For the last week of 2009, I am posting a series of 'Best of 2009'
Today is the best in music and concerts!
For those who dislike rock music, you might want to gracefully slink away right now. Sorry, but rock is my favorite genre. (I also like new age music.) You really don't want me reviewing a country music album, as it will only sound like opposums mating to me! And I am sure you could say the same of mine - LOL!
So this list is definitely biased - but you might find a gem here!
Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day
Arjen Lucassen is the genius behind Ayreon and several other bands. He helped launch Stream of Passion to showcase Ayreon's singer Marcela Bovio.
Guilt Machine is another of his projects, and this time rather than an ensemble of artists, he formed an actual band.
The more I listened, the more I fell in love with this melodic prog-rock album, and it's journey through the human emotion of guilt.
Arjen's bands and albums all highlight the human condition and focus on percise & intricate music.
This album grows fresher every time I hear it!
Trans Siberian Orchestra - Night Castle
The LONG awaited new album from TSO!
This is only the second one that ventures from the Christmas theme, but it doesn't abandon the Christian roots of the band.
A double CD, this album features a variety of hard rock classical style and sweet melodies. Carmina Burana is the song they have sung for the past few years in concert, taunting us, and it's a delight to finally hear that song on the album.
Other noteables are The Mountain, a take on In the Hall of the Mountain King, and Toccata-Carpimus Noctem, the playing of which should ignite the guitarist's and violinist's instruments!
Chevelle - Black Clouds & Silver Linings
I've been a big fan of Chevelle for years and this album does not disappoint.
One of the brothers departed, but his absence has not made an impact of the quality of the music.
This album does not contain as many highlights as albums of the past, but it is more even-keeled overall.
Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue
Yes, they sound just like Alice in Chains - imagine that!
If you were a fan of this 90's grunge rock band, you will be pleased with their new album.
Sean Kinney's vocals are not only perfect, I think he's even better than Lane.
Of course, it is the genius of Jerry Cantrell that pulls it all together.
Overall, a very solid album.
Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings
One of the biggest, most successful prog rock bands ever, and with good reason.
This album gets a big nod due to one of the best songs ever written, The Count of Tuscany.
This band has never compromised. They do not care about top 40 hits. They don't care about radio airplay. At this point in their career, they don't need to! So they just continue to do what they do best - evolve as a band, trying new things and crafting even better, tighter, more elaborate musical offerings.
Trans Siberian Orchestra wins every year, hands down. No other show can compare. And this year, with the release of Night Castle, it was explosive!
Dream Theater places second. It is amazing that such intricate, detailed compositions can be played live and with such precision. A very magical performance.
My picks for 2009 - what were yours???