sound check

By Michael Swanger

Murali Coryell
“Sugar Lips”
Murali’s Music Records

If you like Robben Ford and Chris Cain, chances are you might like Murali Coryell for the same reasons: he plays blues-inspired rock, R&B and jazz, but not strictly the blues. Then again, anyone familiar with Coryell’s pedigree understands that being the son of jazz guitarist Larry Coryell and author-actress Julie Coryell isn’t a recipe for playing anything by the book. Unfortunately, that is the downfall of “Sugar Lips,” an album so thematically and stylistically disjointed that it lacks direction. Even guest appearances by Larry Coryell, Reese Wynans and Joe Louis Walker fail to deliver the kind of eclectic atmosphere Coryell strives for with a mix of rock (“Blame It On Me”), funk (“Minor Funk”) and ballads (“I Could’ve Had You” and “Where is the Spirit?”), which also suffer from uninspired songwriting. CV

(Murali Coryell plays Blues on Grand at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10. $5.)


The Nadas
Authentic Records

The press materials pimping local pop band The Nadas’ concept album “Almanac” seemed promising: “So what happens when a rock band throws open the studio doors, stops being polite and starts getting real?” I had to hear it to believe it. “Almanac” was the result of the band writing, recording and releasing one song per month during the course of a year, but I was curious to see if their decision to allow fans full view of the process online and “even in a few choice cases,” incorporating fan feedback, influenced the outcome. Unfortunately, after listening to “Almanac,” it became clear that it was not what the band’s hype machine promised. Instead, I found 12 effeminate, polished pop songs (“Bitter Love,” “Call Me,” “All I Want is You”) labored by unimaginative songwriting by a band with a mainstream sound despite its disingenuous attempts to market itself as alt-rock and (gasp) alt-country. CV

(The Nadas play every Wednesday through February at the Vaudeville Mews. 7 p.m. $10.)

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