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For Your Ears Only - April Releases

Welcome to the first edition of For Your Ears Only. This is going to be the place where I, John Lewis Hawk a.k.a. Mr. Sexy Pants, will review music CDs that were released the previous month.

For April, I have reviews of the soundtrack to Crank: High Voltage, Neil Young's Fork In the Road, The Depeche Mode's Sounds of the Universe, and The Greencards' Fascination. Enjoy:

 

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crankhighvoltage.jpgTitle: Crank- High Voltage (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Artist: Mike Patton
Genre: Soundtrack
Recording Company: Lakeshore Records
Let me first say that I have very little desire to see this movie except on some cable TV channel in a couple years because there's nothing else on. Basically, I have no clue if the film and music goes well together. What I am interested in is Mike Patton. The multi-talented vocalist and weird-ass (scientific term) is one of the best musicians out there and Crank: High Voltage is proof why.

Crank is excellent movie music as it transitions from thrash metal guitar to spaghetti western music Ennio Morricone would be jealous of and anything in between. Each song is different than the one previously and make for an incredibly interesting and fast-paced sonic adventure.
Rating: 9/10

forkintheroad.jpgTitle: Fork In the Road
Artist: Neil Young
Genre: Rock
Recording Company: Reprise Records
A concept album about a car may not be normal but Neil Young has proven over the years not to be a conventional musician. Fork In the Road is equal parts Young's love song to his 1959 Lincoln Continental and an socially conscious album about the stuff happening in the world today. From anyone else, the social and political commentary would be annoying but Young says it with intelligence and wit. Also, the music's pretty good too.
Rating: 8/10

soundsoftheuniverse.jpgTitle: Sounds of the Universe
Artist: Depeche Mode
Genre: New Wave
Recording Company: Mute Records/EMI Records
Sounds of the Universe become a big deal when it was announced that it was going to be released in various formats such as a "iTunes Pass" version and a box set version. The album, though, isn't noteworthy though.

It's a solid album with some pretty good songs on it, like the single "Wrong", but overall it's lacking as an album deserving special treatment. Unless you're already a fan of the band, don't bother.
Rating: 6/10

fascination.jpgTitle: Fascination
Artist: The Greencards
Genre: Bluegrass
Recording Company: Sugar Hill Records
Wikipedia describes this band as "progressive bluegrass" and that's a somewhat accurate description. What the band does play is bluegrass with many contempary influences that doesn't equate to the crap that's mainstream country. At times while listening to this, you'll be thinking you're listening to something other than bluegrass or country and that's the Greencards' intent.
Rating: 7/10

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