again their range and depth, not only as singers and musicians, but as song writers too, picking up right where their last album, 2004’s Jupiter’s Darling, left off.

Whether acoustic or electric, Nancy Wilson’s dynamic rockin’ arrangements will delight fans from rock radio and adult contemporary alike. Red Velvet Car is also filled with vibrant vocals and irresistible melodies showcasing Ann Wilson’s strong vocal style that serve to further reinforce why she is among rock’s elite female vocalists.

Family heritage aside, the long awaited new album from the Seattle sisters has been worth the wait! Debuting at #10 on the Billboard 200, Red Velvet Car is the bands first top 10 album in more than 20 years – the last being 1990’s Brigade. The album also landed at #3 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart, making Red Velvet Car the most successful chart debut for any Heart album in their career. Individually, the album has already yielded the tracks “Hey You” and “WTF,” which have both seen some chart success at Adult Contemporary radio.

Released with various track listing in different countries, Red Velvet Car was issued with 10 tracks in the United States, while the European CD and U.S. download versions both contain 2 additional tracks. The Japanese version and a few exclusive download versions also include the track “Listening,” an additional 13th song, which some exclusive download versions have opted to replace with a live version of “Crazy On You,” recorded in 2010, instead.

At last count, Heart has sold over 30 million records worldwide and is ranked #57 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”

Favorite Tracks:Red Velvet Car,” “Wheels,” “WTF,” “Safronia’s Mark,” “Death Valley” and “Hey You.” ^m^

Syd Barrett

From The Release An Introduction To… (Capitol)

Members: Syd Barrett – guitar, vocals + various guest artists

Producer: Joe Boyd, Syd Barrett, Peter Jenner, Malcolm Jones, Roger Waters, David Gilmour & Rick Wright

Origin: Cambridge, England

Website: sydbarrett.comand pinkfloyd.com

Twitter: @pinkfloyd

Facebook: /pinkfloyd

YouTube: /OfficialPinkFloyd

What you should know: – Syd Barrett’s time in music was all too brief, but the impact he had will last forever. A founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principle songwriter during the bands early, psychedelic years. Syd’s influence included the musical direction of the band as well as their method and presentation. He also helped select the band’s name – by juxtaposing the first names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, two popular blues singers of the time. Responsible for most of the band’s debut album, Piper At the Gates Of Dawn, Syd was out of the band, replaced by David Gilmour, by the second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets, due to erratic behavior, appearing on only a few tracks from their sophomore album.

Containing his first demos, including 15 previously unreleased tracks, “An Introduction To…” is a “Best Of” compilation covering Syd’s career from 1967-1970, including his contributions to the early Pink Floyd-era soundscapes as well as his post-Floyd solo material. The remixed and remastered album, overseen by the bands legendary six-stringer David Gilmour, is filled with lush, stoney grooves and slow-burn psychedelic rhythms.

Highlighting Syd’s musical genius, the album captivates from the first track, Pink Floyd’s debut single, “Arnold Layne” and continues with a deceiving yet contagious elegance through the final track, the Barrett solo era “Bob Dylan Blues.” Included on the compilation is “See Emily Play,” the second single recorded by Pink Floyd, and supposedly inspired by a girl Barrett saw playing in the woods, a place where he had fallen asleep after a psychedelic trip. Barrett later recanted the story saying it was all a publicity stunt. Regardless, “See Emily Play” is included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

Co-produced by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright, Peter Jenner, Malcolm Jones and Joe Boyd, the album sheds light on the music of Pink Floyd during their early years, including the first six remastered tracks that either appeared on or were recorded around the time of Piper At the Gates Of Dawn. Rounding out the album is “Bob Dylan Blues,” a recording, that, until recently was thought to be lost until Gilmour discovered the tapes. Subsequently, the song was released in 2001 on The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn’t You Miss Me? collection. Considered to be one of the best tribute songs ever written about Bob Dylan, the song has seen an immense rise in popularity since its discovery and release.

A couple of notes of interest include the renaming of the track “She Took a Long Cold Look” to “She Took a Long Cool Look” and the added bass to “Here I Go,” as there was none originally recorded for the song. In addition, familiar to Floyd fans is conceptual artist Storm Thorgerson, who designed the album’s cover art, featuring various images that relate to the songs on the album. As an added bonus for those who purchased a physical copy of the album, or the digital download via iTunes, is the previously unreleased marathon instrumental “Rhamadan.”

An Introduction To…” is a must have for any Floyd fan as well as a great piece to compliment the forth coming Pink Floyd remastered box set, Discovery.

Favorite Tracks:Arnold Layne,” “See Emily Play,” “Apples and Oranges,” “Terrapin,” “She Took a Long Cool Look” and “Bob Dylan Blues.” ^m^

 

On Deck:

– Song Reviews

Def Leppard – “Undefeated”

Whitesnake – “Love Will Set You Free” 

Queensrÿche – “Get Started” 

– Album Reviews

Warren Haynes – ‘Man In Motion’ 

Gregg Allman – ‘Low Country Blues’ 

 

For more artist interviews, features and music reviews – go here.

 

© October 25, 2011. Michael D. Vogel. All Rights Reserved. This originally appeared on the Vogelism blog at http://www.vogelism.com, authored by Michael D. Vogel. This article may be shared or reprinted as long as the entire copyright message, including the source location of this article, accompanies it.

 

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