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Album Reviews

Nilsson, ‘The RCA Albums Collection’ – Album Review

Tom Hanley
Tom Hanley

Harry Nilsson's relatively short life was messy, complicated and not easily explained in a sentence or two. Likewise, his music was just as scattered, unfocused and undefinable.

It makes boxing up his career a tough and possibly futile task. Which is why, even at 17 discs, 'The RCA Albums Collection' can't really pinpoint the restless artist. Nothing can, really. But this massive set makes a valiant effort.

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Black Sabbath, ’13′ – Album Review

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath / Facebook

Here's the rundown on '13,' Ozzy Osbourne's first full-length album with Black Sabbath in 35 years: It's not embarrassing in the least. In fact, it's pretty darn good and at times it's great.

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ZZ Top, ‘The Complete Studio Albums (1970-1990)’ – Album Review

ZZ Top
Ross Halfin

Back in 1987, at the dawn of the CD era, ZZ Top released a three-disc box set called ‘Six Pack’ that included the band’s first five albums plus their seventh. Still flush from the mega-success of 1983’s ‘Eliminator,’ and its 1985 follow-up ‘Afterburner,’ someone decided to take the original recordings from the ‘70s and remix them with added ‘80s-style percussion. It wasn’t long before every ZZ Top CD for sale came with the newly recorded mechanized drums that helped make ‘Eliminator’ a hit. One thing ‘Tres Hombres’ didn’t need was robotic percussion.

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Various Artists, ‘Ghost Brothers of Darkland County’ – Album Review

T Bone Burnett John Mellencamp Stephen King
Kevin Mazur

John Mellencamp and Stephen King may receive higher billing on ‘Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,’ but the album really belongs to T Bone Burnett.

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Paul McCartney & Wings, ‘Wings Over America’ – Album Review

Paul McCartney
MPL Communications Ltd.

Back in 1976, when Paul McCartney & Wings’ live album ‘Wings Over America’ was released, the band was coming off a string of four No. 1 records. The triple-album set, culled from various concerts the group performed on their 1976 U.S. tour in support of ‘Wings at the Speed of Sound,’ soon became their fifth straight No. 1. (The last three-record LP to reach the top spot was by one of McCartney’s old bandmates: George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass.’)

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Joe Satriani, ‘Unstoppable Momentum’ – Album Review

Joe Satriani
Paul Kane, Getty Images

You really can't say that instrumental rock-guitar music is in fashion right now, but that doesn't make one bit of difference to Joe Satriani. The guitar maestro's new album, 'Unstoppable Momentum,' proves that good music is timeless, no matter what trends come and go.

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Deep Purple, ‘NOW What?!’ – Album Review

Deep Purple

Classic rock stalwarts Deep Purple released their new album, titled 'NOW What?!,' last Tuesday (April 30). By the standards which we might reasonably expect to measure new work from an older band, it's very good -- or at least, the parts of it that are any good are very good.

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Rod Stewart, ‘Time’ – Album Review

Rod Stewart
Penny Lancaster

Since 2002, Rod Stewart has released eight albums. Each and every one of them includes songs that were written before ‘Maggie May’ hit No. 1 in 1971. A lot of them, in fact, were written before the 68-year-old rock legend learned to walk. Five ‘Great American Songbook’ albums, a rock oldies collection, an R&B oldies collection and a Christmas album – that’s pretty much how Stewart has spent the past decade.

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Fleetwood Mac, ‘Extended Play’ – Album Review

Fleetwood Mac
Brian Killian, Getty Images

The last time Fleetwood Mac made an album together, they were minus Christine McVie and enough good songs to fill its 75-minute running length. They’re still without McVie on their new four-song EP, but they fixed ‘Say You Will’’s biggest problem by keeping ‘Extended Play’ at an economical 17 minutes. And if it sounds more like a Lindsey Buckingham record than an actual band one at times, at least ‘Extended Play’ is the best thing released under the Fleetwood Mac moniker since 1987’s ‘Tango in the Night.’

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Iggy & the Stooges, ‘Ready To Die’ – Album Review

Jim Dyson, Getty Images
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

Who would have ever guessed that in 2013, we would be talking about a new Stooges album? The odds were certainly not in that column, but then in 2003, the unexpected happened and Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton and brother Scott plugged in once again. They toured and wowed young and old fans alike with their brutal rock and roll assault, and even released a reunion album, although 2007's 'The Weirdness' was hardly the stuff of legend and kind of a false-start comeback.

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