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Thursday August 12, 2004 2:16 pm

Gear Live Playlist

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Music, Product Reviews

The Cure Review Gear Live Music Columnist Greg Norton brings us his newly formatted weekly article, which will now be titled Gear Live Playlist. Within, Greg takes a look at the latest releases as well as the essentials you need to have in your music collection. This week he looks at The Hives, The Cure, and the good rambler himself, Bob Dylan.

Hello readers, I have decided to change the way I do my music column. I am still going to review new releases, but now I am also going to point out what I think are great albums from the last few months, and some classic albums that I think deserve a place in every collection. Feel free to drop me a line if you agree, disagree or just want to talk music. I hope you like it, and I look forward to your feedback.


The Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives
The Hives Tyrannosaurus ReviewSwedish rockers The Hives return with the follow up to their very successful 2002 debut "Veni Vedi Vicious". The retro garage rock is definitely back, and lead singer Howlin Pete Almquist is still trying to shout down every other voice in rock music. "Tyrannosaurus Hives" is a more mature album than "Veni Vedi Vicious", but definitely lacks the break out hit that was "Hate To Say I Told You So". "Walk Idiot Walk" is the first single off this album, but lacks any real emotion, which is indicative of this album, and leads this CD into mediocrity. Because every song sounds the same, "Tyrannosaurus Hives" gets a 6/10.

The Cure - The Cure
The Cure ReviewThe thirteenth studio album from the Cure, and the first in four years turns out to be one of their best. The band that helped inspired the Emo movement spiritually, if not musically, has come back to claim the throne of the angst-ridden, crying-out-for-love uber band. The extremely distinctive voice of Robert Smith is amazing, going from haunting on "Labyrinth", to pop on "The End Of The World" and "alt.end" and even pure rock on "Never". On a side note, tell me "alt.end" doesn't prove that The Cure is the official band for Internet geeks like ourselves? All in all, "The Cure" gets an 8/10.


Ben Kweller - On My Way
Ben Kweller On My Way ReviewReleased in April "On My Way" is the follow-up to Kweller's critically acclaimed debut "Sha Sha". The maturity displayed on this album is remarkable, especially in the Dylan-esque "On My Way", definitely one of my favorite songs right now. "On My Way" is definitely a stylistically varied album, ranging the folksy swagger of "On My Way" to the hard rock of "The Rules" which is a great song with the great chorus "Show me all the rules girl, I just wanna get 'em wrong". The standouts on the album are definitely the slower songs, such as "Believer", "Different But The Same" and the exquisite ballad "Living Life". All in all, this album gets a 8/10.

Snow Patrol - Final Straw
Snow Patrol Final Straw Review"Final Straw" is one of those rare occurrences when not a single bad song causes you to skip to the next track. "Final Straw" reminds me of Coldplay's first release "Parachutes", a solid cd that gives a hint of greatness to come. Particular high points include the radio hit "Spitting Games", the powerful "Run", the chugging of "Wow" and my personal favorite "Chocolate". Although this isn't Snow Patrol's debut, it feels like they have turned a corner with this release, and hopefully their "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" is on the way.


Bob Dylan - Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan Freewheelin' ReviewFor my money, it gets no better than this album. I am coming out guns blazing saying that "Freewheelin" Bob Dylan is the best album I have ever heard. So, now you know where I stand, let me tell you why. Right off the bat, some of the biggest songs in pop history show up on this album, "Blowin' In The Wind", "Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall", and "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright". The best song on the album, one of the best songs ever written, the classic "Masters Of War" is still amazingly relevant today. Give it a spin, you will know exactly what I mean. This album is one of the reasons that several colleges recently started teaching Dylan's lyrics as poetry. The track "Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" is the best breakup song I have ever heard, and if you aren't sick of "Blowin' In The Wind", give it a spin, there is a reason it is so often played. On this album you get funny Bob Dylan "Bob Dylan's Dream", the angry Bob Dylan "Masters Of War", the loving Bob Dylan "Corrine, Corrine" and remorseful Bob Dylan "Girl From The North Country". Like I said, my favorite album, one of the best ever, that is why it deserves a spot in your collection.

- Greg Norton

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