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The A List

Last Update : 08/02/10

Artist: Airbourne
Title: Runnin' Wild
Tracks/Duration: 11/36:38
Best Song: Stand Up For Rock 'N' Roll
Worst Song: Fat City

This one was a must-have. I downloaded "Runnin' Wild" for Rock Band and instantly I was smitten and went out and bought the album as soon as I could. This is a perfect album for rocking out to, as it starts hard and never stops. A couple songs slow down a little bit, but the cooler, punchy sound balances out the energy of the rest of the album nicely. I'm also a really big fan of their AC/DC-like "we don't play ballads" approach. They're great and all, but sometimes you just need an album that is there to rock your socks off from start to finish. Airbourne fills that niche nicely.

Artist: Airbourne
Title: No Guts. No Glory.
Tracks/Duration: 11/46:53
Best Song: Raise the Flag
Worst Song: White Line Fever

This CD makes me sad. I started getting the impression after Runnin' Wild that Airbourne would be one of those bands where all their music is the same, and No guts. No glory. does nothing but bolster those suspicions. It's not a bad album by any stretch, but there's nothing new here, and if you're not paying attention, you could easily lose track of where one song ends and the next begins. At the very least though, they're not obnoxious and annoying about it like Nickelback. I don't think my life would be affected in the slightest if I'd never picked up this album. At the very least, I got it fairly cheap.

Artist: Various
Title: Armageddon the Album
Tracks/Duration: 14/56:30
Best Song: Remember Me (Journey ft. Steve Auger)
Worst Song: When the Rainbow Comes (Shawn Colvin)

Also known as Armageddon: The Aerosmith Collection. No, not really, but there are like four Aerosmith songs on the CD. This is bad news for many, but I accept Aerosmith as a decent band. I have to say that the other rock bands featured (Journey, ZZ Top, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Our Lady Peace) really bring this soundrack up to awesome status, even though the few chick (Shawn Colvin, Patty Smyth, Chantal Kreviazuk) songs are weak like... weak stuff. The "Theme From Armageddon" is an absolutely kickass instrumental piece, and draws a nice close to the disc. That is, if you turn it off before the stupid "Animal Crackers" scene, which I assume was in the movie (I've failed to notice it each time I've watched the flick). All in all, good stuff. Recommended if you skip the crap.

Artist: The Ataris
Title: Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 Exits
Tracks/Duration: 14/35:41
Best Song: I Won't Spend Another Night Alone
Worst Song: In Spite of the World

How can you not like the Ataris? Considering how generic most of the lyrics are, I'm surprised they're not mainstream. Seriously, most of the time, the lyrics are as soulless as it gets. But that don't mean it's bad music. No, the music always more than makes up for generically-written songs, and the other songs are all-around good. The real issue I have with the band is that they suffer from a very common punk issue: short songs. A good chunk of the songs don't go past the three minute mark, and even though there is a respectable number of songs on the disc, it still clocks in at just over half an hour. WTF I say. Doubleyou tee eff. More or less recommended.

Artist: The Ataris
Title: So Long, Astoria
Tracks/Duration: 13(+2)/57:22
Best Song: I Won't Spend Another Night Alone [hidden]
Worst Song: The Saddest Song (Acoustic)[hidden]

The shlock is replaced with much better songwriting, and the songs are all of satisfactory length. I'd say the Ataris really cleaned up for this one, and all without sacrificing what the Ataris are all about: being emo before emo was hip. Sure, emo may not actually be hip, but you can't deny that it's something that's grown considerably in the last year alone. In any case, my favourite Ataris song returns as a hidden track, and to make things even better, it's been redone! The new version is even better than before! And also they do a great job with Don Henley's "Boys of Summer". A solid disc, fo shizzle. Highly recommended.

Artist: The Ataris
Title: Welcome the Night
Tracks/Duration: 13(+2)/52:27(59:02)
Best Song: Act V, Scene IV; And So It Ends Like It Begins
Worst Song: Secret Handshakes

One day I went to The Ataris' website, and found it painted dark and emo with cold, artistic music playing in the backgrund. I was shocked and wondered if some other band had bought the rights to the name or something. Investigating the situation, I downloaded and listened to the album the site was advertising and was floored. This was not The Ataris. So Long, Astoria was far more structured and produced than the usual Ataris fare, but it was still unmistakably The Ataris. Welcome the Night was another beast altogether, playing on dark melodys and sometimes depressing themes, it took me several listens to realize that it was in fact Kristopher Roe singing. And after some time I ended up falling for it. It may nt be what you expect from The Ataris, but I'm glad Kris went in a completely different direction, and love it for being what it is, and not just another Ataris album. It's fastastic, thoroughly deep and moving music, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a little emotional suffering in their artwork.

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