Listening Booth

Album reviews by Josh Hogan


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Metallica - Load

©1996 Elektra

When I first heard this album, I didn't believe it was Metallica. It sounded like Hetfield singing for some "alternative rock" band. I was like "what the hell is this?"... had Metallica sold out? It's a matter of opinion; I think they just changed (for the worse). Bottom line is I might have liked this album if it wasn't Metallica, but I expected more from these Bay City Rockers. These guys were once the world's heaviest band, but now they're nothing more than "alternative rock".

GRADE D
Fav. Track - "House That Jack Built"


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Marilyn Manson - Portrait of an American Family

©1994 Nothing Records

There's not enough nice things I can say about this album. It's good old "American" rock n roll music. As "American" as apple pie. As "American" as Marilyn Manson himself. This album is so much better than the 2 which followed, Smells Like Children and Antichrist Superstar. Back then, Manson wasn't about being the Antichrist. Don't get me wrong, I still like some of the tracks on AS, but I find it reminds me too much of NIN. PoaAF is about killing your parents, molesting kids, and eating candy, just like the "American way".

GRADE B+
Fav. Tracks - "Sweet Tooth", "Get Your Gunn"


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Ministry - the Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

©1989 Sire/Warner Records
Will these dreams still follow me
Out of dark obscurity
Can't you see up in the sky
As it kicks you in the face and sucks you dry

With lyrics like this, who wouldn't love Ministry? These guys rock. This was the first album I heard by Jorgenson and Barker (the Dynamic Duo). It's a good album, and it's amazing how these 2 could write such a fantastic industrial album after With Sympathy (Ministry's first album... they were brit pop) If you've heard and enjoyed Land of Rape and Honey or Psalm 69, you need to check this one out, too.

GRADE B
Fav. Track - "Burning Inside"


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Pantera - Great Southern Trend Kill

©1996 eastwest records

This is one heavy fucking album, although I find it gets boring quick. I love Pantera, but this is far from my favorite album. It just doesn't have the same kick as Far Beyond Driven, Vulgar Display of Power or Pantera Official Live. Mind you, I do like it a lot better than Cowboys from Hell (can you say 'glamrock'? i knew you could - ed.). With Rex's bass, Vinnie's drums, Dimebag's guitar and Phil's voice, it's still wicked Pantera, it just doesn't match up with what I'm used to hearing from them.

GRADE C+
Fav. Track "Floods"


fill-in reviews by Kevin Clow

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Diana Krall - Love Scenes

©1997 GRP Records, Inc

As a general rule, I hate sappy top40 love ballads, and I usually find it hard to tolerate modern jazz for any longer than 20 minutes, but I find this collection irresistable. Krallís sultry croon will melt your heart on this 13-page songbook of suberb jazz ballads. Sticking to the trio format perfected on the Nat King Cole tribute All For You (Krallís previous album), thereís an intimacy that can be very visual at times. You may picture yourself in a smoky bar sipping on a martini, while the blond at the piano spins a few with her pals. And no matter how tough or cold you may try to be, that voice makes you think of nothing but love. Trust me, if you only listen to one jazz album this decade, make it this one.


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Cirque Du Soleil - AlegrŪa

©1994 Enterprises Tous Azimuts Inc. (dist. by BMG).
A very wise man (the drummer for a band I was in) introduced me to this album, somewhat by accident. And Iím eternally grateful. Thereís very little english (1 verse in the title song, to be exact), which would normally make for a difficult listen for a multilingual person like myself, but something about the sound seems to touch something in me. Despite my often heavy tastes (Nirvana, NIN, etc), this is an example of a very unique musical experience that really impresses me. This is not traditional anything, despite the accordians and violins that grace this disc, and perhaps one of the most impressive aspects is how they seemed to make the final song a blend of the entire album. Not everyone will love this album, but most who give it a chance may be hooked like I was.
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