Friday, March 31, 2006

Rarities #12: Foo Fighters In Your Honor (2005)

I know I'm in a Foo Fighters phase recently, so bear with me haha. Anyway, In Your Honor is Foos' fifth studio album, following the commercial and critical success that was One By One, which won them two Grammy Awards - Best Hard Rock Performance for All My Life and Best Rock Album.

Even with the accolades dished out on One By One, they weren't totally satisfied with the album and Dave Grohl admitted that he didn't feel that good performing songs from the album on their tours. Somehow the songs didn't feel right.

So the Foos went on a break and responded with this album. The first disc features some of the loudest songs they have ever done, while the second disc showcases a softer and gentler side of the Foos. The album is cleverly being marketed as "20 songs on 2 CDs. One loud, one not so loud."

Anyway, the first disc isn't that loud. It's quite rocking, but it isn't balls-busting loud. But I'm not complaining cos I love them when they rock out loud. Outstanding tracks from the loud side include the title track, new single No Way Back, first single Best Of You, second single DOA and third single Resolve. Heck, I've listed half of the songs in there already. So you kow how much I like the CD now.

I haven't been listening much to the mellow CD though. As I always remind you, the most brilliant track on this side is Virginia Moon, a duet with Norah Jones. It's so un-Foo Fighters and you will fall in love with it once you hear it.

Foos have already wrapped up their "loud" tour and they'll be embarking on an acoustic tour soon, after Dave Grohl welcomes his baby to earth. Not sure what the response to their acoustic tour will be, but Foos are quite capable of turning the volume down. Just listen to their acoustic versions of Times Like These, Everlong and Walking After You for proof.

The limited edition album as featured above comes with a bonus DVD featuring the entire second disc in 5.1 surround sound, as well as a making-of documentary. The whole package is quite nice, but too bad there aren't lyrics in there. It got sold out by the third week of release, so if you have a copy of this, lucky you.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You Oughta Listen...

Tunes rocking my world lately...must check out!

1. Resolve by Foo Fighters
Third single off Foos' In Your Honor album, this is a slow burner. I thought it was too poppy at first, and it was just another of their ballads. But it really grew on me and I think the whole song structure is very well constructed. The melody and counter-melody just melds together at the last portion of the song. And the tune is damn good to sing along too.

2. No Way Back by Foo Fighters
Fourth and latest single by Foos. You can catch the video on MTV right now. It's got good energy and power, and Foos really rock hard on this one. Would love to perform this someday.

3. Dakota by Stereophonics
This song is not that new also, but it's the lead single off their most recent album, Language.Sex.Violence.Other? I liked it when I first heard it, but my love for it was reignited when local cover band Kruger performed it live recently. Not everyone will like it I guess, but it works for me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Collectibles #5: Madonna Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005)

Madonna had high stakes for this album, after her previous album, American Life, flopped spectecularly, both critically and commercially. Well, the title track did indeed take it a little too far (I'm drinkin' a soy latte, I get a double shotte...), but there were a few good tracks in there to be fair (Love Profusion, Nothing Fails).

However, Madonna, being the Queen of Re-invention, never fails to change her image and her musical style. And she has done so again with her latest album. Confessions is like a mega remix album, with all the songs bridging seamlessly into the other. As expected, all the songs are dancy and it is best evidenced by the first single Hung Up.

Already a huge hit all over the world, Hung Up made Madonna cool again and made the world forget about American Life. Its intelligent sampling of Abba's Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! was totally appropriate and it was a metaphor for Madonna herself--the ability to reinvent and make something old new.

Second single Sorry hit UK number one recently, and its bassline samples Can You Feel It by The Jacksons. It's not a blatant ripoff like Hung Up but a more subtle one. It's not as good as Hung Up but still very catchy.

The Special Edition of the album comes with a 44-page colour photo album of Madonna as well as an "80-page blank notebook with Madonna sketches for your confessions". Trying a bit too hard here I feel. But anyway, there's one bonus track, Fighting Spirit, to appease the fans who shelled out a bomb for this package.

It's not an excellent package but like all Madonna releases, this one should gain in value with time. It's still available in shops out there, but the price is rising soon. The cheapest is at Music Junction, going for $45.90, while HMV and the others are selling around $70 already. Grab it now.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rarities #11: Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Singles Cigarette Box Set (1996)

In celebration of the recent Oasis concert in Singapore, today's featured rarity will be this (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Singles Cigarette Box Set. It is uniquely packaged and even comes with the cheeky line"Warning: Rock 'N' Roll Can Seriously Harm Your Health."

When this box was released, Oasis was "the biggest band in the world, even bigger than The Beatles." So they could pretty much say what they wanted. But there's no denying that Morning Glory was a watershed album for them, and they did conquer the world deservedly in 1996.

The singles in this box include some of Oasis' finest songs: Roll With It, Some Might Say, Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger. There is an additional 5th CD, which is a compilation of interviews from various sources. There is also a booklet featuring photographs, quotes and discography of Oasis up till that point.

This is one rare cigarette box and it's seriously quite damaging to one's health. You will never view rock and roll the same way again after consuming this.