sound check

By Michael Swanger

“Wide Awake”
Rock Ridge Music

Singer-guitarist Don Miggs and bassist Michael Lombardo not only solidified Miggs’ lineup with the addition of new drummer Ryan Scarbrough, but they found a way to make a record that sounds immediate and familiar at the same time with the release of “Wide Awake.” The album’s themes focus on clarity and seeing things for the way they are and not for the way we want them to be, which works well when it comes to songs about the heart. The album’s title track and “Crawl Inside,” for example, are about Miggs’ wife. Other highlights include “Girls and Boys,” which tackles the age-old topic of teenager rebellion; the ballad “Sincerity,” in which the title of the song tells you everything; and the bouncing, catchy “Let the Games Begin.” CV


(Miggs performs Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Vaudeville Mews. Amy Lennard opens. $8.)


The Rolling Stones
“Exile On Main Street”
Universal Music Group

You can’t overstate the timeless merits of 1972’s “Exile On Main Street,” one of the most important rock albums by “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The masterpiece is a favorite of mine. So if you’re a diehard Stones fan, like I am, you’re probably tempted to buy the repackaged “Exile,” hoping that its 10 bonus tracks of previously unreleased material will warrant its higher cost (about $20). But a word to the wise: at least half of the bonus tracks (“Plundered My Soul,” “Dancing in the Light”) feature new vocals and lyrics by Mick Jagger, that to the ear of a longtime fan, might sound somewhat out of place despite Jagger’s best efforts to recapture “Exile’s” feel. Though “Good Time Women” is a well-mined nugget, alternate takes of “Loving Cup” and “Soul Survivor” are nostalgically interesting, but not as good as the originals. CV

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