Concept Albums

Ry Cooder goes polemical with US election-themed album

Ry Cooder goes polemical with US election-themed album

There is a long-established strain of political and social protest in the blues. Well-known examples include Lead Belly's Bourgeois Blues, J.B. Lenoir'sEisenhower Blues, and Big Bill Broonzy's Black Brown and White.

Monday, 17 September, 2012, 9:25am

The power of your smile

I don't think everyone realises how important it is to smile. Smiling comes easily to some people, because they are happy. But not everyone smiles.

Smiling has the power to make us feel better. It's good if we can smile even if we feel miserable.

28 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Tender loving care is secret to six-year-old's success

Dennis Yip Chor-hong admitted he 'pushed too hard' with Union's Star last term and a tender approach was the key to the six-year-old's Class Three dirt win. Union's Star was withdrawn from a race last month and given two weeks off when recurring leg problems flared again. Yip said soreness limited the horse's performances throughout a winless 2010-11 season.

5 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

ALBUM (1966)

The Mothers of Invention Freak Out! Verve

It's an album full of eerie noises, atonal flourishes and spoken-word nonsense as well as the occasional straightforward blues song, but Freak Out! - Frank Zappa's debut album with the Mothers of Invention - laid the sonic blueprint for the following four decades of art rock.

8 May 2011 - 12:00am

Wyclef Jean puts on a lively carnival in support of his new CD

Unlike his big hit, former Fugees member Wyclef Jean wasn't killing us softly on Monday night. In town to promote a new CD, The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, the dapper rapper came out in a gold lame jacket but quickly got down and dirty, rocking Landmark Mandarin Oriental's MO Bar for almost two hours. (Usually these music showcases last for maybe 30 minutes.)

23 Apr 2008 - 12:00am

The Mars Volta

The Mars Volta

The Bedlam in Goliath


The Mars Volta are a world away from the mainstream, and on this, their fourth studio offering, they're again immersed in the weird.

17 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields



3 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Orchestral manoeuvres

Tuomas Holopainen, keyboardist and songwriter for Finnish symphonic metal outfit Nightwish, has a long list at hand when asked to describe his band's music.

24 Jan 2008 - 12:00am

From the Vault: 1977


Out of the Blue


Either the 'cool factor' is forever in perpetual motion, or I'm too old to care what's hip and what's not.

Whatever the case may be, the recent re-release of this 30th-anniversary edition of Out of the Blue, containing the kind of

29 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples

We'll Never Turn Back


8 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Tori Amos

Tori Amos

American Dream Posse

(Sony BMG)

Sometimes, it seems, Tori Amos just wants to dress up.

13 May 2007 - 12:00am

Bleak but worthy look at the future

Nine Inch Nails' latest album Year Zero is the band's first concept album.

Don't expect any of the 16 tracks to be easy-listening tunes.

'It certainly doesn't sound like anything else out there right now,' said Trent Reznor, the founder and primary creative force behind the band. It sounds more like a soundtrack for an apocalyptic sci-fi film.

29 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails

Year Zero


Nine Inch Nails' fifth, and studio, album is filled with innovation and all the multi-dimensional beats and textures that its rock dominated predecessor, With Teeth, lacked.

22 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

My Name is Buddy


The ghost of Woody Guthrie casts its shadow over Ry Cooder's latest release. Like Bruce Springsteen - on last year's excellent We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions - Cooder has delved into America's rich folk history, looking at Depression-era tales with one eye on the past and one on the present.

18 Mar 2007 - 12:00am


The Small Faces

Ogden's Nut Gone Flake


It's possible to wonder to what extent certain great albums of the 1960s owe their status to their sleeves. Certainly, they were more than incidental to Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Tommy and Ogden's Nut Gone Flake.

9 Jul 2006 - 12:00am