Tag: Album Reviews

Third Ear Band: Music From Macbeth (Esoteric)

Director Roman Polanski tapped British progressive collective Third Ear Band to compose the music for Macbeth, his first production after the murder of his wife and friends at the hands of Charles Manson. Through use of improvisation in the blending of old and new musical techniques, they provided the bleak, heavy score the film needed.

The Spinanes: Manos (Merge Records)

The 25th anniversary of one of the best albums of the 1990s is a cause for celebration, and this no-frills reissue does just that.

Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin: Missa Luba (él Records)

El Records’ latest box set compiles most of the original studio recordings of the Congolese boys choir Les Troubadours du Roi Bauduoin, and then uses it as a springboard to examine the use of classical music in postwar cinema. At nearly four hours, it is a veritable feast for the ears.

Various Artists: Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs Present State Of The Union: The American Dream In Crisis 1967-1973 (Ace Records)

This absolutely essential compilation from musicologists and Saint Etienne masterminds Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs offers a very rare glimpse into how older, mainstream American pop musicians addressed the changing times of the Richard Nixon/Vietnam war era.

The Ghost Of Christmas: Dead Can Dance’s Dionysus

Dead Can Dance returned this year with their best album in 25 years, a haunting and dark oratorio about the god of debauchery. It’s easily one of the best albums of 2018.

The Beach Boys: Wake The World: The Friends Sessions (Capitol)

The first of two offerings in the annual Beach Boys copyright extension series, this alternate version of their album Friends is a beautiful and surprisingly essential collection that offers new depth to one of their most underrated albums.

Yum-Yum: Dan Loves Patti (Omnivore Recordings)

Dan Loves Patti’, the sole album from Chicago musician Chris Holmes’ studio project Yum-Yum, is one of the truly lost gems of the 1990s, and this reissue is a wonderful reintroduction to a band you probably never heard the first time.

The Posies: Dear 23: Expanded Edition (Omnivore Recordings)

The posies released their major-label debut in 1990 with Dear 23, a slick and earnest record of great promise, yet one that felt oddly empty. This deluxe edition reveals a record that suffered somewhat from sounding too polished, and the rough demos help present the album in a different and perhaps more accurate light.

Cocteau Twins: Treasure Hiding: The Fontana Years (Fontana)

Scottish trio Cocteau Twins shocked their fan base in 1993 by leaving their longtime label home at 4AD for major label Fontana. This era has always been considered problematic, as it found the mysterious group suddenly sounding not so mysterious. This four disc box set compiles all of their releases for the label, and offers up an important rethink about the band’s final chapter.

Dinosaur Jr: Ear-Bleeding Country: The Best Of Dinosaur Jr (Cherry Red)

Few greatest hits packages serve a band quite as well as this Dinosaur Jr compilation from 2001. This reissue expands that set with a second disc of fan favorites and choice cuts from their post-reunion releases.