Abbey Road Remastered (Apple)
“Abbey Road” is the latest Beatles’ record to get the deluxe remaster treatment, and it’s a dilly. The version I’m reviewing is the two-disc set. All tracks have been lovingly restored by the late George Martin’s son, Giles Martin. Disc one contains the original record remastered, while disc two is a track-for-track match-up of alternate versions.
I’ve given several of these Beatle reissues a listen, and this one is hands-down the best. It’s bare and in your face when it needs to be, and dramatically-lush at other times. Martin has created new depth with these tracks, and some, particularly “Here Comes The Sun” and “Because,” are brilliant beyond words. It’s a shame that John Lennon and George Harrison aren’t here to take it all in.
Zak Brown Band
The Owl (BMG)
It’s unfortunate that Zak Brown and his band haven’t been given their due. While it is true that they’re a popular country act, they are of the few interesting bands in modern country, carving out an identity that is equal parts country, Southern rock, blues and a bit of pop production thrown in for good measure.
The opener, “The Wood,” is a first-rate head-bobber, guaranteed to get your blood pumping. The haunting, folky “Someone I Used To Know” is equally as memorable, buoyed by Brown’s unique voice. Sounding nothing like this year’s crop of flannel-clad Marlboro men, his style is almost a complete anomaly. Great songs, pleasantly-varied performances. More of this, please.
Zibaldone (Big Stir)
In the world of The Armoires, it is perpetually 1967. California is the only place to be, and the golden sun never sets. It’s a beach party where everyone wears paisley, and Brian Wilson is in deep conversation with Mike Nesmith and Stephen Stills, about the between-the-grooves meaning of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Lead Armoires Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome, as well as their bandmates, bring these neo-psychedelic tunes into focus, with sensational vocal harmony arrangements and 12-string Rickenbackers, stacked eight miles high. “(How Did You Make) A Mistake Like Me?” and “Alesandra 619” are pure-pop perfection. Highly recommended.
The Avett Brothers/Closer Than Together (Republic)
Wilco/Ode To Joy (dBpm)
The Creator Tyler/IGOR (Columbia)
Brantley Gilbert/Fire & Brimstone (Valory)
North Mississippi Allstars/Up And Rolling (New West)
CD’s Provided By CD-DVD-Games Warehouse, 3717 80th Street, Kenosha, Wi, 53142,