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by The Concordian October 25, 2011

Jane’s Addiction – The Great Escape Artist (Capitol Records; 2011)

Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, and Stephen Perkins have come together to release Jane’s Addiction’s fourth studio album, The Great Escape Artist. It’s their first album in eight years, and the new release is sure to please fans since it rings true to their familiar and iconic sound, even if it is not radically revolutionary.
Even after 25 years, Dave Navarro’s guitar riffs and solos are still legendary, Perkins displays exceptional talent on drums, and Farrell’s unique vocals make for an interesting blend of alternative rock. Not quite like Strays (2003), The Great Escape Artist is a little more mellow and a little less metal, but still powerful enough to be worthy of your time. Anger seeps through the speakers in the soft track “I’ll Hit You Back” – it showcases the band’s talent to produce something that will stay with you.

Trial track: “Irresistible Forces”

7.5 / 10 – by Kalina Laframboise

Real Estate – Days (Domino; 2011)

No one does chillwave quite like Brooklyn-based ensemble Real Estate. Their sophomore release, Days, is instant nostalgia for many suburban youth. Much like the hazy days of summer, the tracks on Days bleed into each other like a lethargic dream, so laid back they’re almost fully reclined.
Produced by Kevin McMahon, who previously worked with Titus Andronicus and The Walkmen, Days steers away from the lo-fi sound of Real Estate’s self-titled and self-produced debut album, all the while keeping with the band’s signature pop sensibility. The lead single “It’s Real” is so hooky that you could hang a towel from it. When all is said and done, this album’s lack of variety and lazy pacing prove that Real Estate may be a one-trick pony, but what an endearing pony it is!

Trial track: “It’s Real”

6.5 / 10 – by Paul Traunero

T.I.N.A. – Voice Yourself (2011)

A two-year journey in Australia, New Zealand and India gave Concordia student T.I.N.A. lyrical inspiration and a strikingly unique sound. The singer-songwriter’s debut album is a portrait of spiritual evolution. Songs like “Voice Yourself” and “Puzzle Peace” discuss the importance of finding personal truth since T.I.N.A. believes, “nobody out there can tell you what is best for you, except yourself.” “Silk Skin” has soulful and sexy vocals overlying a quietly soloing guitar. It incorporates a mellow side to Voice Yourself’s mostly upbeat vibe. “Train” and “Part Of Me” have a Celtic sound, harmonizing background vocals and violins to capture the sound of the east coast, reminiscent of the rolling hills of Nova Scotia’s highlands. Recorded in four separate studios in Australia, each song has a distinct style, which makes for interesting but easy listening.

Trial track: “Part Of Me”

8 / 10 – by Leah Batstone

Samhain – III: November Coming Fire (Plan 9; 1986)

After the demise of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig formed Samhain – the Gaelic, pagan name for the harvest festival we now know as Halloween. Danzig found a voice for himself on November Coming Fire, delving into less adolescent lyrics by focusing on aspects of the occult and rearranging his sound by mixing in heavy-metal and new-age. November Coming Fire offers a remade version of The Misfits classic “Halloween,” as well as “November Fire,” a song about the pagan holiday that bleeds with melodrama. At times the album can seem a little tired, but this is not a year round album. It is one that calls for a few October listens, just to get you in the spirit. Listening to Bing Crosby singing about Christmas in June is just going to sound weird and the same applies for Samhain. Right now is the perfect time for it. Think of Samhain as the Bing Crosby of Halloween, with less cardigans and a lot more blood.

Trial track: “Let The Day Begin”

by Mat Barrot

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