October 1, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 19  

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CD Reviews

The Jessica Fletchers

What Happened To The?
Rainbow Quartz

After two EPs of enduring obscurity, What Happened To The? is The Jessica Fletchers' first full-length release. With '60s and '70s themes and throwbacks ranging from Austin Powers to Charlie's Angels being crammed down our throats with such fervor, five dudes from Norway wanted a piece of the pie.

In a fusion between The Byrds, Iron Butterfly and all points in between, What Happened To The? is a lesson in the grandiosity of the rock era that preceded disco. It's all there: the twangy treble saturated guitar, the unpolished organ riffs and the random trumpet interludes, all of which come within a semi-tone or two of obvious copyright infringement on existing classics.

At the end of the day, this is an unintrusive and fairly well-orchestrated album, although the group's homage to the star detective of Murder She Wrote as their namesake I can do without.

-Mike Arntfield

Ima Robot


Hailing from Los Angeles, this five-piece band makes perfect music for the soundtracks of movies that are slightly more intelligent than American Pie. The first track, "Dynomite," is poppy, lighthearted punk/rock 'n' roll - a little bit Oasis, a little bit Sloan and a bit of Green Day. Coldplay would likely approve of "Scream" and "What Are We Made From," with its melodic piano strains and mushy professions of "you were the best love I ever had/you hit me high, you hit me low." Meanwhile, the opening bars of "Philosophofee" are reminiscent of the sounds of the old Super Mario Brothers Nintendo games.

This album, which is the band's first effort, would be well-suited to any White Stripes fan who doesn't mind male lead singers who insist on using bizarre, almost falsetto voices. Ima Robot is ideal for both "rocking out" and lying on a couch feeling listless.

-Amanda Aitken


The Long Road
Roadrunner Records

The most impressive part of Nickelback's The Long Road is sadly the artwork and the additional features that are included, like the "thank you" card for not downloading music online. The Vancouver-based ensemble of Chad Kroeger (singer/guitarist/songwriter), Ryan Peake (guitarist), Mike Kroeger (bassist) and Ryan Vikedal (drummer) has been touring collectively since 1998.

The opening track, "Flat on the Floor," has a great sound to it, showing the band is capable of producing a wicked grunge riff on the guitar, with a strong presence of drums. Other than "Another Whole in the Head," which resembles the latter track in talent and capabilities, this album is pretty bland.

If you happen to be a Nickelback fanatic, acquire the songs mentioned above through alternative methods. To buy this album is to say you support the quality of this CD - or the lack thereof.

-Braedon Hendy




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