Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Jamey Johnson, Guns 'n' Roses, Tesla, Nine Inch Nails, Soilwork

Quite a variety this week, from country to industrial to melodic death.

Jamey Johnson feat. Lee Ann Womack, “This Ain’t My First Rodeo.” From the album Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran (2012). One of the best current country songwriters Jamey Johnson singing songs of one of country’s most prolific songwriters. How could you go wrong? The songs on the album, including this one, are very faithful to the originals and usually pretty good.

Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Nice Boys.” From the album Lies (1988). After striking gold with Appetite for Destruction, Guns ‘n’ Roses unleashed this combination live and acoustic record. The energetic cover of Rose Tattoo’s “Nice Boys” was one of the highlights of the live portion of the album.

Tesla, “Before My Eyes.” From the album Mechanical Resonance (1986). The album-closing number from Tesla’s fantastic debut album is part 1980s power ballad, part Queensryche-style prog metal piece. I’ve never been quite sure what to make of it. I like it, but I’m much more likely to be jamming “Modern Day Cowboy.”

Nine Inch Nails, “Ruiner.” From the album The Downward Spiral (1994). This was really the last album where Nine Inch Nails mattered to me. While I love Pretty Hate Machine and the Broken EP pretty much from start to finish, I fade in and out on this one. “Ruiner,” though, is one of the better tracks with good melodies and some more aggressive moments.

Soilwork, “Sworn to a Great Divide.” From the album Sworn to a Great Divide (2007). This is a divisive album among fans, but it’s one of my favorites. The opening title track is a bashing, thrashing number with one of those big melodic choruses that the band does so well. I don’t understand how any metal fan could not enjoy this.

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