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New Releases 2007-III
Source: EMI Music
ERIC CLAPTON/ J.J. CALE- THE ROAD TO ESCONDIDO

CD MRP: Rs. 395/-

After years of admiring each others musical masterworks and Clapton covers of Cale songs such as “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” guitar greats J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton have teamed up for the first time to create an original album together, The Road To Escondido. The 14 track CD was produced and recorded by the duo in August 2005 in California.

The resulting music defies being labeled into any one category, but instead finds influence across the spectrum of blues, rock, country and folk. A hybrid sound that is unique musically, while still bearing the signature styles of Cale and Clapton recognized by fans around the world. The songs are warm and rich, with deep flowing rhythms, yet use an economy of words to express much.

In a true collaboration, Cale and Clapton jointly produced and recorded the album, each playing and singing on the tracks. Cale wrote 11 of the songs, Clapton wrote “Three Little Girls,” John Mayer wrote “Hard To Thrill” and the duo cover the blues classic “Sporting Life Blues.” J.J. Cale’s touring band accompanies them on the album as well as guest musicians including, Taj Mahal, John Mayer, Derek Trucks, Doyle Bramhall II, Albert Lee, Nathan East, Willie Weeks and Steve Jordan. Particularly special is the involvement of Billy Preston, who donated his classic keyboard talents throughout the album. The album is dedicated to Preston and Clapton’s late friend Brian Roylance.

TRACK LIST
1. Danger
2. Heads in Georgia
3. Missing Person
4. When This War Is Over
5. Sporting Life Blues
6. Dead End Road
7. It’s Easy
8. Hard To Thrill
9. Anyway The Wind Blows
10. Three Little Girls
11. Don’t Cry Sister
12. Last Will and Testament
13. Who Am I Telling You
14. Ride The River


MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE - THE BLACK PARADE

CD MRP: Rs. 445

When My Chemical Romance released THREE CHEERS FOR SWEET REVENGE in 2004, they were praised for being aggressive, melodic and forward thinking and quickly became one of the biggest bands on the modern rock scene, going platinum in the U.S. and selling over two million copies worldwide. But as theatrical and dramatic as the album was, it was a mere dress rehearsal for My Chemical Romance’s dark, bombastic album THE BLACK PARADE. WHILE THREE CHEERS and its predecessor I BROUGHT YOU MY BULLETS, YOU BROUGHT ME YOUR LOVE were loose concepts lyrically, THE BLACK PARADE is a breathtaking, fully-formed epic in the vein of David Bowie’s ZIGGY STARDUST or Pink Floyd’s THE WALL. “When we started working on the record, all of these theatrical songs that were about life and death started to come out,” says frontman Gerard Way. “That’s when we decided we wanted to throw all caution to the wind and aspire to make a huge record.” Guitarist Frank Lero expounds, “We said let’s just dive in. We go all the way or we don’t go anywhere.”

On THE BLACK PARADE, My Chemical Romance does exactly what they set out to do. Key touch-points include The Beatles’ SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND and Queen’s A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, however My Chemical Romance never let their influences overshadow their musical vision, instead using them to color their own creative ideas. The first single, “Welcome To The Black Parade” begins with a sparse, haunting piano line, then evolves through marching drums and dramatic guitars bends before bursting into a blistering verse and a triumphant chorus. Other songs are equally dynamic: “House Of Wolves” combines blues, rockabilly and punk ethos into a turbulent cauldron of contempt, while “Mama” exudes romping blends of vaudevillian rhythm. “While we were working on this record, every emotion, good and bad, poured out of us, shaping the songs,” bassist Mikey Way explains. “It was a really intense period and we had the most incredible time. Sometimes it was amazing and fun and sometimes it was really hard, but it was always incredible.” “Creating this album brought some new things to the table,” adds Toro. “Most of our old songs are either mach-speed or have a slower tempo. With this album we experimented with different tempos and different feelings while working as hard as we could to make the most musically of every single note.”

The lyrical content of THE BLACK PARADE is every bit as groundbreaking as the music. The album tells the story of a young man, referred to as The Patient, who is dying in a hospital bed. The strongest memory from his youth is when his father took him to see a parade when he was a child, so when death comes for him, it is in the form of a Black Parade. The Patient encounters various characters leading him toward his final resting place, aiding him in the reexamination of his existence while teaching him about theirs – thereby giving The Patient new insights about the beauty of both life and death. My Chemical Romance started writing music for THE BLACK PARADE while on tour for THREE CHEERS FOR SWEET REVENGE. After returning from their Australian tour, they went to New York and started assembling songs, six of which led them in the ambitious direction they would take with the new record. “We came up with two types of songs,” explains Way. “One set were these fast driving songs with catchy melodies that were good, but they didn’t really seem special. And the others were theatrical and smart and really told us what the record wanted to be.” Bob Bryar adds, "It''s a great feeling to be in a band that has constantly evolved and continues to grow. We always give each other the encouragement, drive and space to be as creatively free as possible at any given moment."

In March 2006, My Chemical Romance flew to Los Angeles to begin pre-production with Rob Cavallo (Alanis Morissette, Goo Goo Dolls). “Rob was important to the creation of this record,” Way says. “He pushed for us to face our greatest fears because he said the most sincere music comes from what you’re afraid of the most. I used to be afraid of death, but I found out while making this record that I was more afraid to live. I was afraid to show the world who I really was, and for the band to show who they really were. And we were afraid to live our lives how we truly wanted and make the record we really wanted. Making this album was about facing those fears.” My Chemical Romance formed in suburban New Jersey in 2001 out of a mutual love of horror movies, music and punk philosophies. The group’s first song was “Skylines and Turnstiles,” which was penned after experiencing the devastation of 9/11. The band recorded I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, which was released on in 2003. The band entered the studio in February of 2004 with producer Howard Benson (All American Rejects, Motorhead, Less Than Jake) for their second album, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, which featured the hits “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” “Helena,” and “The Ghost Of You.” My Chemical Romance has toured extensively with bands such as Green Day, Taking Back Sunday, and many others, and also played the 2004 and 2005 Vans Warped Tours, headlining the latter. Various live performances were recorded for the CD and double DVD package Life On The Murder Scene, which came out in March 2006 while the band was hard at work on songs for The Black Parade. Now, having completed The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance is a changed band. They’re more accomplished, more experienced and more tuned into real life instead of horror fantasy. And while The Black Parade is a dark record, it’s also filled with hope and promise. “I feel like we as a band have a very clear, direct purpose and a direct mission now, which we didn’t have before,” Way says. “We may be over the top, but it isn’t about arrogance, it’s about confidence and believing that you have the power to make a difference if you have the guts.

TRACK LIST
1. The End.
2. Dead!
3. This Is How I Disappear
4. The Sharpest Lives
5. Welcome To The Black Parade
6. I Don't Love You
7. House Of Wolves
8. Cancer
9. Mama
10. Sleep
11. Teenagers
12. Disenchanted
13. Famous Last Words


MUSE-BLACK HOLES & REVELATIONS

CD MRP:Rs. 445

Muse’s previous albums, they figured, were borne of necessity; hurried in the face of impending tour dates and hobbled by the need to ensure they could be played live. This time, they took a No Limits approach - no tour was booked, no studio tomfoolery was out of bounds; they were to explore the technological possibilities of the ‘studio band’. However, the equipment at Chateau Miraval was, frankly, not up to the job of recording a Muse album, so the band decamped to New York to complete the bulk of recording in the Electric Lady and Avatar studios and to soak the record with much-needed dance floor flavas. “Hendrix’s ghost was hanging around,” says Matt Bellamy (lead singer and guitarist), “and Bowie came in for a day and said hello. That was good; to get the nod of approval from the old boy. If we’d stayed in France for the whole album it probably would’ve ended up real prog. Songs like, “Knights Of Cydonia” would’ve been twenty minutes long. Going to New York for some reason tightened everything up and it got more groove orientated. Songs like ‘Starlight’ and ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and ‘Hoodoo’, they all had grooves that radically changed when we went to New York, I don’t know if that was the vibe of the city or what.”

If Muse sound like a new band on, BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS it’s because, after their stunning Glastonbury performance in 2004, they are: expanded of mind, settled of spirit and anything but sedentary of sound. Still, some of this might come as a shock: after opener, “Take A Bow” takes over where, ABSOLUTION left off – all doomy celestial synths and Matt’s preacherish wails of “You will burn in hell for your sins!” – we suddenly rocket off into unexplored quadrants. “Starlight”, is an Abba gig on the moon, “Map of the Problematique” is Depeche Mode impersonating Queen for a Bond theme and, most surprising of all, “Supermassive Black Hole” is a dance floor electro-metal stomper, resembling Beck giving Marilyn Manson a helium blowback in Studio 54. Which is not to mention the triptych of Italian folk-influenced meta-country that closes the record in a flurry of flamenco frenetics and mariachi horns.

“Absolution 2: Back To The Planets”, this most certainly is not. For continuity, in fact, we must look to the lyrical themes, where fans of the apocalyptic soundbite, the madcap conspiracy theory, the revolutionary rabble-rousing, the weird stuff about aliens inventing all earthly religions and other such classic Muse concerns will not be disappointed. The idea that identity cards are the first sign of the onset of the end of the world? That’ll be “Take A Bow”, Matt: “There‘s definitely a connection to Revelations with that. It talks about a time when people will not be able to purchase anything without a number or exist without a number. Instead of going for a job interview they‘ll just swipe you. They‘ll get your medical history, your financial history, the lot.”.

The theory that the Earth is actually an expanding sphere, being sucked towards the gigantic black hole at the centre of the universe (as emotional metaphor)? “Supermassive Black Hole”, mate. The fear of our civilisation going the way of the Roman Empire? Check out surf-prog album closer, “Knights Of Cydonia”. The loss of hope in the face of unjustifiable wars? It’s all there in the central duo of, “Soldier’s Poem” and “Invincible”. And as for “Exo-Politics”… “That’s about the possibility of an orchestrated alien invasion created by the New World Order,” Matt argues, utterly without the aid of hard drugs. “There are some people who think that in the next ten years there’ll be an orchestrated alien invasion. Not an invasion but aliens will appear. Not appear but there’ll be discussions about it. There are definitely some funny things going on. A whole load of things, which, if you add them all together, add up to the feeling that something big is going to happen in the next ten years. You can look at it all and get overwhelmed with fear or you can look at it all and say it’s all being orchestrated as a way to keep people down.” 1Well quite.

But whereas ABSOLUTION gazed on helplessly at the subjugation of humanity by corrupt world leaders and encroaching environmental or galactic disasters (and certainly, BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS has its fair share of climate change/oil crisis/global inflagration paranoia), on the new album’s pivotal track, “Assassin” Bellamy appears to be calling for nothing short of a global revolution – “Shoot your leaders down/And join forces underground…. Destroy demonocracy”. “I think we’re approaching that time,” Matt nods. “If you look at those protests in France, the size and level of protest doesn’t really relate to what they’re protesting about. I think there’s something underneath that people are feeling, particularly the younger generation. We feel like we’ve been born into some pre-created situation where we don’t actually have any control over anything. We’ve got an aging population as well and that control factor grates a little bit. I feel, through this album, that I’m feeling pessimistic and frustrated about it all but at the same time I’m not against revolutionary moves and I wouldn’t be ashamed to have incited a small riot, if it’s for a good cause.” The time has come. The New Muse Order is on the rise.

Track List
1. Take A Bow
2. Starlight
3. Supermassive Black Hole
4. Map Of The Problematique
5. Soldier's Poem
6. Invincible
7. Assassin
8. Exo-Politics
9. City Of Delusion
10. Hoodoo
11. Knights Of Cydonia

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