Friday, September 17, 2010

Javier Navarrete: Le labyrinthe de Pan (4.5/5)

Year: 2006
Genre: Soundtrack
Label: Milan
TRT: 73:44

Yes, this is the OST for Pan’s Labyrinth. But unlike most soundtracks, this one doesn’t need the accompaniment of a movie to be awesome, it does that just fine on it’s own. I tracked this down after liking the music better than the movie (and since the movie is good that should tell you something), but honestly if I had heard this with no notion of it’s connection to the film, I would have loved it all the same. It has the atmosphere of a concept album, very fluid and dreamy, but threaded together with the strength of the recurring motif. It also doesn’t hurt that that main melody strongly recalls Mia Farrow’s haunting humming from Rosemary’s Baby.

Try listening to this late at night, with the lights off, under the covers, whilst reading Stephen King

01 Long, Long, Time Ago (Hace mucho, mucho tiempo)
02 The Labyrinth (El laberinto)
03 Rose, Dragon (La rosa y el dragón)
04 The Fairy and the Labyrinth (El hada y el laberinto)
05 Three Trials (Las tres pruebas)
06 The Moribund Tree and the Toad (El árbol que muere y el sapo)
07 Guerilleros (Guerrilleros)
08 A Book of Blood (El libro de sangre)
09 Mercedes Lullaby (Nana de Mercedes)
10 The Refuge (El refugio)
11 Not Human (El que no es humano)
12 The River (El río)
13 A Tale (Un cuento)
14 Deep Forest (Bosque profundo)
15 Vals of the Mandrake (Vals de la mandrágora)
16 The Funeral (El funeral)
17 Mercedes (Mercedes)
18 Pan and the Full Moon (La luna llena y el fauno)
19 Ofelia (Ofelia)
20 A Princess (Una princesa)
21 Pan's Labyrinth Lullaby (Nana del laberinto del fauno)

Search Amazon for Pan’s Labyrinth OST

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Roots: Phrenology (5/5)

Year: 2002
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label: MCA
TRT: 60:47

Growing up in an environment surrounded by a variety of musical genres such as: Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Blues, it really is no wonder that I was immediately drawn to the stylings of The Roots. When I first discovered this band, it was one of their earlier cds Do You Want More?!!!??! that drew me in with it's heavy jazz influence, spoken word poetry, and live instruments, which was like nothing that was playing at the time.

With the release of Phrenology, starting from the concept of the title to the hidden tracks at the very end, I was once again intrigued. This disc shows The Roots experimenting with different sounds and again mixing different genres to create an interesting album from start to finish. Held by some critics as an instant classic and others as superfluous experimentalism, it stands to reason that despite the mixed reviews, after giving Phrenology a listen one can't help but commend this band for having the audacity to stretch the limits and go beyond what was expected.

1. Phrentrow
2. Rock You
3. Sacrifice (feat. Nelly Furtado)
4. Rolling With Heat (feat. Talib Kweli)
5. WAOK Roll Call
6. Thought At Work
7. The Seed 2.0 (feat. Cody Chestnutt)
8. Break You Off (feat. Musiq)
9. Water
10. Quills
11. Pussy Galore
12. Complexity (feat. Jill Scott)
13. Something In The Way Of Things [In Town] (feat. Amiri Baraka)

Search Amazon for The Roots

Friday, September 3, 2010

Leprous: Tall Poppy Syndrome (4.5/5)

Year: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Sensory
TRT: 63:00

A few months ago I asked some friends at an online music community to take a look at my rateyourmusic account and recommend me one album to purchase. While I got several interesting recommendations, this is the one that I added to my shopping cart.

It’s not often that I make blind buys these days, but I was feeling cheeky and immediately ordered this album without hearing a single note (along with the new Shining, but you’ll hear more about that at the end of the year). Lucky for me, I struck gold.

Leprous play a strain of progressive metal not dissimilar to Opeth or Riverside, but they don’t come across like a clone, or that they’re even trying to emulate those bands (or any other band for that matter). Instead they pound out some very memorable tracks threaded together with a great sense of harmony and balance, blending harshness and power with subtlety and beauty. The one misstep (if I were to call it that), is a ham-handed spoken word section towards the end of the CD, but it’s easy to let that slide when you take the quality of the rest of Tall Poppy Syndrome in to consideration.

01 Passing
02 Phantom Pain
03 Dare You
04 Fate
05 He Will Kill Again
06 Not Even a Name
07 Tall Poppy Syndrome
08 White

Search Amazon for Leprous