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!

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‘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.

AT&T Audience Network Presents Prophets Of Rage Concert Event Tonight

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

AT&T Audience Network is bringing audiences a special live event from Prophets of Rage tonight.

The one-hour event will air at 9 p.m. ET via DRECTV NOW on DIRECTV Channel 239 and on AT&T U-Verse Channel 1114 as well as on-demand.  The event features live footage of the group — comprised of Rage Against The Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Cummerford Public Enemy front man Chuck D. and Cypress Hill front man B. Real – performing at various festivals worldwide.

The festival performances featured in tonight’s special include the Festival Vive Latino in Mexico (March 18, 2017), Hellfest 2017 in France (June 18, 2017), Maximus in Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 6, 2017) and Louder than Life Festival in Louisville, KY (Oct. 1, 2017).  The concert footage includes performances of the band’s own new material alongside well-known Rage Against The Machine songs.

The live footage presented throughout tonight’s concert event is only part of what audiences have to anticipate.  The group sits down with AT&T Audience Network concert series host Ted Stryker (no relation to the Airplane character) later in the evening to talk about their motivations for coming together and crafting their new music.

Along with the live performances expected to be featured tonight on the AT&T Audience Network, Prophets of Rage is also giving audiences a handful of chances to catch it live on the road.  It wraps its current U.S. tour this Saturday, Nov. 4 at Ozzfest in San Bernadino, CA before heading overseas for a European tour that launches Nov. 10 in Paris France.  The band’s full tour schedule is noted below.

 

DATE
LOCATION
VENUE
SAT
11/4
San Bernardino, CA
Ozzfest
FRI
11/10
Paris, France
Le Zenith Paris
MON
11/13
London, United Kingdom
O2 Forum Kentich Town
WED
11/15
Dusseldorf, Germany
Mitsubishi Electric Halle
THU
11/16
Tilburg, Netherlands
O13

 

Prophets of Rage’s debut self-titled album is available now in stores and online via Fantasy Records.  More information on the album, the band’s live schedule and more is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://prophetsofrage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prophetsofrage

 

 

 

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.

‘Prophets Of Rage’ Is A Solid Effort For RATM 2.0

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Rage Against The Machine is back again…sort of.  Tom Morello, Tim Cummerford and Brad Wilk joined forces with longtime friends B-Real (Cypress Hill) and Chuck D (Public Enemy) some time ago following the dissolution of Audioslave to form the super group Prophets of Rage, which is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0.  The only real difference between this “new” group and RATM—as is clear in listening to the group’s brand new self-titled debut album, is the fact that Morello, Wilk and Cummerford are joined this time out by the aforementioned superstar hip-hop front men.  Musically and lyrically speaking, the fruits of the group’s efforts make this 12-song album everything that Rage Against The Machine fans have come to expect from that band.  Even with that in mind, that return to musical and lyrical form makes this record a welcome effort from the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.

Prophets of Rage’s brand new self-titled debut album is a welcome effort from what is for all intents and purposes the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 12-song, 39-minute run time.  From start to finish, listeners get here 12 arrangements that are a full return to form for Morello and his RATM band mates—Brad Wilk (drums) and Brad Cummerford (bass).  Morello’s heavy riffs and guitar-based special sound effects lift from all three of RATM’s full-length studio efforts and even from the trio’s work under the Audioslave moniker.  That balance of sounds throughout this record makes it enjoyable enough even despite the arrangements not exactly being anything groundbreaking.  Keeping this in mind, the album’s collective arrangements are collectively just one of the album’s elements to examine.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note here as those arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout Prophets of Rage is important to note here because it is just as familiar to RATM fans as the album’s musical arrangements.  What is important to note here is that while being as socially conscious as the lyrics in RATM’s previous albums, the topics tackled here are timely.  They do not just rehash the topics taken on in those records.  Case in point is the album’s opener ‘Radical Eyes.’  This song clearly takes on the misconception that just because someone might read one religious book or another that said person has become radicalized.  It is a response, basically, to the close mindedness that so many people have primarily against the Muslim community in this nation.  Its follow-up, ‘Unf*** the World’ stays on a similar mindset as it takes on the issue of racism that is still so alive in America.  The group also takes on the issue of poverty in America and the struggle to fight the issue due to politicians who seemingly don’t care to fight that battle in ‘Living on the 110.’  The group even takes on the issue of personal privacy invasion of sorts in ‘Take Me Higher,’ which addresses law enforcement’s use (and possible misuse) of drones in their daily duties.  The group even goes so far as to address the tensions between police and the people that have risen in recent years over allegations of police brutality in ‘Hands Up.’  This is all just a glance at the way in which Prophets of Rage manages lyrically to impress listeners with its timely lyrical content.  The other songs not noted here all present lyrical content that is just as timely as the material noted here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the lyrical content presented throughout this record proves to be POR’s cornerstone.  It is just one more of the album’s most important elements, too.  The album’s sequencing puts the final touch to its overall presentation.

Plenty of time and thought was obviously put into Prophets of Rage’s sequencing.  From start to finish, the album never lets its fire burn out.  Even as the group gets a bit funky in ‘Take Me Higher,’ it still doesn’t let up in its energy.  The up-tempo arrangement is instantly infectious thanks to all involved, ensuring listeners’ engagement just as much as the album’s much heavier arrangements.  Much the same can be said of ‘Counteroffensive,’ the 38-second interlude which lifts more from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill than RATM.  Even as short as it is and stylistically separate from its counterparts, its arrangement still is entertaining.  Its placement almost halfway through the record is just as smart, as it gives listeners a short break and some variance to the record in whole.  Considering this, the energies exhibited in each song and the fact that no one song directly repeats the other (in regards to their arrangements), it becomes even clearer why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole.  The energies never vary even as the familiar arrangements do vary.  When this is considered along with the arrangements themselves and the album’s timely lyrical content, the end result is an album that proves to be a solid first effort from Prophets of Rage and an equally solid new effort from what is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0.  More information on Prophets of Rage is available now along with Prophets of Rage’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://prophetsofrage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prophetsofrage

 

 

 

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.