CD Reviews


Judas Priest still rocks, just not quite so hard

Judas Priest: A Touch of Evil — Live
*** 1⁄2 out of *****

Judas Priest put out its first live album, Unleashed in the East, in 1979. The album was recorded when the band had something to prove, and each track felt more intense than the studio counterparts. Since then, the band has released numerous live albums, including the mediocre Priest … Live! and the 2005 DVD Rising in the East.

In 2008 the band released the concept album Nostradamus — which saw mixed critical response because of its lengthy tracks and operatic sound — and continued touring around the globe. So, is another live album really necessary? After hearing A Touch of Evil — Live, its safe to say that Judas Priest could have done without this release, although the group still has the capability of delivering the goods.

Many of the tracks on A Touch of Evil — Live were seen on the Rising in the East DVD. These versions of songs such as “Judas Rising” and “Riding on the Wind” don’t add much to the album. Some rare old tunes and two Nostradamus tracks make the release worth checking out.

“Death” is a sluggish rocker off Nostradamus , which suits the 57-year-old Rob Halford’s voice and fits well into the live set. On “Dissident Aggressor,” Halford channels some old-school energy with his screeching vocals.

Judas Priest also breaks out “Eat Me Alive” — a once controversial song about oral sex — which is made a little more ironic ever since Halford came out of the closet. The band never performed the song live until 2008, and this version rivals the 1983 studio version.

With “Prophecy,” the band proves why the members are still metal gods nearly 40 years after they began by showcasing the group’s raw talent and energy. The album should have ended here, because Halford’s voice strains on the last track, “Painkiller.”

The hard-core fans will want to check out previously unheard live songs, while newer fans would probably be better off listening to the album that started it all — Unleashed in the East.

Eric’s Picks: “Dissident Aggressor” “Eat Me Alive” “Prophecy”

Daughtry destroys music’s value

Daughtry: Leave This Town

1/2 out of *****

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Give everything a chance. Don’t knock it till you try it. These are all classic rules taught to us by our elders that cover so many different media — music, movies, and even people. With Daughtry’s new album Leave This Town, I tried to use the gifts of acceptance my mother gave me, but to no avail, the result was the same — Leave This Town sucks. Hard.

The album kicks off with distorted, heavy guitar licks in “You Don’t Belong” — an all right opener, but it sounds like typical Top 40 alternative rock. However, when “You Don’t Belong” ends, it’s hard to tell. The album’s major faults show through immediately following the first track, because it blends together with the second tune. And then the second song blends with the third, and so forth. There is no personality to any of the tunes — nothing that makes them stick out. They all have heavy guitars, Daughtry’s Chad Kroeger-esque voice, and stupid lyrics — such as the clever “I just thought you should know that I’ve been holding on while you’ve been letting go” from “What I Meant To Say.”

Leave This Town brings nothing new to the table musically; it instead spends its time recycling used (and already shitty) Nickelback hits from the year 2001. Probably the most frustrating aspect of Daughtry’s music is that it will be played like crazy on every radio station for the rest of the year (most likely having three or four hits), and hell, he might even win a couple Grammys for it.

If there is a God, He will not let that happen. But if it does, if Daughtry’s music is somehow miraculously loved by the public, everyone needs to take any good music they have — old records, CDs, iPods — and hide in basements or bomb shelters and pray, because the world is coming to an end.

Eric’s Pick: “September”

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