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David GilmourOn An Island
David Gilmour - On An Island Artist:

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David Gilmour

On An Island

Progressive Rock

3 Stars
A new Pink Floyd album you can play for dinner guests.

Despite Gilmour formerly announcing that he was retiring Pink Floyd and leaving rock music to “the young guys,” it was only a matter of time before he felt the “itch” to create something new. Music is in his blood, just as it is with you and us.

On An Island features Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright, and appearances by drummer Nick Mason and session bassist Guy Pratt. If you liked the sound of The Division Bell and A Momentary Lapse of Reason, you’ll feel right at home with this release, though it’s more mellow than the last two Floyd CDs, yet chock full of Gilmour’s trademark sound and style, both on guitar and vocals.

-SK

 
Slave to the SystemSlave to the System
Slave to the System - Slave to the System Artist:

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Slave to the System

Slave to the System

Hard Rock

3.5 Stars
They are the sum of their parts.

With a modern hard rock sound that sometimes evokes the grunge sound, sometimes gets tight and funky, and other times delves into acoustic rock territory, Slave to the System are a breath of fresh air in comparison to many of today’s rock bands that sound so much alike.

Comprised of Scott Rockenfield (drums) and Kelly Gray (guitar, vocals) from Queensryche, and Damon Johnson (vocals, guitar) and Roman Glick (bass) from Brother Cane, Slave to the System have great songs, great musicianship, and a diverse rock sound that reflects their roots while putting it all together in a fresh package. Fans of hard rock looking for something new should enjoy this record.

-SK

 
The OutfieldAny Time Now
The Outfield - Any Time Now Artist:

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The Outfield

Any Time Now

Pop/Rock

3 Stars
Trying to get back to the major league.

It has been many years since the Outfield released a new studio album, unless you count the fact that back in 2003 they released this album with some different songs. The new release drops seven songs from the previous version, but adds four new tracks recorded in 2005. Huh?

There are some very strong songs in the collection including the new track “Wasted” and the first release’s “This Love Affair,” joined by some tracks like “Long Walk Back” and “I Can’t Wait,” that attempt to recapture the sound of the band in the eighties. The retro-sounding songs do just that… which was a little uninspired to our ears. But if you haven’t yet outgrown the eighties, you’re going to enjoy this release from start to finish.

John Spinks (guitar, backing vocals) and Tony Lewis (lead vocals, bass) still provide their classic blend of melodic guitars and vocal hooks, but we have to wonder about the other players on this record since nobody is credited on the CD or on the web site. Despite a few boring tracks, the strong ones show that The Outfield have some life left in them and can in fact create some new inspired material. If they would make it a point to stop repeating themselves with eighties throwback tunes, they could really impress some new fans.

-SK

 
The Andy Timmons BandResolution
Andy Timmons - Resolution Artist:

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The Andy Timmons Band

Resolution

Instrumental Guitar Rock

3.5 Stars
Is there room to make it a G4 tour?

Andy’s first US release of all-new material showcases all the right stuff: good songwriting, technical performance that inspires, and gorgeous tone. If you like your songs live-sounding and without layers of overdubs, Resolution dishes out catchy instrumental rock tunes on which Andy artfully balances melodic and lead roles while playing with his band mates Mike Daane (bass) and Mitch Marine (drums).

Fans of Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani will find much to enjoy throughout Resolution, and though you may hear some of their influences creep in once in a while, this record has more of Andy’s Texas-blues-rock personality on it than you would typically hear from his contemporaries. If you seek musical inspiration from guitar greats, go and buy this CD now. You’ll love it. What more can we say?

-SK

 
Yes9012 Live
Yes - 9012 Live Artist:

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Yes

9012 Live

Progressive Rock

4 Stars
Yes at their technical best, with new extras.

While Yes traditionalists love guitarist Steve Howe, it was the technically explosive fretwork and clever songwriting of Trevor Rabin that catapulted Yes to their greatest commercial success with 1984’s 90125.

Finally released in the digital format, not only was the concert remixed for 5.1 sound, but also the DVD includes a director’s cut of the concert that shows the entire footage without the crazy fifties/sixties television conceptual artwork that ran through the original concert release. While the concert footage lacks the extended instrumental solos that appeared on the rare live EP from the concert, it does include the band performing “Roundabout,” which was excluded from the original concert release back in 1985. If you’re a fan of Rabin-era Yes, this DVD is essential viewing.

-SK

 
Yngwie Johann MalmsteenConcerto Suite for Guitar and Orchestra in e flat minor with the New Japan Philharmonic
Yngwie Johann Malmsteen Artist:


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Yngwie Johann Malmsteen

Concerto Suite for Guitar and Orchestra in e flat minor with the New Japan Philharmonic

Instrumental Rock

3 Stars
Makes you want to throw your guitars out the window and give up.

Love him or hate him, Yngwie has taken guitar playing to another level, drawing upon the influence of Paganini over Hendrix and Page. This orchestral concert features Yngwie in what we have affectionately dubbed the “First Guitar” position (instead of the violinist’s first chair). His playing is really quite fantastic, though it does get a little tiring to our ears after a while.

Watching this concert reminds us that however accomplished we think we are at the guitar, we’ve still got plenty of room to improve. The orchestra gave an excellent performance, though we found irony in the fact that Yngwie seemed to have most of his parts committed to memory while the orchestra followed along with their sheet music. And don’t think that Yngwie was merely improvising – he wasn’t. Too many of his complex runs were specifically orchestrated to match the performance of his backing musicians.

-SK

 
   
             
             
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