Album review overview 2023 week 50

Photo (c) Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Dozens of new albums arrive at Maxazine’s editorial staff every week. Way too many to listen to them all, let alone review them. It ensures that too many albums are left behind. And that’s a shame. That is why today we post an overview of albums that arrive at the editors in short reviews.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Dirt On My Diamonds Vol 1

“Dirt On My Diamonds Vol 1” is the new album by singer/guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The overdubs of brass instruments, among others, certainly give the tracks something extra. “Sweet & Low” is a blend of modern urban influences and blues. You can sing along to a number of songs (such as “You Can’t Love Me”) quite easily. “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” is a cover by Elton John. Kenny’s version is also exciting and fits in well with the other songs. The guitar playing in “Bad Intentions” is a bit rougher. “Ease On My Mind” starts calmly, especially the volume and intensity of the guitar playing increases. This last song has several cool twists, and is perhaps the most beautiful of them all. Not only the varied guitar playing of these 8 songs is good, the organ playing also deserves a big compliment. The rhythm section completes the whole. ‘Dirt On My Diamonds Vol 1″ is a fun, accessible album. (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (7/10) (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)

Various Artists – World Music from Cuba Vol. 9

The ninth part of the Cuban songs in the “World Music from Cuba” series is a musical treasure that takes us through the history and deep roots in the heart of the Cuban people. It offers an authentic and in-depth insight into Cuban music in all its glory. Each song invites you to experience the passion, joy and melancholy that define son Cubano, from cheerful guarachas to nostalgic boleros. Lots of traditionals, performed cheerfully and malancholic. But one thing, Raices Cubanas should have stayed away from “Chan Chan”. Or at least have to skip that annoying whistle. All songs have been placed as a radio edit, which leaves no room for imagination as to the purpose of this album. Melancholic and longing for a holiday, yes. (Norman van den Wildenberg) (7/10) (JN Music)

DāM-FunK presents the music of GTA online original score

Last week the theater of the new GTA came online, which is scheduled for release in 2025. For now we can probably groove with this album with the music from GTA online. DāM-FunK is known as “Ambassador off Boogie-Funk,” and that can be clearly heard on this album. Fat basses, corduroy seventies synthesizers and wonderful percussion. Some Wah guitars complete it. This is music for a party or for driving around in a convertible on a sunny day. Not at all bad, especially if you like retro and sometimes wear wide-leg trousers or a floral scarf. (Jan Vranken)(7/10) (Rockstar Games)

Eraldo Bernocchi, Hoshiko Yamane – Sabi

Bernococchi is an Italian guitarist and producer who, like no other, succeeds in working eclectically. He has previously made minimal music, but free jazz and disco are also no problem for him. He seeks the challenge of taking on a variety of styles. On “Sabi” he collaborates with the Japanese violinist and composer Hishiko Yamane. The result of this cross-pollination is a breathtakingly beautiful album with a crossover between electronic music and neo-classical violin music. Exciting to listen to, intensive too. A track like “Imperfection” is perfect. Cinematographic. Close your eyes and I’m floating above a Scottish Loch in the mist. You can only find out how that will work out for you by experiencing it. This is a fantastic adventurous album. (Jan Vranken) (8/10)(Denovali Records)

Madeline Kenney – The Same, Again ANRM (Tiny Telephone Session)

The Bay Area around San Francisco is probably one of the most beautiful places in the USA and that is precisely where singer-songwriter Madeline Kenney comes from. Since 2016, Madeline has been working on a catalog in which she infuses indie pop with a thick sauce of dream pop. Together with her beautiful voice you get that well-known floating music of which a lot more has been made lately. So not very original or innovative. What Madeline does have an advantage over her many competitors is that they play the piano much better than what we hear on average. Compositionally you can hear the Californian sun seeping through her playing. She listened carefully to her parents’ Joshua Kadison record collection, that’s for sure. Quite a nice record. (Jan Vranken) (7/10) (Carpark)

Therion – Leviathan III

Therion is a Swedish symphonic metal band, which emerged from the remains of Blitzkrieg and Megatherion. Originally a metal band, the band decided to undergo some stylistic adjustments, which is why we now call it symphonic metal. And that certainly did the band’s sound good. The riffs are still extremely tight and the bass and kick drums rumble mercilessly through your living room, but the orchestral elements and especially the vocals are very good. With :Leviathan III,” the third part of the trilogy that started in 2020 is finally ready, and this third is without a doubt the best part of the trilogy. Listen to a track like “Ruler of Tamag,” you really don’t have to be a metalhead to like that. Sweden once again proves to be a source of the best metal. Therion could easily stand next to Pain of Salvation at a festival. I would buy tickets then. (Jan Vranken) (8/10) (Napalm Records)

Paul Wall – The Great Wall

As a rapper, Paul Wall is somewhat of an exception to the rule. Which rapper is from Texas now? So Wall. He has been around for many years, without really hitting the jackpot, although he has not done badly. He even has a Grammy Nomination for his work with Nelly. Now his album “The Great Wall”. Beats are ok, not something to go crazy about. The man’s flow is adequate, but certainly not unique. For me, “3 Commas” is the best track on this album. This has hit potential and is wonderful as music for everyday activities. “The Great Wall” is a rap album like André Hazes Jr. makes Dutch-language albums. You can’t say it’s bad, the production is ok, but it doesn’t really go off track anywhere. So just a steady album. He will not suddenly become world famous. (Jan Vranken) (6/10) (Paul Wall)

Olga Jegunova – Slow

Olga is a Lithuanian/Russian pianist. She launches her latest album “Slow” from Paris. featuring works by Erik Satie, Ferenz Liszt, but also more modern work by Luca Tieppo, for example. “Slow,” Olga Jegunova says that the current state of the world, with the war in Ukraine, forbids her to entertain people. She wants to present slower, introspective, thought-provoking music. That works extremely well on this album. “Slow” is an oasis in the madness of today. Beautiful music played by Jegunova in a beautiful and stripped down form, so that the essence remains the same. Undressed, also because she recorded it on Hyeres, the naturist island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Nice. Sometimes it seems like you can feel the sun coming in through the windows. The entire album was also recorded in 1 take. Cheers. (Elodi Renard) (8/10) (Prima Classic)

Fomies – Ominous Prominence

Founded in 2017, Fomies has quickly taken over the Swiss music scene with a unique mix of surf-punk and garage. After the success of the albums “Fomies” and “Melting Seas,” the band explored psychedelic sounds with the addition of a keyboardist. In 2021, “Reversal” was praised for its controlled energy, followed by “Sudden Lag” in 2022, marking the arrival of a new bassist and a more professional direction. They are now back with their album “Ominous Prominence” and although the compositions seem more classical, Fomies delivers a balanced and exciting creation that here and there resembles old songs by Focus and Blondie. Yet the album rarely appeals and will probably remain a no-brainer. (Anton Dupont) (5/10) (Taxi Gauche Records)

Spencer Burton – North Wind

The Canadian Specer Burton is at home in many markets. He not only makes albums as a country artist, but is also active in the indie rock scene under the name “Attack in Black”. He releases his sixth country album with “North Wind”. Country rock with a country accent. Songs about the loss of farm life, the sunset over the land, the loss of home. So actually a kind of Henk Wijngaard, but original. The songs are wonderfully cliché, with a middle and vocals with a sob in them. Yihaaaaaaa, but for real. The fact that this EP only has 4 songs is just a shame, because this is music that you save for a summer evening. Lying in the grass with a straw in your mouth, enjoying the sun. This just has to be possible sometimes. (Jan Vranken) (6/10) (Dine Alone Records)

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