Album review overview: The Dead South, Pitbull and more

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.

The Dead South – Chains & Stakes

The Canadian blue grass collective The Dead South made a breakthrough some time ago with the infectious ‘In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company’. The often cheerful-sounding music reflects the dark lyrics about murder, alcohol, crime and even incest as in one of their better-known songs. This is no different in this new ‘Chains & Stakes’. For those who have been following the band for a while, we will not find anything innovative on the new album. We can’t say anything negative about it, because it is just good, just like the three previously released albums. The cold year of 1977 returns. We heard that on the previous album of ‘Broken Cowboy’. Nice little details. Both vocally and musically the level we expect from The Dead South. (Rik Moors) (8/10) (Six Shooter Records)

Baby Killed The Roses – Baby Killed The Roses

BloYaTop fans have long been used to the ‘new’ band name Baby Killed the Roses (BKTR). For their album of the same name, the men collaborated with Mario Goossens (Triggerfinger). They returned to the roots of rock, including analogue recording. You can already feel the energy from the opening song. The drumming is dynamic, the guitar riffs are wonderful, and there is a pleasant amount of bass. The whole thing is exciting, the lyrics are not too complicated. Although the songs differ enough from each other, the structure is roughly the same recipe. With boundless energy as the main ingredient. Except for one somewhat boring fade-out, all songs end (very) well. In ‘Mercy’, among other things, you feel where the interaction with the audience will take place. Several songs have nice details and/or twists. One of the nicest twists is in ‘Love Many Trust Few’. The ten energetic songs are made to be played live. (Esther Kessel-Tamerus) (8/10) (Suburban)

Fay Wildhagen – Let’s keep it in the Family

Raised in Oslo, Norway, Fay Wildhagen is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who was fascinated at a young age with creating magical sound worlds on her guitar. With her 2015 debut album ‘Snow’ and 2018 follow-up ‘Borders’, she established herself as one of Norway’s most exciting artists. Her third studio album ‘Let’s keep it in the Family’ is a surprisingly good pop-rock album with wonderful tracks such as ‘ohmygod’ that belong in the charts. There isn’t a single weak song on this album. A good one in the category of albums that you need to hear. (Jan Vranken) (7/10) (Warner Music Norway)

Pitbull – Trackhouse (Daytona 500 Edition)

It’s been some time since Pitbull got the world dancing with his simple, commercial fun pop dance tunes. Timber!!!! ‘Daytona 500 Edition’ is Cuban-American rapper  Pitbull’s new album, featuring guest appearances from Tim McGraw, Vikina, the inevitable Nile Rodgers and Dolly Parton. It’s the man’s first real album since 2013. We should be happy about that. No, not necessarily. Of course, Pitbull can do whatever he wants, but this isn’t a good album or anything. For the umpteenth time an album with ‘Good Times’ by Chic on which a rapper goes wild. We have seen that now. Nile Rodgers is the driving force behind the sale and the person who walks in on it. ‘Powerful Women’ with Dolly Parton pulls the Parton classic ‘9 to 5’ through the dryer. No, this is nothing. Just not fun at all. (Elodie Renard) (4/10) (Mr 305 Records)

Ihsahn – Ihsahn

Vegard Sverre Tveitar better known by his stage name Ihsahn released his eighth album under his pseudonym. The Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer remains inextricably linked to the legendary Black Metal band Emperor. The music that Ihsahn has been making since he departed from Emperor still contains Black Metal elements but contains a much broader palette of musical colours. So you not only hear Black Metal, but the ingeniously composed compositions also contain classical influences, Jazz, Progressive and even Ambient passages. This album is released in two versions. A fully orchestral version and a regular studio version that I am now discussing and where there is no shortage of orchestral fragments. The best song is ‘Blood Trails To Love’ which can best be described as a progressive semi-ballad. With his eighth studio work, Ihsahn proves that musical boundaries can still be pushed, even in 2024. I’m curious to see what else this Norwegian has in store for us in the future. (Ad Keepers) (9/10) (Candlelight Records)

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