Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Touch of Metal

Hey everyone,

I'm back with another dose of metal... only this time, I'll admit that what you'll hear is pretty balls-to-the-wall. Based in Sweden, Evergrey puts the metal in "progressive metal." Some things are to be expected: heavy riffs, plenty of double kick rhythms, and a decent amount of black eyeliner. That being said, Evergrey somehow blends the darkness and evilness of your typical metal band with melodic gospel-style choruses and Pink Floyd-esque solos and duets. Frontman Tom S. Englund not only shows off his powerful pipes on the band's live DVD "A Night to Remember (2004)," but he also tears it up on guitar in harmonized solos with lead guitarist Henrik Danhage. Sure, the title makes it sound like a bar mitzvah video, but rest assured, it's not. Here's a video of the song "More Than Ever" from their live DVD. It's one of my favorites-- another favorite being "A Touch of Blessing" (so check that out if you liked the first one.)

For a first album, I would recommend "The Inner Circle." It's different from their earlier albums in the sense that it's a little more interesting stylistically, but it still rocks. Also, look out for Evergrey's new album sometime before Christmas 2008!


The Real Dan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl...

Soulstar back again, with another dose of good music; digest it well. This entry is dedicated to a pint-sized bombshell with a unique swagger, who took control of her career after dealing with the majors: Brooke Valentine.

With music ranging from Crunk to Country and R&B to Rock, Brooke is most known for her 2005 hit “Girlfight”. Largely considered a one-hit wonder, her successful debut Chain Letter (which she co-wrote) took the listener on a musical journey, from the emotional ballad “Laugh Til I Cry”, to the urban patriotism of “American Girl”, to the Broadway-esque dramedy “I Want You Dead”.

Featuring an organ and acoustic guitar accompaniment that recalls her Texan background, “Cover Girl” tells a story of the insecurity of a woman in a relationship.

"Cover Girl"

You can find more information about Brooke Valentine on her MySpace page as well as at her Wikipedia page.

Brooke Valentine is the latest in a sea of artists affected by the Virgin/Capitol merger. Her sophomore record, Physical Education, was set to be released in the summer of 2006; yet after months and months of delays and inaction, it was put on hold indefinitely (similar to Stacie Orrico).

Aware that Virgin Records wasn't doing much to help her, Brooke refused to give her sophomore record to Virgin Records, and fought to seek release from her distribution deal (She is signed to Subliminal Entertainment and was distributed by Virgin).

Until next time, stay blessed and support good music.