Madlib CD Revue | Patty Griffin, Heart, Kenna 

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Patty Griffin Live from Artists Den DVD

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Watching or listening to Live from Artists Den left me feeling in need of a stimulant. At their strongest, the band adequately rocks a church.

(Explanation:The band plays in a beautiful New York cathedral which is probably the only appropriate setting for this type of sedate, acoustic music), but the weakest parts would make a VH1 Executive _sue.

(Explanation: Needless background stories on each song make the album feel like an episode of Storytellers, but with more obscure artists)

Especially notable is singer_ Griffin’s ability to dedicate songs to inane objects (her shoes, her dog, a trapeze artist). The sound is reminiscent of a reject from a Lilith Fair tour because each acoustic, weepy ballad gives singer/songwriters a bad name. In the end, you want to forget it with the rest of your parents’ music that somehow made it into your collection.

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Heart Legendary Albums Live: Dreamboat Annie DVD
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Watching or listening to Dreamboat Annie left me feeling emasculated. At their strongest, the group’s members can upstage any rockin, young whippersnappers. (Explanation: Thirty years after the release of Dreamboat Annie, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson’s chops sound amazing if not better than the original recording.) The weakest parts would make a Zeppelin fan stop and rethink gender stereotypes. (Explanation:The encore finds the Wilsons covering songs that inspired the writing of Dreamboat Annie, including two Led Zeppelin covers. “What? Chicks playing Zep??? My mind’s blown … again.)

Especially notable is singer Ann Wilson’s ability to rock a flute without looking ridiculous (see: Anchorman; Jethro Tull). The sound is reminiscent of 70s rock bands lacking any sense of irony because each song truly rocks. In the end, you want to play it with a new, feathered ’do.

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Kenna Make Sure They See My Face
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Watching or listening to Make Sure They See My Face left me feeling sugar-high. At his strongest, the artist can turn some nipples out. (Explanation: the album could be the next big thing for hipster dance parties, at least until it lands on the radio in heavy rotation) but the weakest parts would make a Bono smile. (Explanation: After Kenna has his fill with some rocking dance tracks, he trades substance for sugary grandeur in the style of new, commercial-ready U2).

Especially notable is producer The Neptunes’ ability to create catchy yet forgettable songs. The sound is reminiscent of a Michael Bay film because it squanders every promise of originality for commercial viability. In the end, you want to serve _ it with twinkies and other food void of substance.

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Ryan Bradford

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