Review Round Up #23

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Le Concorde's "Suite," Gallucio's "All For You," Placebo's "Extended Play '07," Wannabe Hasbeen's "Former Trans Future Vol. 1," and "House M.D. Original Television Soundtrack."

Suite

Le Concorde
“Suite”
(Le Grand Magistery/Fourchette Records 2007)

In 2003, Le Concorde's Stephen Becker's band Post Office broke up, he lost his job and his wife left him all within a week's time. But when life gives you lemons, right? Somehow Becker managed to keep himself together and with his new band, Le Concorde, he is making upbeat music that offers seemingly boundless energy. Part 80s new wave and part good old fashioned pop, Le Concorde's "Suite" is just that - sweet, sometimes to the point of excess.

Sounds Like: Indie pop with a nod to the 80s

Key Tracks: "I Want You Back"

B-
buy it!
All For You

Gallucio
“All For You”
(Cornerless Records 2007)

Anthony Gallucio and his band mates in Gallucio set high standards for themselves with "All For You," their debut album. The group just can not seem to make up their mind on their sound as it ranges from post grunge ("California Jesus") to a full bluesy rock ("Take Me Down") to unadulterated power ballads ("Eye To The Sky"). But regardless of the genre, the band puts a gloss on their sound that makes it all sound uniform. As a result the "reggae" version of "All For You" is only reggae lite.

Sounds Like: An instrumentally talented rock band that struggles to do it all

Key Tracks: "All For You"

C
buy it!
Extended Play '07

Placebo
“Extended Play '07”
(Virgin Records US 2007)

The men of Placebo may be getting older but they certainly are not slowing down. Over ten years since the release of their debut album and the band are still touring and recording constantly. But is the "Extended Play '07" EP really necessary? With old favorites like "Nancy Boy" and "Taste In Men," the real focus of the release is the four live tracks. While the live songs are well recorded and sound good, next time save the live tracks for a bonus on the end of the full-length. Speaking of which, when is that new full length coming, guys?

Sounds Like: A completely unnecessary collection of old favorites and new live tracks

Key Tracks: "Running Up That Hill (Live From Santiago)"

A-
buy it!
Former Trans Future Vol. 1

Wannabe Hasbeens
“Former Trans Future Vol. 1”
(Self-Released 2007)

While they may appeal to fans of the Foo Fighters or Fountains of Wayne, The Wannabe Hasbeens are not quite so heavy as the previous or quite so infectious as the latter. Instead, the band's debut EP offers power ballads with full, buzzing instrumentation and bouncy, likable rock tracks. The Wannabe Hasbeens seem more focused on offering up a well-rounded sound than individual "hits." A little on the pop side, sure, but they still manage to offer music that is anything but flat with echoing melodies and guitar riffs that pulse with excitement.

Sounds Like: Rock with a poppy side

Key Tracks: "Call Your Bluff," "Clean"

B
buy it!
House M.D. Original Television Soundtrack

Various Artists
“House M.D. Original Television Soundtrack”
(Nettwerk Records 2007)

While I am not a fan of the good doctor or his primetime dramedy, the people behind the show have put together a fairly interesting soundtrack that, just based on the artists, has names to appeal to both young and old. Elvis Costello offers up an understated cover of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" before Joe Cocker gets things going with "Feelin' Alright" while the Massive Attack track "Teardrop" offers a slow thumping minimalist moment. Most amusing perhaps is the CD's final track which features an "all-star" cast (including House's Hugh Laurie, Desperate Housewives' James Denton, Heroes' Greg Grunberg, and The Bachelorette cast-off Bob Guiney among others) performing a reggae inspired version of The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

Sounds Like: Adult contemporary with an edge and a point of view

Key Tracks: Michael Penn's "Walter Reed"

B-
buy it!