Saturday, June 30, 2012

new music roundup...

As bad as pop radio is and even a lot of the "rock" music that comes out these days is not very good, there has been some good music coming out lately. I'm in my 40's and am happy to see many musicians I liked when I was a teen are still active and creative, still trying to release quality music.

Squackett is a collaboration between Chris Squire of Yes and Steve Hackett of Genesis (hence the name..)
The two men of course bring their Prog Rock backgrounds to the project but there are other influences injected as well. 
Here is "Divided Self" from the album. It features some nice electric 12-string playing ,a catchy hook, and the two men sharing the vocals.

                      Squackett "Divided Self"

A pleasant surprise is the group Producers (not to be confused with the still-active American Power Pop band "The Producers"). The band is just that; a group of music producers who are also musicians. The band features Trevor Horn (a member of the Buggles and Yes, produced Yes' "90125", Seal, Art of Noise, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, ABC and more), Lol Creme was a member of 10cc and produced music videos with  Kevin Godley also of 10cc. Steve Lipson also a successful producer who worked with Annie Lennox as well as Paul McCartney, Ash Sloan is a drummer who has worked with Seal, Del Amitri, and Squeeze. Singer/songwriter Chris Braide also played a major role in the album.

It is so great to hear Trevor Horn singing and making music again. I hear a little of the same charm that The Buggles "Living in the Plastic Age" had. Some of his lyrics are very personal,  reflecting some of the personal tragedy he has been thru in recent years. Very brave and generous of him to share with us as we search our own hearts..
 It is of course, very well produced. It reminds some of the Mike and the Mechanics projects that have come out over the years. In fact, I would favorably compare it to Mike and the Mechanics "The Road" release from 2011.

Check out a couple of tracks

                                                Producers  "Freeway"

                           Producers "Garden of Flowers"

read more about the band here:

Believe it or nor Asia is celebrating their 30th anniversary and releasing a new album "XXX" this week. Some of the pre-release talk from the band is the "return to form" stuff we hear from a lot of bands. I would say it is more like their recent albums (not bad at all, "Omega" is very good) and the Wetton/Downes "Icon" releases in recent years, Steve Howe is taking more of a backseat these days and Carl Palmer is often reduced to playing in straight time signatures, not really getting a chance to stretch out. My complaint is they've never fully gone back to the balance of "Prog" and "AOR" they achieved on the first album and to a lesser extent their second album.
Having said that, the first single, "Face on the Bridge" has grown on me and has a nice hook. Hopefully more of the album will grow on me as well.

                ASIA "Face on the Bridge"

The Fixx is back with a new album this summer. I must confess while I've purchased their last two albums , I didn't find them that memorable so I didn't have much  hope for this one and then I heard the new single. 
Great energy! As modern as, say, Coldplay, but still having some classic Fixx sonic elements. I am now really looking forward to getting the new CD , out July 17th

                   The Fixx "Anyone Else"

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