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Sound Check

12/3/2014

AC/DCACDC

“Rock or Bust”

Columbia

On a personal level, it has not been a good year for AC/DC. Their drummer was arrested for trying to get a couple people killed, and guitarist Malcolm Young has announced his departure from the band for health reasons. But through it all, the band has managed to come together and churn out an absolute humdinger of an album. Young’s nephew, Stevie Young, has taken his place, and the band doesn’t appear to miss a beat sonically. “Play Ball” and “Rock the Blues Away” might be the best songs the band has written since “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and the group’s guitar work — always the meat and potatoes of their sound — remains as solid as ever. CV

EminemEminem

HIV

“Shady XV”

Shady Records

Some artists are timeless. You look back at their history and say, “Man, they’ve been around for 30 years already?” Eminem, on the other hand, just made me check Wikipedia to confirm that he has, in fact, “only” been plying his trade on a national stage for 15 years. “Shady XV” is a microcosmic look at the man himself, often worthy of discussion, at times completely brilliant, but heavy on the misogyny, which drags the whole effort down more than it deserves. One half of the two-disc compilation is a “best of” look back at everything that brought Eminem to this point. The other half is new material that makes ample use of the current stable of Shady Records talent including Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf. The old cuts will please long-time fans, and, at times, the new stuff is really good — see Yelawolf’s efforts on “Till it’s Gone” and Eminem’s lyrics on the title track. CV

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