Friday, August 12, 2022

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Sound Check


cd black-sabbath-13Black Sabbath



On paper, there’s absolutely no reason why this album shouldn’t be the greatest thing to happen to music since the treble clef. First off, it’s Sabbath. Then there is the fact that it is Sabbath WITH OZZY. Toss legendary producer Rick Rubin into the mix, and you’ve got everything you need to blow people away — well, almost everything. Age has changed the men involved with Sabbath, assuredly, but success has altered the band in a far more visceral way. Too much of the album sounds like old men going through the motions. It’s the Al Pacino effect: Pacino was a magnificent actor until about 1994, when he just started doing an Al Pacino impression. And so, through much of “13,” Ozzy gives us what he thinks we want to hear. The sincerity is sucked out of the tracks to be replaced by a somewhat convincing Black Sabbath impression. CV


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cd These New PuritansThese New Puritans

‘Field of Reeds’

Infectious Music

“Field of Reeds” takes its time. With everything. While that is certainly not always a bad thing, These New Puritans seems determined to take the concept of tedium and elevate it to art form. To be sure, it does its thing well: “Spiral” is the best track on the album and a definite highlight of this young summer. But at the end of the day, “Field of Reeds” — to borrow a cliché — is what it is. The sub-genre of ambient rock isn’t something that is going to appeal to a gigantic audience, and many people simply like their musical experiences to be more interactive and engaging than These New Puritans is willing to be. As such, “Field or Reeds” may very well get lost in the shuffle of the summer music season. But for those who are predisposed to a more languid approach to music, the album is definitely worth the time. CV

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