With his boatload of #1 Country singles (30 plus now), the Georgia native returns with a homespun but slightly Beach music-ish new blend of Country. As he name-checks Kenny Chesney in "One Margarita" and runs down a list of party details, Bryan has the charisma to even earn a #1 single with no true chorus ("Knockin' Boots.") "Boots" is the template for new Country radio hits: almost Electronic beats, ‘80s chorused guitar and the familiar rise of a steel guitar. For his seventh album, Bryan calls in a phalanx of ace writers including Ross Copperman, Hillary Lindsey, Jameson Rodgers and Brent Cobb. Bryan and his fanbase will also be happy with his more familiar "hometown" based songs of sincerity like "Build Me A Daddy" and the anthemic title cut.
Born Here Live Here Die Here
Progressive rock bands shuffle through lineups reassembling players like their history was a deck of cards. Heavy Metal bands replace members on a whim just to maintain their sound and avoid the damning alteration of style. Fortunately, Purple is both Prog and Metal. Reunited with elaborate producer Bob Ezrin (classic Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd's "The Wall,") the 17th album from the legendary band draws heavily on Mark II (bassist Roger Glover and vocalist Ian Gillan) while maintaining their post-Eighties ornate yet rock-oriented direction (think the 1984 comeback album "Perfect Strangers,” especially on the title cut). With Mark VII all-star Steve Morse on guitar and Mark VIII's Don Airey doing his best Jon Lord-isms ("Nothing At All,") they provide Ian Paice (the last remaining original member) to glue it all back together with his powerful drums.
It must be the dream of any Electronic band right now to harness that energy of playing in front of a bouncing, screaming, sweating crowd. Frontman/writer Dave Bayley wisely is staring this moment in the face after first the injury of drummer Joe Seaward and the events of 2020.
"Dreamland" is full of songs that build ("It's All So Incredibly Loud") but never reach that payoff point.
While that is enticing, it is rarely anti-climatic and even presents the British quartet with an opportunity to explore R&B/Hip-Hop rhythms ("Heat Waves.") This sense of adventure pays off most in the standout "Your Love (Deja Vu)" with its synth trills and tight, booming beat. "Dreamland" is not quite a step forward for the band, but it does show progress in the face of adversity.
The Devestating Map (LP/CD)
The boundaries of music tend to collapse a little more when you structure your music to be played as instrumentals. In some cases, a strong verse/chorus/verse feel (Jaga Jazzist's epic funk-meets-Tangerine Dream "Spiral Era") gives you the feeling you have heard this before – but you have not.
While in others (ex-Duster Jason Albertini as Helvetia) enough emotion translates through the weird waltz of "Echo Location" that even your tracks with vocals (the GbV-ish grind of "How Does It Feel?) feel foreign. Either way, Norway's synth-based exotic rock from Jaga Jazzist and Helvetia's downtrodden Dinosaur Jr-ish minute-plus sliced indie guitar rock should win places on your playlist.