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November 17, 2000 | SUSAN CARPENTER
** 1/2 Bratmobile, "Ladies, Women and Girls," Lookout. On Bratmobile's second full-length record, lead singer Allison Wolfe proves two things: She still can't sing, and she hasn't grown up. That's good news for fans of this Olympia, Wash., trio, which was central to the early-'90s pop-punk Riot Grrrl movement.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2009 | Randy Lewis; Mikael Wood; Greg Kot; Todd Martens; August Brown; Jeff Weiss
John Mayer "Battle Studies" Columbia 1/2 On the high-contrast black-and-white cover photo of John Mayer's latest studio album, the singer, songwriter and guitarist's hands are pulling at the collar of a thick winter coat. It seems as though he's trying to brace against the onset of frosty conditions; the overall effect is fairly Morrissey-esque. That's no coincidence -- in themes and tone, Mayer shows a lot in common with the great romantic fatalist of '80s Brit pop: He's "Perfectly Lonely" in the song with that title, and he opens the collection with "Heartbreak Warfare," about the ways we hurt the ones we ostensibly love.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 1999 | STEVE HOCHMAN
DAYS OF THE NEW "Days of the New 2" Outpost Recordings * * * In these days of dumbing down, merely aiming high is praiseworthy, even if the shot misses the mark. Such is the case with Travis Meeks, the auteur who dismantled his band Days of the New after a promising 1997 debut album (sort of acoustic Alice in Chains with a Southern accent) and ups the ante considerably with this follow-up (in stores Tuesday).
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2009 | Randy Lewis; Margaret Wappler; Greg Kot
Carly Simon "Never Been Gone" Iris Records Artists who re-record touchstone songs from their catalogs, as Carly Simon does on her latest full-length collection, take on the burden of coming up with something different enough to make that material newly relevant. Perhaps not surprisingly, her tour through her nearly four-decade catalog succeeds best when she mixes things up the most. The opening reading of "The Right Thing to Do" is pleasant, but it seems eerily close to what the song might have sounded like in the hands of her ex, James Taylor -- the presence here of their musician son, Ben, could have something to do with that.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2009 | Randy Lewis; Mikael Wood; Greg Kot; Todd Martens; August Brown; Jeff Weiss
John Mayer "Battle Studies" Columbia 1/2 On the high-contrast black-and-white cover photo of John Mayer's latest studio album, the singer, songwriter and guitarist's hands are pulling at the collar of a thick winter coat. It seems as though he's trying to brace against the onset of frosty conditions; the overall effect is fairly Morrissey-esque. That's no coincidence -- in themes and tone, Mayer shows a lot in common with the great romantic fatalist of '80s Brit pop: He's "Perfectly Lonely" in the song with that title, and he opens the collection with "Heartbreak Warfare," about the ways we hurt the ones we ostensibly love.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 1985 | DON WALLER
"V.U." The Velvet Underground. Verve/PolyGram. This is the long-lost "fourth" Velvet album that stayed unreleased for 15 years, presumably because it was ahead of its time. It still is. Although most of these 10 tunes later surfaced on various Lou Reed solo albums, bootlegs and the incredible "1969--Live" LP (itself issued in '74), there are noticeable differences, particularly in Reed's vocals--warmer and less affected than in his '70s daze.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 1999 | STEVE APPLEFORD
In 1997, Mellencamp convened his touring band at an Indiana studio to record some old songs in sessions that were stripped down and surprisingly raw. The results, finally released here, are not quite revelatory, but suggest how Mellencamp might have better followed the promise of his 1985 "Scarecrow" album. Like that acclaimed record, such tracks as "Love and Happiness" demonstrate why passion wins over craftsmanship every time.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 2009 | Greg Kot; Mikael Wood; August Brown; Margaret Wappler
Arctic Monkeys "Humbug" Domino 1/2 The Arctic Monkeys didn't bother to knock in 2005 when they came busting through the door into instant pop fame in England. Creating a huge following through Internet file-swapping and live gigs, the teenage quartet became the fastest-selling band in United Kingdom history when it finally debuted with the album "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" in 2006 and its inescapable single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor."
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