Send Away The Tigers (2007)

In what might later be viewed as one of the biggest surprises of the year, the Manic Street Preachers return this month with Send Away The Tigers – a new record for the group, [almost] a new direction, and undoubtedly their best work since a mid-90s period that included the classic albums Everything Must Go and This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours.

With some great guitar work – particularly on tracks like opener “Send Away The Tigers” and “Underdogs”, which is ones of the catchiest rock tracks around – to go with some smooth melodies courtesy of highly talented singer James Dead Bradfield, this is alternative rock that is about as good as it is likely to get this year. Definitely an album you have to check out.

Minutes to Midnight (2007)

Hyped as the biggest album of 2007, and without question the most anticipated album of the year, Linkin Parks latest offering has been completely polarising – some reviews, for example Chris Schulz’ review at, panned the album, giving it 1 star out of 5, while others have been praising of the album, calling it easily the bands best work, simply a great record and another success for producer Rick Rubin.

For myself, I have to say that when I first heard Minutes to Midnight I was disappointed – the powerful riffage of Hybrid Theory and the electronica elements of Meteora are gone, replaced with raw vocals and more simplistic, experimental songs and melodies.

However, after multiple listens over the last couple of weeks, I have to say its gradually growing on me, and I’m starting to hear some of the things that the better reviews have spoken of. This is one album that will be on constant rotate, as I try to figure out what exactly I think of it.

Because of the Times (2007)

I’ll level with you – I haven’t been a Kings of Leon fan for very long, and to be honest I don’t know why.

Originally, my attention to these guys was only ever a side-thought; a passing comment along the lines of “they suck” or “booooooorrring”. However, with the release of the single “On Call”, followed by the release of this, their third full length album, I realised that these guys may have a sound worth paying attention to.

Aside from the obvious sourthern rock influence, prevalent on their previous work and subdued on this album, as well as the fact that they’ve successfully tapped into the indie/art rock movement and considering singer Caleb Followill’s brilliant lead vocals, I have to say this a band I can recommend. Check them out now!

It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007)

I guess the real question is, whats the point of releasing a second album that doesn’t expand on any of the themes, doesn’t improve any of the musical aspects (other than incorporating a couple of new influences) and actually doesn’t sound very much different than their first album?

Such is the question with Maroon 5’s new album. Aside from a nod to Michael Jackson on lead single “Makes Me Wonder” and aside from the funk-acoustic sway of “Nothing Lasts Forever” (whose chorus was lent to the Kanye West track “Heard Em Say”) this is just more of the same.

From the falsetto laden vocals of Adam Levine to the pseudo-pop of tracks like “Little of Your Time” and “Not Falling Apart” to the sex-obsessed lyrics (featuring such tasteful lines as “Please don’t leave, stay in bed / Touch my body instead / Gonna make you feel it / Can you still feel it?”, and even rehashing the “Harder to Breathe” breathing sound on dodgy track “Kiwi”), you’re honestly better of buying the Manics new album.

Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

Taken from my Investigate Magazine column:

“It was little over a year ago that the hype for the Arctic Monkeys began, with their overnight success of their debut, Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, taking the world by storm. Of course, with great success comes great expectation, and the questions ahead of the release of follow-up Favourite Worst Nightmare focused on whether they could replicate that effort.

To get straight to the point, the Monkeys have actually surpassed any expectations I could have had for this album. One noticeable difference comes in the rhythm section – having replaced bass player Andy Nicholson during 2006, the group has actually tightened in that area, giving the album a fast paced pumping, almost desperate sounding, feel about each song. However some of the better aspects of the first record remain, with singer Alex Turner retaining his thick northern English accent and talent for finding quirky melody lines, and quirkier lyrics to fill them, to go along with the group’s signature catchy, dance guitar hooks.

 Favourite Worst Nightmare is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining rock records of the year, if not longer, and is definitely a must-have in the watered down rock music climate we live in.”