Playlist
Sean Rowe, who The Wall Street Journal wrote "recalls the ecstatic intensity of late-'60s Van Morrison and stark subtlety of late-era Johnny Cash" has created a beautifully primal work. Madman is deliberately simple in both arrangement and composition. It is soul music in the purest and most literal sense, hypnotic rhythms, warmly distorted guitars and Rowe's incredible voice recalling a time, real or imagined, when music and people seemed distinctly more connected.
Madman
Sean Rowe
Madman
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Triple vinyl LP pressing. 2010 release from 14-time Grammy-winning producer, writer and performer Kanye West. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy includes Nikki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on the smash street single "Monster" and Pusha T on "Runaway" which received the Best New Music stamp from Pitchfork. Other guests include Kid Cudi and Raekwon and contributing producers include RZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, and Q-Tip. The album was recorded in Honolulu and at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye West
All of the Lights
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Royal Blood is a mixture of anguished vocals, ferocious drumming and bass that provides intricate detail as well as a rumble of rhythm. The sound is a result of a lineage that stretches from present day heroes Queens of the Stone Age to the influential Led Zeppelin, and all the way back to early blues pioneers... yet this huge wall of sound emerges from just two members.
Royal Blood
Royal Blood
Figure It Out
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Royal Blood is a mixture of anguished vocals, ferocious drumming and bass that provides intricate detail as well as a rumble of rhythm. The sound is a result of a lineage that stretches from present day heroes Queens of the Stone Age to the influential Led Zeppelin, and all the way back to early blues pioneers... yet this huge wall of sound emerges from just two members.
Royal Blood
Royal Blood
Little Monster
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This debut by the L.A.-based quartet is a hybrid of explosive rap-metal, politically incendiary lyrics, and wide-ranging cultural influences. The members are of Armenian descent, but their diverse stylistic background transcends easy cultural labeling. Singer Serj Tankian's throaty roar competes with any mosh-pit rocker around, but his real trademark is his emotional wail and refreshingly melodic singing, especially on songs such as "Spiders" and the condemnatory "P.L.U.C.K." Guitarist Daron Malakian, bassist Shavo Odadjian, and drummer John Dolmayan lock in tight on the capricious arrangements of "Know," "Ddevil," and "CUBErt." Their musical diversity runs wonderfully wild on "Sugar" and "Suggestions" with dizzying shifts of style and intensity. The tracks "Peephole" and "War?" reveal the band at perhaps its eclectic best, with vaguely Eastern European-sounding guitar riffs, passionate battle cries, and samples provided by legendary hip-hop producer Rick Rubin. --Mark McCleerey
System of a Down
System of a Down
Sugar
Genre: Rock
Year: 1998
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On his first album after returning from his self-imposed hiatus on recording new material, singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton draws upon the lessons of the Johns and Jonathans who have come before him on Artificial Heart. The first John is They Might Be Giants John Flansburgh, who has the distinction of being the first person, other than Coulton himself, to handle the production on one of his albums. Right out of the blocks, the album opener, Sticking It to Myself, makes the hand of Flansburgh immediately apparent with a song that has that perfect mix of eclecticism and solid pop songcraft upon which the TMBG man has made his name. Despite this, the album doesn t come off like Coulton s audition reel for a spot in They Might Be Giants, as the songwriter deftly injects a lot of his own personality into the songs through his lyrics. This brings us to the influential Jonathan, Jonathan Richman, who Coulton with his ability to see the wonder, humor, and sadness in the mundane world feels like a spiritual successor to. This quality allows Coulton to create songs that are more like little poignant slices of life than pop constructions, breathing that spark of life into songs like Glasses. As an album, Artificial Heart is like a panopticon that gives the listener the opportunity to observe an array of different lives, and offers them the chance to feel a little something different while peering into each window. And even though it s a more emotionally heavy album than a lot of his previous work, Coulton still knows how to leave people with a smile, ending the album with two new versions of his famous Portal and Portal 2 theme songs Still Alive (featuring a guest spot from Tegan and Sara s Sara Quin) and Want You Gone (which features JoCo himself on vocals) as well as The Stache, a touching tribute to mustaches and the men who proudly wear them. With this kind of effortless versatility and easy charm, it s no wonder Jonathan Coulton has managed to find a special place in people's hearts, artificial or otherwise.
Artificial Heart
Jonathan Coulton
Sucker Punch
Genre: Rock
Year: 2011
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The 12 tracks on One All proffer a more organic, rougher-hewn take on Neil Finn's solid classicism. While Crowded House's populist folk-pop tugged as many purse-strings as it did hearts, Finn's solo career has been characterized by nothing more strident than the soft shuffle of gentle understatement--as if the antipodean troubadour feared his former muse would be insulted by any attempts to out-pop the relentlessly tuneful House. Not that this follow-up to 1998's patchy solo debut, Try Whistling This, is in any way underwhelming. The swirling effects and treated guitars of "Rest of the Day Off" hint more at latter-day Split Enz and even, occasionally, Oasis, than Crowded House. Unfortunately, there is also a sense that the addition of such sonic accoutrements may be little more than a ham-fisted attempt to add techno-savvy flesh to basic, traditional bones--with "Hole in the Ice" and "Secret God" imbued with dubious guitar solos and irritatingly superfluous backing vocals (courtesy, bizarrely enough, of former Prince demoiselles Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman) that merely serve to detract from the music's warm-hearted core. Nevertheless, Finn's long-running lyrical concerns--love, loyalty, and, predominantly, self-doubt--have never been expressed more adroitly. --Sarah Dempster
One All
Neil Finn
Secret God
Genre: Rock
Year: 2002
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The 12 tracks on One All proffer a more organic, rougher-hewn take on Neil Finn's solid classicism. While Crowded House's populist folk-pop tugged as many purse-strings as it did hearts, Finn's solo career has been characterized by nothing more strident than the soft shuffle of gentle understatement--as if the antipodean troubadour feared his former muse would be insulted by any attempts to out-pop the relentlessly tuneful House. Not that this follow-up to 1998's patchy solo debut, Try Whistling This, is in any way underwhelming. The swirling effects and treated guitars of "Rest of the Day Off" hint more at latter-day Split Enz and even, occasionally, Oasis, than Crowded House. Unfortunately, there is also a sense that the addition of such sonic accoutrements may be little more than a ham-fisted attempt to add techno-savvy flesh to basic, traditional bones--with "Hole in the Ice" and "Secret God" imbued with dubious guitar solos and irritatingly superfluous backing vocals (courtesy, bizarrely enough, of former Prince demoiselles Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman) that merely serve to detract from the music's warm-hearted core. Nevertheless, Finn's long-running lyrical concerns--love, loyalty, and, predominantly, self-doubt--have never been expressed more adroitly. --Sarah Dempster
One All
Neil Finn
Driving Me Mad
Genre: Rock
Year: 2002
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Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! finds Nick Cave back at the helm of his long-term band The Bad Seeds after some impressive soundtrack work--2005's The Assassination of Jesse James--and a busman's holiday in the raw, rocking Grinderman. As the title suggests, Lazarus finds Cave returning to familiar themes of God and redemption, although some of the raw poise and wild-eyed humour that resurfaced in Grinderman remains: take the opening title track, which retells the Biblical story of the resurrection of Lazarus as transposed onto the sleazy, poverty-stricken backdrop of modern-day New York City. Musically, the likes of "Moonland" and "Night of the Lotus Eaters" have a swampy feel, all skittering drums, simmering bass and smoky organ riffs; elsewhere, there are rockers that tie on dissonant guitars without losing their dissonant touch ("Lie Down Here"). Probably the album highlight comes with "We Call Upon the Author", a sprawling, "Sister Ray"-like chugger that shows off Cave's skill for magnificent, sung-shouted narratives: "Now mixamatoid kids roam the streets, we've shunned them from the greasy grind/The poor little things, they look so sad and old as they mount us from behind". --Louis Pattison
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
More News From Nowhere
Genre: Alternative Rock
Year: 2008
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Los Angeles, CA s Weezer will release their highly anticipated ninth album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, on October 7th, 2014 on Republic Records. Produced by Ric Ocasek, who previously helmed production on the band s first and third records ( The Blue Album and The Green Album ), Everything Will Be Alright In The End is the band s first collection of new material in four years. Since forming in 1992, Weezer has released a myriad of celebrated, chart-topping albums, selling over 13 million records worldwide. Following an intensely prolific couple years at the end of the aughts, the band chose to deliberately dial down the tempo in 2010, a move singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo says allowed him to write at a slower pace, giving the songs he wanted to use for an album the time to gradually grow into their final forms. He started almost every song on the piano, eventually transferring them to the guitar before taking them to the band. When it came time to record the material, Weezer reunited with the man who helped them make some of their most iconic album-length work, Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. The resulting album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, is a stand-out gem in Weezer s vast and varied catalogue, a reflection of a much-loved band at their very best. Organized thematically around three groups of songs, it is an album that utilizes that sound from the band s earliest days to tell new stories in 2014, creating some of the finest, most heartfelt songs Weezer has ever recorded.
Everything Will Be Alright In the End
Weezer
Cleopatra
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After two and a half years since his last release, Justin Townes Earle is back and pleased to announce his fifth studio album (and first ever on Vagrant Records). Entitled Single Mothers, the record will be released nationwide on September 9th, 2014 and Justin will be on the road in the US throughout September and early October to support. The companion piece, Absent Fathers, will be released in JanuarySingle Mothers is comprised of ten tracks that showcase exactly why Justin Townes Earle is considered a forefather of Contemporary Americana. As a recently married, sober man JTE writes from a point of maturity and content we've not seen before on past records. 'One day I just realized it s not cool to die young, and it s even less cool to die after 30', Justin laughs as he reflects on a life past and his new found clarity. What he's created is an album that s raw, honest and personal in a way he hasn t touched upon since his debut EP, Yuma.Once compared to a man who wears many suits JTE has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally, in thirty-two short years. Between releasing four full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, being born Steve Earle's son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. Single Mothers serves as the perfect platform for such narrations.
Single Mothers
Justin Townes Earle
White Gardenias
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The Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling trio Nickel Creek Chris Thile (mandolin/vocals), Sara Watkins (fiddle/vocals), and Sean Watkins (guitar/vocals) officially reunites for the first time since its 2007 self-described "indefinite hiatus" with the album A Dotted Line, followed by a tour of the US in support of the Eric Valentine-produced album, which includes the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass and Newport Folk Festivals.As Nickel Creek's 25th anniversary approached, the band members decided they ought to mark it in some way, so they got together to write music in Chris Thile's apartment last year. They ended up with six new co-written songs, which they eventually took to a Los Angeles studio, along with one tune by Thile, one by Sean Watkins, and two covers: Sam Phillips' "Where Is Love Now" and Mother Mother's "Hayloft. " There they worked with Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Smash Mouth), who had produced Nickel Creek's previous album, Why Should the Fire Die?."We were excited every day to be there," Sara Watkins says. "Having grown up singing together, there is something natural about our voices and it's really fun to harmonize. Our voices have come to match each other's really well. Sean and I are siblings, and Chris is about as close to a sibling as you could get. " Sean Watkins continues: "It feels more natural and easy than it ever did, by far. Getting to spend time alone with our own musical personalities has helped us mature. ""There's a joyful aspect to Nickel Creek no matter what we're doing. Things just steer themselves into that sort of place, " concurs Thile. "We will go poke around in the dark corners but always with a heavy dose of optimism. "
A Dotted Line
Nickel Creek
Destination
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A remixed, remastered version of what could arguably be called the greatest rap album of all time, this CD/DVD is Biggie Smalls at his best. Complex lyrics, infectious beats, and an emotional range of such depth and breadth that it leaves the listener full of questions and eager for more. The mood swings from the nostalgic 'Things Done Changed' to the dark and darkly humorous 'Gimme The Loot,' from the bouyant celebration of life outside the ghetto to a cynical revelry in violence. This record shows the multifaceted personality and the brilliant skills of the Notorious B.I.G. including the live outdoor performance of 'Unbelievable' and previously unreleased tracks, this edition showcases the talent and tragedy of a voice that changed the face of rap music.
Ready to Die - The Remaster
The Notorious B.I.G.
Ready to Die (Bridgeport Sample Removed)
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A remixed, remastered version of what could arguably be called the greatest rap album of all time, this CD/DVD is Biggie Smalls at his best. Complex lyrics, infectious beats, and an emotional range of such depth and breadth that it leaves the listener full of questions and eager for more. The mood swings from the nostalgic 'Things Done Changed' to the dark and darkly humorous 'Gimme The Loot,' from the bouyant celebration of life outside the ghetto to a cynical revelry in violence. This record shows the multifaceted personality and the brilliant skills of the Notorious B.I.G. including the live outdoor performance of 'Unbelievable' and previously unreleased tracks, this edition showcases the talent and tragedy of a voice that changed the face of rap music.
Ready to Die - The Remaster
The Notorious B.I.G.
Things Done Changed
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Listen
The Kooks
Bad Habit
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Ryan Adams' new album is a self-titled affair and the first to be released on the combined Pax Am/Blue Note imprint. Produced by Adams himself at his own Pax Am Studios in Los Angeles, the new record is the NC-born singer/songwriter s first full length since 2011's acclaimed Ashes & Fire. The first single 'Gimme Something Good' has already elicited wide praise with Stereogum exclaiming 'he doesn't seem to have lost a songwriting step. This thing is a total knockout.' The vinyl is available as a single LP 180 gram edition and comes with a download card with for a free 320 kbps mp3 ripped directly from the vinyl.
Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams
Gimme Something Good
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Get Out of My Yard
Paul Gilbert
Straight Through the Telephone Pole
Genre: Rock
Year: 2006
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Following his successful "Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar" CD,"Fuzz Universe" is the third all instrumental CD by guitarist Paul Gilbert, regarded internationally as a guitarist's guitarist. Gilbert's sales draw from nearly 20 albums and more than 20 years as a recording artist and touring musician. Racer X remains one of Shrapnel's best catalog items, fueled by guitar fans that want to hear Gilbert at his shredding best. "Fuzz Universe" contains some of Gilbert's most phenomenal playing to date.
Fuzz Universe
Paul Gilbert
Count Juan Chutrifo
Genre: Rock
Year: 2010
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Out of print in the U.S., Originally released in 1995, this was The Finn Brothers' first album as a duo, although they spent years together in Split Enz. Initially, brothers Tim and Neil began working on this album years earlier, but the songs they had written were so good that Tim joined Neil's band Crowded House for the Woodface album, which consisted of many of the songs they'd written together. Tim left the band within a year of the album's release. Four years later, they sat down and tried to do it again. This low-key album was the result and contains some of their finest songs including 'Only Talking Sense', 'Last Day Of June', 'Angel's Heap' and 'Where Is My Soul'. Though not as polished as Crowded House, the tracks here are melodic and enchanting. EMI.
Finn
Finn Brothers
Angels Heap
Genre: Rock
Year: 1995
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Culture Clash
The Aristocrats
And Finally
Genre: Rock
Year: 2013
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Elephant
The White Stripes
Seven Nation Army
Genre: Alternative Rock
Year: 2003
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Songs of Innocence
U2
Every Breaking Wave
Genre: Rock
Year: 2014
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The Tallest Man on Earth released one of 2008's most powerful records, one that Pitchfork praised, calling Kristian Matsson "a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting." Shallow Grave could not have been more simple, just Matsson's commanding vocals with an acoustic guitar or banjo, recorded at his home in Dalarna, Sweden. Although the album was released on the Swedish label Gravitation without the help of widespread distribution, the story of The Tallest Man on Earth spread far and wide through word of mouth.
Shallow Grave
The Tallest Man On Earth
I Won't Be Found
Genre: Alternative Rock
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The Tallest Man on Earth released one of 2008's most powerful records, one that Pitchfork praised, calling Kristian Matsson "a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting." Shallow Grave could not have been more simple, just Matsson's commanding vocals with an acoustic guitar or banjo, recorded at his home in Dalarna, Sweden. Although the album was released on the Swedish label Gravitation without the help of widespread distribution, the story of The Tallest Man on Earth spread far and wide through word of mouth.
Shallow Grave
The Tallest Man On Earth
I Won't Be Found
Genre: Alternative Rock
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The Tallest Man on Earth released one of 2008's most powerful records, one that Pitchfork praised, calling Kristian Matsson "a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting." Shallow Grave could not have been more simple, just Matsson's commanding vocals with an acoustic guitar or banjo, recorded at his home in Dalarna, Sweden. Although the album was released on the Swedish label Gravitation without the help of widespread distribution, the story of The Tallest Man on Earth spread far and wide through word of mouth.
Shallow Grave
The Tallest Man On Earth
Where Do My Bluebird Fly
Genre: Alternative Rock
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The Tallest Man on Earth released one of 2008's most powerful records, one that Pitchfork praised, calling Kristian Matsson "a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting." Shallow Grave could not have been more simple, just Matsson's commanding vocals with an acoustic guitar or banjo, recorded at his home in Dalarna, Sweden. Although the album was released on the Swedish label Gravitation without the help of widespread distribution, the story of The Tallest Man on Earth spread far and wide through word of mouth.
Shallow Grave
The Tallest Man On Earth
This Wind
Genre: Alternative Rock
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The Wild Hunt
The Tallest Man On Earth
King of Spain
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The Wild Hunt (Bonus Track Version)
The Tallest Man On Earth
Love is All
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The Wild Hunt (Bonus Track Version)
The Tallest Man On Earth
The Wild Hunt
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The Wild Hunt (Bonus Track Version)
The Tallest Man On Earth
King of Spain
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Elephant
The White Stripes
Black Math
Genre: Alternative Rock
Year: 2003
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Changeless
Keith Jarrett
Ecstacy
Genre: Jazz
Year: 2000
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The term "diva" is an honorific to be bestowed, not a title to be claimed. That alone gets Annie Lennox's 1992 solo debut off on the wrong foot. Nor does it help that, instead of following the often-daring path of her former outfit, the Eurythmics, Lennox chose instead to wrap her big, emotional voice in aloof, sophisticated settings rendered primarily on synthesized keyboards. "Why" is a gorgeous ballad about a crumbling relationship, but nothing about the pristine "Walking on Broken Glass" comes close to the danger its title implies. "Precious" offers little beyond lite funk, while "Cold" is studiously icy and distant. Only "Why" and the closing number, "The Gift," achieve the sort of richly detailed intimacy she was obviously reaching for here. So hold off on that diva stuff, Annie. We'll let you know when it's time. --Daniel Durchholz
Diva
Annie Lennox
Why
Genre: Pop
Year: 1992
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Soft Dangerous Shores is Whitley's mesmeric new album, his twelfth so far and sixth for Messenger Records. Whitley recorded the CD with bassist Heiko Schramm and drummer Matthias Macht. Features the songs 'Her Furious Angels', 'End Game Holiday' and 'Valley of Innocents'. 2005.
Soft Dangerous Shores
Chris Whitley
City of Women
Genre: Folk
Year: 2005
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Rock's first great double-album and home to many of Dylan's finest songs: Rainy Day Women #12 & 35; Visions of Johanna; I Want You; Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again; Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat; Just Like a Woman; Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine ), and the side-long epic Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands .
Blonde On Blonde
Bob Dylan
I Want You
Genre: Rock
Year: 2004
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Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures
New Fang
Genre: Rock
Year: 2009
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A Night on the Town
Bruce Hornsby & The Range
Fire on the Cross
Genre: Rock
Year: 1990
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To call the Drive-By Truckers an alt-country band is a disservice--to the Truckers and their Buzzcocks-meet-the-Outlaws brand of punk-rock twang, as well as to most alt-country bands, which hardly belong in the same county as DBT, let alone borrowing the same genre. This remastered re-release of the Alabama foursome’s 1999 sophomore record picks up where its debut album Gangstabilly (also re-issued by New West Records) left off--fruitful storyteller Patterson Hood and his cotton-drawl vocals bobbing and weaving through the trepidations and peculiarities of his life in the Deep South. The Truckers abstain from some of the white-trash bulls-eyes and volume 11 blasters on their debut for a 14-song hootenanny about riding bulldozers in red clay, a reclusive uncle, giving up sex for the Lord, and a Memphis performance by the late shock-rocker G.G. Allin. The bluesy sing-a-long "Nine Bullets" features one round of lead for each of Hood’s adversaries, but two songs later he harmoniously reminisces his great-grandmother in "Box of Spiders." It’s a remarkable divergence that drives Pizza Deliverance and sets the table for the Southern Rock Opera that comes next. - Scott Holter
Pizza Deliverance
Drive-By Truckers
Love Like This
Genre: Rock
Year: 2005
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Andy Pratt
Andy Pratt
It's All Behind You
Genre: Rock
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Have I Offended Someone?
Frank Zappa
Disco Boy (Reconstructed and Remixed)
Genre: Rock
Year: 1997
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