Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Midweek Video Review

Midweek Video Review

 by C. Duke




Requiem – Sticks and Stones and Her Lovely Bones: Formed in September of 2010, Requiem, formerly know as Requiem from the Dead, have released an acoustic version of their song, “Sticks and Stones and Her Lovely Bones” from their album, “The Unexplainable Truth” (out now).

The video features the band playing to a live audience, sit down style with Steven Juliano explaining the songs meaning before playing, “This song is the ultimate love song about the person you would fight for ‘til they day you died” as the lyric, “These sticks and stones will never break these lovely bones of mine, I will live and fight for you” suggest.

With synthesizer, crashing cymbals and Steven and Jacklyn Paulette intertwining their lines the camera pans and zooms on the different players and their instruments.






video

Erica Glyn – Winter Wonderland: Erica Glyn has a four song EP out for Christmas entitled, “The Glyn that Stole Christmas” originally released in November of 2013 on Erica’s BandCamp page, it is now available on iTunes and CD Baby.

Erica is a Brooklyn, New York based recording engineer, producer and musician who has been described musically as playing rocktronica.

This video also features, NYC artist and producer, Charlie Hustle, whom Erica duets with.

This is a do it yourself video with plenty of silliness. The two are seen cutting out colored paper to set up their Christmas scene of a fake fireplace, an outdoor snow scene with pine trees and stick puppets acting out the songs lyrics, etc. Charlie drinks a beer throughout the video and they flash to some Erica and Charlie imposters singing. The beat is relaxed and so are the performers. - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Video Reviews for Week of December 15th

Video Reviews for Week of December 15th

By C. Duke




Arrica Rose & the …’s – In Dreams: California-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (vocals, guitar, keyboards and omnichord), Arrica Rose & the …’s (Dot, Dot, Dots) have released there fourth full-length album, Wavefunction as of November 4th, 2014 on pOprOck records. The first video from this designed for vinyl album is a cover of Roy Orbison’s In Dreams.

A pretty simplistic video of Rose on stage singing with her voice and hands with red stage curtains behind her, the audience is made up of couples dancing together. The song is about dreaming of being with someone that you don’t have the guts to approach in real life, an ailment befalling many.

The music is slightly slower than the original and opens with heavily chorused guitar. The strings, replaced with horns.

As we get toward the end of the song with the lyric phrase, “I can’t help it, I can’t help it, if I cry, Oribson goes high but, Rose chooses to keep the consistency of the octave level she started with. Also at this point the couples start to part, one leaving the other still dancing in a trance like state.





Baha Men – Night & Day: “Who Let the Dogs Out”? Remember that hit from 2000? That’s these guys. The song is a major staple at sporting events and has garnered the band a Grammy, two Billboard Music Awards and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award.

As of February 9, 2015, Baha Men will issue a new album, “Ride with Me”, a blend or world music, Junkanoo (Bahamian Music) and American Top 40. The first single from the album will be, “Night & Day” and will start radio air play December 29th.

Starting out with the lyrics, “Gonna live my life like there’s no tomorrow/And party, just gonna let it flow/Every night and every day”, this video has the party atmosphere you’d expect with lyrics like that. - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Unrated Grammy List GRAMMY® History.

The Grammys has a long history in the Music world and Unrated has shot most of the Grammy nominations.  Here is a break down who we have shot in a week long series entitle.  Who of the Grammys has been in the lens of Unratedmagazine.

Album Of The Year:












Morning Phase — Beck












Beyoncé — Beyoncé
X — Ed Sheeran
In The Lonely Hour — Sam Smith













Girl — Pharrell Williams


Record Of The Year:







"Fancy" — Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX

"Chandelier" — Sia
"Stay With Me" (Darkchild Version) — Sam Smith
"Shake It Off" — Taylor Swift
"All About That Bass" — Meghan Trainor

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Yahoo Live Will Live Stream iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball 2014

On Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

https://music.yahoo.com/blogs/jingle-ball-2014/5-things-to-know-about-iheartradio-jingle-ball-2014-143212332.html

Check out the full list of performers below:
Taylor Swift
5 Seconds of Summer
Ariana Grande
Maroon 5
Iggy Azalea
Sam Smith
Calvin Harris
Jessie J
Pharrell
Meghan Trainor
OneRepublic
Kiesza
Rixton
Rita Ora
Shawn Mendes
Charli XCX

 Tune in HERE to watch!- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Monday, December 08, 2014

Video Reviews for Week of December 8th

Video Reviews for Week of December 8th

By C. Duke


August Alsina – No Love ft. Nicki Minaj: New Orleans hailing and Def Jam Recordings artist, August Alsina, is notably know for his song, I Luv This Shit, with Trinidad James. He’s released his first studio album, Testimony, April 15th of 2014. From this album is the video for, No Love, which features Nicki Minaj in the beginning and toward the end of the jam.

The song basically talks about hittin’ it and not wanting to settle down (playa) in the lines, “Shawty, if you looking for somebody tryna settle down/Probably won't be around, nah, baby” with the repeated refrain, “No love”.

Nicki retorts with, “You can't treat me like you treat them/Yes, I am the crème de la crème”.

A mid tempo jam, the video has August dropping off another girl at her apartment, Nicki being the main girl. We see scenes of Nicki and August

spending their time together and scenes of the new girl he’s stepping out with. A split screen shows the new girl then white roses blooming and the other Nicki, then red roses wilting and dying off.

At the end of the video we see the reverse in the rose situation and when the new girl calls he ignores it and looks at pictures of him and Nicki and smiles. Thereafter Nicki enters her kitchen to a huge bouquet of red roses.



Beyoncé – Haunted: From the Platinum Edition of the album Beyoncé, comes this next video. A two part song called, “Ghost” and “Haunted”. This review is about the latter.

This video opens with eerie music and various shots of empty rooms in a large, twenties styled hotel intertwined with shots of TV’s and finally the title, “Haunted” appears on a TV screen. After that we switch to Beyoncé driving up a road with a view of the ocean behind her and the sound of seagulls. She is in a green convertible with luggage strapped on the trunk.

Makes me think of, “The Shining”.

She pulls into the driveway in front of the door of the hotel and parks. Stepping out with her heels and white with black spots fur. Entering the hotel with a “B” monogrammed on the luggage she sets them down and

throws off her fur coat letting it fall to the floor as a flash of a black and white closed circuit camera shot watches her. She pulls a cigarette from behind her ear. The bell hop enters the foyer and lights it and you notice her black rings all up and down her fingers.

Beyoncé has marcelled (similar to a finger wave) blonde hair, red lipstick and dark make-up around the eyes. She takes the room key from the bell hop, drops the cigarette on the floor and steps on it.

With more flashes of closed circuit TV shots, Beyoncé proceeds up the winding stairs in her black pin stripped suit. Reaching the top there is a long corridor she has to walk down. As she does this she looks into the open doorways of rooms.

The first room is a man getting his hair done. He’s sitting next to a TV with Beyoncé on the screen starting off the song and the music begins with a droning piano.

She continues down the corridor looking into each room and scene. A lady with a sphinx cat, an old man in a wheelchair, gangsters playing poker, a couple in gas masks, twins in black in white pinstriped suits, the drums kick in, lap dances, a man in leopard printed underwear standing in a bathtub with bubbles floating around, a mannequin family at a 50’s table getting ready to eat, a topless woman painting herself with super imposed stars over her nipples, men with white painted faces and black rings around their eyes, and so on.

She winds up on a bed with girls choreograph dancing around it as she herself gyrates and sings. From there it’s just flashes of all the weirdness and people in the rooms.

Sparse instruments, drums, piano and synths, make up this tune with sexually charged lyrics.



Paramore: Hate to See Your Heart Break ft. Joy Williams [OFFICIAL VIDEO]: From the self titled currently available Paramore Deluxe album, “Hate to See Your Heart Break”, features multiple Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Joy Williams.

Set in black and white in a studio recording session, Hayley starts off this tune solo at the microphone. A twinkling soft tune, Hayley sings, “There is not a single word in the whole world/That could describe the hurt/The dullest knife just sawing back and forth/And ripping through the softest skin there ever was”. That’s what lost love feels like and Hailey get’s it ever so right.

Joy joins in on the chorus harmonizing as we see scenes of her and Hayley talking, laughing and goofing off. The next verse has Joy performing and Hayley joining in on the chorus.

The video ends with the two hugging at the mics.


Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga – It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing): What a team up! Tony Bennett, long time singer of show tunes, jazz and pop standards, and Lady Gaga hit it out of the park with this cover of the 1931 jazz tune composed by Duke Ellington and lyrics written by Irving Mills.

Another studio session setting, this one in color, we hear Lady Gaga speaking about what the song means to her. Then, the horns kick in with Gaga at the mic. Tony starts singing, “It don’t mean a thing/If it ain’t got that swing/Do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah”. The two alternate verses and also sing in combination.

Lady Gaga does a great job here. She captures the mood perfectly and sounds like she just bounced out of a 1930’s club.

This short lived tune ends with Bennett saying, “That’s jazz”
.


Zella Day – Sweet Ophelia (Official Video): Still just a teenager, Arizona grown, Zella Day has released a four song EP of the same name in October of this year. Her family owned a coffee house where, growing up, she would perform tunes by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Bobby Darin.

Zella, in the back seat of a car with flowers along the rear window sings, “Believe me now you're too young girl/Cherry pie with your gold curls/ Growin' up like a grapevine/Wrapped around you in due time” combined with the chorus of, “Sweet Ophelia/When Young blood escapes/Vows that break/Go up, up away”, makes me think this song is about young innocence

on the verge of becoming a woman as the video also has a visual reference of flowers blooming.

The music itself is a simple drum beat overlaid with synthesizers. - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Thursday, December 04, 2014

CD Review- STREAM OF PASSION “A War of Our Own”

STREAM OF PASSION
 “A War of Our Own”
by Edwin van Hoof

Independant Stream of Passion’s “A War of Our Own” is their fourth album and it marks a new chapter in their 10 years spanning career. Starting off as the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen, the band reshaped after Ayreon’s departure. Main ingredients are progressive elements and dramatic passages under a melodic gothic veil. A gothic underscore which is mainly derived from the female vocals of Mexican diva Marcela Bovio. However, unlike many of the vocalist in the genre, Bovio is not leaning on the soprano high pitches, but rather on the melodicsoulful panache she has at hand. Stream of Passion has a lot more to offer than the regular gothic acts, and this “A War of Our Own” proves a turning point in the present and future of the band.

The crowdfunded album reveals true progression on all accounts. The music is much heavier, without lacking the Mexican influences Bovio provides. Stream Of Passion has clearly managed to cast aside the burdens of the past and reveals a more aggressive and diverse sound than ever before. The theatrical and dramatic passages are still present, but from the opener “Monster” onwards, the band displays an almost aggressive thrive which is captivating. The lyrics of “Monster” also reveals a social political side to the band addressing the problematic circumstances emerging from the drug wars taking place in Mexico, affecting the entire community. The titletrack of the album addresses the same problems in a much more dramatic and theatrical manner. Alongside Bovio it is Anathema’s Daniel Cardoso taking the spotlights on the song which provides an amazing vocalic interaction between the two. Taking the spotlight most is of course Bovio above all. The vocalist is gifted with acrystal clear almost fragile voice, but easily falls back on power and passion, vacillating between dramatic extremes. Bovio’s Latin American roots are present all over the album and she shifts from English to Spanish (“Exile”) occasionally to highlight the lyrics. It’s that unique approach which, in combination with her violin playing, adds up to the unique overall sound of the band. “Delirio” is packed with Latin American  scales and is sung in Spanissh, making it a stand out track without feeling estranged. It all fits the Stream of Passion bill perfectly.Aside Bovio the solo spot is swung onto drummer Martijn Peters, who's interaction with powerhouse bass player Johan van Stratum lays down a rock solid foundation. Drums blasting away and the shuffles and percussion work of Peters provide the band with intensity and depth. This in combination with the spectacular guitar sound of Hazebroek and Schultz marks the typical S.O.P sound.Flowing and highly harmonious melody smelt into jawdropping twin solos and loud ravaging riffs which pull the album forward with temperament. The melodies are lit out by the tasteful swirling keys from Revet, who occasionally powers up the wall of sound, pasting the guitar parts solid with multi layered keyboard parts. Abrupt mood swings and breaks hit you like a sledge hammer and give the band that typical progressive face needed to stand out in the genre. When Bovio and Revet team up for some sublime piano/keyboard and violin interaction, the band displays sheer magical finesses. “For You” is simply stunningly beautiful and will nest inside you head on the spot. It’s that fragile and tasteful interaction which makes “Autophobia” (check out the amazing riff) an absolute wonderful track as well. Goosebumps will erupt over your body and the melancholic vocals are gripping and passionate.However, the band is still at it’s very best when the pace goes up and the hook-laden riffs spit away. “The Curse” is one of those absolute highlights which mark that new found passion, which will have fists flying up during their live shows. Much like the thundering “Burning Star”, the song leans on the powerful bass anddrums interaction. In “Earthquake” the band manages to capture the tension of disaster as well as they do literally manage to shake the sound with turmoil.Another side of the band is displayed in the extremely tragic “Secrets”  about the 3 year old Mara fading away duet o a neuroblastoma. The song is deeply moving and the music is as gripping as the dramatic story told in the lyrics. “Don’t let go” depicts the same tragic circumstances now shown from the side of someone who does not want to live anymore, facing his repeating agony of a dawning new day. The contradiction between two stories melts together in the elements embedded in the melodies of both songs. “Out of the Darkness” and “The Distance between Us” throw the pace up a couple of notches and cast the melancholic mood away to make the album end with a groovy blast.

“A War of Our Own” is more diverse and more driven than any of it’s predecessors.  Stream Of Passion redefined their sound and moved into an assertive direction without lacking the ingredients of their past, making this simultaneously their loudest and most melodic record to date. The dramatic and theatrical elements work magically with the harsher dimensions added to the overall sound.  S-O-P experiments towards the future and that works surprisinglywell. And let’s not forget the transparent production of Joost van den Broek, who managed to capture the key essences of the band better than anyone else. I’m interested to hear what the future holds for Stram of Passion

www.streamofpassion.com

84 / 100

- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

CD Review -DE STAAT “Vinticious Versions”

DE STAAT
“Vinticious Versions”
Mascot Label Group
By Edwin van Hoof 


Unlike their name proclaims, De Staat are not performing their music in Dutch.That being said, this band has established international fame with their infectious rock/crossover tunes with stoner guitar walls and Britpop infected harmonies, which landed them slots on acclaimed festivals as Lowlands, Pinkpop, Sziget and Glastonbury. “Vinticious Versions” is an 8 track EP featuring a collection of songs from their 3 albums I_CON (2013), Machinery (2011) and Wait for Evolution (2009), stripped down and re-recorded to depit the bands wide varied musical interests.

Don’t expect acoustic outings from the outfit around frontman Torre Florim. De Staat is way to stubborn to enrol such intimate outings and rather takes things to a higher level. The result is an interesting and captivating piece of work exploring the history of music.A name which instantly came to mind was that of Dutch diva Lilian Hak whoms “Lust guns & Dust” managed to bring to live the 50’s and 60’s grandeur of spaghetti western soundtracks and baroque pop, crossing over with lush modern soundsamples and radiating charisma. The gritty undertone she managed to capture is present on De Staat’s EP as well, but they took it all just a step further.  Performing their songs in 50’s jazz style, the songs breathe the smoky rooms of NewOrleans and the gritty swing of that era. Sampling those tracks into the present De Staat transformed each song uniquely without losing that atmosphere.“Input Source Select” for instance contains the bumpy ride A Tribe Calle Quest is well known for. On top the band topped of that sound with the vocal interaction of Beasty Boys without discarding the old school feeling of the tune. The result is a mindblowing ‘dance’-track which sound both, old school as well as very modern.“Get it Together” rambles on with the western soundtrack influences much like La Hak’s art noire songs, even though it is more danceable and obnoxious. Obnoxious also is the word for the 50’s swinging tune “Build that, Buy that” with it’s brass section and surf guitar tone. The same Dick Dale riffing which is present on “Down Town” with it’s dark and deep vocals creating a psychedelic overhaul on this slow paced bossa nova track escaped from the next Tarantino flick. Aclean guitar riff steered straight into the mixing desk spitting a reggae like feel on “All is Dull”, making way for the slow mover “Devil’s Blood” with it’s gritty gloomy mood. The vocal interactionadds up to the burlesque art noire setting created.“Get it together” has the whistling straight from “Once upon a Time in the West” but the song blooms in a dark workfloor setting adding up to the lyrics about sweatshops. The beat is infectious and haunting linking the mood of the album. “Wait for Evolution” is another psychedelic outing which fits the band perfectly and ends the album in style. The 70’s Hendrix whammy style of playing adds up to the mood setting which links the bands stoner sound perfectly to the path followed on this “Vincticious Versions”.

De Staat proves themselves a band with style and uniqueness, reviving the old musical styles athand and blend it with their own tracks. The result is a very intense and heart warming album which balances on the fine line between modern art and being tacky. I classify it as art,  and you should do the same. This 8 track EP might not be the best introduction for new fans but it sure as hell hits the right spark.

89 out of 100
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

SAM SMITH SET TO PERFORM ON "A VERY GRAMMY® CHRISTMAS"

SAM SMITH SET TO PERFORM ON "A VERY GRAMMY® CHRISTMAS" 
 BIG SEAN TO JOIN ARIANA GRANDE IN A
SPECIAL PERFORMANCE ON DEC. 5 ON CBS

New One-Hour Entertainment Special — Hosted by LL COOL J — Will Feature Performances of  Holiday Songs and Current Pop Hits, as well as Artists Sharing Favorite Holiday Memories and GRAMMY Moments

Nominations for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®
Will Be Announced Beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET on Dec. 5, with
Album Of The Year Nominees Revealed on the Broadcast Later That Evening
#GRAMMYChristmas

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2014) — Singer/songwriter Sam Smith and hip-hop artist Big Sean (joining previously announced Ariana Grande) are the latest performers announced for "A Very GRAMMY® Christmas." Two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J will host the new one-hour entertainment special, which will include performances of holiday songs and current pop hits, as well as artists sharing their favorite holiday and GRAMMY memories. Previously announced performers include nine-time GRAMMY winner Mary J. Blige, singer/songwriter Grande, three-time GRAMMY-winning group Maroon 5, three-time GRAMMY winner Tim McGraw, and seven-time GRAMMY winner Pharrell Williams. "A Very GRAMMY Christmas" will air on Friday, Dec. 5, 9 – 10 p.m. ET/PT, and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network. For updates and breaking news, please visit GRAMMY.com and The Recording Academy®'s social networks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

In addition to performances, the nominations in the Album Of The Year category for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® will be announced during the broadcast of "A Very GRAMMY Christmas." Other nominations will be revealed the morning of Dec. 5, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET with four categories to be read live on "CBS This Morning." From 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET, various artists and celebrities will announce additional categories via videos posted to Twitter. At 2 p.m. ET, a list of nominations in 82 of 83 categories will be posted on GRAMMY.com, with a complete list of nominations and a final release posted at 10 p.m. ET following the announcement of Album Of The Year nominations on the one-hour special. Follow @theGRAMMYs or use hashtag #GRAMMYs to join the conversation as it unfolds Dec. 5.

The road to Music's Biggest Night® begins with "A Very GRAMMY Christmas" and culminates with the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Last year's airing of "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" helped lead to stellar ratings for the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which ultimately garnered more than 30 million viewers — the second-largest audience for the awards broadcast since 1993. The telecast also was the biggest social television event at the time, with 34 million social media interactions (with statistics compiled by Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter).

"A Very GRAMMY Christmas" is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. Ken Ehrlich is the executive producer. LL COOL J is co-producer, and Louis J. Horvitz is director.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "The GRAMMYs" on Facebook, and join the GRAMMYs' social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Joe Bonamassa - Different Shades of Blue (2014)

Joe Bonamassa - Different Shades of Blue (2014)
Joe Bonamassa stands synonym for a new generation of blues artists capturing the classic mood and feeling and inflicting it with just enough panache to boost it into the new era. Razor sharp guitar playing and a modern pristine production embedded into classic notes and song structures. The blend at hand is attracting fans from all over the globe. Mr. Bonamassa is an excellent example of persistence, upholding a strict work ethic of touring and recording, which slowly landed him on the top ranks of international music. His new "Different Shades of Blue" is the next chapter in the man's impressive career.

The new album is the first ever Bonamassa record which is written by the artist in it's entire. Instead of falling back on recording a blues traditional, Joe recorded 11 brand new songs under the productional supervision of Kevin Shirley. Focussing on music himself, Bonamassa brought in internationally acclaimed songwriters and lyricists such as Journey's Jonathan Caine, and Nashville stalwarts James House and Jeff Steele this as his absolute masterpiece celebrating his 25th anniversary as an artist. It's because of their mastery that Bonamassa manages to swing his songs in different directions. The albums appeals towards a wider audience and has more chartbusting abilities, opening doors towards new fans and music adepts.

"Different Shades of Blue" brings together the best of both worlds in blues and pop/rock. The organic and traditional style every once in a while erupts with a jam-packed overall feeling, the melodies and lyrics bridge the gap furthermore, empowered by a crystal clear and powerful production. Another undeniable shift in focus is the prominent presence of Reese Wynans' swirling keys underneath Joe's typical riffs and solo's. Wynans clearly pushes the envelope for Bonamassa with his interaction on this new release. It's an interaction which also revives the name of Wynans' previous ‘master' Stevie Ray Vaughan as is proven on the typical intro to "Living on the Moon". It comfortly links together Bonamassa's (main) influence on playing and composing with his current approach to composing outside the set boundaries of the genre, without wandering off astray. The addition of a brass section on the song also adds up to the highly enjoyable overall setting in which Joe sounds free and viral as in his debuting days. It's that same interaction which also marks the A-graded slow mover "So, What would I do" with its moaning down tuned melody and soaring solo, crafted in fine harmony with Wynans piano and keyboard swirls alongside the rich string arrangements.

It's that revitalized spirit he radiates in swinging tunes like the remarkable "Love ain't a Love Song" which will be an instant live classic if you ask me. While his guitars pumps a powerful chord forward, the song breaths fire. A spirit which is particularly exposed in the biting "I gave up everything for You, ‘cept the Blues", a Bonamassa classic with crunchy riff and ditto solo. The song is a typical twelve bar blues classic with hints to the 60's Jersey sound and doo-wop.

The soulful outburst on the powerhouse ballad "Never give all Your Heart" tilting the scale towards (arena)rock rather than blues, is just magnificent. "Trouble Town" sounds like Joe's ode to New Orleans and is action packed with a freestyle solo and brass bombast, reviving the delta sound instantly.

Another highlight is the rich melodic title track, which has been circulating on the net for a couple of weeks. The "Kashmir" (Led Zeppelin) reminiscent classic rock outburst in "Oh Beautiful!" with its Hendrix-like rhythm scales and psychedelic stop'n go break, which Joe has been playing live during festival season is another dynamic and revolting tune nesting instantly. Both tracks being perfect preview towards what could be expected from this new album.

"Different Shades of Blue" is Joe's most personal album to date. The album combines his fine-tuned talent for classic blues without lacking interest in discovering new territory, hardly ever firing off in unexpected directions. The songs add up perfectly to his catalogue and are a perfect platform to display his muscular and extravagant style as a player. Bonamassa proves to be a true virtuoso colouring his music with his typical rich tone and depth, combined with his wonderful feeling for timing. It all comes together on this "Different Shades of Blue" in the most cohesive and confident way thinkable.

89 out of 100

RELATED LINKS
- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com