Bryan Adams – “Straight From the Heart” & “Cuts Like A Knife” – The 45 Single (1985)

For the next single that was in my box of vinyl, you get two for the price of one.  It is actually a re-issued single of two of Bryan Adams most popular songs from his ‘Cuts Like a Knife’ album.  A&M Records had a 45 single series called A&M Memories where they re-released singles of artists and both sides were previously released singles from the artist and from the same album.

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The original singles “Straight From the Heart” and “Cuts Like a Knife” were actually released in 1983 as separate singles.  The B-Side for “Straight From the Heart” was “One Good Reason” and the B-Side for “Cuts Like a Knife” was “Lonely Nights”.  This release of those singles was done only a couple years later in 1985. The concept of this A&M series was pretty smart as it gave the customer two hit songs for the price of one.

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Papa Roach – ‘Crooked Teeth’ – Album Review

‘Crooked Teeth’ is Papa Roach’s ninth studio album and with it they show no signs of slowing down.  The band sounds incredible and delivers another solid release.  Where bands like Linkin Park have completely changed their style, Papa Roach hasn’t changed their sound too dramatically.  And why should they as they do it so well.

Papa Roach still brings the rap in their songs, however, the album is more melodic and has a very modern rock sound.  With any rock album, it sounds best cranked up as loud as you can take it.  Like they did with their last album, ‘F.E.A.R.’, they have also added a couple of collaborations with some spectacular guests including Skylar Grey and Machine Gun Kelly.

The album opens with “Break the Fall” and gives you the rap lyrics you would expect and then cranks up the metal with the classic Papa Roach sound.  The album comes out of the gate swinging and doesn’t let up with the title track, “Crooked Teeth”.  The first single off the album is a scorcher that attacks you from all sides with the pounding drums and screaming vocals and powerful guitars.  You see that even after 24 years, the band has not lost a step.

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Music Challenge #6 – Alestorm – ‘No Grave But the Sea’

For those that don’t know what the Music Challenge is I will tell you.  Go out and pick up an album or stream an album based solely off one of three categories…1) Album Cover, 2) Band Name or 3) Album Name.  Once you have listened to one, come tell me about it. My 6th pick is Alestorm and I chose it off the cover and the band name…here are my thoughts on it…(Parental Guidance is suggested…if foul language offends you than go read another post)

All my life, I have felt that something was missing.  I didn’t know what it was and have struggled with it my whole life.  Well that struggle is no more.  The thing that was missing from it was PIRATE HEAVY METAL!!!  Heavy Metal music with a pirate theme!! How have I never thought of that before.  Thank God I found Alestorm to fill that hole missing in my life all this time.

The timing couldn’t be better with the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie “Dead Men Tell No Tales”.  Now I have a pirate movie and pirate music to go along with it!  This is Alestorm’s fifth studio album and it is called ‘No Grave But the Sea’.  I seriously thought this was just a novelty album, but nope…it is for real and they have now stuck with the pirate theme for 5 albums.

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Linkin Park – One More Light – Album Review

Linkin Park goes 180º in direction with ‘One More Light’.  The heaviness from ‘The Hunting Party’ and anything else they have done is thrown out the window.  Instead, Linkin Park goes entirely POP!!  No heavy guitars, very little in the realm of rap and overall full on aggressiveness is gone.

The closest you get to old school Linkin Park is “Good Goodbye (feat. Pusha T & Stormzy)”. This is one of the few songs I do like despite the dumbest lyric in history brought to us by Pusha T…

“Goodbye, good riddance
A period is after every sentence”

Really!!  A period is after every sentence???  That is the best you could come up with to rhyme with good riddance. Suckish!

The first single, “Heavy”, is great, but only because of Kiiara’s voice.  She brings an elegance to the song that is needed. A few other songs I did end up enjoying included “Talking to Myself”, “Invisible” and “Sharp Edges”.  They were catchy even if unoriginal.  The remainder of the album meandered along and was completely forgettable.

‘One More Light’ is not worth your time. I might have liked it if I didn’t know it was Linkin Park.

5 keepers out 10 songs – 50% (2.5 out 5 stars)

#200WordChallenge

Harry Styles – ‘Harry Styles’ – Album Review

I wasn’t planning on doing a review of this album until my daughter asked if I was doing a review.  It made me think that maybe she wanted me to do a review, so after numerous listens of the album, here is my review.

Before I listened to the album, I really didn’t know what to expect.  I know what I hoped to hear and that was an album that was nothing like One Direction, his former band.  The Harry Styles solo album needed to show creativity and give us a different look than what we have seen before.  The pressure for him to deliver is huge.  I know I didn’t care for Zayn’s album (although “Pillowtalk” was an amazing song) so I was hoping this didn’t end up giving me a similar feeling.

Gladly, I wasn’t disappointed.  I was actually pleasantly surprised.  Harry delivered an album of very diverse songs yet they seemed to be cohesive at the same time.  Sonically, the album is pure British.  It has a lot of British musical influences and stylings.  I hear the essences of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and even Robbie Williams.  And looking at the songwriting credits, I see Harry has his hand in all the songs which is a good thing…just how much of the writing he did is unknown.

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“My First Time” with Journey’s ‘Frontiers’

Love It or Hate It, Journey went down a whole new path with the release of ‘Frontiers’. After the incredible success of the album, ‘Escape’, the ballad became King for Journey. Some feel it was the start of the downfall, others think it is the pinnacle of their success. I think it is a little of both.

With the success of ‘Escape’, Journey was catapulted into the stratosphere of popularity. They were one of the biggest bands in the world.  Steve Perry had the most recognizable voices on the radio and probably one of the absolute best voices on the radio at the time…if not ever.  The man could sing.  But for some reason I still hadn’t bought a Journey album.  When I heard their second single of their latest album, ‘Frontiers’, I finally bought my first Journey album.  The single was for “Faithfully”.

There is so much to love about this album and there is so much to pick on the band for about this album.  Let’s start with the picking on piece first as it is the most fun.  Oh, where to begin…

Let’s start with the album cover…I picture of a futuristic, robotic looking head or maybe a futuristic, human head.  Not sure I get it, but I know it has to do with the name of the album, ‘Frontiers’ as I think the band was saying they were reaching into a new frontier. The amazing artwork from the previous albums was no more.  The whole continuity between all the other album covers was gone…and is sadly missed.

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Poison – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

I have seen a lot of news on Poison lately.  Most notably, they are touring with Def Leppard and they were actually in town back on April 29th with Extreme & Jackyl.  I hate I missed it as I really would have loved to see Extreme…and Poison too!!

I then saw in the news where Rikki Rocket would love to record a new album, but he doesn’t feel fans want to hear anything new from them.  I then saw somewhere where Bret Michaels would love to do a new version of “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”…but of course he would…he is a REPEAT OFFENDER!!

All this talk about Poison got me to thinking about their albums.  So, over the last week I revisited their entire collection and decided I would rank their albums from their absolute worst to their very best…or at least my opinion of that ranking.  They had 7 studio albums, but since one Live album had 5 new tracks I decided to include that one in the list as well. I will shut up now and get on with the ranking.

8. – THE WORST!!! – Hollyweird (2002)

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