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by Archives October 6, 2009

Arch Enemy – The Root of All Evil
(Century Media; 2009)
9/10

Arch Enemy’s eight release, The Root Of All Evil, features re-recorded tracks from the band’s first three albums with Angela Gossow replacing former vocalist Johan Liiva.
If the words ‘metal’ and ‘frontwoman’ conjure images of Evanescence, think again. Gossow won’t disappoint.
The vocals of Gossow does Liiva justice; in fact it takes a few moments to realize that it’s a woman screaming.
Take the new version of “Beast Of Man” as an example. You’ll find it hard to believe that the primal roar infiltrating your ear is coming from the chest of a hot blonde.
Arch Enemy is Swedish death metal at its best. Wholesome metal staples such as doubled melodic guitar riffs and an overall heavy sound are hard not to love.

Trial Track: “Beast Of Man”

– Candace Roscoe

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Zero 7 – Yeah Ghost
(Atlantic; 2009)
7/10

A strong album from beginning to end, Yeah Ghost is Zero 7’s follow-up to their Grammy nominated album, The Garden.
Yeah Ghost doesn’t quite compare to earlier releases. Their first album Simple Things remains untouchable. However, Zero 7 has kept the same energy used on past albums and gives Yeah Ghost a certain spark.
Most of the album is quite upbeat. Tracks like “Mr. Mcgee” and the lead single “Medicine Man” are probably the most head bob worthy, and “Swing” is a likely contender for next single.
With the return of guest singers (Sophie Barker), and the addition of Eska Mtungwazi, the lyrical tracks tremendously overshadow the instrumental ones, which, in the case of this album, barely even deserve mention.
Yeah Ghost may sound somewhat more evolved than previous albums, but the classic sound of Zero 7 remains.

– Owen Nagels

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Girls – Album
(Matador; 2009)
8/10

There is nothing earth-shattering about Album, the debut release from the San Francisco duo Girls. Yet the surmounting hype may well be deserved.
Album is a collection of feel good songs that recall everything that was good about classic sixties California music. With hints of the Beach Boys, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Elvis Costello, there is a tinge of welcome familiarity that hits straight to the heart.
“I wish I had a suntan,/ I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine,” muses vocalist Christopher Owens. With its simple lyrics and romantic sentiments, Girls weave fuzzy surf-rock, shoegaze, and dream pop into accessible, pleasant melodies.
From the infectious “Lust for Life”, to the wistful “Hellhole Ratrace”, and the shoegazy “Morning Light”, Album is full of melodic pop songs, delivered with nonchalance and self-effacing humor.

Trial Track: “Lust for Life”

– Anna Chigo

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