Volume 95, Issue 1
Thursday, May 24, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT||
Weezer wusses out and Megadeth repeats old song
Soundwise, not too much has changed for these four guys. The guitars still wail, the drums still kick a powerful beat and the bass still shakes the house. In fact, the only real difference is the slight change in the singer Rivers Cuomo's voice – he seems a lot quieter and passive.
"Don't Let Go," starts the album off on the right track and seems to pick up where the band left off. It's simply another song about a girl, aided by power grunge guitar – definitely nothing new there.
The first radio release, "Hashpipe," is one of the weaker songs the album has to offer. It's the first time Weezer has lyrically touched the topic of drugs and this particular song lacks any real hook.
"Island In The Sun" is a slow relaxing ballad that should be given much credit. The music works well to capture what the lyrics attempt to convey. Overall, the entire mood of the song is perfectly presented.
Another element the band brought to the table on this effort are strong back up harmonies. Almost every song contains soothing back-ups that will have you singing along in no time.
The album is also filled with many catchy songs that simply won't leave your head for days. Whether this is good or bad is up to you to judge. Although they are not perfect, Weezer is definitely a strong effort with few faults in true Weezer style and they successfully mix aspects of both prior albums.
– Dale Wyatt
While those forays into the world of altenative-rock were not as successful as frontman Dave Mustaine had hoped, it has given him the chance to bring Megadeth's sound full circle.
The band's latest effort, The World Needs a Hero, is full of classic Mustaine angst and cynicism, as well as those blistering, familiar Megadeth riffs, evident on the songs "Disconnect," "Recipe for Hate...Warhorse" and the first single "Moto Psycho."
Although the album's sound reaches back to the band's freshman years, there are still evident signs of maturity. The album makes good use of classical instruments, Mustaine has found lyrical inspiration in things such as love and relationships and there is a noticeable creativity in the presentation of many vocal lines.
What stands out most in Mustaine's writing is his reliance on those days before Megadeth, when he was apart of Metallica's early success. In fairness, Mustaine has taken Megadeth in a different direction, obtained immeasurable success for both his band and heavy-metal music in general, and has proven himself a talented player and writer over the years.
Yet many of these fine points are overshadowed by the band's obvious attempt to resurrect its thrash metal life.
While the jump back to old-school is pleasing at points, such as the song "Return to Hangar," a heavier re-working of the 1990 masterpiece "Hangar 18," there is an overwhelming sensation on the album of something that we've heard before.
– Jeff Warren
However, while listening to Chilloutmix 2, one can hear the CD boasts a clean cohesiveness other compilation CDs cannot. The primary reason is the smooth mixing of songs.
The transitions are subtle, especially in the early parts of the CD where tasteful tracks such as Massive Attack's classic "Teardrop" meld perfectly with the contemplative, icy "Single" by Everything But The Girl.
While maintaining its smooth transitions, Chilloutmix 2 still manages a diverse collection of chill-out tracks that extend beyond one dimensional electronic sound.
The Thievery Corporation's "Lebanese Blonde" is a fine example of the successful combination of electronic and Eastern influences and Bent's "Cylons in Love" is an interesting meld of electronic sounds with acoustic guitar.
The only downfall to Chilloutmix 2 is it's lack of "chill." Tracks like St. Germain's "Alabama Blues" and Moloko's "Sing it Back" would find a more suitable home on a dance-oriented, more intentionally upbeat CD compilation.
The positives do however truly outweigh the negatives on this album. From the opening track, "The Garden" by Faithless to the unique, yet calming Spiritualized closer, "Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space," Chilloutmix 2 is the near-perfect CD for the lazy days of summer.
– Andrea Chiu
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