CD REVIEWS: Placebo,
Killer Mike, Plastic Bag, Turin Brakes, The Nylons
Placebo trumps Turin Brakes
Sleeping with Ghosts
Rundown: Placebo are a band committed to innovation.
Sleeping with Ghosts, their fourth album, exerts great musical
range, from trance-like beats to melodic ballads.
Key Tracks: "English Summer Rain" incorporates
an impressive blend of instruments to create a pulsating and hypnotic
rhythm. "Special Needs," provides the illusion of escaping reality.
Sounds Like: Overall, Sleeping with Ghosts offers
a great sound. Comparing Placebo to other artists would simplify their
creative efforts, as they provide a mix of goth, alternative rock, techno
Rundown: Prior to Monster, Killer Mike asserted
his presence in rap and hip-hop through collaborative efforts with OutKast's
"The Whole World." He adopts similar group efforts on Monster
by featuring artists such as Big Boi and Bizarre.
Key Tracks: "Scared Straight" attempts to attack
serious issues, but loses its intended meaning through lyrics like "Mamma,
I don't wanna sell crack no more."
Sounds Like: Overall, Killer Mike entertains through
his energetic and versatile music. However, those who prefer clean-cut
lyrics should avoid the rantings of Killer Mike.
Friendly Fire Recordings
Rundown: Chemical is the debut album for Toronto's
Plastic Bag. The band boasts Cam Bull, who has played guitar for both
Starkicker and By Divine Right.
Key Tracks: "Groundswell" is one of the few
good songs on this album, and is quite radio-friendly. "Paramedics"
and "Straight Line" also are good tracks.
Sounds Like: It's like '80s heavy metal had a lovechild
with mediocre rock. It's a mixture of styles, but if you like whiny metal
you'll love this.
Rundown: Turin Brakes, made up of the British duo Olly
Knights and Gale Paridjanian, release their much-anticipated second album
Ether Song as a follow-up to their extremely popular 2001 debut, The
Key Tracks: "Long Distance," seems to break
through the barrier of mediocrity. The combination of keyboards, drums,
guitar and synthesizer sounds are almost perfect, and, lyrically, the
song has just the right degree of poetical angst without being annoying.
Sounds Like: The style and the vocals are reminiscent
of artists such as Coldplay and Travis but falls short of equalling
Wildfire Entertainment Productions
Rundown: The Nylons may be best remembered for taking
it to the jungle with the acappella hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
Key Tracks: "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
is a cover of The Police classic, juxtaposing the group's ear for vocal
harmony with an infectiously uptempo beat.
Sounds Like: With a sound that's aged like a fine wine, The Nylons'
solidarity as a group is an almost inconceivable feat in the "here
today, gone tomorrow" music industry.