Volume 2 "Friends With Benefit"
Release Date: February 7, 2006
Maverick Records | buy now
The release of the second soundtrack of the WB’s hit series, "One Tree Hill" actually coincided with a storyline that was taking place in fictitious Tree Hill, North Carolina as a project that one of the main characters, Peyton Sawyer, put together along with her birthmother, Ellie Harp. The storyline had the two characters work together to put out a benefit album, with proceeds of said album going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, as Peyton wanted to do something great that would also hit close to home, as her mother was diagnosed, and eventually passed away to breast cancer. The actual soundtrack itself also has partial proceeds going to the NBCF, blurring the lines that separate fiction from reality in the process. [READ MORE]
Be Mine, Valentine
Release Date: January 10, 2006
Rise Records | buy now
Drop Dead, Gorgeous ask that you please notice the comma in their name. Just think about how one little mark on a piece of paper or screen can change everything. Or think of how a guitar sounds by itself. And throw in heavy drum and bass combos and harsh lyrics crashing into your ears.
Self-proclaimed as "Norma Jean meets underOATH", Drop Dead, Gorgeous’s new CD/EP, Be Mine, Valentine is 6 songs of heavy artillery assault of hardcore and metal fused to create music that just draws you into it’s trap. Like a bad relationship. DD,G’s lyrics are as heavy as it’s guitar riffs and scream out at bad relationships and heartbreak. [READ MORE]
Release Date: November 1, 2005
Geffen Records | buy now
Of all of the terms that may be identifiable with blink-182, greatness is often overlooked. That’s not to say that the band hasn’t achieved it, because blink’s greatness is legitimately exemplified in this 17-track collection.
With the band going on an indefinite hiatus in early-2005, Greatest Hits may be blink-182′s swan song of sorts. The anthology, chronologically spanning the successful career of what is arguably the greatest punk band ever, opens with two tracks from Cheshire Cat (1994), followed by two from Dude Ranch (1997), three from Enema of The State (1999), one from the band’s sole live album, The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back), three from Take Off Your Pants & Jacket (2001), and four from blink-182 (2003). The album closes with two bonus tracks which were previously unreleased in the US. [READ MORE]
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
Release Date: September 27, 2005
Decaydance Records | buy now
Panic! At The Disco’s style almost seems formatted after that of punk-pop supergroup Fall Out Boy. The similarities are apparent both in the familiar sound and the the creative song titles such as "Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks" and "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines." Even the album title, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, has "Fall Out Boy" written all over it. Of course this is no knock to Panic! as after the success Fall Out Boy has had since their From Under The Cork Tree release, it would be foolish to not follow suit. Perhaps this is by no coincidence as the band happens to be the first signed to Decaydance Records, Fueled By Ramen’s mini-label hemmed by Fall Out Boy’s own Pete Wentz.
The debut album by Panic! At The Disco is broken into two halves. The first half offers an 80′s futuristic techno sound which echoes throughout the majority of the first six songs prior to the break. The appropriately titled "Intermission" is an instrumental track of two parts, the first having a distinct techno sound and the second having a very classical piano sound. There is a voiceover separating the two parts, and in a greater sense, the two halves of the album, which states: "Ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to continue our broadcast of dance music. We shall continue now with our piano interlude." [READ MORE]
The Weight Is A Gift
Release Date: September 13, 2005
Barsuk Records | buy now
Nada Surf, with The Weight Is A Gift, have found a way to pretty much cover all possible ground with the collection of tracks on display. Often times motivational, while on occasion dark and disconsolate, and even other times, coming off as tired and ready to move on, Nada Surf clearly has grown accustomed to wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and taking with it whatever may come about.
Whether listening to a song like "Concrete Love," which bluntly states: "To find someone you love, you’ve got to be someone you love" and goes that one inspirational step further, telling self-doubters that, "You know it coz you wrote it, you just didn’t think you’d actually do it," or the undeniable "Always Love," which proclaims: "Always love; hate will get you every time. Always love; don’t wait ‘til the finish line" it is apparent that these songs, while maybe having inner, personal meaning for the band, were written and recorded to not only appeal to the masses, but to adhere to them with a positive message as well. [READ MORE]
How To Save A Life
Release Date: September 13, 2005
Sony Records | buy now
Lead singer Isaac Slade of the talented pop-rock quartet, The Fray, proves capable throughout the band’s debut album, How To Save A Life, and not only by reciting incredibly insightful lyrics, as he continually sets the tone musically on piano through each of the 12 tracks. Most notable on the standout tracks, the instrument is often successful in controlling the pace and allowing for such a melodic breakout initial release.
With "She Is," How To Save A Life opens with a distinctive sound that sets the tone of the album, switching pace often and effortlessly. While unique for a particular track to display such diversity, it also is a fitting introductory track for the band as they continually prove their versatility throughout. Far from unique, The Fray never exactly innovate with their debut release. However, there is never the sense that the band is simply trying to stick with what works. On tracks such as "All At Once" and "Over My Head (Cable Car)" the band really shines as, even though their sound is quite generic for a mid-tempo pop-rock band, the stories told are both intense and meaningful. [READ MORE]
Release Date: August 30, 2005
Atlantic/Wea Records | buy now
In what is arguably their defining album, Death Cab For Cutie present a more laid back feel with Plans than what they offered with Transatlanticism, and while Transatlanticism was a great album from beginning to end in itself, Plans feels much more mature in a sense. It’s always a good thing when a band is able to show its growth in comparison to previous releases, as it can help fans of prior works to find growth in themselves by listening songs that they can continue to relate to, as opposed to dwelling on past experiences and emotions. While a great album can quite possibly stand the test of time, it is with this growth and maturity that allows for longevity. [READ MORE]
One Fell Swoop
Release Date: August 9, 2005
111 Records | buy now
One Fell Swoop, the latest by The Spill Canvas, offers a dark and grim album, with even the most pain-ridden tracks coming off as seemingly painful. The most evident of the grimness of the album are exemplified in tracks such as "Polygraph, Right Now" and "The Dutch Courage." Both of these tracks, heard early on in the album, deal with a hopelessness and a helplessness that would make even the most optimistic of individuals find themselves in great doubt. With lyrics such as “Fate is an elegant, cold-hearted whore. She loves salting my wounds, yes, she enjoys nothing more" and "I am utterly disgusted with the path you trek, As inebriated as you can get off your latest pay check. I am at a loss for words here. I hate to break this to you but being a coward is not a legitimate career," it would seem that one would be hard pressed to give this CD a listen on any day other than a rainy one. [READ MORE]
Greetings From Imrie House
Release Date: August 16, 2005
LAVA Records | buy now
After thinking the "boy-band" trend was over, we’re ready to open our arms for Boston-based band, The Click Five. "Greetings From Imrie House" is the title of the debut album from the Lava Records quintet. The record is filled with in-your-face "new school powerpop" within 11 tracks. After opening for Alanis Morissette, Ashlee Simpson, Jesse McCartney and most recently, the Backstreet Boys — The Click Five is ready to take the US by storm.
"Just The Girl" an irresistibly contagious tune, perfectly chosen as the bands first single is powerpop at it’s best. The heart-throbbing band members, Ben Romans, Eric Dill, Joe Guese, Ethan Mentzer and Joey Zehr who you’ll usually find performing in suits — yea we know, very "Beatles," very classy, are all graduates of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA, [with the exception of Dill, who graduated from Purdue] display a mature and impressive sounding pop/rock that is sure to capture the hearts of young females everywhere. [READ MORE]
Everything In Transit
Release Date: August 23, 2005
Maverick Records | buy now
"And today was a day just like any other…"
…until I played my new Jack’s Mannequin CD. Jack’s Mannequin is the brainchild of Something Corporate front man Andrew McMahon. The much anticipated release, Everything In Transit released on August 23, 2005 on Maverick Records has been teasing listeners with demos and Warped Tour tents and pre-sales since early this year. Fueled by Andrew’s recent diagnosis of Acute Lymphatic Leukemia an outreach of support from fans and fellow artists alike sent Andrew’s mission skyrocketing.
Not to mention the sheer beauty of the album itself. I waited a full four days past to release date to receive my copy in the mail. But it was well worth the wait. The piano-driven melodies work their way into your head and into your feet as you can’t help but tap (or dance in my case) to the music. And Andrew’s wonderful imagery in his lyrics just give the album an aura all of its own. [READ MORE]