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13 April 2004

Josh Todd, You Made Me (Todd Entertainment)
Josh Todd was Buckcherry's front man. Remember them? Well, if you do, he's back with a youthful bunch that basically pick up where he previously left off. "Mind Infection" resembles Chris Robinson fronting your standard barroom punk rock group, with the obligatory short screams from Todd. Big, meaty and not that bouncy, the record has a lot of hard rock riffs pouring out of it, but it's not the bore that is nu metal. The hook-riddled "Broken" tries to sound scary, yet it's as scary musically as Tommy Lee's Method Of Mayhem. Todd knows what makes rock radio drool and it seems he's hunting them down on sing-along arena rockers like "The Walls" and the required "woes is me" yelps on the "emo"core "Flowers & Cages". Josh Todd doesn't play it that safe, but it's extremely difficult to get him out of a radio-friendly rut. The color-by-numbers "Shine" has a lot in common with Collective Soul's grandiose guitars. Todd touches all the sources with the testosterone driven "Burn" and also "Blast", a tune straight from the back pocket of Nickelback's Chad Kroeger. Possibly the album's watershed moment is "Circles", possessing the guitar brawn but a lot of Train-ish melody going in its favor. "Slave" sounds like an earlier track. It's not a terribly bad record if beer-swigging, radio-friendly perfected rock is your idea of a good time.
      — Jason MacNeil

Evening Lights, Landscapes (Shelflife)
Fans of dreamy, indie jangle-pop will love the new CD-EP from San Francisco's Evening Lights. Featuring former members of such indie-pop luminaries as the Autocollants and In a Day, the band's five-track debut recalls the Sundays in the way lead singer Laura Watling's vocals effortlessly intertwine with traditional pop-rock structures. There's nothing innovative about tracks like "Telephones and Traffic Lights", but the insistent melody and interesting use of a xylophone make for an intriguing listen. "Phaedra" is soft, simplistic and hazy, while "In A Day" offers a more traditional sound, and the title track showcases Watling's heavenly vocals once more. A full album may have been too repetitive and derivative, but the EP format and one or two gems means Landscapes just about retains interest.
      — Andrew Ellis

.: posted by Editor 7:31 PM


In bold are PopMatters Picks, the best in new music.
Abe Duque
be your own PET
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
The Bottle Rockets
The Brand New Heavies
Johnny Cash
Slaid Cleaves
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Cut Chemist
Miles Davis
Dinosaur Jr.
Dr. Octagon
Alejandro Escovedo
Fatboy Slim
Four Tet
The Handsome Family
Matthew Herbert
Ise Lyfe
Jefferson Airplane
Lord Jamar
Mission of Burma
Mr. Lif
Mojave 3
Allison Moorer
Paul Oakenfold
Grant-Lee Phillips
The Procussions
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Julie Roberts
Diana Ross
7L & Esoteric
Alice Smith
Snow Patrol
Sonic Youth
Soul Asylum
Sound Team
Regina Spektor
Sufjan Stevens
Matthew Sweet
Rhonda Vincent
Thom Yorke

Baby Dayliner
The BellRays
Cat Power
The Clientele + Great Lakes
The Coup + T-Kash
Mike Doughty Band
Download Festival 2006
Fiery Furnaces + Man Man
The Futureheads
The Handsome Family
High Sierra Music Festival
Billy Idol
Bettye Lavette
Love Parade
Nine Inch Nails + Bauhaus
Sonic Youth
Splendour in the Grass 2006
The Streets
Sunset Rubdown

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