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Record Reviews from D.J. Fogg for both new and classic discs. Read about music you like or find out about something new.

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The Hives - 'The Black and White Album' - 2007 - A&M/Octone - The Hives are a loose and lively garage band from Sweden. On this album, they tighten up their sound without loosing any of the fun. The songs take on urban life from a unique perspective. 'Tick Tick Boom' gets things off to a rollicking start, and it doesn't let up until the cute afternoon-monster-movie music of 'A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors.' Not every song is a gem, but there are enough like 'Hey Little World' to keep you hoppin' for quite a while. Also check out 'Well All Right' and 'Return The Favour.' Hives
Jared Young - 'So Many Miles' - 2006 - Stickman - LA based singer/songwriter Jared Young has put together a great first album, blending the emotional and observational in series of great melodies. Although love is an issue, Young also speaks of self-esteem and support, turning over vulnerabilities and making them right. 'Sense To Breathe' and 'Uncomfortable Skin' and, of course, 'Vulnerable' are in this vein. He also takes on the workplace in 'The Minimum Wage' and modern life in 'In This Day And Age.' It all comes together in a great package - this is an artist to watch. Go to Jarod
The Crystal Method - 'Legion Of Boom' - 2003 - V2 - As far as I'm concerned, The Crystal Method saved the electronic dance genre from being completely dominated by the British. Working out of Glendale, CA, CM compose dense instrumental tracks with great melodies and plenty of punch. Many tracks have a rock feel, and there is enough variety to make entire album an enjoyable listen. Only three tracks have proper vocals, but voices are used with skill throughout to enhance the sound. Check out 'Starting Over,' 'True Grit,' and 'Broken Glass.' Look for the DVD-Audio version; awesome. Crystal
Cindy Bullens - 'Somewhere Between Heaven And Earth' - 1999 - Artemis - This album is dynamite. Written in the aftermath of the cancer death of her 11 year old daugher, Jessie, she rages and grieves and questions but comes out on the other side a better person. With the assistance of friends like Bonnie Raitt, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Lucinda Williams, and Rodney Crowell, Bullens makes a record that hits you hard but is ultimately hopeful and uplifting. Highly recommended. Bullens
Brownsville Station - 'No B.S.' - 1970 - Palladium/Warner Brothers - This one is at the top of my "Classics" list because it's my all-time favorite album. Both a throw-back to the 50's and a flash forward to power pop, every song has punch and energy. Covers like 'Hello Mary Lou' and 'Be-Bop Confidential,' in addition to great originals, create a teenage world of girls, cars and good times with a power just beginning to be explored in 1970. Although Brownsville Station had a huge hit later with 'Smoking In The Boys Room,' they never made a better album. No BS
Karla Bonoff - 'Karla Bonoff' - 1977 - Columbia - Karla Bonoff was a charter member of the Southern California country/rock/folk club of the 1970's that included Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, J.D. Souther, and Andrew Gold. This, her debut album, was a modest hit and has aged with grace. The songs speak of love and loss and, although written in the 70's, remain relevant. Every song is great, but 'I Can't Hold On' (which charted), 'Isn't It Always Love,' and 'Rose In The Garden' stand out. Bonoff
Emitt Rhodes - 'Emitt Rhodes' - 1970 - Dunhill - After disbanding his band (The Merry-Go-Round), Emitt Rhodes set up a 4-track recording studio in his parents garage and made one of the best pop-rock albums ever. Writing every song and playing every instrument, he sang of optimism and love at a time when people really believed it; the songs are upbeat without being sentimental or saccharine. Check out 'Fresh As A Daisy,' 'She's Such A Beauty,' and 'With My Face On The Floor.' A perfect album, and his follow up, 'Mirror,' was almost as good.Rhodes
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - 'Part One' - 1967 - Reprise - A fringe band in a year when the fringe was exploding, the WCPAEB mix mind-games and melody in a very interesting way. They touch many genres; 'Transparent Day' and 'Here's Where You Belong' are straight rockers, but 'I Won't Hurt You' and 'Will You Walk With Me' are simple ballads that veer off in unexpected directions. Frank Zappa's 'Help I'm A Rock' is covered; 'Leiyla' is a love song that is both sweet and creepy at the same time, and '1906' is a circus visit turned on its head. Check it out.WCPAEB
Benny Goodman - 'BG In Hi-Fi' - 1955 - Capitol Jazz - In the 1989 CD rerelease, twelve tracks are played by a big band and eight are played by a 5-piece combo. There are plenty of standards; 'Let's Dance,' Jersey Bounce,' Stompin' At The Savoy,' 'Ain't Misbehavin.' Everything jumps and swings for plenty of lively dancing. Recorded in mono on tape in 1954, the sound is pristine. Goodman is a legend, and these tracks, recorded when he was 46, are a terrific legacy to his talent.Benny
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