Time to play catch-up

Besides being busy for the past month or so, the reason I haven’t been writing full reviews is simply because there has been nothing word extolling upon for more than a few linked words to form meaningless paragraphs. What’s the point of writing a music review if the content is blasé? I don’t want to draw out a four paragraph review on HINOI TEAM’s latest August single when it’s worth less than four sentences. That would almost be as painful as listening to the single itself. Anyway, here’s the stuff I missed that you might have liked but that I made a point to forget:

HINOI TEAM / NOW AND FOREVER / August 09, 2006

I did a full length review on HINOI TEAM’s debut album which could basically be summed up like this: dude, super eurobeat is so 1998; drop that genre like a rock. Apparently, HINOI TEAM doesn’t read my album reviews. Pity.

Alexisonfire / Crisis / August 21, 2006
11. Rough Hands

I like Alexisonfire. A lot. Enough to get mad when people spell it AlexIsOnFire. Unfortunately, the boys haven’t returned the favor with a worthy third album. Yes, it’s decent, yes, it’s even good, but it’s lacking that maturity and growth I thought I would find around their third cycle. I wouldn’t mind so much if the songs didn’t all sound so…alike. Give me a brilliantly bipolar “Control” or conceptual “Get Fighted.” “You Burn First” is one such track that takes the casual Alexisonfire and morphs it into an A Perfect Circle or Metallica progression that rips it right out of post-hardcore oblivion and into worthy disc spins. It’s these “different” songs that keep me transfixed: if “Keep It On Wax” is its medium pace, “Rough Hands” is its slowest-paced and one of the boldest songs, sticking out further than clones “Mailbox Arson” or “Boiled Frogs.” Rather than detracting from that hardcore image Alexisonfire is hell-bent on portraying, they make sure that the screamo gets plenty of airtime in case the subtle piano had any intention of making you think they went soft on this bitterly sweet finish. However, these three or four worthy stand-outs aren’t enough for me to rank the album higher. Strong ending, but weak beginning so ultimately, they lose.

Audioslave / Revelations / September 05, 2006
08. Shape of Things to Come

I like the title song. The title song does a pretty good job of describing the rest of the album except not as exciting with less drawn-out accord. A lot of it sounds like the usual Audioslave, a country-ish rock n’ roll sound complete with heavy guitars, both electric and acoustic, which make for a sort of comfortable backdrop for the somewhat twangy vocals. “Shape of Things To Come” is a particularly good example of the semi-melodic, still waters run deep mentality of the verse/chorus pattern. Besides the two mentioned by name here, the rest of the album sort of bleeds together in what is best labeled “so-so.” This isn’t an album I would die without, but maybe it’s an album I would play more than once. Twice tops.

Justin Timberlake / FutureSex/LoveSounds / September 12, 2006
05. Love Stoned/I Think She Knows (Interlude)

A ridiculously shallow, yet shockingly well-received, attempt at hip-hop. Timberlake decided he had a lot more to say after the release of Justified, his 2002 go at being more than just an N’Sync dancing white boy. And to make sure we all understand that he is grown up now and won’t be treated as anything less than a drug-taking, sex maniac, he collaborated with Timbaland to pen such thought-provoking passages as “I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave/It’s just that no one makes me feel this way. Take it to the chorus!” It’s not enough that he made this album with less sexual understatement than Mardi Gras in New Orleans, he also had to drag it out across twelve tracks, some splitting into subsequent tracks, such as one of the only other commercially catchy songs beside “SexyBack,” “Love Stoned/I Think She Knows (Interlude)” where the latter rather than the former brings the track alive. Yes, we get it: you like sex and having lots of it. Next person with a “SexyBack” ringtone gets shot in the face.

Alexisonfire Official Site / Buy Crisis
Audioslave Official Site / Buy Revelations
Justin Timberlake Official Site / Buy FutureSex/LoveSounds