Artist: 
Joel Plaskett
Label: 
Maple Music Recordings

Joel Plaskett has a crystal clear sound. His guitar and accompaniament just rings through the recordings. There are some definite folk and blues influences throughout this triple album. There is lap steel, a variety of strings, and even some woodwinds. Joel is somewhat like the Canadian Bob Dylan. This album has something for everyone. There are more rock songs while some are more country. Three is a cool album to have around.

Sounds Like: 
Bob Dylan, The Black Crowes, The Band
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/28/2009
Artist: 
Harmonious Wail
Label: 
Range Records, LTD.

Harmonious Wail is extremely unique. The vocals are that of a traditional jazz band, but the instrumentation is that of a traveling gypsy troupe. There are mandolins and guitars that play behind the vocals. The piano is phenomenal as it embelishes everything and the bass is backing up the melody. Some of the songs are improvisational with some jamming while the others are more like standards. The mandolin hits every note with precision and makes for a great blues and jazz instrument.

Sounds Like: 
Margo Reed, Stacey Kent, Delphine Cortez, Nancy Gee
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/24/2009
Artist: 
State Radio
Label: 
Ruff Shod Records

State Radio covers all the bases of music targeting youth. They have the punk, the reggae, the rock, and the chill factor to boot. The rock and punk is done right with quick patterns and driving heavy guitars. Their reggae pieces do not reflect the majority of neo-reggae bands today. State Radio keeps the sound of old school reggae with synths and minor sound effects. What they do have in common with bands such as Rebelution or RX Bandits is the message of self enlightenment and standing up for yourself.

Sounds Like: 
RX Bandits, Rebelution, Katastro, 311, Dispatch, Slightly Stoopid, The Expendables or O.A.R.
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/13/2009
Artist: 
Frank Turner
Label: 
Epitaph

Although Frank Turner's rep is that of a British hardcore band front man, his ways have changed. In Poetry of The Dead, Turner throws down a folky soulful sound reminiscent of his old punk days. With the acoustic guitar playing well over the driving electric guitar, Turner creates a unique blend any music conosieur could enjoy. While some songs are strictly acoustic, others have quite the accompaniment of a band. The background includes a full set of keys, a drummer, harmonicas, mandolins, and a bass player. Turner is also quite the lyricist.

Sounds Like: 
The Gaslight Anthem, Oasis, Kings of Leon, The Shins, or Brand New
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/13/2009
Artist: 
Zoos of Berlin
Label: 
Unsigned

Zoos of Berlin is a crazy sound. It's got electro pop, trumpets, and disco. It has close harmonies in the vocals and quick beats everywhere. This is truly unique. To some it may sound like a complete mess, while to others it may sound like the perfect orchestration. There is a lot going on in these recordings. It could make for great acid trip music, background noise, or even work out music. Zoos of Berlin is an eclectic mix that might take some getting used to, but it is for sure the only thing like it on the market.

Sounds Like: 
Cake, Hot Chip, Aeroplane
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/11/2009
Artist: 
David Gray
Label: 
Mercer Street

You want to know what this sounds like? Imagine if Bob Dylan and Ben Folds Five had kids... That's what it sounds like. This is off the hook. David Gray has the voice of Dylan and the fingers of Folds. The keys just swim along with the band and the songs are filled with soul. The jams are folky but with strong rock beats. Gray's voice is strong and brings forth so much power, without yelling or screaming. Then, the guitars, drums, and piano back up the vocals with equal power to knock the vocals out of the park.

Sounds Like: 
Bob Dylan, Ben Folds Five, Bruce Springsteen, Fruit Bats, Don McLean
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/11/2009
Artist: 
The Black Seeds
Label: 
Easy Star Records

The Black Seeds are strictly reggae and jam, but not the cheesey stuff that is pouring out of bands these days. The producers at Easy Star Records know good reggae when they hear it as they have produced the legendary Easy Star All-Stars. This New Zealand band has brought all the parts of reggae to the North American frontline. The horns have primary rhythms and their sound is full and fat, the offbeats are kicking, the percussion is quick, the sirens and sound effects are supreme, and the vocals are deep and have that male soul.

Sounds Like: 
The Easy Star All-Stars, Ziggy Marley, John Brown's Body
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/22/2009
Artist: 
Colin Hay
Label: 
Lazy Eye Records America, Inc.

In American Sunshine, Colin Hay pulls out all the stops to completely make an album that can be enjoyed on a long summer day. Visions of lemonade lounging out on the porch can be clearly seen in every one of his songs. There is prominent acoustic guitar and light rhythms and bouncy parts. Hay's voice is raspy yet it compliments the band very nicely. The blues of the band is deep and dark. The guitars also reflect country lap steels and twangy banjos.

Sounds Like: 
Ben Taylor, Jackson Browne, Lazlo Bane
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/22/2009
Artist: 
Blakroc
Label: 
Blakroc

Imagine, The Black Keys, a band comprised of a guitar and drums that make insane full music and sound, working with rappers to create a crazy album of real music beats and fresh rhymes. I have good news, the album in your hands is such! It's no dream! This album is fresh and straight bumpin'. Everything is unique about this record - from the artists to the backgrounds. The Black Keys have made a smart move with this album. They can now reach into a new genre for a fan base. T.B.K. has out done themselves on this album.

Sounds Like: 
The Roots, The Black Keys, ODB, Ludacris, Mos Def, Noe, RZA, Pharoahe Monch, Nicole Wray, Raekwon, Jim Jones, Q-Tip, Billy Danze
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
12/12/2009

Us

Artist: 
Brother Ali
Label: 
Rhymesayers Entertainment

Brother Ali is a man who has been through a lot. He has dealt with physical abnormalities (he is albino) and in turn has dealt with a lot of criticism because of it. This giv