From country to classical, rock & roll to R & B, hip-hop to jazz everyone enjoys some kind of music. This is the place to review your favorite musical artists, albums, tracks and concerts. Learn more about Music Matters
In 1996, all eyes were on Nas contrary to what some people would have you believe (at least music wise anyway). This was the year when Nas was given the daunting task to follow up on his hip hop masterpiece Illmatic, which was released in 1994. Now get this, when judging Illmatic based on its sales the album was a failure. It didn't reach gold that year and it took years before it went platinum, … more
In 1993 the Hughes Brothers, Allen and Albert, directed the film Menace II Society, which delivered a close and personal view on life for young blacks in the worst inner cities. It was a well directed story that delivered a very powerful message following the character of Caine, a young man who was dealt a bad hand from birth by being forced to live amongst drugs and violence; he wasn't someone … more
If there is one word in the English dictionary that has grown quite annoying as of late it's the word "classic". I swear people do not know what this word means anymore. If "classic" was able to form a legal complaint for a sue case on how carelessly it is abused, it would be the richest entity on the planet. People throw this word around on many of their favorite works, … more
Waking the Muse Michele McLaughlin 2013 / Michele McLaughlin 46 minutes I had serious doubts that Michele McLaughlin could ever top her 2010 release, "Out of the Darkness," but she has outdone herself with "Waking the Muse"! A fabulous new piano and extensive touring seem to have inspired and brought out the best in McLaughlin’s … more
The Luminous Pearl Lia Scallon 2013 / Sounds of Sirius 72’22” "The Luminous Pearl" is Lia Scallon’s tenth release on the Sounds of Sirius label. Using her hypnotic voice to sing and chant in her own “Language of Light,” Scallon tells the story of “The Legendary Luminous Pearl,” also known … more
Los Angeles Blues Ciro Hurtado 2012 / Into Productions 41 minutes "Los Angeles Blues" is a wonderful collection of eleven original acoustic guitar solos from Peruvian-born Ciro Hurtado. Hurtado started learning the guitar at age twelve and was playing in rock bands as well as Andean Folk ensembles by the time he was fourteen. Over … more
Open Sky David Nevue 2013 / Midnight Rain Productions 1.1 hours "Open Sky" is the much-anticipated fourteenth solo piano album from David Nevue, and I truly believe this is his best work to date. The seventeen tracks on this album were composed over a fairly long period of time and show a more dynamic and darker side of Nevue’s … more
Journey of the Soul John Paris 2013/2004 / Paris Original Music 55 minutes "Journey of the Soul" is the newly-remastered 2004 debut CD by pianist/composer John Paris. A lifelong musician who has performed professionally for more than forty years, Paris calls his style a fusion of new age and jazz that is intended to “uplift … more
The album title is the hook that caused me to buy this CD. I thought this music would be dark and scary, but I found that the majority of the songs on this album to be completely opposite of that. Erza Koeing has such a soothing voice. He makes this album worth listening to. The other three band members really compliment Erza's vocals with their instruments. The best songs on this album are the … more
Grace Michael Hoppe’ 2013 / Spring Hill Music 46 minutes plus enhancements "Grace" is the twentieth recording (plus inclusion on many compilations) from Michael Hoppe’, a Grammy-nominated composer who never ceases to amaze. One might expect that after so many albums, an artist would stick to a comfort zone or with a … more
Since February of 2006, I've had a love-hate relationship with Opeth. This honestly has annoyed me a lot over the years because at least with run-of-the-mill nu-metal and metalcore sewage like Korn, Killswitch Engage, or Disturbed, I knew immediately to loathe them after some extremely unpleasant exposure, but with Opeth, I've been constantly conflicted on whether or not to like them because … more
The Blue Rose Al Conti 2013 / Shadowside Music. 48 minutes Grammy nominated artist Al Conti (Northern Seas, 2011) has released his fifth album,The Blue Rose. His previous release, Scheherazade (2010) received four nominations from the Zone Music Reporter Awards, including Album of the Year. Like the two earlier recordings, The Blue Rose … more
Opus Four Tim Neumark 2013 / Tim Neumark 57 minutes "Opus Four" is a collection of thirteen original piano solos by Tim Neumark. For those not familiar with music terminology, an opus number is traditionally assigned to a composer’s work to put it in chronological order. Those numbers aren’t used as much in contemporary … more
BaronSamedi3 posted a Quick Tip about Billy Joel.
I'm familiar with all the jokes made about this guy, but they don't change what he was in his prime: A fantastic, gifted singer with a versatile voice and a gift for some of the best storytelling through songwriting on the planet.
Who'd a thunk it? After years of infighting the remaining founding members of The Beach Boys, namely Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine along with Bruce Johnston and David Marks have embarked on a 50th anniversary tour and recorded a terrific new studio album dubbed "That's Why God Made The Radio". Although I am always a bit leery of new albums by aging rockers I found this one to be an absolute … more
He went from Navy singer to Lower Broadway to Nashville Star, but luckily for us, Jared Ashley is now going mainstream! After placing 5th on the reality show in 2006, Jared Ashley took to the road to perfect his live performances and songwriting skills. In 2010 the singer/songwriter went to the studio and released an album without help from a label. With a self-financed … more
Hokulea AOMusic 2013 / Arcturian Gate 49 minutes "Hokulea" is the fourth release from world music group, AOMusic, whose primary artists are Richard Gannaway, Miriam Stockley, and Jay Oliver and features children’s choirs and supporting artists from around the world. Upbeat, cinematic and joyously rhythmic, this is music to … more
Solo Piano Diary 3 Christian Lindquist 2013 / CHL Production 60’52” "Solo Piano Diary 3" is the third volume in a series of solo piano improvisations by Swedish pianist/composer Christian Lindquist. The first two "Diaries" were released in 2008 and 2010, and, like those two gems, the twenty-three … more
RabidChihuahua posted a Quick Tip about Opeth.
Ever since I first listened to Opeth (February of 2006), I've had a love-hate relationship with them. I think Opeth's first two albums "Orchid" and "Morningrise" are good prog-metal albums with some neat melodic death metal touches, but until their recent switch to straight-up prog-rock (which is actually pretty decent), they've meandered in this wishy-washy … more
At this point, it's hard for me to say who's my absolute favorite rap artist/group, but I know for a fact that Eric B. & Rakim are in the top 3 of my personal favorites. Despite having a pretty meager discography consisting of four studio albums, nearly all of their songs are on the money, so in the end, it ultimately shows that quality trumps quantity. … more