New Release Tuesday :: My Top 5 :: Week of December 9, 2014


1. Do You Laugh When You Lie? :: Ryan Adams

Three-Sentence Review: It’s a damn fine week when Ryan Adams releases new music, even when it is only three songs, because these three songs are amazing and enough and just what I needed and one more reason to be so excited to be seeing him play live next week at the Fonda (one of my all-time favorite Los Angeles venues). The opening track/title song, Do You Laugh When You Lie? is such a strong song, the guitar work and the build and flow, it reminds me of a crossroads meeting of Ryan’s work with the Cardinals, 70’s/80’s rock circa Tom Petty and The Outfield (think Your Love) and something just purely Ryan that I love. Oh my stars, I am so happy that prolific (and touring) Ryan Adams is back.

Initial Favorite Track(s): ALL 3 songs – Do You Laugh When You Lie?, By the Way and I’m In Love With You Again

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Do You Laugh When You Lie? (live)


2. Monuments to an Elegy :: The Smashing Pumpkins

Three-Sentence Review: It took me awhile to make peace with The Smashing Pumpkins and embrace their music, it happens sometimes when a relationship falls apart and ruins a band or album or song (or all of the above) for awhile because they are so associated, but listening to this album this morning I find myself grateful for the treaty of peace I made with the band, and their music. This is a surprise to me, how much I’m digging this album, from the first song (Tiberius) I was hooked and find myself hitting replay, and turning up the volume. There is a familiarity here, sonically, that brings back the way Mellon Collie and Adore felt, but there is an evolution of sound and feeling here, as well, that I think I like most of all about the album, as a whole; there is so much strength and emotional heft that this album delivers, definitely a late addition to my favorite albums of the year.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Tiberius, Drum + Fife and Anaise!

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+



3. Nine Forty Live :: Matt Pryor

Three-Sentence Review: This is just what I needed to get through the stress of December, and the push to the New Year, especially the opening track, Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down (I kinda want to wear the entire song as a tee shirt).There is something so soothing about this album, comforting, making me feel less alone in all those moments when I feel so lonely – this is a very “hey we all go through shit, it’s gonna be okay” sentiment of an album, and I needed it so much right now. I hope I get the chance to see him live sometime soon.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down, Hughes and Ex’s and Oh’s

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down (live)


4. Songs from the Big Chair :: Tears For Fears

Three-Sentence Review: I was just talking to my oldest daughter about Tears For Fears two nights ago, as we discussed songs of theirs we love, and her favorite of all-time is actually from this album, Shout (my second favorite is on this album, Head Over Heels – my first though will always be Mad World). The discussion got me into such a Tears For Fears mood, so I was thrilled to see that Songs from the Big Chair had been reissued this week – I may just have to get a new vinyl of it to go with my very well-worn copy from its first release that is still in my collection (with a few skipping scratches). The album still holds up above and beyond a “nostalgia” kind of way.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Head Over Heels, Mother’s Talk and Shout

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Head Over Heels


5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas :: Sam Smith

Three-Sentence Review: ‘Tis the season and all that holiday cheer, and yes, I am a sucker for a well-done, classic Christmas song, and this is one of them that I am bound to fall hard for. Also, Sam Smith’s voice just slays me. I had the chance to see him live last week and he had me in tears from his heartbreakingly beautiful voice – and this song has me tearing up, too – his voice is just so incredible.

Initial Favorite Track(s): This is a single – N/A

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas :: Sam Smith

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