Showing posts with label Deluxe Edition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deluxe Edition. Show all posts


Blues-Rock Review: Ten Years After-A Sting in the Tale (Deluxe Edition)

Release Date: March 19, 2021

Label: 2021 Deko Entertainment / Ten Years After


From across the waters in Nottingham, England, arises a band that’s name derived from the period that saw a boom of rock & roll exhilaration after Elvis Presley broke through the doors of the genre. The band was launched officially in 1967 but, Ten Years After spent the first six years solidifying their group members and working out the band’s kinks. Heavy touring through the first 5 years was the first lead to their growing success. And, though the band suffered splits, and a less-than-stellar album, Ten Years After ultimately resurrected themselves within a new rise to success even 40+ years later.
The album A Sting in the Tale has now been re-released with live tracks to bring the band’s power to life in full force. “Land of the Vandals” starts the album out with a rising tide intro that for a rock record, keeps a soothing but steady-handed tone throughout. “Iron Horse” describes someone with the capacity to outperform those around them with every move he makes. Then, we arrive at “Miss Constable” where he sings of a blood-sucking woman who Is not only seemingly abusive but too, is never happy with how things are around her and the person that stands beside her. The guitar solo in this track offers a sense of levity to how dark the song is overall.

“Up In Smoke” really blows a hole in the listener’s heart. If you could look the definition of blues up in the dictionary, this song would be sitting right underneath. The singer speaks of how it’s too late to save him from the woes that have allowed him to arrive at this point in his life. It is overly apologetic but, sadly he knows that there is still no one listening, even at the very end. “Retired Hurt” is kind of somber like the prior track however, with a constant beat behind it and the fact that it sounds like the first-step process of life admissions, the song does not depress listeners entirely. Rather, it is a song of acknowledgment, even if the singer is still questioning what to do next.

“Suranne Suranne” is love slipped away. Although, with the subject matter being should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, it is a fun changeup from the album so far. If only the woman knew who the singer was, would things have been different? “Stoned Alone” is a cool piece, that depicts a relationship starting and ending all within the same breath and now the singer is left in his emotions (now heightened) alone. “Two Lost Souls” is the most fun and free-spirited track on A Sting in the Tale. Its up-tempo, action-movie-car-chase-styled tone brings levity and funk to the rest of the blues-smothered tracks.

“Diamond Girl” is a reminiscent song of this girl who is ideal perfection that sadly either does not stick around or slips out of the singer’s sights and life completely. It sings of this ideal perfection of a person that many dream up but few, if any, could ever find in life; especially since we are all flawed, to begin with. “Last Night of the Bottle,” “Guitar Hero,” and “Silverspoon Lady” all keep a constant pace to end out the record. “Silverspoon Lady” is a strong way to complete the album as the singer announces that this overly entitled-minded woman will not take advantage of this man and “will not get the best of him.”

So, to include the four live tracks, one of the tracks being a lead hit single that blasted the band to top success off of the album A Space in Time. As stated through one of the band’s press releases, it’s certainly true that “you put it on…you can’t just listen once.”

Gregg Keniston - Staff
April 1, 2021 

01. Land of the Vandals
02. Iron Horse
03. Miss Constable
04. Up in Smoke
05. Retired Hurt
06. Suranne Suranne
07. Stoned Alone
08. Two Lost Souls
09. Diamond Girl
10. Last Night of the Bottle
11. Guitar Hero
12. Silverspoon Lady
13. Land of the Vandals (Live)
14. I’d Love to Change the World (Live)
15. Silverspoon Lady (Live)
16. Last Night of the Bottle (Live)


Crossover Prog Review: Lunatic Soul-Through Shaded Woods (Deluxe Edition)

Release Date: November 13 2020

Label: Kscope


Lunatic Soul was founded in 2008 in Warsaw, Poland, and to date, has released 7 studio albums, from the debut, Lunatic Soul in 2008 up to the album under review here, Through Shaded Woods earlier this year. Lunatic Soul is the creative vehicle for Marius Duda, the vocalist, and bassist for the Polish band, Riverside.

Through Shaded Woods is available as a single CD, a 2CD deluxe edition, as well as in vinyl and digital versions. The review is based on the deluxe version of the release.

Through Shaded Woods (Deluxe Edition) has 8 tracks and a total running time of just over 72 minutes (72:27) with the final track, “Transition II,” the longest at 27:45 minutes and the penultimate track, “Hylophobia” the shortest at just over 3 minutes (3:20).

Although being aware of both Riverside and Lunatic Soul and having featured tracks from Riverside on my radio show, I had never managed to “get into” Lunatic Soul releases, and I approached the review of Through Shaded Woods with no real expectations.

Regular readers of my reviews will be aware that I put a great deal of value on the opening track of releases, and am always looking for a hook, an amazing riff, basically something that “grabs your ears and shouts, Listen.”. Enter track 1 of this album, “Navvie” (4:03) and we find exactly what I am looking for. Obviously, folk-based and immersed in the more Nordic/Scandinavian folk arena, "Navvie” has a repetitive riff that becomes almost shamanic and in just over 4 minutes has succeeded in drawing the listener into a stunning mesmeric aural landscape.

Track 6, "The Fountain" (6:04), starts with a simple acoustic guitar, then Marius’s clear vocals take the track on and a piano appears in the background before moving to center stage. This is a beautiful, melodic track that flows along, carrying the listener along with it. As the song progresses there is the addition of some amazingly symphonic orchestration. Around the 4:40 minute point, there is a change to leave the piano theme to carry the track to its finale. This is another superb track from a stunning album.

The final track, “Transitions II” (27:45) is a real epic in terms of length and is a simply wonderful working and reworking of riffs and themes, reminiscent of Mike Oldfield. The original “Transitions” appears on Lunatic Soul II and initially, the opening of "Transitions II" harks back to this 2010 release. The additional instrumentation starts to suggest a change of direction and indeed, around the 4-minute mark, the “fuzzy” guitar starts the track moving into the realms of the aforementioned Mike Oldfield. For several minutes this style is maintained before moving into the sphere of New Age music, carrying the listener along with a minimalist soundscape style. The music is melodic, gentle, and intensely relaxing, before another change in style and direction nudging the 18-minute point when the piano takes on more responsibility and the other instrumentation washes in and out again, continuing the painting of an aural soundscape of gentleness, but different to that which had gone before. The track almost stops around the 21-minute mark and a very different picture comes into focus. The breathy vocals, or to be more correct, vocalizations, from Marius, float over an acoustic guitar theme and there is again a return to the folk area prevalent in “Navvie." This carries on until around 24:30 minutes when an ethereal choral section seems to appear, with an acoustic guitar theme in the background before the final section which harks back in time to a Gregorian chant before slowly fading away.

Through Shaded Woods is a superb release and well worth checking out. As I suggested early in this review, despite being aware of Lunatic Soul, I was not “into” the solo work of Marius. This album has changed my mind and I will now be revisiting the previous releases with more interest. Through Shaded Woods demands a place in many peoples’ CD collections, so grab a listen and see what you think

Jim “The Ancient One “ Lawson Prog Rock Music Talk Staff
January 22, 2021


1. Navvie (4:03)
2. The Passage (8:57)
3. Through Shaded Woods (5:51)
4 Oblivion (5:03)
5 Summoning Dance (9:52)
6. The Fountain (6:04)
7. Vyraj (5:32)
8. Hylophobia (3:20)
9. Transition II (27:45)




Rock-Pop Review: Elvis Presley-That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition)

Label: Legacy

The Elvis Presley music just keeps coming and for fans of the King it’s always a great day when new music is unearthed from the archives. That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) continues that tradition. The set comes in the 2 CD Deluxe Edition and an expanded 8 CD/2 DVD set.

I am a fan of Elvis and I have had the pleasure of checking out the digital version of the larger set and enjoying all the footage on the DVD. I especially enjoyed the “fly on the wall” footage of Presley in the studio with his band and witnessing every day conversations. Even though he was a huge star I could see how he set people at ease with his demeanor. I would think the diehard fan would love the expanded set and the casual fan would go for the regular release. Either way you get a good glimpse of Elvis hitting his stride and some added bonuses along the way. One of the bonuses includes the accompanying booklet with several pictures and a fantastic write up from Warren Zanes about this critical juncture in Presley’s career.

Other added treats include outtakes and original singles culled from the sessions and of course the amazing live shows. In his third decade of recording the man was at the top of his game and you bear witness to that incredible talent and energy he commanded in the studio and on stage.

The sound quality is superb on this set. They did an excellent job of remastering the original tapes, bringing the legend of Elvis out of your stereo system directly into your room where your stereo resides.

The best part is you get it all with this deluxe set, the original album outtakes, the original singles then the opening night performance in Las Vegas. The venue held 2,000 seats so he was able to move around, mingle in the crowd, and kiss all the ladies. Folks who managed him were surprised he did that. In this instance Elvis was so happy about the music and overall performance that he was transferring that joy to his audience like never before. This was 1970 when we lived in different world and Presley was a world renowned star, once again reminding everyone of the power and magnitude of his music. 

If you are a fan of Elvis Presley’s music you most certainly will recognize many of the tracks. This will also serve as a good introduction to his music as any I have ever heard. This is one more reminder that there will never be another one like Elvis to grace the stages or recording studios. Performers like this will be forever in our hearts and minds for their originality and unique charisma and appeal to their audiences.

What I have come to appreciate over the years is the versatility of Elvis and the musicians that performed with him. There was a time in my life that I was not paying attention but that changed several years ago and now I can fully understand the impact and far reaching influence this performer had on music as a whole.

This set comes highly recommended from this Elvis fan and music lover.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

September 10, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music


Hard Rock Review: D-A-D-Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark – Deluxe Edition

Release Date: April 23, 2013
Label: AFM Records

I don’t know what it is about the rock bands that come from the Scandinavian regions. I have reviewed a few of them over the years, and they certainly seem to love their rock. They seem to be un-phased by the stigmas that have plagued hard rock in the U.S. for the past 20 years or so, and their music is better for it. D-A-D (formerly Disneyland After Dark, but forced to change their name for obvious reasons) is no exception to this.

D-A-D has been rocking out since the mid 80s. The core of the band has been together this entire time. Jesper (lead vocals/guitar) and Jacob Binzer (guitar), and Stig Pederson (bass/vocals) have a dozen studio albums to their name, and Laust Sonne has been with them on drums since 1999. Their last several albums have continually done well on their native Danish album charts, generally climbing as high as first or second, and Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Arkis no exception.

If this is your first listen to D-A-D, I don’t think you would think that they had been doing this for 30 years. From the opening notes of “A New Age Moving In” there is a youthfulness and energy that exists in this band that many new bands wish they had, never mind ones with this kind of tenure. The result is a strong rock album full of influence from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but still has a modern sound and avoids the clich├ęs that have hurt many a rock band over the years.

What I also enjoyed about Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark is that they balance the album up from track to track. Songs like “Fast on Wheels” and “Breakin Them Heart By Heart” add a pop/rock style, while ballads like “We All Fall Down” and “Your Lips Are Sealed” show that D-A-D can slow it down from time to time as well. And if you purchase the Deluxe version of Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark you get another 16 tracks of acoustic and live recordings. I don’t know if you’ll prefer many of the acoustic versions to the album versions, but it is nice hearing the tunes stripped down and in such a raw form. The live tracks cover songs from previous releases as well and give you a glimpse at what D-A-D sound like live as well.

Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark is a quality rock album, and spending the bit extra for the Deluxe Edition is well worth it for the 16 tracks of additional recordings. It’s certainly not one of those bonus discs bogged down with sloppy alternative takes or material that wasn’t good enough to make an album. Ultimately D-A-D has once again shown that they can withstand the test of time. Not only withstand it, but can evolve as a band and keep their sound fresh when it can be so easy to put out more of the same. Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark is sure to fill a need for those of us that still love to rock.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: A New Age Moving In, Breakin Them Heart By Heart, We All Fall Down

Kevin Kozel

April 11, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Disc 1
01. A New Age Moving In
02. I Want What She’s Got
03. The End
04. Fast On Wheels
05. The Place of the Heart
06. Last Time in Neverland
07. Breaking Them Heart By Heart
08. We All Fall Down
09. Wild Thing in the Woods
10. Can’t Explain What It Means
11. Drag Me to the Curb
12. Your Lips Are Sealed

Disc 2

01. I Want What She’s Got (Acoustic)
02. The End (Acoustic)
03. A New Age Moving In (Acoustic)
04. Last Time in Neverland (Acoustic)
05. The Place of the Heart (Acoustic)
06. A New Age Moving In (Live)
07. Jihad (Live)
08. The End (Live)
09. Everything Glows (Live)
10. Ridin’ With Sue (Live)
11. Monster Philosophy (Live)
12. We All Fall Down (Live)
13. Last Time in Neverland (Live)
14. I Want What She’s Got (Live)
15. God’s Favorite (Live)
16. The Place of the Heart (Live)