Well, its time to kick off another new feature. Every month, I hear countless numbers of new albums. Some stick out for good reasons, some stick out for bad reasons, some just get totally ignored. Either way, it’s about time I started sharing the love.

The Big 5 is going to be a monthly column which will run on the last Friday of every month and dispense some of what I have been listening to in the last month. These albums could be new releases, they could be older releases I’ve just started getting into, or they could be CDs I’ve been addicted to for most of the year. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: you can’t go wrong with them. On with the main event!


Based in Ontario, Canada, Alexisonfire are a 5-piece post-hardcore band (meaning they are almost an emo band, but not quite) that have really only started to establish themselves in the last few months – at least internationally.

In New Zealand, Alexisonfire have really only started to hit big very recently, buoyed by the success of their latest single “This Could Be Anywhere In The World”, added to C4 and The Rock rotation. Its a heavy track, but stands out because of some fantastic arrangement and some extraordinary 3-way singing, pulled off by vocalists George Pettit, Wade MacNeil and Dallas Green.

The remainder of August release Crisis is just as impressive, so this is an album worth checking out.


Back in August I read an article in the latest RipIt Up (August, at that time) which featured an interview with Tom Morello, Audioslave guitarist, who stated that he felt Revelations was sure to be remembered as Audioslave’s best release to date, and far more funkier than Out of Exile (their previous album).

Well, I have to say I can’t disagree with him. For my money, “Original Fire”, the first single from Revelations, is among the best mainstream rock singles in recent memory, and has a kickass video. But the goodness doesn’t stop there my friend! More great tracks – like title track “Revelations”, “One and the Same”, “Somedays” and the Hurricane Katrina retaliatory track “Wide Awake” – make Revelations one to grab for summer, because it is hot!


OK, I’ll level with you: Life in Slow Motion came out around this time last year, and I took almost no notice.

However, about a month ago, my sister revealed that she had the David Gray DVD “Live in Slow Motion”, a 2-hour presentation of a concert he did in London last year, and after watching it several times (especially the track “Nos Da Cariad” – sheer genius), I decided to get a hold of this album.

Now? It’s pretty much playing non-stop on my computer, in my CD player, on my MP3 player and in my car, and its actually become the go-to album when I can’t decide what else to listen to. Not a bad situation for an album I really didn’t even care about 12 months ago. You have to hear this album. David Gray is a genius! You’ve got to believe me! I’m telling you the truth!


I’ve been listening to St. Elsewhere since July, when I picked it up on a whim, in some kind of demented effort to make their debut single “Crazy” stop going round and round on a loop inside my head.

This is another album which has really surprised me. If you’d told me 2 years ago that one of my favourite albums of 2006 would be an experimental hip-hop/soul album, by 2 guys who dress up for their photo shoots in a wide variety of movie related costumes, well, I would’ve told you that you were nuts.

Nevertheless, St Elsewhere manages to stick around on my playlist, and Gnarls Barkley sealed their spot with their latest single “Smiley Faces”, which features one of the best music video of the year, if not all-time. If you haven’t heard this album, you really need to. Soon.


My favourite John Mayer related memory? On “Family Guy”, when Chris’ pimple makes him graffiti the words “Please stop John Mayer!” on a wall.

It would be fair to say that the release of a new John Mayer album doesn’t exactly get me revved up in any major way, even though I enjoyed his previous work. Despite this, I got fairly excited about Continuum after I saw the music video for Mayer’s latest single “Waiting on the World to Change”. I went ahead and got a copy, and reviewed it for Investigate.

If you like any of Mayer’s previous work, you really need to pick this up. For my money, its as good as anything he’s ever done, and far exceeds most of the crappy male singer-songwriter stuff that has come out this year (yes, Lionel Richie and Bob Dylan, I’m talking to you both).



I listened to half a track from this travesty before realising I should have known better. Pair up Jerry Lee Lewis with a bunch of other past-it legends like Kris Kristofferson and Kid Rock, and you get what you deserve; despite the hilarious thought of Kid Rock being included, this was a waste of my time. Needless to say, after forcing myself through the rest of Last Man Standing, I did the only thing that I thought would help: put the CD back in the case and had a shower to try and wash the sound off. Ugh.