Noise 101 – CD Reviews for Sept. 22
From Fear to Eternity – Best of 1990-2010
It sure speaks about a band’s relevance, longevity and all-around greatness when they have just released their sixth Best Of/Greatest Hits compilation. It does so even further when you realize that the 23-song double-disc collection you’re staring at only spans the second half of their career.
Iron Maiden packs the rest of the record with selections from their most recent endeavours, which will surely please the newer generation of fans feeling those albums stand with even the most classic of Maiden. This is no surprise though, as the legendary group has, even now, captured a generation’s attention as one of the frontrunners and pioneers of metal itself — just as they did 30-some odd years ago when they formed.
— Brandon McNeil
The premise behind the Green Album is simple: take 12 old, beloved Muppet songs and have new artists perform covers of them.
As a huge Muppets fan, I was downright giddy when the album came out. The end result is a mixed bag. The song selection, naturally, is terrific, but some artists adapted to the style better than others.
The opening track, a cover of the Muppet Show Theme by OK Go is easily the best track on the album. OK Go managed to take the classic theme and really add their own style to it, without loosing the key elements and melodies that made the original so catchy. It’s the perfect way to do a cover, and it’s no surprise that it’s the only track the get a music video so far.
On the other hand, The Fray performed a cover of the ever popular “Mahna Mahna.” Although not the deepest or most complex piece to come from The Muppets, The Fray resolved to do nothing with it. It’s a straight cover, down to the chords, pace and timing, and adds nothing new to the song. If I wanted to listen to the original song, I could easily YouTube it.
Overall, the album is a worthy buy for anyone hoping to revisit these classic songs before the new movie comes out in November. For every dud, such as “Nightlight” and “Halfway Down the Stairs,” there’s a touch of brilliance, such as Weezer’s excellent rendition of “Rainbow Connection” or Andrew Bird’s slow tempo, but hypnotic “Bein’ Green.”
— Aaron Chatha
Mariachi El Bronx
There’s no doubt this recording is one of this band’s best. El Mariachi Bronx aren’t the first to explore this genre of music (originating, albeit mysteriously, in the Mexican state of Jalisco.) The group channels music from their travels, their heritage and Mexican Los Angeles.
Twelve catchy, passionate, traditional, songs serenade us with metaphorical rhymes, but listen as though riddles of the theme unfold. From the opening track, a high-powered “48 Roses” to the rhythmic sway of “Great Provider,” through the Cajun inspired waltz of “Norteno lights,” we are captivated by this ensemble until the bittersweet end.
Charismatic vocalist Matt Caughthran shines with deep howling tones, while the prophetic instrumentation and percussion pulls at our heart strings, renewing hope in life and love. What gives me fever is the future for their alter ego the Bronx.
— Aysim Parkan