Friday New Releases – February 28th

Another month has come to a close and another Friday of not a lot of releases.  It has been an incredibly slow start for me this year.  There has only been a few I have liked so far and have had any interest in.  This week is no different.  There are a couple I will try (highlighted in Blue), but nothing I am super excited about, hopefully that will change once I hear it.  So, sit back and go through the list and let me know if there is anything interesting for you. Also, let me know what I missed on the list so everybody can know.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 71G4t4GFyeL._SS500_  Five Finger Death Punch – F8 – (Better Noise Music):  I am not overly excited about this one.  They are kind of like the Nickelback of heavy metal music and my interest has waned over the years.  However, I will give it a try as usually I get a couple songs worth keeping and adding to a playlist.  I like to think of them as tough sounding music to make you feel like a badass even though you are not…that is me in a nutshell!!

  • A1qlo33DesL._SX522_  The Classic Crime – Patterns in the Static – (Criminal Records):  An alternative rock band that gets lumped in to the Christian label because they were signed to Tooth & Nail label which is mostly Christian acts.  They are more a pop/rock band than anything…no real label.  Always some solid stuff so this will get a spin…or two!!

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Friday New Releases – February 14th

Welcome to Friday and guess what it is Valentine’s Day!!  The worst holiday ever invented.  It puts undo pressure on everyone.  The trick is show the one you love how much they mean to you every day of the year and then this day doesn’t mean shit!!  It is just another.  So blame Hallmark and all the chocolate companies and the florist companies and the restaurants for forcing this upon us.  Wow, I went off on a tangent there.  It is Friday, so that means new music.  Not a whole lot here for me, but hopefully there is enough that you find something for you or the one you love.  My listens are in Blue.  Let me know what you want to hear and what I might have missed from the list because believe it or not…it happens all the time.  Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!!

  • 81I39u50ZjL._SS500_  Hollywood Undead – New Empire, Vol 1 – (BMG Rights):  I am excited for their new album which is now their 6th studio release.  I really enjoy their rap-rock / nu-metal sound and I love the angst as well.  It is usually great to blast driving down the road…so here is warning to you Charlotte Drivers that I might be a little reckless today with this cranked up.

  • 61FWfBkifpL._SX522_  Huey Lewis & the News – Weather – (New Hulex LLC / BMG Rights):  I am really anxious and sad to hear this one.  It could quite possibly be Huey’s last record and he is even unable to perform anymore.  If you haven’t heard, Huey was diagnosed with a disorder of the inner ear called Meniere’s disease.  It brings hearing loss, vertigo, ringing in the ear and a feeling of fullness.  My thoughts and prayers are with him and selfishly I always would like new music from him.

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Friday New Releases – January 31st

We are to the end of our first month and the new releases have been a little limited and nothing that jumps out as blowing me away yet (but since I wrote this before the January 24th releases have come out, there could have been something out then, but the only one I want is Revolution Saints so we will see).  This week has a lot of releases and a little something for everyone…but me really.  You get pop, metal, rock, indie, christian, jazz and country, so a bit of everything. I hope there is something for you.  Mine are normally highlighted in Blue, but there is nothing I am running out and getting this week.  I need to save money so that is a good thing.

  • 81v3RCNblLL._SX522_.jpg  Theory of a Deadman – Say Nothing – (Roadrunner Records) – A Canadian rock band sign to Chad Kroeger’s record label…enough said…or the less said the better…either way.

  • 81AsVbYyVpL._SX522_  Dashboard Confessional – The Best Ones of the Best Ones – (Hidden Note  AWAL) – Were they emo, indie, alt rock??? I am not sure…all of the above. This is a greatest hits album and if you are a casual fan, then this would be great place to begin.

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Friday New Releases – January 24th

Finally…a good week of releases…at least for me.  There are at least 4 I am wanting to try out before I slam down some buckaroos.  Thank goodness for streaming.  There is a ton of Rock this week and a little pop and christian music as well.  Hopefully something to pique your interest.  Let me know what you want to hear this week or if I missed anything.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Happy Listening!!  Oh, I almost forgot…my choices are highlighted in Blue!

  • 81aQcX+Vm9L._AC_UL320_SR320,320_  Revolution Saints – Rise – (Frontiers Records):  What I thought was going to be a one time supergroup from Frontiers now has flourished to its third album…that is right numero three-o.  Jack Blades, Doug Aldrich and Deen Castronovo.  With Deen handling most of the lead vocals, there is a whole Journey vibe but heavier.  The songs are catchy and have some great guitar work and it is just great rock & roll.  I hope this one is as good as the last two and if so, you have a great trio of records from this trio.  Give it a listen.

  • 91FA1oOqXOL._AC_UL115_  Jorn – Heavy Rock Radio II: Executing the Classics – (Frontiers Records):  Another Frontiers release and this one is Jorn. I have been a fan for quite some time, however, the covers albums are growing kind of old…NEW MATERIAL MR. JORN WOULD BE NICE!!!!  However, I will give it a listen and see what he brings to these tracks.  If you like someone who sounds a lot like David Coverdale but just a bit more dramatic, you will like Jorn.  If you don’t like this…his early albums kick major ass!!

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Michael Sweet – ‘Michael Sweet’ (1994) – Album Review

By the early 90’s Stryper was in a bit of turmoil.  Their last studio album didn’t do well mainly due to the band abandoning their yellow/black theme and moving away from their Christian roots.  For the record, the album was called ‘Against the Law’ and I think it is one of their best albums…but what do I know.  They released a greatest hits album with a couple new songs, but Michael Sweet, the lead singer, was unhappy with the musical direction and decided to leave the band for a solo career.  This was February 1992.  Stryper as we knew it were done (at least at this point in time, we know better now, but that is another story).

Michael recorded an E.P. called ‘Unstryped’ that was supposedly songs that were originally recorded for Stryper.  That disc didn’t see the light of day until 1999 though.  In the meantime, he went on to record his first full length solo album simply called Michael Sweet.  Now, with the re-release of the album on vinyl, the album now seems to be called ‘1994’…sorry but it is ‘Michael Sweet’…that is the title.  Here is the original album cover…

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The album brought Michael back to singing Christian based songs again and he kept to the fashion of what Stryper was originally.  There is no denying that is Michael when you here the vocals as his voice is unmistakeable.  When this was released in 1994, the musical landscape had changed significantly and my musical habits were not what they used to be.  I wasn’t totally in to the whole Grunge sound and my musical offerings at this time were limited.  When I discovered this was out, I ran to my local Christian book store and grabbed a copy.

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What to Expect for Music in 2020?

2020 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year.  There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet.  From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2020, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue.  The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post.  The list is building up nicely!!

  • Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol. 2
  • Alicia Keys – A.L.I.C.I.A.
  • Angels & Airwaves
  • Bon Jovi
  • Bush – The Mind Plays Tricks On You
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Cardi B – Tiger Woods
  • A Day to Remember – You’re Welcome
  • Deep Purple
  • Deftones
  • Dixie Chicks – Gaslighter
  • Dokken
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
  • Evanescence
  • FM
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • Harem Scarem
  • Iron Maiden (rumor)
  • J. Cole – The Fall Off
  • Jeff Scott Soto
  • Kid Cudi – Entergalactic
  • Lana Del Rey – White Hot Forever
  • Megadeth
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Niall Horan
  • One Desire
  • OneRepublic
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith
  • Sanctuary
  • Scorpions
  • Skid Row
  • Static-X – Project Regeneration
  • Steven Wilson
  • Stryper
  • The Airborne Toxic Event
  • The Cure
  • The Killers
  • The Offspring
  • Winger

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My Sunday Song – “Brother” (feat. Gavin DeGraw) by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #170, we are choosing the song “Brother” by Needtobreathe as the final song in the 10 song Needtobreathe series.  This song is the one with Gavin DeGraw as guest vocalist and not the version on the album “Rivers in the Wasteland”.  Although I liked that version, I think having the duet added a lot to the song since it felt more like it matched the meaning of the song.  The song only reached #98 on the Billboard charts, but the Christian charts had it reaching #1.

The song came about due to the issues between two brothers.  Those brothers were Bear and Bo Rinehart.  Their friendly competition turned in to more of a blame game as times got difficult for the band as they struggled during the work on the album ‘Rivers in the Wasteland’.  They finally worked things out once they actually talked to each other confessed their own personal faults.  Once that was done, they realized how important it was to have a brother working with you and beside you rather than compete with you.  They turned that in to a beautiful song.

The song has a church feel and some choir-like backing vocals to help add to that effect.  Having Bear and Gavin do it as a duet it gave the song that back & forth that it needed to give it the effect of two brothers going at it and making amends to each other.  It gave the song more dimension and heart.  Their voices worked so well together and their tones blended nicely and gave the song the emotion it needed.

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My Sunday Song – “Don’t Wait for Daylight” by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #169, we are going to talk about the very first Needtobreathe song I ever heard.  The opening track to the album ‘Daylight’ called “Don’t Wait for Daylight”.  The song that started it all for me.  The one that said…these guys are special…they have a sound I like…their songs are interesting…I can get it in to this…and I did.  13 years later they are now one of my all-time favorite bands.

This song is really interesting as a band that was supposed to be a “Christian” band (which they are not) tackled a very delicate subject.  Well, actually two delicate subjects…Suicide and Affairs.  The song is about a woman who was having an affair with man and while she was going to his house to end it, she wound up stealing his coat so she could have a piece of him to remember and never said a word.  Inside the coat pocket was a note. Not just any note.  A suicide note that he wrote for his wife.  Now here is where it gets interesting.  Does she tell someone and save him?  If she does, it will then be known she has cheated on her husband. Quite a predicament.  The song is telling her not to wait.  She has to let people know.  She has to come clean and save this man’s life even if it mean destroying her world.  Wow!

Musically, it is a great rocker, upbeat tempo and a standout opening track to an album. The guitar work is fantastic with a nice opening riff and pulsating beat accompanying Bo’s guitar.  The song has punch and has an intensity that matches the lyrics.  There is a sense of urgency in the music the same as the urgency in the need for the woman to let someone know about the note as she struggles with her decision. Bear’s vocals show range and has a maturity that most singers don’t have on their first album.  It has a little raspiness to it that gives it the grit that makes for a great rock singer.

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My Sunday Song – “Keep Your Eyes Open” by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #168, we are going to discuss one of the band’s more popular songs called “Keep Your Eyes Open” from the 2011 album ‘The Reckoning’. The song was released as a single and even as a 5 song E.P. with two versions of this song, one being acoustic, and 3 bonus tracks, two of which end up on the vinyl release of the album.  And one of those bonus tracks we discussed as the first one in this Needtobreathe series.

The song can be interpreted in many ways.  I look at it as a song of encouragement that no matter how bad things get, keep soldiering on and pushing toward the light.  Keep those eyes open for whatever positive might come along.

It also seems to be about depression and that God is there for you if you keep those eyes open and accept him in, but I don’t think it is that easy.  Depression is a powerful force and although I think God can help maybe keep you on this side of heaven, he is not the be-all, cure-all solution as I know someone very close to me that suffers from depression and it is tough road to travel even with God fully in their life.  Okay, I might burn in hell for saying that, but sorry that is how I feel.  Unless you have been through depression or know someone who has, you don’t know the daily struggle they face.  I prefer the song as a shining example of hope and encouragement that can help you push through those dark days.

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My Sunday Song – “Stones Under Rushing Water” by Needtobreathe

For My Sunday Song #166, we are discussing “Stones Under Rushing Water” by Needtobreathe.  The song is off their 2009 album “The Outsiders” and it shows the softer side of the band. The album was really the bands big break and ended up getting them noticed by Taylor Swift and the band opened for her on tour for a large number of shows.  I had found the band from the beginning so there growing success was no surprise to me.

The song is a really simple song lyrically.  It talks about how fast life passes us by and it will be gone before you know it.  He is telling you to slow things down, take it all in and cherish every moment.  It also seems to be about a relationship that has drifted apart and the spark has left them.  They need to stop long enough to remember what they had and find that spark again.  Either interpretation is right as you can make up your own mind on what it means to you.

Musically, the song is an acoustic track and one of the first duets the band has done.  Sara Watkins from the band Nickel Creek accompanies Bear Rinehart on vocals.  Her voice is so delicate and beautiful and compliments his vocals quite nicely.  She brings that extra layer of sadness and heartbreak to the song.  There is no guitar solo, but Bear does a harmonica solo that adds a whole new layer of melancholy to the song.  All in all, it is quite a beautifully sad song.

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