RATM’s Second Coming Will Hopefully Continue In The Coming Years

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

The end is near!  The end of the year that is.  The end of 2017 is only 48 hours away at the time of this post.  With time quickly ticking away, there is still a lot of work for this critic to do with year-ender lists.  Considering this, we’ll get right into it with one last list for the year’s new albums in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  This list was perhaps the most difficult of all for this critic to assemble.  That is because of the amount of top quality material released across the musical universe this year.  From punk to pop to jazz, world, rock and more, there were a lot of great records released over the past year.  Keeping this in mind, coming up with this was no easy chore, to say the least.  It was finally accomplished, though, and includes titles from the worlds of rocks, jazz, country and even world music.

Leading off this year’s best new album — in this critic’s ears and mind — is Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I.  This record is a beautiful work that despite being marketed as jazz, could just as easily fit into any adult contemporary pop radio station’s rotation.  Also included in this year’s finale are new releases from country music superstar Chris Stapleton, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Marc Broussard, emo-punk band Young Fox’s new album and much more.

As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 choices as well as five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  2. Ala.Ni — You & I
  3. Jazzmeia Horn — A Social Call
  4. Diana Panton — Solstice/Equinox
  5. Fer Isella — Art of the Possible
  6. Nova Collective — The Further Side
  7. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  8. Mike Mangioni & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  9. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  10. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  11. Project 86 — Sheep Among Wolves
  12. Chris Stapleton — From A Room Vol. 2
  13. Young Fox — Sky Beats Gold
  14. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  15. Marc Broussard — Easy To Love

That’s it, folks.  As noted, this was not an easy list to assemble by any means.  Trying to determine which albums likely would have a certain amount of longevity through through musical and lyrical messages was a tough task.  One cannot ignore the fact that what with the nation’s current political climate, the second coming of Rage Against The Machine was one of this year’s most important and standout efforts.  In the same breath, the gentility and beauty offered by Ala.Ni, Jazzmeia Horn and Diana Panton makes their albums certain to stay in peoples’ minds and ears.  Fer Isella’s new album, while instrumental is like the soundtrack to any major Hollywood drama such as Bridges of Madison County and other similar movies.

The jazz fusion feel of Nova Collective’s debut record and the prog rock of Scale The Summit’s latest record stand out just as much.  Mike Mangioni & The Kin may stay under the radar, but that’s just fine with this critic.  The group’s new album is a great independent offering.  Dishwalla’s new album is a wonderful return for the band while John 5 & the Creatures’ new album is yet another example of how truly talented the guitarist truly is and that he made the right decision leaving Marilyn Manson’s band.

It is easy to go on and on about every album noted here.  Regardless of the band’s fame, the fact of the matter stands that each album listed here is one that this critic feels is impacting and important for the given act and for the music community in whole.  That being the case, this list stands as this critic’s best new albums of 2017.  Now with all of the music stuff out of the way, it’s on to a handful of DVD/BD titles including best new box sets for families and for grown-ups, best new DVDs/BDs for families, and even best new documentaries.  So stay tuned for all of that!

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘inFinite’ Will Live Infinitely As One Of Deep Purple’s Best Works

Courtesy: earMusic

Christmas has officially come and gone.  So has Hanukkah.  The presents have been opened and decorations likely have started being put away.  Even despite that, Phil’s Picks still has some gifts of sorts for everyone out there in the form of some more year-ender lists.  Considering that time is so tight, some of the lists, it turns out, might have to be ignored in favor of some others.  One of the lists that definitely will not be ignored before the year lets out is that of the year’s top new rock records.

The titles included in this list are separate from the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  Phil’s Picks has a list of those albums on the way. Before getting to that list though, the focus here will be on the year’s top new rock records.  Topping the list of this year’s best new rock records from this critic is Deep Purple’s latest (and likely last) full-length studio recording InFinite.  The album was just recently re-issued with the band’s latest live recording The inFinite Live Recordings Vol. 1 only months after the album’s original release.  The record’s oftentimes blues-based rock arrangements show this band is at the top of its game, even as it seemingly winds down its life.  The lyrical themes exhibited throughout the album are just as interesting as its musical arrangements.  It is definitely a memorable recording that deserves every accolade.

Also on this critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums is Foo Fighters’ latest effort Concrete and Gold.  This record is more proof of the band’s willingness to try new things and grow on each album and the success that can and does come with that willingness to branch out, rather than churn out the same thing time and again.  It’s just one more of the albums on the list this year.  Also included in this year’s list are new albums from Scale The Summit, Prophets of Rage, John 5 & The Creatures and a number of others.  As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 best new albums in its category plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Now with all of that having been said, presented here is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Deep Purple — inFinite
  2. Foo Fighters — Concrete & Gold
  3. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  4. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  5. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  6. KXM — Scatterbrain
  7. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  8. Fozzy — Judas
  9. Hell or Highwater — Vista
  10. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  11. At The Wayside — The Breakdown and The Fall
  12. Leprous — Malina
  13. Royal Blood — How Did We Get So Dark?
  14. Warrant — Louder, Faster, Harder
  15. Horisont — About Time

That’s all for this list.  It is not the last list, though.  There are still lists for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, the year’s top new albums and select DVD/BD lists.  As many lists as possible will be posted up from here on out, so stay tuned for all that and more.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dishwalla Signs New Music Publishing Deal With ABKCO Music

Courtesy: ABKCO Music Back Row L – R: Dishwalla members Jim Wood and Justin Fox, Rodney Browning Cravens, George Pendergast, and Scot Alexander. Front Row L – R: Artist Representative Marianna Burdon and ABKCO C.O.O. Alisa Coleman

Dishwalla is back in the news only months after it released its latest album Juniper Road.

The band recently signed a new music publishing deal with ABKCO Music.  A music publishing deal is an agreement between a songwriter and publishing company that allows the publishing company to collect revenues from the publishing of the songwriter’s works.  Depending on the terms of a given deal, publishing companies can get varying fees for their supervisory role for the songwriter.

Financials and the term length of the deal were not announced in a news release sent from ABKCO Music.  The release did note that it includes every single one of the band’s songs, including those from Juniper Road. Band keyboardist Jim Wood said signing the new deal with ABKCO was a common sense move.

“We’re really excited to find ourselves alongside so many legends at ABKCO,” Wood said.  “They were an obvious choice for us, as they’ve been instrumental in furthering the careers of so many artists who have influenced us.”

Alisa Coleman, ABKCO C.O.O. was just as excited to have the deal done.

“We are very excited to be working with Dishwalla,” Coleman said.  “We look forward to helping them capitalize on their past, present and future successes in innovative ways that take into account the ever-changing industry landscape.  They are tremendously talented, and we are proud to welcome them to the ABKCO family.”

More information on ABKCO Music is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.abkco.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abkco

 

 

 

More information on Dishwalla’s new deal is available long with all of its latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dishwalla.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Dishwalla

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dishwalla

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Dishwalla Is On A Good “Road” With Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

California-based alt-rock outfit Dishwalla is set to release its first new album in more than a decade later this month.  The album, Juniper Road, is the band’s fifth full-length album and its first since the release of its self-titled album Dishwalla in 2005. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Dishwalla, listeners will agree in large part that this latest effort from Dishwalla is a positive re-introduction for the band to new fans and its more seasoned fans.  That is proven early on in the album’s second song, ‘Give Me A Sign,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Don’t Fade Away,’ which comes a little later in the record’s sequence, also exemplifies what makes this record an appealing return for the band.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Darkness Conceals’ is yet another of the songs featured in this record that exhibits what makes the album a welcome return for the band. It most certainly is not the only other song that shows what makes the album such a surprisingly enjoyable new offering from Dishwalla.  It offers nine other songs that could just as easily be discussed in making that statement.  Considering this, the whole of this 12-song album proves to be potentially one of this year’s top new rock albums.

Juniper Road is a surprisingly enjoyable new offering from Dishwalla.  That is due both to the decidedly 90s rock sound exhibited in each of the songs featured in the 12-song, 48-minute record and the lyrical content presented in each.  ‘Give Me A Sign’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  As noted it, like so many of the album’s other offerings boasts a decidedly 90s rock vibe in its musical arrangement. The gently-flowing arrangement, whose foundation is formed by Jim Woods’ keyboard work Rodney B Cravens’ guitar work and drummer  George Pendergast’s time keeping, is a radio-ready work that would be an easy fit at any mainstream rock and adult contemporary station.  The composition is that easy on the ears.

In regards to its lyrical content, that material is just as radio-ready as the song’s musical arrangement.  It comes across as a work steeped in the matter of relationships, yet is not one just a standard work.  That is inferred as front man Justin Fox sings, “You walked into the crowded room/On the first day of the past/I watched the conversations stop/Above the Earth you made your way/As the tide stood slowly/But/I knew from then I had no choice/From the darkness to the spotlight/I will keep you trained in my sights/Till I finally get the chance to know/How to find my way through the window.”  He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Where do you go when the lights go down/Where do you scream when there’s no one around and waiting for you/For all of this time/Burning bright like a dying star/Setting fire through this endless sky/I’ve been waiting for you/Just give me a sign/Just give me a sign.”  Fox’s use of metaphor is just as thought-provoking throughout the rest of the song as he sings about a person having gone through so much while the subject continues to say, “give me a sign.” The subject is saying to that person, “give me a sign” about what he should do.  It’s not a pleading cry. Rather, it comes across more as a statement saying he’s been there all along for the other person.  The song’s musical arrangement adds to that statement, painting a picture that evokes great emotion even though neither it nor the song’s lyrical theme try to go over the top.  Considering this, the two elements join to show why the song in whole is just one of the ways in which Juniper Road proves to be such a surprisingly enjoyable return for Dishwalla.  It is not the only song included in this record that supports that statement. ‘Don’t Fade Away’ supports that statement just as much as ‘Show Me A Sign.’

‘Show Me A Sign’ clearly *ahem* shows in itself why Dishwalla’s new album is a welcome return for the band.  That is evident due to the song’s radio-ready and moving musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  It is not the album’s only key composition. ‘Don’t Fade Away,’ which comes slightly later in the album’s sequence, is another song that shows what makes Juniper Road enjoyable.  As with the prior song, that is evidenced in part through its musical arrangement, which is driven in large part through the combined efforts of bassist Scot Alexander and drummer George Pendergast. The pair’s rhythm combo keeps the song’s energy flowing from start to finish. Meanwhile guitarist Rodney Cravings adds his own special touch to the song along with Fox.  The joining of those elements led to a composition that is not only up-beat, but also just as radio-ready as that of ‘Show Me A Sign’ if not more so.  What’s more the group’s combined efforts make the song’s three-and-a-half-minute run time pass by effortlessly, leaving listeners feeling fulfilled by the time the song ends.  That arrangement is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as notable as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Don’t Fade Away’ is so important to note because of the seeming social commentary contained therein.  That is inferred as Fox sings in the song’s lead verse, “I al often stunned/By the world that we’ve become/Desperate isolation has us trying to hold on/Somehow in this place/We found a single light to start again to shine/Illuminate our hearts/Day after day after night/Time spins…” From there, he and his band mates sing in the song’s chorus, “Don’t fade away/You’ve got to set this night ablaze/And try to stay awake until/The morning light has turned the sky light.”  That message is repeated again in the chorus’ refrain following the second verse in which Fox sings, “You feel life’s illusion/Intoxicate your will/Waiting for the moment you will notice it’s true/Could you overtake it/And give in to the dark…But I know I won’t feel the same/Day after night after day.”  Some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference.  But the statement that can be understood, when set alongside the positive message in the song’s chorus seems to present a message of hope; a message that tells listeners not to give up in even the most difficult situations.  That positive upbeat musical arrangement that accompanies that seeming message strengthens it even more along with the song in whole.  Keeping that in mind, the seeming positive message of hope in the song’s lyrical content and its equally bright musical arrangement show in whole even more why Juniper Road is a surprisingly enjoyable return for Dishwalla.  It still is not the last of the songs included in the album that serves to show what makes it stand out.  ‘Darkness Conceals’ is yet another example of what makes the album a surprisingly standout return for the band.

‘Show Me A Sign’ and ‘Don’t Fade Away’ are both critical in showing what makes Juniper Road a welcome return for Dishwalla.  The songs’ musical arrangements are both fully radio-ready as are their lyrical themes.  Even with this in mind, they are not the only songs that serve to make the record stand out.  ‘Darkness Conceals’ is yet another example of what makes the album so strong.  As with the previously noted songs, this work stands out in part because of its own musical arrangement. The arrangement presented here stands out from those songs and the rest of the album’s offerings just as much as they stand out from one another.  It comes across as a sort of blues-based arrangement that is also just as radio-ready as any of the album’s other songs.  It is driven in large part through Fox’s vocals, with Cravens building on that foundation even more.  That infectious arrangement couples with words that make the song in whole even more intriguing for listeners.

The song’s lyrical content is so intriguing because it seems to present its own social commentary.  That is inferred as Fox sings in the song’s lead verse, “We’re not the shade we say we are/It’s the grey that lies between/In the light we hide our true desire/never know what darkness conceals/Or what might be revealed in the light.”  The song’s second verse hints at that social commentary just as much as Fox sings, “In this dream we’ve built aloud/Not ever what it seems/Lies inside you keep don’t make a sound/You never know what darkness conceals/Or what might be revealed in the light.”  The seeming commentary continues even more in the song’s final verse, though that verse seems to add a hint of a relationship matter, making the song’s lyrical content even deeper.  Whether the song is meant to be taken as a social commentary or as a song perhaps about lies kept in relationships, lyrically speaking, the way in which the lyrics were composed will certainly keep listeners thinking and talking long after the song ends.  That is a good thing, too.  When coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, the song will even more ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Considering this, the two elements show why the song in whole is such an important part of Juniper Road. When it is joined with ‘Give Me A Sign,’ ‘Don’t Fade Away’ and the album’s other nine songs, the end result is an album that proves to be potentially one of this year’s top new rock records.

Dishwalla’s first new album in a dozen years is an unexpectedly entertaining effort.  From start to finish, the album shows Dishwalla has not lost a step since the release of its last album.  It proves the band still has what it takes to stand with its counterparts in the mainstream rock realm.  That is evidenced in the radio-ready musical arrangements and thought-provoking lyrical content presented in ‘Give Me A Sign,’ ‘Don’t Fade Away’ and ‘Darkness Conceals.’  The same applies to the other nine albums that fill out the album’s body.  All things considered, this record in whole proves to be a work that could be one of this year’s top new rock albums.  It will be available in stores and online Friday, July 14 via Pavement Entertainment.  More information on Juniper Road is available online now along with all of Dishwalla’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dishwalla.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Dishwalla

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dishwalla

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.