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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 27, 2009

CD reviews

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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The Hazards of Love

Folk pop / blues rock / prog


With their previous album, the Decemberists transitioned to a major label and expanded their repertoire from folk-pop, dipping into blues rock and even prog, to earn accolades from the New York Times on down to the blogosphere. Frontman Colin Meloy ups the ante for "The Hazards of Love," transforming his usual gallery of rogues into characters in a "folk opera."
J.K. Glei, Metromix

Overview: The pacing feels a bit stilted as the band zig zags between musical styles. It's only when the band shirks the pretense on the final cut, "The Hazards of Love 4," does it arrive at something that feels sincere.

3 out of 5 stars


Poseidon and The Bitter Bug

Folk pop


Too much of the Indigo Girls' career has been caught up in record-label drama. "Poseidon and the Bitter Bug" is a welcome comeback for a deserving duo unfairly caught up in the drama. The tunes are meditative winners with their hearts and hopes fully adjusted. Emily Saliers, daughter of a theology scholar, shows off her angelic pipes in interpersonal strivers like "I'll Change" and "Digging for Your Dream." Meanwhile, Amy Ray brings a bit more hellfire on slow burners such as "Ghost of the Gang" and the dramatic closer "True Romantic."
Scott Thill, Metromix

Overview: When the two combine on issue-driven tunes like the LGBT-friendly "Love of Our Lives," it's beautiful, relevant music.

4 out of 5 stars



Nu metal / hard rock


"You gotta change or die!" So demands Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix on the first track of the band's fifth major-label album. From a singer not known for his lyrical prowess, it's an apt lyric; anyone familiar with the band's early rap-metal hits may be in for a huge surprise (if you don't look at the album title, of course).
Kirk Miller, Metromix

Overview: After the success of the ballad "Scars" a few years back, Papa Roach apparently realized their strengths: incredibly polished rock anthems incorporating elements of mid-'90s alt-rock, Sunset Strip metal and hints of emo angst. You'll be singing along to "Lifeline" and the pleading "Carry Me" for most of the next few months.

3 out of 5 stars



Punk rock / Indie rock


Onetime Libertines frontman Pete Doherty who once broke into his own bandmate's house to steal drug money lives on. What's even more shocking is that his long-awaited solo record could propel Doherty to the American stardom that has so far eluded him. There's no doubt that the words "Pete Doherty solo album" elicit the response "potential trainwreck disaster," so it's a surprise that this LP is listenable and pretty great.
Jeff Miller, Metromix

Overview: Doherty makes the wise choice of going mostly acoustic, where his charmingly sloppy, occasionally off-key vocals can drunkenly weave their way around carefully strummed guitars, rather than counting on them chopping through walls of distortion and drums.

4 out of 5 stars