Who remembers Matchbox Twenty’s meteoric rise to global stardom back in the mid to late 90s? Yourself or Someone like You (1996) is still one of my favourite pop rock albums. Now I really feel old that I have brought that up. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of, right? Incidentally the lead single on Matchbox Twenty’s frontman Rob Thomas new solo album Chip Tooth Smile called One Less Day (Dying Young) takes a look at getting older. If Rob Thomas who is the same age as me can sing “I’m not afraid of getting older” then I should take a leap out of his book and believe in his life affirming message. With age they say also comes hindsight and wisdom and I think Thomas has got it right on his fourth solo album. He plays to his strengths showing us his versatility from power pop to simple balladry. Do yourself a favour and checkmate out Chip Tooth Smile. By the way, if you listen closely enough, you’ll hear the underlining influence he lays down in his homage to the 80s.
Beautiful Trauma was a solid return for P!nk last year and I am pleased to say she continues to play on almost all her strengths on her new release Hurts 2B Human. Across thirteen tracks P!nk’s eighth studio album showcase her flair for pop-rock and world weary ballads like no other. She’s no longer that young upstart that she was back in 2001 but she’s still definitely antsy, driven and an underdog through and through in everything she does. While my favourite P!nk albums might have come out of the noughties, Hurts 2B Human is as good as anything Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift have to offer. Well, at least I think so.
For fans of The Cranberries, the release of their final album In The End has arrived today but not without still a tingle of sadness. I know I will forever miss Dolores’ distinctive Celtic vocal lilt, but like Eileen O’Riordan (Dolores O’Riordan’s mother) said a few months back, I too, cannot think of a more fitting way to commemorate the anniversary of Dolores’ passing than the release of this album. Where this album will fit in their legacy is still yet to be determined but there is no denying that it delivers. It has been carefully pieced together by her faithful band mates with all the hallmarks of that classic Cranberries sound that we all love.
For more on Dolores O’Riordan’s musical legacy check out my tribute here.
It’s been four years since we last heard anything new from Marina Diamantis, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds. Today she has released her fourth studio album Love + Fear to the world. It a concept double album shaped by feelings of nostalgia and love (on part one) and fear and insecurities (on part two). Moreover Love + Fear is Marina Diamantis trying to find her place in the world again, especially after her self-confessed creative meltdown a few years ago.
If the Austin-based power trio The Well is not on your metal radar, well they bloody should be! They have been carving out their own metal style by ‘merging massive riffs and sophisticated melodies’ for nearly a decade. On their new album Death and Consolation they continue to tweak their psychedelic doom/stoner sound, especially on my favourite track from the album called This Is How The World Ends. If you like Black Sabbath, Sleep Electric Wizard and the Deadbeats, you will be impressed by these heavy rock metal heads.