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ALBUM CAPSULES by Mark E. Waterbury

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Judy Jacobs

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Copyright 2005 by Music Morsels,
a Serge Entertainment Publication.
Editor: Sandy Serge
Contributing Columnists/Writers:
Mark E. Waterbury, Scott Turner

Sevendust - Next
7 Bros Records
On the heels of theirunplugged concert CD/DVD, Atlanta's metal madmen are back at full throttle with their first studio CD in three years. The blood curdling Herolaunches the disc like an MX missile, proving the boys can still melt speakers with their ballistic guitar work and sonic vocal howls. They also inject surprising doses of melodic passages, flavoring tracks like Neverand the eerie but emotive ballad The Last Song. Overall Nexthas a potent, raw feel that stays in your face but also serves notice that Sevendust has not lost their innovative songwriting capabilities.



Judy Jacobs - Almighty Reigns
His Song Music Group
Christian musicians need to have a certain divine inspiration to their music. Judy Jacobs not only has this, she lives and breathes it - exemplified by Almighty Reigns,her eighth recording. Leaving no ambiguity to where her beliefs are rooted, the music and the way her powerfully soulful voice conveys the spiritually uplifting lyrics are truly inspiring. The non pretentious pop R&B music backdrop that slips in choirs and orchestration in choice spots is the perfect chariot for the messages. The honesty and passion in Judy's music can strengthen a believer's faith, and make a non-believer think. URL:

Steve Walsh - Shadowman
Muse-Wrapped Records
The latest solo effort from Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh keeps his roots intact while igniting a more modern fire in the furnace. Riseinfuses intense metal passages with versing that feels more like The Police. The title track has a subtle intensity with a waft of electronica and potent vocal chorus. Steve's classic rock background emerges in Keep On Knocking,melding pop prog with a down and dirty guitar fueled throb. Now in his fourth decade of creating music, Steve proves that he is still an innovative songsmith, creating perfect conveyances for his always stellar vocal work.


Whirl - self titled
If Coldplay had an intense female vocalist they may sound like New York/Jersey based Whirl. Ethereal alt rock with jangly guitars and a laid back but intense vibe drives the music behind the ambrosial voice of Nikki Maoz. Nikki displays many facets of her vocal talents, immediately showing incredible range and innovative styles in the lead track Reborn.The lyrics are intelligent and the songs are well-crafted in a familiar way with the right touch of uniqueness.URL:


Dog Men Poets - Birth Of Cool
This wild San Antonio stew of hip hop, Hispanic folk, back alley funk and psychedelic rock could be the hottest Lone Star State commodity since chipotle salsa. Fresh songwriting creating music that tends to be fun while also proffering thought provoking lyrics are the norm throughout this disc. Hot songs include the wildly funkified Cooler Than Cool,the twisted rap-folk of the title track, and the wickedly humorous MILF.This act deserves wide spread recognition. URL: E-mail:


John Conahan - All Of These Fears Are Friends To Me Now
Bushtimi Music - R051
Pennsylvania based singer-songwriter John Conahan takes a unique approach to the genre by using the piano as his weapon of choice. It works wondrously here, and seems to ratchet up a certain intensity while keeping the spotlight on John's dusky, emotive voice. From the old timey acapella folk of Poor Black Maryto the heart rending ballad Quiet Songsand bluesy Suburban,John's music caresses your soul while quenching your thirst for finely-crafted music. URL:


Living Space - Secret Lives, Strange Goodbyes
With their third release, this Frisco Bay area foursome continues to grow, with sparkling songwriting creating enjoyable but unique songs. Think of a folkier Weezer with a drizzle of Beatles and Dead influences and you will understand the foundation of Living Space's sound. The twisted but heartfelt retro ballad In My Mind,airy folk rock of Kristineand kicked back funky groove of Dream Sleepersdisplay further dimensions. Could be a break out CD if it gets the attention. URL: e-mail:



Abel Josephson - Helicopters Over Hollywood
Rock Room Records -2377
Amarillo, TX's Abel Josephson weaves the classic rock vibe of early Bob Seger with an alt American throb, gracing the mixture with his vibrant voice which sounds like a more soulful Keith Urban. His songs lean towards mid tempo rockers with plenty of power guitar riffs brushed with the right touch of twang and thoughtful, honest lyrics. Standouts include the gritty, haunting blues of Top Tenand edgy but hooky rocker Always Come Back. URL: E-mail:


The Burning Effigies - Pipe Dream
Cynical Records - 4230
There is the barest inflection in the music of The Burning Effigies from their hometown of Dublin's most famous heroes, U2. You feel more influences from The Church and even a bit of Steely Dan, creating a pulsing groove brushed with soul and subtle Brit pop lilts. Songs like the psychedelia boogie of Late Nights And Lie Onsand the gritty but tempered funk of Pluc & Playsmack of brilliance. Well-crafted with intelligent lyrics and vocals like Bowie meets Dr. John. URL: E-mail:


Phineas J. Whoopie - A Trip Through Life
Miami's PJW continues to hone their craft of producing highly entertaining music with retro alt edges and innovative song structuring. Influences from U2 and Sting come to mind, the later particularly in the vocals, but this act has always had a unique personality. The change of time signatures in Plotis masterful, while Automotive Doghousejacks up the intensity while keeping a comfortably familiar vibe intact. Obvious talent and strong songwriting permeate this disc. URL:
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