Aldo Nova – ‘Aldo Nova 2.0’ – Album Review

Aldo Nova is back after 21 years since his last studio album, ‘Nova’s Dream’.  And it has been way too long in my opinion.  I discovered Aldo’s music back in the very early 80’s with his song and video for “Fantasy” and I have every album he has put out (I haven’t bought this one…yet!).  When I heard he was releasing a new album I was so excited. I was thinking Steve Perry and Aldo Nova back after all this time, life is good.

Well, then I heard the album was a re-imagining of a handful of songs from his debut album, ‘Aldo Nova’, including “Fantasy”.  There was going to be one new song, but I was a little worried about the ‘re-imagining’ part.  It worked so well for Bon Jovi with that piece of shit album called ‘This Left Feels Right’.  I was not a fan of that obviously.

Aldo redoing songs from such a classic album (classic to me) was like George Lucas redoing the original Star Wars Trilogy and adding all that unwanted and unnecessary crap into it that it was so stupid. And guess what, the redoing of all these songs is just that.  He added so many electronic effects and extra guitar parts that I feel it took away from the heart of the songs.

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Bon Jovi – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Formed in 1983, just a mere 35 years ago, Bon Jovi defined the 80’s music scene.  They have since had 13 studio albums, 3 live albums, numerous compilations and even a box set.  With so much music, some of course is bad, some is good, some is great and some is legendary.  They have had line-up changes as most bands have had and yet the still keep rolling on.  They have even made it in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Since there is so much about the band, they deserve to have their albums ranked from Worst to First.  I am going to do all 13 of their studio albums, plus 1 compilation which I thought was a studio album, but apparently not…who knew.  So, 14 albums in total will be coming at you.  I hope you have time to get through all of them.

And as always, let’s start with my least favorite album and work our way to my favorite…so sit back and enjoy…

14. THE WORST – ‘THE CIRCLE’ (2009):

‘The Circle’ was supposed to be the band’s return to rock after a very Nashville based previous album, ‘Lost Highway”.  The big problem for me with this album was the lack of credibility the songs had with me.  They tried to return to a “working man” sound such as “Work for the Working Man”, but I didn’t believe it.  It felt forced and fake.  Nothing on this album resonated with me in the least bit.  Even today, I can’t think of the names of the songs on this album.  They were not memorable and just seemed stale and uninspiring.

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My Sunday Song – “Beautiful With You” by Halestorm

For My Sunday Song #96, I am discussing the beautiful song by Halestorm called “Beautiful with You”.  The song is off the gold selling album ‘The Strange Case of…’ which went to # 1 on the Hard Rock Charts.  However, despite the album having 5 singles, this was not one.  I chose this one since we are currently discussing power ballads and I thought I would bring the power ballad into the 21st Century and highlight a newer song that I felt fit the mold.

The song definitely has the power with Lzzy Hale’s vocals and it is a slower tempo and softer song you would expect with a ballad that ebbs and flows between harder and soft. The song has a great tone to it and is a very emotional song.  The song is about loving your self and realizing it is okay to reach out to others for help.  It doesn’t make you weak, but strong.  Here is what Lzzy told journalist Valerie Bastien (from Songfacts.com) about her low self-esteem…

“Believe me, I don’t always feel like a rock star, and there are times when I look in the mirror and scream. Especially emotionally,” admitted Lzzy. “I used to hide a lot of my feelings of insecurity and powerlessness, and just wouldn’t reach out to someone because I thought it meant that I was weak if I did. I wanted people to see that it’s ok to need a shoulder sometimes, and to have those “ugly days” and to let down your guard. We’re human and we’re not perfect… don’t let those thoughts in your head rule your life and prevent you from opening yourself up.”

I really love the verse that states the following:

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RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – ‘Radio Free America’ – Album Review

Back in 2013, Richie Sambora met Orianthi and sparks flew, apparently.  The two are an item and now they are putting out music for the masses and it is about time. I love Richie’s vocals and his bluesy, rock style plus he can play the guitar (have you heard of Bon Jovi?).  Orianthi is also one helluva a guitar player herself and she can sing with the best of them.  She has played for Michael Jackson and for Alice Cooper as well as her own solo work.  The two together, I was expecting a bluesy rock album with some amazing guitar work.  Did I get that…well…we will see.

After releasing two E.P.’s in 2017 and a couple singles including one double single, we finally get a full album called ‘Radio Free America’ from RSO (it’s there initials, get it!).  Now here is the problem with that…the full album is all 13 songs previously released with those E.P.’s and singles and only 2 new songs.  That is right, only 2 and one is a cover.  So, if you bought the E.P.’s, you aren’t getting much more.  And to make it worse, it is an album of 15 songs in length (over an hour and 7 minutes).  That is pretty long for an album and you know there will be filler…and trust me there is filler.  I heard they recorded 25 songs, I would like to know where those other 10 songs are.

I have reviewed all the E.P.’s and 2 of the singles previously, but we will compile them here again and make it a full length review adding in the singles I haven’t discussed prior.  We might as well jump in and away we go…

With the opening and title track “Making History” Richie & Orianthi are doing what we wanted them to do.  They are rocking out.  The guitars on this one are exceptional with an almost Def Leppardesque sound from around the “Euphoria” era at times (maybe).  The guitar solo is freaking sensational and it is all I ask from these two.  Of course I have one minor negative on the song.  The vocals are missing something whether it is the chemistry or the mix.  Bob Rock is the producer and he does great work, but I am not a fan of them singing simultaneously.  I prefer them to trade back and forth.

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My Sunday Song – “Blood on Blood” by Bon Jovi

 

For My Sunday Song #81, I bring you one of my favorite songs off the Bon Jovi album ‘New Jersey’.  That song is “Blood on Blood”.  Back in the day, Bon Jovi actually wrote songs with heart and songs that told great stories.  Stories you cared about and became connected with such as Tommy and Gina in “Livin’ On a Prayer”. “Blood on Blood” was the song that really connected with me.

The song was never released as a single, but I probably listened to it more than any other song on the album.  The song was based on the movie “Stand By Me”.  Jon was so inspired by that movie, he got with Richie Sambora and Desmond Child and they crafted this gem.

The story is about three childhood friends, though not related, were like brothers to each other.  They cut their hands and then shook to signify they were blood brothers, lifelong friends and friends you could call at any time and they would be there to help.

That theme resonated with me.  It resonated so much, I started outlining a book based on that very concept.  Sadly, I never finished that book (or really ever started other than the outline – maybe some day).  Anyway, take a listen to the song and read the lyrics and hopefully you will see what I mean.  It is a powerful song about friendship and if you have a friend or friends like that, then this song is for you!

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Hired Gun – Documentary Review

I have been wanting to see Hired Gun since it was announced as a documentary in the Summer of 2017.  Thanks to Netflix, I finally got that chance.  If you don’t know what it is, I will tell you.

‘Hired Gun’ is a documentary about those musicians singers and bands hire to be in the band whether to help make an album or to do a tour.  They are the “hired guns” and they aren’t actual members of the band.  For me, that sounded like a very interesting story to be told.  What do these musicians/artists go through to get the gig and to actually keep that gig.

The people they interview are incredible musicians.  You might not know them all by name, but you would probably recognize a lot their work.  They are as follows:

  • Liberty Devito (Billy Joel)
  • Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch)
  • Phil X (Bon Jovi)
  • Eric Singer (Kiss)
  • Ray Parker, Jr. (Ghostbusters)
  • Justin Derrico (P!nk)
  • Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • Steve Lukather (Michael Jackson)
  • Kenny Arnoff (John Mellencamp)
  • Jason Newsted (Metallica)

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Turntables & Vinyl #11 – The Holiday Treasure Trove

Oh the Holidays!  The end of the year.  Christmas time.  The time John is not supposed to buy any albums since it is the holidays and it is my birthday time period so no record purchases as people need to have something to give me as a gift.  Well, that didn’t quite work this year.

I did set aside a list of albums people could buy for me for Christmas and/or my Birthday and I made sure that anything I picked up was not from that list.  December turned out to be a treasure trove of purchases, gifts and free stuff.  I definitely hit the jackpot with a crap load of albums to listen to and some day write about.

It all started mid-November when the Coke reward program was giving away $5 Amazon gift cards for every 10 bottle caps redeemed.  Well, I had been collecting them at work as I do drink one Coke product everyday and on really stressful, busy days, maybe two.  The $5 Amazon Gift cards were actually $10 because they allowed you to redeem it twice.  After setting up a several more accounts with different email addresses, I was able to redeem $40 worth of caps (I would have done more, but I ran out of caps).  What did I get with the $40 from Amazon?  Music of course.  I picked up the following:

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RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – Rise E.P. – Album Review

Back in 2013, Richie Sambora met Orianthi and sparks flew, apparently.  The two are an item and now they are putting out music for the masses and it is about time.  I had heard back last year, I believe, that they were working together and going to put out an album.  Well, we finally got one; however, it is only an E.P. with only 5 songs.  Now, I am not greedy, but I would have preferred a whole album.

Now when I heard we were getting music from the two, I was excited.  I love Richie’s vocals and his bluesy, rock style plus he can play the guitar (have you heard of Bon Jovi).  Orianthi is also one helluva a guitar player herself and she can sing with the best of them.  She has played for Michael Jackson and for Alice Cooper as well as her own solo work.  The two together, I was expecting a bluesy rock album with some amazing guitar work.

What I was expecting and what we actually have are not quite the same thing.  Apparently, the two of them wanted to deliver an album that was not what people expected.  They wanted to give something that shows that they can do something more than play guitar.  Message received loud and clear.

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Bob Rock – Producer Extraordinaire #4

We are now on our 4th Producer Extraordinaire in this series.  We have seen Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Brendan O’Brien and Bruce Fairbairn so far, and now it is time for Bob Rock.  Bob Rock actually got his start as a recording engineer and mixer under the great Bruce Fairbairn so he learned from one of the best.

Bob’s musical career started back in 1979 / 1980 when he started engineering from Bruce as well as joined the band Payola$ who had a big hit in 1980 called “Eyes of a Stranger”. They were pretty successful in Canada and won a Juno Award in 1983 for Single of the Year.  However, Bob’s real talent (or at least to me) is his ability to work with bands and produce amazing albums.

METALLICA:

Bob Rock has worked with some of the biggest bands in the world, but they don’t get bigger than Metallica.  Bob was selected as the Producer for the band’s biggest album they had ever done, however, at the time they did not know it would become so big. “The Black Album” as it is commonly known made Metallica cool in the mainstream world as well as the Thrash world.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Bon Jovi

Happy Tuesday!  I think it is time for a little Bon Jovi.  Whether you like them or not, they are an amazing rock band…ok…were an amazing rock band.  I don’t know what the shit is they are doing now.  Despite the decline in quality (and sales), I still love Bon Jovi…ok..the Bon Jovi with Richie Sambora!!

Here are some memes to hopefully brighten your day after a crappy Monday.

Let me start it off with one about Richie leaving the band (and I love how they misspelled cocain”e”).

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