Archive for the ‘ 2010 Reviews ’ Category

Top 10 Album of 2010… (Again)

O.K. I know that I already posted this back in February, but I made a slight change. None of the albums on the list have changed. Even know I have gotten a chance to listen to a bunch more albums this is still the best of the best of 2010, however, I have switched the number 3 and number 2 albums. While both albums are amazing, after careful consideration I have decided that Y&T’s Facemelter is just a better album. So once again.. here it is… The Top 10 Albums of 2010!!! Enjoy!!

10.) Accept: “Blood of Nations”

The German metal masters are back and they brought with them huge riffs and a profound message about the tragedies of war. Even though former lead singer Udo chose not to come back for the reunion, Wolf Hoffman and the rest of the guys chose to go ahead anyway and recruited former TT Quick vocalist and fellow Jersey Boy Mark Tornillo and all I have to say is… UDO Who?!?! I may get in a lot of trouble from the metal heads for saying this but Mark has done a better job than Udo ever did and helped record the best album of Accepts career. I love “Balls to the Wall” and think it is a classic Heavy Metal album, but with “Blood of Nations” they have created not only a great Metal record but one with a deep message.

9.) Black Country Communion: “Black Country Communion”

Do you like your rock a little funky? Then the debut album from new super-group Black Country Communion is for you.  Composed of…

Glen Hughs- Vocals, Bass

Joe Bonamassa- guitar

Jason Bonham- Drums

Derek Sherinian- Keyboards

BCC is a great group with a great 70’s Hard Rock sound reminiscent of Deep Purple and Zeppelin, which isn’t surprising considering who’s in the band.

8.) Terry Brock: “Diamond Blue”

Perhaps best known as the Vocalist for British AOR group Strangeways, Terry has indeed proved his worth as a solo artist with the release of “Diamond Blue”. Great melodic Hard Rock featuring some damn catchy tunes.

7.) Ratt: “Infestation”

“Infestation” is Ratt’s first album in 11 years and I am happy to say they didn’t miss a beat. I know that Joe Perry holds the title of  “Riff Master”, but the honor should really go to Warren Di Martini. I never heard another persons guitar spout out so many Rockin’ Riffs album after album

6.) Stan Bush: “Dream The Dream”

It very rare that an artist after more than two decades in the business and who has a very respectable catalogue of music comes out with the best album of his career so it is even more of a shock that he managed to pull it off on two back to back albums. With “Dream the Dream” Stan takes two steps forward and eight steps back. It is the natural follow-up to 2007’s sensational  “In This Life”, but at the same time some of the songs are reminiscent of older albums such as “Call to Action” and “Every Beat Of My Heart” and the combination makes for a very positive, uplifting and enjoyable album.

5.) Jimi Jamison & Jim Peterik: “Extra Moments”

In 2008 Jimi Jamison released “Crossroad Moment” which was written and produced by ex-Survivor band-mate Jim Peterik and was one of the highlights of the year. “Extra Moments” is nothing more than the crap left over from that album. Now is it likely that an album full of leftovers can be a contender for album of the year? If the album was written by Jim Peterik then the answer is YES!!! There is a reason why this guy is considered to be one of the greatest songwriters in music and this album proves exactly why; his crap left over is better than most people’s careers. The only thing keeping this away from number one is the length. I loved “Crossroad Moment”, but at 15 tracks it was a little lengthy. It would have been more prudent to shave a few tracks off that and just make it into two complete albums, but it is an amazing album nonetheless.

4.) Meat Loaf: “Hang Cool Teddy Bear”

OK, so it’s 2010 and Meat Loaf has just released his latest epic “Hang Cool Teddy Bear”. If your the average American rock fan than this release has probably passed you right by as you refuse to remember him for anything other than “Bat Out Of Hell”. If that is the case than you are missing out on one hell of an album. It’s no secret that Meat Loaf is at his best when he is partnered with his old pal Jim Steinman, but his non Steinman albums while for the most part not as big and epic are still great albums and “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” is no different and I believe it to be his second best non Steinman album right behind “Bad Attitude”.

3.) Scorpions: “Sting In The Tail”

Here it is… the final Scorpions album ever. “Sting in the Tail” is the bands swan song before they hang up their guitars for good and boy what a farewell!!!  It was a good thing that the guys decided to “Rock Us Like a Hurricane” one final time because they still had one of the best albums of their career in them. Millennium Scorpions has been quite a treat, first there was Unbreakable which was great, Then there was Humanity Hour 1 which was spectacular and is quite possible my favorite Scorpions album ever, and now we have Sting in the Tail which is magnificent.  Scorpions… You will be missed!

2.) Y & T: “Facemelter”

You know the best thing about being gone for over a decade? You don’t realize that your out of style and go into the studio and make a great classic hard rock record like it’s still 1982. That’s just what Dave Meniketti and the boys did with Facemelter, great hard rock and Meniketti playing some of the best rock riffs in recent memory. He is definitely one of the most underrated guitarists in rock history. Vocal wise he still sounds like he’s 25.  Way to get “On With the show” again Guys!!!

R.I.P. – Phil Kenmore

1.) Nelson: “Lightning Strikes Twice”

Not even a contest. This was by far the easiest album on the list to place. Not only have the Nelson brothers created the best album of their career, but they have also made one of the greatest melodic rock albums ever. I have listened to most of this album every day since it came out and I am not even tired of one song on it. “Lightning Strikes Twice” is a ride from beginning to end and when it’s over just eaves you begging for more.

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Top 10 Songs Of 2010

OK, now remember kids, do to financial restraints, I cannot listen to every record that is released so this list may be somewhat skewered, but still all songs listed are dam amazing!!

10.) Y&T- “On With The Show” (Facemelter)- The opening track from the album and a monster rocker!! (R.I.P. Phil Kenmore)

9.)The Ides of March- “I FoundLove” (Still 19)- Wonderful and Uplifting. Well done Mr. Melody (Jim Peterik)!!

8.) Scorpions- “Sting in the Tail” (Sting In The Tail)- Huge rock anthem with mega riffs!!

7.) Jimi Jamison and Jim Peterik- “Life # 9” (Extra Moments)- Jim Peterik’s second spot on the list, this time with ex-survivor band-mate Jimi Jamison. Remember life is a learning experience and to always take your lessons with you.

6.) Two Fires- “Lost In The Song” (Burning Bright)- Good old fashioned summer time fun!!! Crank it up and fly down the highway!!

5.) Stan Bush- “Two Hearts” (Dream The Dream)- Stan Bush’s “Living On A Prayer”

4.) Nelson- “When Your Gone” (Lightning Strikes Twice)- Melodic Rock at its finest. Amazing harmonies killer chorus. Start singing everyone!!

3.) Lisa McClowery- “Come Dancing” (Time Signatures)- Another great song from the pen of Mr. Melody himself!! This is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and Lisa’s voice is just magnificient.

2.) Meat Loaf- “Song Of Madness”- (Hang Cool Teddy Bear)- Dark, Heavy, Psychotic!! Guitar by the amazing Steve Vai

1.) Nelson- “How Can I Miss You (When You Won’t Go Away)” (Lightning Strikes Twice)-

I just love this song!! I am not sure what it is but since this album was released there has not been a day that has passed where I haven’t listened to it al least twice!! Great Harmonies, Great Chorus, Great Bridge, Great Guitar Work!!!

Top 10 Albums of 2010

10.) Accept: “Blood of Nations”

The German metal masters are back and they brought with them huge riffs and a profound message about the tragedies of war. Even though former lead singer Udo chose not to come back for the reunion, Wolf Hoffman and the rest of the guys chose to go ahead anyway and recruited former TT Quick vocalist and fellow Jersey Boy Mark Tornillo and all I have to say is… UDO Who?!?! I may get in a lot of trouble from the metal heads for saying this but Mark has done a better job than Udo ever did and helped record the best album of Accepts career. I love “Balls to the Wall” and think it is a classic Heavy Metal album, but with “Blood of Nations” they have created not only a great Metal record but one with a deep message.

 

 

9.) Black Country Communion: “Black Country Communion”

Do you like your rock a little funky? Then the debut album from new super-group Black Country Communion is for you.  Composed of…

Glen Hughs- Vocals, Bass

Joe Bonamassa- guitar

Jason Bonham- Drums

Derek Sherinian- Keyboards

BCC is a great group with a great 70’s Hard Rock sound reminiscent of Deep Purple and Zeppelin, which isn’t surprising considering who’s in the band.

 

 

8.) Terry Brock: “Diamond Blue”

Perhaps best known as the Vocalist for British AOR group Strangeways, Terry has indeed proved his worth as a solo artist with the release of “Diamond Blue”. Great melodic Hard Rock featuring some damn catchy tunes.

 

 

7.) Ratt: “Infestation”

“Infestation” is Ratt’s first album in 11 years and I am happy to say they didn’t miss a beat. I know that Joe Perry holds the title of  “Riff Master”, but the honor should really go to Warren Di Martini. I never heard another persons guitar spout out so many Rockin’ Riffs album after album.

 

 

6.) Stan Bush: “Dream The Dream”

It very rare that an artist after more than two decades in the business and who has a very respectable catalogue of music comes out with the best album of his career so it is even more of a shock that he managed to pull it off on two back to back albums. With “Dream the Dream” Stan takes two steps forward and eight steps back. It is the natural follow-up to 2007’s sensational  “In This Life”, but at the same time some of the songs are reminiscent of older albums such as “Call to Action” and “Every Beat Of My Heart” and the combination makes for a very positive, uplifting and enjoyable album.

 

 

5.) Jimi Jamison & Jim Peterik: “Extra Moments”

In 2008 Jimi Jamison released “Crossroad Moment” which was written and produced by ex-Survivor band-mate Jim Peterik and was one of the highlights of the year. “Extra Moments” is nothing more than the crap left over from that album. Now is it likely that an album full of leftovers can be a contender for album of the year? If the album was written by Jim Peterik then the answer is YES!!! There is a reason why this guy is considered to be one of the greatest songwriters in music and this album proves exactly why; his crap left over is better than most people’s careers. The only thing keeping this away from number one is the length. I loved “Crossroad Moment”, but at 15 tracks it was a little lengthy. It would have been more prudent to shave a few tracks off that and just make it into two complete albums, but it is an amazing album nonetheless.

 

 

4.) Meat Loaf: “Hang Cool Teddy Bear”

OK, so it’s 2010 and Meat Loaf has just released his latest epic “Hang Cool Teddy Bear”. If your the average American rock fan than this release has probably passed you right by as you refuse to remember him for anything other than “Bat Out Of Hell”. If that is the case than you are missing out on one hell of an album. It’s no secret that Meat Loaf is at his best when he is partnered with his old pal Jim Steinman, but his non Steinman albums while for the most part not as big and epic are still great albums and “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” is no different and I believe it to be his second best non Steinman album right behind “Bad Attitude”.

 

 

3.) Y & T: “Facemelter”

You know the best thing about being gone for over a decade? You don’t realize that your out of style and go into the studio and make a great classic hard rock record like it’s still 1982. That’s just what Dave Meniketti and the boys did with Facemelter, great hard rock and Meniketti playing some of the best rock riffs in recent memory. He is definitely one of the most underrated guitarists in rock history. Vocal wise he still sounds like he’s 25.  Way to get “On With the show” again Guys!!!

 

 

2.) Scorpions: “Sting In The Tail”

Here it is… the final Scorpions album ever. “Sting in the Tail” is the bands swan song before they hang up their guitars for good and boy what a farewell!!!  It was a good thing that the guys decided to “Rock Us Like a Hurricane” one final time because they still had one of the best albums of their career in them. Millennium Scorpions has been quite a treat, first there was Unbreakable which was great, Then there was Humanity Hour 1 which was spectacular and is quite possible my favorite Scorpions album ever, and now we have Sting in the Tail which is magnificent.  Scorpions… You will be missed!

 

 

1.) Nelson: “Lightning Strikes Twice”

Not even a contest. This was by far the easiest album on the list to place. Not only have the Nelson brothers created the best album of their career, but they have also made one of the greatest melodic rock albums ever. I have listened to most of this album every day since it came out and I am not even tired of one song on it. “Lightning Strikes Twice” is a ride from beginning to end and when it’s over just eaves you begging for more.

Nelson- “Lightning Strikes Twice” Album Review

Album of the Year!!!! Hands down. Within the first 15 seconds of the first song I knew that I was in for a special treat and boy was I right! Nelson’s “Lightning Strikes Twice” is a ride from beginning to end and when it’s over just eaves you begging for more. One thing the Nelson brothers have always delivered is top notch songwriting and amazing harmonies and on “lightning” they take all that to the highest level possible.

Album Highlights:

1. Call Me– A Great opening track, Amazing harmonies, monster chorus. This is what melodic rock is all about!!

2. Day by Day– More of the first just kickin’ it up a notch

3. Ready, Willing and Able– Big party anthem!!! Some great fun blues rock!

4. How Can I Miss You (When You Won’t Go Away?)– Possibly the song of the year. Starts off slow and moody and you think your going one way but suddenly… BAM!!! It’s time to rock!! Monster Chorus!

5. You’re All I Need Tonight– The first single of the album. I loved it the first time I heard it, but when I heard it in the context of the entire album it just made it so much better.

6. To Get Back To You– A really beautiful power ballad. Guitar solo performed by the great Steve Lukather.

7. When Your Gone– Matthew Nelson really does have an incredibly distinctive guitar sound and it’s firing in all cylinders. More amazing harmonies.

8. Take  Me There– Nelson doing a kind of modern Goo Goo Dolls type song

9. Come– I am not quite sure what to make of this song. Perhaps my dirty mind is just making an innocent song into something filthy. A fun song nonetheless.

10. In It For The Money– More fun blues rock

11. Change A Thing– Another kind of 90’s Gin Blossoms or Goo Goo Dolls type rocker.

12. Kickin’ My Heart Around–  A moody hard rocker. A nice way to end the album. Definitely the heaviest song on the album.

WIth this album, the Nelson brothers tried to go back to their roots and recapture the spirit of their debut album, hence the title “Lightning Strikes Twice”. Not only have they succeeded in that as this is indeed style wise very similar to their marvelous debut “After the Rain”, but with “Lightning Strikes Twice” they have managed to not only surpass their own brilliance but managed to make what is quite possibly one of the greatest melodic rock albums ever!!

Grade- 100!!!

Terry Brock- “Diamond Blue” Album Review

For some reason the fist time that I heard this album I didn’t like it. Perhaps I just wasn’t  listening or was not in the right mood, but whatever reason it was thank goodness I decided to give it another go because this album kicks serious ass!!

Perhaps best known as the vocalist for 80’s British AOR band Strangeways (Who have also recently released a new album with Terry Brock at the late time I am writing this review)  Terry has indeed proved his worth as a solo artist with the release of “Diamond Blue”.

Album Highlights:

1. Diamond Blue–  The opening and title track proves to be more than it seems. It starts off with a standard AOR sound but quickly delves into a heavier guitar riff. The combination of heavy and light makes for a great song. A killer pre-chorus and chorus just push it right into greatness.

2. It’s You– A nice mid tempo rocker.

3. No More Mr. Nice Guy– Big attitude rocker. This is some great hard rock.

4. Broken– A dark and moody ballad.

5. Why– My personal favorite of the album. A mid-tempo rocker with a huge chorus.

6. Too Young– Big Rocker, very reminiscent of Winger’s “17”

When most people think of great rock voices, Terry Brock’s doesn’t even make a footnote and it is a real shame. The man can hold his own against almost anybody and this album shows that he is definitely good enough to be big-time.

 

Grade- 92


Two Fires- “Burning Bright” Album Review

When I first heard that a new Two Fires album was going to be released I was ecstatic, then when I heard that Josh Ramos was not playing on the album I was a little disappointed, but still knew it was going to be a good album. After all any album with Kevin Chalfont is going to be good. The mans voice is just out of this world, but in my eyes Two Fires without Josh Ramos is not Two Fires but One Fire.

The last Two Fires album “Ignition” is one of my all time favorites. Even though it suffered from some crappy production, the songs were just top notch, as were Josh’s  guitar playing and Kevin’s sensational vocals. When “Burning Bright” arrived at my house I just couldn’t wait to throw it in my cd player and have a listen. Upon my first listen, I realized that something was missing and that something was indeed Josh’s guitar. While Michael Gardner does an excellent job, he just isn’t Josh Ramos. After the first listen I was able to listen with no preconceptions, and it is indeed a really good record.

Album Highlights:

1. Is it Any Wonder– A great rockin’ opener just like an opening track should be.

2.- Lost In The Song– Ups the ante a bit, just like the second song should. A great song and one we can all relate to.

3. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid– This song was co-written with Neal Schon and Greg Rolie during Kevin’s brief stint touring with Journey before the Steve Perry Trail By Fire reunion. A nice ballad, can definitely picture on it on Trial By Fire.

4. Epic In The Night– One of my personal favorites, a moody hard rocker about getting through through tough times.

5. Burning Bright– The title track is picture perfect AOR at it’s best.

6.- Relentless– My other favorite from the track. Great guitar riff!!

All in all “Burning Bright” is a great album and Kevin’s vocals are just as perfect as ever. Song wise it is just as good if not better than both “Two Fires” and “Ignition”, however the absence of Josh Ramos is definitely felt.

Grade- 88

Heart- “Red Velvet Car” Album Review

Here’s the deal, because there are two major periods for the band Heart is one of those bands with a dividing fan-base. Therefore depending on which period of the band you prefer you will either like this album or you will not like this album. With 2004’s “Jupiter’s Darling” album the Wilson sisters made a conscious decision to go back to their 70’s acoustic driven Zeppelin influenced rock. While I thought “Jupiter’s Darling” was a mixed bag, I am happy to say that Ann and Nancy were much more successful with “Red Velvet Car” and that is for the most part due to the fact that the songs are just better.

Album Highlights:

1. There You Go– The opening track , a mellow acoustic track. A good song but not one that I would use to open up the album with.

2. WTF– the second track and would have been a much better song to open up the album with, a hard rocker with a 70’s rock vibe.

3. Hey You– The first single from the album and another mellow acoustic track

4. Wheels– My personal favorite from the album a great rocker and Ann sings the hell out of it. She sounds like she’s 20 years old again.

5. Safronia’s Mark– A mid tempo acoustic Zeppelin influenced rocker.

All in the all “Red Velvet Car” is a good album and Ann’s voice is just as amazing as it was 30 years ago. The only problem I have with the album is that it is a bit mellow. I would have liked a couple more rockers, but it definitely has direction.

Grade- 80