Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Unite Rev Review



I have stated in another blog post that I like this band and their music.  While they are one of the more poppy visual kei bands, they are still very heavy with very well composed music.  They are, for the most part, a more uplifting band with positive music.  The very first song that I ever heard from this band was Rev.

Musically, this is definitely one of the bands more heavier songs.  The build up in the beginning itself starts out with heavy, deep sounding guitar that leads into a main intro where everything is heavy.  The guitar continues with the heavy chords, the drum work is heavy as well.  This really builds up the energy in the song and is really effective in keeping the listener engaged. The way the music is composed  almost makes you think you are listening to a story.  With the verse sounding down and depressing, the pre chorus shows hope, and then the chorus is the happy ending.  It is done very effectively and really helps to communicates the songs message.  The guitar solo is another great point in this song.  Shiina Mio bust out a very melodic solo that builds up to the final pre chorus and it is done very effectively.  It isn't technical but it doesn't need to be.  It is a brief melodic solo that is supposed to set you up for the final portion of the song and it does it very effectively.  Vocally, this is one of Yui's best songs.  He really captures the song perfectly by how he sings each section.  In this song he is able to match his vocals with each section very well.  When the song is depressing so are his vocals. When the song is happy, so are his vocals.  Also, this is one of the few songs that he sings a lot of English in.  The verses in this song are completely in English and Yui actually sings it pretty well.  He does have a bit of an accent, but you still understand him and he is able to make himself sound very good vocally.  

Lyrically, this a song about pushing yourself to be better and do great things.  Like I said earlier, this is one of the few Unite songs with a lot of English in it.  The verses are completely in English and basically talk about pushing and wanting to be something great.  The rest of the song is completely in Japanese with the exception of Revolution at the end of the chorus.  The lyrics in both verses are exactly the same though.  The band probably did this to make it easier on Yui.  While this is a turn off to some people, it doesn't bother me.  The verse is constructed well enough that they can use it twice though. Overall, the lyrics are great and well written, they flow well and really get the point across.  

When it comes to Unite, this is a unique song.  Musically, this is one of their heaviest as well as one of their best vocally.  Yui does a fantastic job on vocals and the band really busted out a very energetic, yet deep song.  The lyrics are uplifting and really communicate to someone about striving for more.  I consider myself to be very fortunate to have this song be my introduction to Unite.  It is a great song and really showcases this bands talent.  I give Rev a 4.5 out of 5.   

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Are Ballads Bad For Rock and Metal?


When it comes to soft music, or ballads, in metal in rock opinions can get strong sometimes.  Some people think they are a good thing because it brings out the soft, emotional side of a rocker.  Other people hate them because they think that those songs are just easy hits to get bands fame.  Basically, they believe that if you make a ballad then you have sold out.  However you feel about this kind of song, they have become very common today and most bands, if not every band has one.  With that, lets answer the question of are ballads bad for rock and metal?

Let's start with the good things about ballads.  One thing I like about ballads is that they do bring out the emotional and vulnerable side of a rocker.  This is good because one of the biggest elements of rock and metal is being real.  A metal band cannot be angry and rebellious all the time or they are being fake, as Tommy Lee of Motley Crue once said.  One good example of this is "Something To Believe In by Poison".  This is a good example of a song coming from the heart.  Bret Michaels found out that Poison's manager had died from a heroine overdose and that devastated him.  He wrote this song to express what he was feeling and it was a good way to express his pain.  Another good example is "One Day Too Late by Skillet".  John Cooper stated that he wrote this song to express how much he loves his family.  These are good songs because they are real and you get a real sense of authenticity from the people who wrote them.





Even though good things can come from ballads, there are some bad things about them as well.  While they can be very effective at expressing a rockers emotional side, they were also used by bands and record labels to make an easy hit song.  This reduces ballads as nothing more then easy money makers.  This problem was huge in the 80's.  While a lot of bands wrote ballads that came from a real place, most bands either wrote them for a hit or were forced by their record label to write them. While not all them were bad songs, they were over done to the point that ballads became cliche.  There were so many of them that were clearly inspired by nothing more then to get an easy hit that they lost their meaning.  By 1993 people were tired of ballads and it was one of the reasons for the rise of grunge.  This was made clear by songs like "More Than Words by Extreme" and "Nobody's Fool by Cinderella".  The music wasn't bad, but the lyrics were so generic that people didn't take them seriously.  As a result, many of these bands and the ballads they wrote would fade into obscurity along with ballads being virtually unused in rock and metal until the 2000's.





So after looking at to good things about ballads as well as the problems with them we ask, are they good or bad for rock and metal? The answer, in my opinion, is that they are good for rock and metal.  While they can be abused and used as nothing more then a cash grab, they can also be one of the biggest forms of honest expression.  It makes rockers look human and it shows that rock and metal is about more then anger and rebellion.  After the 80's, newer bands have learned from that era and as a result most of the ballads today are authentic and more people can relate to them then before.  Ballads are also more diverse today then they were in the 80's.  Most ballads in the 80's were about relationship with women, but today they are also about loving your family, the death of a loved one, self reflection, and the list goes on and on.  To people who see ballads a sign that a band has sold out or that think you're not a rocker if you like them, I say look a little deeper and see what inspired a band to make that ballad.  Just because it isn't heavy or rebellious, that doesn't make it rock or metal.   
         

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Alice In Chains No Excuses Review



Out of all the grunge bands of the 90's we remember 4 of them today.  They are Nirvana, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains.  Out of all those bands, Alice in Chains is considered by many to be the heaviest and most technical of all the grunge bands.  Through out their career they have had many in your face songs that are considered by most to be more metal then grunge.  Even the band themselves have admitted to having mostly metal and hard rock influences.  However, they were also able to tone it down and take it slow when prompted.  One of their best slow songs is "No Excuses".

Out of all the slow songs that Alice in Chains has made, "No Excuses" is the easy listening song. The acoustic guitar sounds very soothing and relaxing.  The drum work is pretty basic, but for a song like this you don't want to be over the top so this is a good thing.  The bass lines in this song are very catchy and adds to soothing sound that this song goes for.  I have to give props to the vocal work in this song.  While I don't think that Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley are the best singers on the planet, they do have a good vocal combination that not a lot of bands have and this is one song that showcases that combination very well.  They sound good singing together and as a result it creates very good sounding vocal work on this song.

Lyrically, this is a song about knowing someone with drug addiction.  By this time, it had become clear to Jerry Cantrell and the rest of the band that Layne Staley had drug problems.  He had become addicted to heroine and the band was concerned.  This song addresses that and basically talks about dealing with someone in that state.  Jerry Cantrell was basically saying that he wants to help Layne overcome his addiction but even if he didn't they were still friends.  These lyrics are clearly personal and truly reflect what the band is feeling and that is what makes good lyrics, is when you know they are personal.

Clearly, this is a very personal song to the band and they executed it very well.  The music is good and is pretty unique to the genre that they were associated with.  Lyrically, it is coming from a real place that expresses what the band is feeling.  This makes the song real  and very expressive, which is very important in music.  I give "No Excuses" a 4.5 out of 5.
    

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Demon Hunter One Thousand Apologies Review



Demon Hunter is considered by many to be one of the best modern Christian Metal bands. They are  known for their interesting combo of melodic metal and metalcore.  Over the years the band has developed quite a catalog of good music.  With so many great songs like (Carry Me Down) and (Last One Alive), this band has quite a catalog. One of my favorite songs from this band is One Thousand Apologies.

The song has a heavy, yet sorrowful melodic tone that really works well with the lyrics of the song.  The melodic guitar playing really creates and carries that sad tone that really defines the song.  None of the music in this song is tricky or super technical but it still sounds great and the music does a great job of bringing out the message it is going for. The vocals in the song are great as well.  The sad, melodic melody really brings out the lyrics and makes the listener feel the sorrow this song is expressing.  While there is some growling vocals in this song, it doesn't happen much and in a song with this kind of tone I don't think that is a bad thing.  For a song that has a slower beat and music that doesn't really sound super heavy, I am not sure it would be a good thing to have a lot of growling vocals in this song.  My only problem this song is in the bridge.  My problem with it is that it is repetitive and repeats the same lyrics over and over.  I feel it would have been better if they added a few different phrases or instead did a melodic guitar solo.  However, this is a minor problem that really doesn't effect the song overall.  

 The lyrics in this song are great and are written in a way that works for both Christian and Non Christian people.  The song is about realizing the mistakes you have made and feeling sorry for them.  To Christians this can mean they are apologizing to God while Non Christians can see it at as apologizing to someone they were in a bad relationship with or someone they hurt.  Demon Hunter was really able to bridge the gap between Secular Music and Christian Music with these lyrics. Contemporary Christian Music should really pay attention to this song, lyrically, and learn from.  See, part of the problem with Contemporary Christian Music today is that it does a good job celebrating God and his glory, but that is mostly all it does, (with a few exceptions).  There is not much music that expresses sorrow or allows someone to lament in the Contemporary Christian Music Scene.  This is a problem because it leaves out a big part of being human, we all feel sad and we all feel regret.  If we don't acknowledge that side then we are not being real and are not relating to people in that state.  Demon Hunter does a great job expressing that side of humanity and they do it very effectively.   

Like I stated in the beginning, this is one of my favorite Demon Hunter songs.  Musically, it is expressive and really captures a tone that matches the lyrics perfectly.  The vocals do a fantastic job of communicating the lyrics to the listener.  The lyrics in the song are fantastic.  People can understand them and relate to them, if they are in that state.  I give One Thousand Apologies a 4 out of 5. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Top 5 Songs Used In Horror Movies


Along with music, I love good horror movies.  Through out time and time again, both have merged well together and created memorable moments for the songs and the movies that used them.  For this list I will be counting down the top 5 songs used in horror movies.  In this list I will not be using strictly songs that were written for the movies they were in.  I will be using songs written for a specific movie, as well as songs that were made famous by being featured in a horror movie.  With that, here are the top 5 songs used in horror movies.  

5.  Midnight, The Stars and You by Ray Noble and Al Bowlly, From The Shining

One thing I always found interesting about the big band music of the 20s all the way through the 50s was how people use it for so many different moods today.  One big example of this is (Midnight, The Stars And You) that was used in (The Shining). Lyrically, this is supposed to be a romantic song about being in love with someone.  However, when you listen to the song in (The Shining) it makes you feel uneasy and uncertain.  Some people think that this is a good thing because it is making the music relevant again.  Other people hate it because they feel it is ruining what the songs were originally supposed to be like.  Either way, I like this song a lot.  It is simple, but very catchy and flows very well.  Al Bowlly does a great job singing this song, even though he doesn't have a lot of lines.  However, with the lines he does have, he delivers them well and makes them sound great.  This is a song that really did its job effectively in the movie it was placed in.  When I heard this song in the movie I felt uneasy and it made me wonder what was coming next.  Ever since then, I have wondered, do I play this song when I am on a date?, or when I am in a Halloween maze? Either way, this a good song that does it job very effectively in (The Shining).

4.  Tiptoe Through The Tulips by Tiny Tim, From Insidious
   
I remember when I first heard this song after hearing (Living in the Sunlight) while watching (Spongebob Squarepants).  I found the song very funny and it just made me laugh hard.  However, my perception on that changed after watching (Insidious).  The way that song was used in the movie scared the crap out of me and ever since then I haven't been able to listen to it the same.  Now, every time I hear this song I feel uneasy and always want to look around for anything suspicious.  It is very ironic because Tiny Tim was actually considered a very funny musician.  Throughout his career he always got to people to laugh and enjoy his music by the use of his high voice.  However, in (Insidious), it is used to set up a scare with a ghost boy that just takes you by surprise.  Ever since then, this song has become a staple in this movie series. Every time someone hears this song they think of (Insidious).  

3. Love Kills By Vinnie Vincent Invasion, From Nightmare on Elm Street 4

When it came to horror movies in the 80s, metal was a great thing to pair up with them.  One good example of that is (Love Kills).  While this song is more of a relationship song, the music has an eerie feel to it that works very well for the movie.  The acoustic guitar plays a big part to create that uneasy feeling and Mark Slaughter's voice really takes it over the top.  The man is a good singer and he really captures the uneasy mood the song needs.  While Vinnie Vincent isn't the greatest guitar player in the world, he still does a good job on this song and he is able to play a style that fits the movie very well.  

2.  Dream Warriors by Dokken, From Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors

Dream Warriors is considered to be one of the best songs to be the theme of  a horror movie.  With Don Dokken's awesome vocals and George Lynch's great guitar playing,  you can get a real great song and this is one of their best.  George Lynch starts of with that slow guitar build up and then it transitions into a heavy rock song.  Through out the song the band keeps a good balance between heavy rock n roll and eerie creepy music and they execute it very well.  The main intro and the chorus bring out the heavy side, while the build up and verse focus more on the eerie feel to match the movie.  Overall, not just a great song for the movie but a great metal song.

1.  Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and The News, From American Psycho
  

When it comes to the movie American Psycho, the one scene that sticks out in every body's mind is the scene where the guy is murdered while the song (Hip To Be Square) is playing.  This is one of those songs that couldn't be further from the horror movie genre, but they still managed to work it in.  Music wise, this is a clearly upbeat song that is about that makes you want to have fun.  Lyrically, it does fit with the main character and that is the reason why it works in the movie.  The lyrics can be translated to represent the main character and that is why it fits.  However, aside from that, you wouldn't think it would work in the movie.  For me, I can still listen to the song and enjoy while not thinking of the movie.  








Saturday, September 2, 2017

TNT Intuition Review






I have stated in a previous post how underrated this band is.  They have a great singer and the musicians are really great.  What separated these guys from a lot of other 80's bands was how uplifting they were.  Unlike how most bands were about partying and rebelling, these guys were about lifting people up and making someone feel good.  They did have some partying and rebelling songs, but overall they were about lighting up someones mood.  One song that makes that very clear is their song (Intuition).

The first thing I love is the opening guitar riff in this song.  It has a good heavy rock sound that really hooks you into the song.  The guitar solo in this song is also very good.  It has a great melodic, European inspired sound that is really catchy and actually very unique for 80's.  The best part of this song is in the vocals.  Tony Harnell with his high vocal range creates a very good uplifting vocal melody.  He is also a very energetic in his singing and that really helps the listener to get more engaged in the song.  There are also some keyboard parts in the song as well that really helps to post the positive feel of the song.  You don't hear keyboards in the entire song, but when it comes in, it really helps shape the feel of the song.  Musically, TNT did a fantastic job on this song.

Lyrically, this song is about being who you are and appreciating who you are.   It is about not doubting yourself and never letting people tell you differently. The message is really good and very uplifting, if you are in a bad mood then these lyrics will get you in a good mood.  Along with a good message, the lyrics are constructed very well.  The phrases flow well and as a result, the singer can communicate the message more clearly and effectively.  

This song is one of the best songs I have every listened to from this band.  The music is great, the lyrics are uplifting and very well written. Tony Harnell is a very good singer and this song brings out one of his best vocal performances. Even today, the guy is still a fantastic singer.  I give Intuition a 4.5 out of 5.       

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Gackt Setsugekka ( The End Of Silence Review)



Gackt is without a doubt one of the most popular celebrities in Japan.  He is a famed actor and a great singer in Japan and has developed a cult following all over the world.  I personally, have come to be a fan of most of his music.  He has a lot of good rock songs as well as some good ballads.  One my favorite songs from him is the rock ballad, (Setsugekka- The End of Silence).  

The first thing I really like about this song is the build up intro.  The intro starts off real soft and subtle with the piano and then when the drums come in, it really sets up the rest of the song well.  Sometimes, these kind of intro's can drag out and make the listener board, but this is intro has just the right amount of time to it.  Gackt does an amazing job singing on this song.  He is really good at projecting the songs mood through singing and in this song he demonstrates that very well.  Another thing I like about this song is the chorus in it.  It is heavy, yet very powerful, and really captures the sorrowful mood of the song.  The violin in this song is a great and is a unique twist musically.  In music today, it is usually the guitar that is the lead instrument in rock and metal.  While that is certainly not a bad thing at all, it is still cool hear a different instrument become the lead every once in a while.  This violin solo that shows up after the second chorus is great, it sounds great and matches the music perfectly.  This is one of my favorite songs that uses violin in it.  

Lyrically, this is a great sorrowful song. It is about losing someone you love deeply and missing that person.  The way the message is conveyed is done very well and feels very personal.  Gackt typically does a great job with writing his lyrics and this song is no exception.  The Phrases really work well with the melody and that really helps to make the message stand out.   Some people don't know how important phrases are, but without good phrases, the songs message can get lost and as a result your audience can get confused on what your message is.  For this song though, there is no such thing,  the phrases are good and you completely understand what message Gackt is trying to get across. 

This is without a doubt one of, if not, my favorite Gackt songs.  The music is fantastic, a nice combination of heavy and melodic melodies that really work well together.  The violin gives a unique take that isn't common in metal, but is well executed.  The lyrics are well composed and people can easily relate to them if they have lost a loved one.  I give (Setsugekka) a 5 out of 5.  






Saturday, August 26, 2017

Top 5 Japanese Metal / Visual Kei Ballads

Japanese Visual Kei has been know for its over the top looks and great rock diversity.  Some bands are in you face heavy metal, while others are more pop rock/metal driven.  One thing I have come to like about these bands that a lot of them have written very good ballads.  Musically, they sound very powerful and deliver some of the best melodies I have heard in a ballad.  Lyrically, they are very effective, if they are singing in Japanese, they are constructed well and sound great.  Even some of these actually do good English singing when they decide to go in that direction.  Here are the top 5 Japanese Metal/Visual Kei Ballads.

5.  Guren by The Gazette

Guren has sorrowful feel to it with lyrics that are about missing someone who passed away.  Ruki does a great job delivering a vocal melody that conveys the songs message well and sounds amazing.  The rest of the band delivers great music that shows the great musicianship this band has while at the same time sounding simple enough for a casual listener to enjoy.  Uruha's guitar solo is a nice melodic solo that really adds on to the sorrow feel of the song.  

4.  Chimera by Vistlip
Vistlip is known for delivering great ballads and many consider Chimera as one of their best. While Guren was more of a sorrowful song, this song is more of a romantic ballad.  Lyrically, it is about being with someone when they are hurting and the structure communicates it very well  The simple piano works very well to give the romantic feel this song goes for.  Tomo has a voice works very well with softer music and this song demonstrates that perfectly.  Yuh does some cool guitar tricks through out the song that really demonstrate his guitar skills without it becoming a distraction and in my opinion enhances the song musically.

3.  Libra by Nocturnal Bloodlust
 
Libra is a song that fuses hard core metal and the soft melodic feel of a ballad. The song starts off with Daichi playing that soft melodic guitar opening that leads to a heavy hard intro.  This is one of the few times I have heard Daichi do any lead sections in a song and he honestly is pretty good.  He is not as tricky as Cazqui, but he can clearly solo and I wish he would do it more.  Hiro does great melodic vocal work in the verse and chorus of this song before busting out his growling vocals in the bridge.  The music follows suit and goes into a more heavy mode when the bridge comes.  Even though it might seem sudden, it doesn't feel or sound out of place and works with the rest of the song.  Part of the reason is that lyrically, this song is about with someone in the toughest situations.  With a message like that, the heavy sections can really enhance that message and bring it out more. 

2.  P.S. I Love You by Gackt
 
P.S. I Love You is very powerful song, lyrically.  Basically, the entire song is someone reading a goodbye letter from a spouse that past away.  This makes the song more personal and you really feel the sorrow it represents.  Gackt is a good singer and conveys that message really well.  Even if you can't understand the language, the tone and the melody really makes you feel sad  and know that this is a sorrowful song.  The music is pretty good as well.  The piano sounds good and the rest of the band does a great job capturing the tone.  The guitar solo is a little short, but still well done.  Overall, a very powerful song.

1.  Linaria by Nocturnal Bloodlust
This song is another great example of how Nocturnal Bloddlust is good at writing ballads.  However, unlike how Libra was more of a combination of hard core and melodic metal, this song stays more on the softer melodic side.  There is some hard core vocals at the end, but it isn't there most of the song and it almost sounds like it is supposed to be in the background.  This song is one of Hiro's best performances vocally in my opinion.  He sounds smooth and brings out his melodic side very well in this song.  He also does a good job with this song lyrically.  This song has more of a sorrowful feel about missing the one you love.  Basically, the entire song is about longing to be with that person again.  Musically, Daichi did a fantastic job composing this song.  The soft melodic music sounds really good, the piano and softer guitar captures the mood perfectly.  Cazqui also does a great job in his guitar solo.  He puts away the tricky and speedy solo's for a soft melodic solo that sounds good.  This is one of the big things I like about Cazqui as a guitar player, he is very diverse.  He can be real heavy and fast while at the same time soft and melodic and that is really cool to see.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Coldrain, Gone Review


Coldrain has become a popular band in Japan and has developed a cult following through out the rest of the world.  With a combination of metalcore and melodic metal, these guys have developed a unique sound with hints of inspiration from the band Sevendust.  I first heard of this band, when I discovered their song, We're Not Alone, used in the opening of the anime, Rainbow Nisha Rokubou No Shihinin.  The band was pretty popular in Japan already, but when they came out their song Gone, the song blew up, becoming one of the bands biggest hits and catapulting them to big time fame in Japan and increasing their fame world wide.  

With Gone, they take more of a melodic approach to the song, both vocally and musically.  The intro and verses in this song are used as an intro that leads into a heavy, powerful intro.  I really like this set up, it really conveys the sad and angry mode this song is going for.  Masato does a great job singing on this song. His melodic voice is very effective in communicating the songs message and his voice fits the music very well.  He does a slight screaming section in the pre chorus that then leads into a powerful, hard hitting chorus that sounds awesome.  The guitar work in this song is good as well.  It isn't super technical, but it doesn't need to be.  Ryo Yokochi does a lot of melodic playing in the intro and verse that adds a bit of mysterious feel that I really like.  I do think the could have done a little bit more with his guitar solo, but it isn't bad and works with the feel of the song.  

This song is clearly a break up song when it comes to the lyrics.  It is about someone who is in a bad relationship and they want to end it.  It is about that person feeling ignored, abandoned, and unable to make the person they are in the relationship happy no matter how hard they try.  The lyrics are written very well, they are to the point and easy to understand.  The way they are written is in the form of someone talking to the other person and telling them it is over.  This is very effective because it makes the song more personal and makes the listener feel like they are the ones communicating the message.  When it comes to the lyrics, the band did a fantastic job.

I can understand why this song really boosted Coldrain's fame.  It is a good, powerful song that sounds great and has a clear message that people can relate to.  The lyrics are great and the music is awesome.  The guitar solo could be improved slightly, but it is very minor.  I give Gone a 4 out of 5. 


Monday, August 21, 2017

Michele Luppi's Heaven Strive, A Rock Ballad Masterpiece


Michele Luppi is known as a great singer in Europe.  He has been part of many popular European metal and rock bands such as Vision Divine, Killing Touch, and currently Whitesnake.  I first learned of this singer when my Dad introduced me to Vision Divine.  I was really impressed by the vocals and ever since then have looked deeper into Michele Luppi's catalog.  I came to admire not just his vocals, but the music he made as well.  Along with being  a talented vocalist, the guy is also a great song writer and music producer.  One album that showcases his skills well is his album, Strive.    

Now, as the title hints, this is not an in your face rock and metal album.  It is basically a power ballad rock album.  Sometimes this can be a bad thing, but Michele Luppi actually executes this album well musically and lyrically.  The music really blends well in all the songs and while some songs fit the soft love song style, others are more soft rock oriented with a hint of the 80's.  The lyrics may be generic, but they are constructed well and the messages in the songs are good.  Overall, this album has. good energy and are very uplifting.

One of my favorite songs on this album is the opening song, Trust.  In my opinion this song is one of Michele Luppi's best vocally, He sounds good through out the song and he busts out some high vocal points that he is able to hold for a long time and that is really hard to do.  Musically, while it is not the heaviest song I have heard, the music is still very good.  The keyboard and guitar solos in this song are awesome.  They are both very good melodic solos, with some cool speed sections thrown in.  Lyrically, this is a song about sticking with your significant other, no matter what.  It is a song about embracing the special moments and not taking them per granted.  While this is a message we have heard many times, this songs presents that message well and constructs they lyrics in a way that people can relate to it, and that is very important when you try to communicate a message through song.  Check out the song by clicking the link below.  


Another Song I love off this album is Stars.  This song has a good, upbeat feel to it, musically.  The keyboards used in the intro give a small 80's feel that really works with the upbeat feel.  The guitar in the verse is more heavy metal like than any other song on the album, but it doesn't feel out of place and works well with the rest of the music.  The guitar solo in this song is pretty similar to "Trust".  It is a good melodic solo with some speed thrown in at the end.  Lyrically, this song is probably the most personal of all the other songs on the album.  Basically, Michele Luppi is saying that he doesn't want to be a mega star and lose track with where he came from.  He wants still relate to common people.  The lyrics are constructed very well and they really bring out the message that Michele Luppi is trying to communicate.  Check out the song by clicking the link below.


Even though this is not the heaviest album on the planet for metal heads, I still recommend it even if you are a metal head.  For Soft Rock people, you need to buy this album.  If you aren't a big rocker in any form or fashion,  this album will work for you as well.  It is a good balance of Rock, Upbeat fun, and good love ballad music that works for everybody.  You can check this album out on Spotify and if you like it, then you can buy it on ITunes, Ebay, and Amazon.  Strive by Michele Luppi's Heaven, check it out.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Winger Seventeen Review



When it comes to the 80's metal scene, it was a scene where it was all about looking good and appealing to the ladies while at the same time pushing your musical skills to become better at your instrument with every record you made.  One band that fit that description perfectly is Winger.  Kip Winger is recognized as one of most attractive men in the 80's.  He even appeared on the cover of Play Girl Magazine.  At the same time, they were very great at their instruments and demonstrated that on every album they made.  Starting with one of their first singles, Seventeen.  

One thing I love about this band how great they are musically.  Kip Winger is a good singer and carries this song very well.  I don't think he is a legendary singer, but he does a good job and really adds to the great sound the song has.  Another great thing that this band has going for it is it's lead guitarist, Reb Beach.  This guy is a very good guitarist and this song showcases that very well.  His guitar solo is very impressive, technical and tricky.  While he had his fair share of guitar recognition in the 80's, he has sort of fallen of the map today and it is sad because the guy really is an amazing guitar player and deserves to be recognized for it.


Lyrically, this song doesn't stand out too much.  It is basically a song about wanting to get a girl, but she is too young because she is only seventeen.  Wanting a girl was a very common theme back in the 80's metal scene and these guys were no exception to that.  However, the lyrics are well written and well constructed.  They flow well and never sound off and they do deserve credit for that.  However, message wise, it isn't any different from the rest of the 80's metal bands.

While they lyrics are nothing special in this song, the music is fantastic.  the guitar riffs are great, Kip Winger sounds good, and the music flows well.  It is easy to see why these guys were so big in the 80's.  Yes they did look appealing to the girls, but they also had a lot of great musical talent.  The song is written well and the the guitar work of Reb Beach is amazing.  I give this song a 4 out of 5. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Walt Disney and Music


Walt Disney is a legend in America and the world.  He is considered the man who took animation to the mainstream and rightfully so.  With his iconic movies like Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, and Snow White, the first ever full length animated movie.  Walt Disney was ground breaking in animation and was the one who proved that you could do more then just 5 minute shorts and could do great stories with it.  One of Walt Disney's biggest boosts to his fame is how he used music in his movies.

Part of the reason that music was so important to Walt Disney was because that was the only audio he had to work with at first.  See, back in the 20's films were just starting to come out of the silent movie era thanks to The Jazz Singer in 1927, "which was the first movie to have synchronized sound". Before that, the only way to keep your audience engaged was with music.  Granted it typically wasn't much, many times it was just a piano being played in the theater while the movie was on, but because there was some form of audio to go with it, the audience kept their attention on it. Animation was no exception, music was the audio driving force to keep the audience is attention.

When The Jazz Singer came out, Walt decided to use this new technique of synchronized sound to create his Steam Boat Willie.  Now, while this short had more sound effects then in the past, music was still what kept the audience engaged because it had a flow that kept the show moving forward.  Without music, the short would have been more dull and less interesting.  For Walt though, he never really saw this as a problem, in fact he saw more opportunity in it and it became a staple in his shorts and movies.



In 1937 Walt Disney made Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  This movie is credited for being the first full length animated movie.  Along with that, this movie was also the first in something else.  It was also the first movie to make its soundtrack commercially to the public.  The soundtrack contained 8 songs on the soundtrack and for the first time, people could purchase it.  The downside for Walt though was that since he did not have his own music company at the time, the rights for the songs went to Bourne CO.  Disney wouldn't have their own music label until 1949.


Even though Walt Disney didn't owned his own music, it didn't stop him from making it a major part of his movies.  He would continue his musical formula in his follow up movie, Pinocchio in 1940.  Just like Snow White, Walt worked to make catchy music stuck out just as much as the animation.  The film would end up winning an academy award for best score, and the song, When You Wish Upon a Star, would become a Disney Anthem.  Even today, this song is still a Disney staple that is recognized all over the world.  



After Pinocchio, Walt decided to take a new approach and instead of making music revolve around his movie, he made his movie revolve around music.  This would lead to the creation of one of my favorite Disney movies, Fantasia.  Fantasia is a series of shorts where Walt took classic big orchestra songs and made animation to go with the songs in the movie.  This movie would have some classic scenes such as "A Night On Bald Mountain", a dark song about demons partying in the night.  It was then followed by the beautiful, peaceful "Ave Maria", a peaceful song that Disney used to illustrate darkness being defeated and a new sun rising from it.  The most popular song though is " The Sorcerer's Apprentice.  This scene was considered to have the best combination of all the other scenes.  The song was good, the animation matched the song perfectly and the concept with Mickey Mouse wanting to learn magic would be what got people to say that Disney is magical. 

 

Sadly, shortly after Fantasia, World War 2 broke out and this created many problems for Walt Disney.  in order to gain support for the war, the government turned to entertainment to make propaganda to make people hate the Nazi's and Japan.  Walt Disney was not exempt from this.  However, unlike how some people say that Walt was a willing participant in making this propaganda, that really isn't true.  What really happened was that the government came and took control of his studio. The animators were to make nothing but shorts depicting the war. To add on to Walt's problems, he wasn't allowed to release any full length movies.  The only movies he could release were Packaged Films.  These were basically collections of old and some new shorts.  One of these packaged films actually contains one of my favorite shorts, Father Noah's Ark. A short musical story about Noah and the Ark.  


One of the packaged films that contained new shorts was Saludos Amigos.  This movie was a series of shorts inspired by Latin American countries, including Argentina and Brazil.  Along with the locations, Walt also used a lot of their music as inspiration for this film.  The most famous scene in this movie is Aquarela do Brasil.  This short has a short but very catchy song used to illustrate the parrot, Jose Carioca, teaching Donald Duck about South America.  Surprisingly, this movie would go on to wing 3 academy awards.



Once the war ended, Walt was able to get to doing what he loved doing most,  great animated musicals.   The movie, Cinderella would his first post war animated movie.  This was the first movie that was published musically under Walt Disney Records.  By this time, Walt Disney finally secured his own record label that gave him full rights and full control over his music.  This soundtrack would produce some classic Disney songs such as "A Dream is a Wish Your Heat Makes", and the popular, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.  Clearly, the Walt Disney Everybody loved was back. 



After Cinderalla, Walt continued to make great musical movies until his death in 1966.  The last movie that he oversaw was "The Jungle Book".  The Jungle Book is a movie with many classic songs including, "I Want to Be Like You", and Trust in Me. However, the biggest song off this soundtrack is "Bare Necessities".  This song has become a Disney staple you hear all over Disney radio and referenced in Disney Parks.  Walt Disney did a great job on his last project and this soundtrack shows that.



As you can see, Walt Disney wasn't just a man who was innovative in terms of animation, he also knew how to make music work for his movies very well.  He had a lot of appreciation for music and ended up creating a classic formula.  This is formula that is still being used in Disney movies today such as Tangled and Enchanted.  While there are other great animated musicals outside of Disney, Walt Disney developed this formula and if any of these other movies makers are being honest, they were inspired by Disney.  RIP Walt Disney, you truly were a man of many talents.  
   

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nocturnal Bloodlust Break This Fake Review


I have said before that I am not the biggest fan of death metal or metal core music.  By nature I am more of a melodic metal kind of guy.  However, if there is one death metal band that has won me over, it is Nocturnal Bloodlust.  This band has amazed me time and time again and they do it yet again with their new single, Break This Fake.

Write off the back the bands lead guitarist, Cazqui, busts out that heavy yet groovy guitar intro.  A few measures later, the whole band joins in and plays a great intro that has the lower tuned, heavy sounding instruments but with very groovy music.  While everybody does a great job in the intro, and I love the guitar work in the intro, I have to give props to  the bands drummer, Natsu.  This guy is a very good drummer and showcases it very well in this song.  Just in the beginning he busts out great unique drum work and continues it through out the rest of the song.  When the verse comes in, the band continues playing the intro riff while the band's vocalist, Hiro, starts out with the traditional death metal style vocals.  I am not a big fan of that vocal style, but the music is very good and keeps me engaged in the song.  However, when the chorus comes in, then Hiro busts out the melodic side of his vocals.  He does a great job vocally and really delivers a powerful sound chorus vocally.  Another thing that makes this band unique is their song composition.  Typically, most songs are written in the form of intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, then either ending chorus's or another verse then the final chorus.  However, this band structures this song differently.  The way this song is constructed is Intro, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, bridge, solo, chorus, ending.  This unique song structure really works well for this band and they make if sound good.  After the final bridge, Cazqui plays a short little melodic solo before the band heads into the final chorus.  After the chorus, Cazqui displays his amazing guitar skills by playing a fast finger tapping solo that leads into a great melodic solo.  What's great about Cazqui is how diverse he is as a guitar player.  He can be fast like Yngwie Malmsteen, at the same time very melodic like David Gilmour.  The man, is really underrated and deserves more recognition for his guitar skills.  Then before the songs ending, the bassist, Masa, does a cool short bass section before the songs ending that is very cool.  The one member I haven't mentioned yet is the rhythm guitarist, Daichi.  While he isn't the lead guitar player, the guy is still a very good guitar player and deserves more recognition then he gets.  He is very good and the few times he gets to solo he plays his heart out.  Don't overlook Daichi, he contributes just as much as the rest of the band.  Musically, this song continues to display this bands talent and creative mastery.

Lyrically, this is a rebellious song about people not being real and being in it for themselves.  The band is saying that they won't become that and they don't respect anyone who is.  I like how real the band is when they right lyrics and this song is no exception.  They are saying what they feel and despite a few phrases seeming to be not constructed properly, the lyrics are amazing and the band is clearly being real with the world in this song.  

This is a great song that is a must buy.  If you are a guitar guy, this song has a lot to offer and to take away from.  If you are a metal head this is a song you need.  While I am not a big fan of the growling vocals and think some of the lyrics could be written a little better, this song is still awesome.  I give Break This Fake a 4.5 out of 5.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Follow Me

Hey Everybody, I have started accounts on some new sites where you can follow me and be able to see my blog posts and get notification on when I'm posting something new on on the blog.  Feel free to follow me on any of the platforms shown below get quicker notification and access to my blog posts.


FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
https://www.facebook.com/cammmusicheaven/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

INSTAGRAM
mack4243


PINTEREST:
https://www.pinterest.com/csm2661/



Along with social media, I have also started video accounts on several sites. Along with my blog, I will also make videos as an extension of the blog.  If you like the videos I am making, feel free to follow me on any one of these video sites.

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-EKRuKgTIeBG7w9gdxeXA

VIDME
https://vid.me/Cam4242

VIMEO
https://vimeo.com/user69821303

Monday, August 7, 2017

Thumbelina Let Me Be Your Wings Review


For many people, Thumbelina is considered the start of a downward spiral of the famed Don Bluth.  This movie is said to have had a 28 million dollar budget and has only made a little over 11 million dollars, less than half the budget.  On top of that, the soundtrack is considered to be awful.  In fact, the song, Marry The Mole, ended up winning a Razzie for worst song.  It is the first animated movie to get a Razzie for its soundtrack, that is saying something.  However, there is one song of this movie's soundtrack that people seem to have taken a liking to.  That song is Let Me Be Your Wings.

First of all, the orchestra music in this song is composed well.  While it is simple, it works well with the mood of the song.  The way that the orchestra plays along with the vocals is a nice touch.  Musically, this would make a good instrumental song, without the vocals.  However, they vocals should not be left out or ignored.  The singers sound very confident and deliver a great melody vocally.  If the movie focused more on these 2 characters and not everything else so much, I think the reception of this movie might have been better.  They sound good and deliver a very good, melodic performance. 

Lyrically, this song is in a grey area.  While there some catchy phrases such as, "fly with me and I will be your wings", there are also phrases such as ,"for another world of wondrous things", that don't really stick.  This song has plenty of phrases like this that really take you out of it and don't keep you in it.  The vocals do a good job of trying to make the lyrics sound good, but it doesn't always work.  With some refining, the lyrics would be great.  They do help to advance the story and they are not terrible, but they are not constructed well and it hurts the song as a whole. 

Overall, I would say Let Me Be You Wings is a good song, but not a great song.  While the music is good and the vocals are great, the way the lyrics are set up hurts the song.  This song is the best song on this movies soundtrack, but considering how most of the songs are in this movie, that isn't saying much.  However, while this is not a must have song, I did enjoy listening to it and thanks to the music and vocals I can listen to if from time to time.  I give Let Me Be Your Wings a 3 out of 5.   
  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Girls Generation Holiday Review


Girls Generation has come to there 10 year mark and to celebrate this achievement, which is saying something in the Kpop world, they released a new album called Holiday Night.  One of their first singles on this new album is Holiday.  The song has not even been released a full day and it has already reached over 3 million views on YouTube and the views are going up very quickly.  Considering all this, lets take a look at Girls Generation's new song, Holiday.

Musically, this is one of my favorite Girls Generation songs.  The music has a cool soul and funk feel to it, reminding me a little bit of the 70's.  It's fast paced and it sounds fun, and the funk sound in the song really helps to make it stand out.  Vocally, all the girls sound good, as usual.  Girls Generation is very fortunate to have some very good singers.  Taeyeon and Seohyun are some stand outs for me.  They are great singers that have great range and melody.  They showcase these attributes very well in this song.  Hyoyeon's rap section is pretty catchy and I think it was a smart move to give her that roll in this song.  Out of all the singers in Girls Generation, her style and voice works best for rapping and this song proves that.  The main stand out for me though is Tiffany.  Her voice and range works very well with the music in this song.  I actually think that for Tiffany's next solo album, she should actually take this musical approach to it because it works so well with her voice.

Lyrically, this is just like any other Kpop song.  Basically, the song is about having fun and being in a happy relationship.  The way they are constructed is pretty good, but they aren't personal to the members and it is something we have heard constantly out of Kpop.  If the lyrics were more about how happy the girls are to be together for 10 years, that would be personal and real.  That would resonate and would be message people embrace just as well, if not better.  Basically, they took the safe route lyrically and didn't venture outside the safe zone. 

Overall, this is a great single and a good way for Girls Generation to start off their 10 year celebration.  While the lyrics are not special, the music is some of the best of the Girls Generation Discography.   Vocally, the girls sound fantastic and are clearly still very talented after 10 years.  With good music and great vocals, I give Holiday a 4.5 out of 5.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack 1991 vs 2017




When 2017 ends the Beauty and the Beast remake will be remembered as one of the biggest movies of the year.  Grossing over 503 million dollars and having spent an estimated 160 million dollars, this is without a doubt a very successful movie financially.  Even with the movies success, there is still a lot of debating about whether the 1991 version, or the 2017 version is better.  The biggest debate is over which movies soundtrack was better.  In this post I am going to give my two cents on that debate. 

The first thing I would like to talk about is what's good in the 1991 version.  The 1991 version is very solid and well organized.   Alan Menken did a fantastic job composing and writing this soundtrack.  Musically, the orchestra is very good and just as catchy as the vocals in some of the songs.  Two examples that come to mind are Belle and Tale As Old As Time.  Both songs start off with very catchy intros that hook you before the vocals even come in.  This is something is very overlooked when people talk about this movies soundtrack.  While the vocal work is amazing and certainly worthy of the praise it has received, without well constructed music to go with the vocals, the songs won't flow and could derive into a sloppy mess.  Like I said, the vocal work is fantastic and very well executed.  Everybody gives it their all, their singing voices are authentic with no work done to in production to enhance their voice.

My favorite songs of this version are Be Our Guest and Tale As Old As Time.  Jerry Orbach does a great job vocally in this song.  He has the most fun sounding voice out of everybody else and he showcases it very well in this song.  The way he pronounces the lyrics in this song is a one of a kind and out of everybody else, he is the only one who can do it this way.  The music is also very fun and catchy.  The rhythm patterns in this song really play well to Jerry Orbach's voice and add to the fun feel this song goes for.  Tale As Old As Time is a good ballad that really brings the movies story together.  Lyrically, this song does a great job of summarizing the movie in a way that the listener can really take it in and enjoy.  The music for this songs is more simple then Be Our Guest, but it is still very memorable and really gets you into the song before the vocals start.  Vocally, where Jerry Orbach could only sing Be Our Guest, Tale As Old As Time is that for Angela Lansburry.  She carries this song very well and out of everybody else, she is the best fit for it.  Her voice fits the theme and mood very well, and really enhances the listener to take in the lyrics.




When it comes to the 2017 version they really tried to expand the soundtrack.  They added some more songs and in some cases stretched out the original ones.  Overall, the cast does a good job singing in this movie and really carry the songs well.  Luke Evans and Dan Stevens really deliver well on their songs and add a good spin that separates it from the original.  However, while certainly adding new elements, they do a lot to stay true to the original movie as well.  Considering the big task they had to live up to the original, they did pretty well.  

My favorite songs of this version are Gaston and Evermore.  Luke Evans does  a great job singing in this version, he sounds confident and really gives it his all.  As far as the music goes, I actually like it better in this version then in the original.  It does a great job building up and getting louder and adding more energy as the song goes on.  Then, in this version they added that instrumental section where the orchestra really takes off and lets loose and it sounds really energetic and well structured.  By far my favorite song musically in this version of the movie.  Evermore is a great addition to the soundtrack.  Lyrically, it does a good job of telling what is going through the beasts mind and how he realizes what he has been missing all his life.  Dan Stevens does a great job vocally, he sounds good and really captures the mood well.  The orchestra in this song is very good.  The energy from the music and the big orchestra sound really impacts the listener and helps to really drive the message into the person listening to the song.  



When it comes to mistakes in the 1991 version they really are few and far between.  They did a lot to make sure they got it right and for the most part they did.  The only noticeable mistakes that pop out to me is that sometimes the cast might try a little to hard and in a few songs, they added some dialogue that was simply filler and wasn't needed.  Gaston in the original sounded a little over the top a few times and while I get that has to do with his character it was still distracting and could take away from the experience.  With the filler, in a few songs like the Mob Song, they through dialogue in the middle of the song to stretch it out and I feel like it wasn't needed. Other then that, the mistakes aren't too bad.

When it comes to the 2017 version they have a few mistakes as well.  This movie also suffers from the problem of adding filler as well.  One form of this is in some unneeded songs, like the Maurice song.  It was one of those songs they didn't need, they could have introduced him without it and ultimately it didn't move the plot forward much.  The other form appears in the form of unneeded dialogue. In the Gaston Song where Lefou tries to spell Gaston's name and says he's illiterate it is mainly used to stretch out the song. It was supposed to be funny but it wasn't delivered well and just makes people wonder why they threw it in there.  The major problem with this version though is vocal effects on Emma Watson's voice.  Emma Watson is a good actress and does a great job acting in this movie but because of the auto tune, it sounds like she really can't sing.  She doesn't sound good in this movie because they tried to hide her voice with auto tune instead of being authentic like a musical should be. To be clear, I don't think this is her fault.  Blame for this belongs to the people in the studio and editing room.  They probably noticed that she wasn't hitting notes correctly and instead having her do another take and push her to be better, they took shortcuts to save time and/or nitpick and try to be perfect.  If they weren't happy with her take they should have pushed her and do another take or get someone else to sing and then have Emma Watson lip sync. It wouldn't have been her singing, but it would have sounded authentic, which a musical like this needs to be.   

Both versions overall are good, but ultimately I have to go with the classic.  One of the reason's is because the original is more solid and more well constructed then the remake.  The remake has a lot of good songs but it doesn't flow as well as the original does and that hurts it a little.  The other is the auto tune on Emma Watson.  Because the auto tune doesn't make her sound good when singing it really hurts the soundtrack.  Considering that she is lead in the beginning and a has at least one more solo song after that, it really becomes distracting as really hurts the soundtrack.  Had the studio not decided to take shortcuts, it could've been much better and may have actually been better then the original. Instead, they took the easy way out and hurt their own product.  Because of that, the original is better.  


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Top 5 Southern Rock Songs

When it comes to Southern Rock, it is a genre that is known, but very underrated.  This style of rock was at its peek in the 70's and early 80's.  However, by 1990 most of these bands were reduced to having a cult following.  Even worse is that many of the musicians who got the genre to its peek have past away.  Most recently is Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band.  Some bands such as Lynryd Skynyrd, and the Allman Brothers Band have been able to secure their place in music history, even getting inducted in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.  However, many of these bands have been forgotten.  I would like to bring some of these bands and their music to light by giving 5 of the greatest Southern Rock songs.

5.   Jessica by The Allman Brothers Band


While the Allman Brother Band has great vocal songs such as Ramblin Man and Midnight Rider, nothing compares to the band's brilliant instrumental song, Jessica.  Written by the band's guitarist, Dickey Betts, this song showcases the band's unique melodic guitar solo's and brilliant music composition.  The melodic guitar work all through out the song sounds amazing and the slight twang sound creates something that makes this song really stand out.  The other great element to this song is the amazing piano solo.  Chuck Leavell, who joined the band after Duane Allman past away, delivers a great piano solo with a slight jazz feel to it that really took the band in an area musically they haven't really gone to much before.  This is a true stand out song for this band and one you need to listen to.

4.  Train Train by Blackfoot


Blackfoot is without a doubt one of the loudest and most energetic bands of the Southern Rock genre.  In some parts of the world these guys are actually considered a metal band.  With a song like Train Train you can see why.  The song was written by Shorty Medlocke, grandfather of the bands frontman, Ricky Medlocke.  From the catchy heavy opening guitar riff to the slide guitar solo, this song has a ton of great guitar work in it.  Another thing this song does really well is combining the heavy rock n roll and southern feel to truly creates a really unique sounding song that would make them their own unique entity.  No other Southern Rock band has sounded like them before or after this, making them almost a one of a kind band.  A song for Southern Rock and Metal fans alike.

3.   Gimme Three Steps by Lynyrd Skynyrd


Considered to be one of the greatest Southern Rock bands of all time, Lynyrd Skynyrd has a long list of hits and great songs.  One of my favorite songs from this band is Gimme Three Steps.  According to guitartist Gary Rossington, this song is based on an actual event that happened to the bands singer, Ronnie Van Zant at a bar called The Little Brown Jug.  After the event the two men, along with guitarist Allen Collins went home and wrote the song.  This is without a doubt one of the most fun sounding songs I have ever heard, even though the event it is based on is anything but fun.  The opening guitar riff really hooks you and gets you into the song.  Then Gary Rossington bust out that awesome guitar solo, leading into the verse.  Ronnie Van Zant's voice really adds to fun sound this song goes for. The way he sings many of the lyrics in this song and the way he interacts during transitions creates a good fun southern sound that not many singers can duplicate.  All of Gary Rossington's lead guitar work in this song is excellent.  The combination of the string bending with the distortion really works well.  This is one song that is worth being in Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits list.  

2.  Cant You See by Marshall Tucker Band


The Marshall Tucker Band were at the peek of their fame in the 70's.  With songs like Searchin' for a Rainbow, This Ol Cowboy, and Fire on the Mountain, this band has a huge catalog of great songs that makes them one of the most underrated bands of the genre.  One of the biggest songs and rightfully so is the classic Cant You See.  While Doug Gray normally is the bands singer, this song is sung by the bands lead guitarist, Toy Caldwell.  This song clearly demonstrates that Toy Caldwell is also a great vocalist, with a baritone voice that really works for this song.  The instrumental sections of this song is also worth noting.  The flute used in the intro is a great build to the opening guitar solo.  Another interesting thing about this song is Toy Caldwell's guitar playing.  While most guitar players play with a pick, he plays with his thumb.  This is a very unique style of playing I haven't seen anyone else do.  Another unique thing is does is that instead of a whammy bar he bends the string at the guitar's bridge.  Toy Caldwell is also great at bending the strings when he is soloing.  Bending a string on a guitar incorrectly can really make a solo sound weird and out of place, but Toy Caldwell knows how to do it good and as a result makes one of the most unique guitar solos in Southern Rock.

1.  There Goes Another Love Song by The Outlaws

  

The Outlaws are without a doubt the most underrated of all the Southern Rock bands.  There Goes Another Love Song is one song that really showcases this bands musical talents best.  The first thing I would like to point out is Hughie Thomasson as a singer.  The guy has a really unique voice that naturally works well with the Southern Rock genre.  His unique vocals really stand out in this bands music and it something that really helps this band get recognized when you hear them.  Billy Jones also does a great job as a supporting vocalist in this song.  However, the real element that makes this song unique is the guitar playing of Hughie Thomasson and Billy Jones. These two guys should have gone down in history as one of the greatest guitar duos of all time.  While Billy Jones was more of  a distorted guitarist, Hughie Thomasson was a clean guitarist.  You can tell this in the guitars these guys are playing.  Billy Jones is playing a Gibson Les Paul with Humbucker pick ups.  This gives a naturally more distorted sound that is more heavy sounding.  If you look at Hughie Thomasson, he is playing a Fender Stratocastor with Single Coil pickups.  This set up gives off a very clean sound that is lighter.  These two guys take very different set ups, yet they blend them together so well.  Hughie Thomasson uses his clean sound to create a cool twang sound that his guitar gives off when he is soloing.  Billy Jones and his distortion to create some cool sounds when he plays fast, and when he is bending the distortion really enhances that bend to create unique sound not common at the time.  These two guys are great guitar players and deserve much more credit then they have gotten.  While this is my favorite song from this band, they have a huge catalog of great music.  Check them out on Spotify or Pandora and if you like, don't hesitate to get their music.