Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Sound Check


The Zombies
“Still Got That Hunger”
The End RecordsZombies

There was a time when The Zombies were legitimately great. It was 50 years ago. In fact, but for the sheer stubborn-mindedness of the band itself, The Zombies should have been relegated to the scrap heap of bands that released one great album and never heard from again. But no. The band continues on, releasing a handful of albums in the years since its official breakup in 1967. The most charitable thing to be said about “Still Got That Hunger” is that it is one of those albums. Consequently, the most positive influence this album can have would be to get new people to listen to 1968’s “Odessey and Oracle” and remember the moment when The Zombies actually mattered. CV

Tarja Turunen
“Ave Maria – En Plein Air”
earMUSICAve Maria

In the world of classical music, few things have been as fertile ground for creation as the Ave Maria — the traditional prayer to the Virgin Mary. Serving as inspiration for more than 4,000 songs, the Ave Maria was most famously used by Charles Gounod, who set it to his own melody and combined it with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C major, to create one of the most iconic melodies of all time. Now, Turunen — the former vocalist for Finnish symphonic metal act Nightwish — has created her own ode to the Ave Maria. Consisting of 12 versions of the prayer (including the Gounod/Bach), and entirely recorded live in Lakeuden Risti Church, Turunen’s “Ave Maria” is a vocally stunning work. Turunen’s three octave range is put to full effect here, and the soprano proves herself up to the album’s daunting material, time and time again. It is, to be sure, an album with limited appeal. But for those with the inclination, it is well worth the listen. CV

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