Artists and Bands

A Year in Review – RRR Staff Weigh In On Their Top Picks of ’09 – Part 1

grammyThe end of the year usually means three things: resolutions, new challenges and opportunities and, of course, lists! Flipping through a music magazine (whether online or in print) at this time of year and not finding a list of the Top 5 This and Top 10 That is pretty much impossible.

So, we here at RRR decided to jump on the bandwagon (after all, we like to give the people what they want!) and bring you the best of the best from the music of ’09, with a twist. Rather than asking staff to fight it out and put together one sole comprehensive list, we decided we’d let everyone sift through the gems (as well as all those painful albums that made you cringe and think “What in the world were they on?”) and put together their own individual Tops.

But before we begin I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year (even though I’m a bit late) and thank you all for making RRR a regular part of your musical intake. (Please don’t leave us in 2010, we love you!)

In Part 1 you’ll find:
1) Top 10 Albums – Stefany Mohebban
2) Top 10 Albums – Bill Sullivan
3) Top 10 Albums (Rock & Metal) – Jon Asher
4) Top 20 Albums (Power Pop) – Aaron Kupferberg

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Strangefinger “Into the Blue”

intotheblue_600_200x200Strangefinger…strange name, but fantastic disc. “Into the Blue”, the latest offering from SideBMusic, arrives just in time as the new soundtrack to summer. Since it comes from SideBMusic, you know it has to be good…and after I heard Chris Manning (Jellyfish) had a hand producing and mixing the record, I was waiting outside by the mailbox with eager anticipation for its arrival.

Strangefinger is pure power pop bliss – band leader and main songwriter, Freddie Lemke, has gone through hell and high water to get this record, which was recorded and mixed in 2005, to finally see the light of day. Persistence has paid off and Strangefinger’s “Into the Blue” is destined to be a classic in the genre.

Maybe it is the album title or cover art, or song titles with “Ocean” and “Sunshine” in them, or maybe it is the sunny melodies, bright instrumentation, or positive vibe, or perhaps the heavy Brian Wilson influence in many of the songs, but numerous reviews have already remarked how appropriate “Into the Blue” is for the beach. And while these comments make perfect sense, I’d like to add for clarification that Strangefinger does not sing about the surf and sand; rather, the lyrics are much more interesting, rewarding the listener with something more substantial and contemplative.