5 = Excellent. One of the best songs this year! I'll rave about it and crave for it.
4 = Good stuff. I'll get it on CD and put it on REPEAT.
3 = Average. I'll tape it off the radio and consider buying it on CD.
2 = Tolerable. I'll listen to it on radio and probably will get sick of it in no time.
1 = CRAP. I'll turn the radio off as soon as I hear it. Already on my shitlist.

N E W - R E L E A S E S

Creed "Higher"
Rating: 4

Grunge is back, in the form of one of the biggest bands to come out that's actually worthy of their success. This week, the second Creed album debuts at #1. And much deserved with the #1 rock and alternative smash "Higher". Musically, the song is no radical departure from the "My Own Prison" singles. In fact, it could very well be the fifth single from that album. However, the lyrics distinguish it from the previous set. "Higher" is more mature and positive. While songs like "My Own Prison", "Torn", "What's This Life For" and "One" liked to find causes for blame, "Higher" dwells in positivity. And more importantly, it's just another great rock song, similar to that of the strongest track off of the previous album, "What's This Life For".

Live "The Dolphin's Cry"
Rating: 4

Nostalgia's the word. While 80's bands return to their signature sounds and are experiencing record sales boosts for that (see Def Leppard), Live are doing the same. They go back to what made the group, kickass rock songs from "Throwing Copper". I did not care much for that "Secret Samadhi" album, which didn't even rock. But the new album is back with some rocking stuff, previewed by this first single, which is full of strong vocal hooks and tempo transitions. It's great to see rock is rocking once more.

Days Of The New "Enemy"
Rating: 4.5

Days Of The New have definitely progressed. If you didn't already know, it is now a one man show. Travis Meeks, the lead guitarist/singer kicked out his fellow band members and has taken upon himself the artistic duty of playing his own instruments. Yes, the guitar, the bass, the drums and the vocals. With a little help from his friends on some of the tracks including a female backing vocalist. On "Enemy", he experiments with a different sound built on simplicity in form and the acoustic guitar. However, he adds some strings in there, without sounding too pretentious. Most importantly, its hook will stay in your head all day long: the signs of a truly great song.

Stone Temple Pilots "Down"
Rating: 4

The new Stone Temple Pilots is not a one-listen single. In fact, the first time I heard it, I thought it was very tame. However, because of KIOZ's incessant airplay of anything STP, "Down" went straight to heavy rotation and the song has grown considerably. The song is riff driven and very heavy, definitely reminds me of something from "Core" or "Purple". The vocal hook isn't as obvious and you don't know what the hell he is saying but it sounds good and it's catchy, the way it drones but doesn't. Just another great song from an established band.

Foo Fighters "Learn To Fly"
Rating: 4.5

Am I going to hear this on pop radio? The new Foo Fighters song is catchy as hell, along the lines of classics like "Big Me" or "Everlong", but definitely heavier than the former and less heavier than the latter. "Learn To Fly" is a song about independence and the positive aspects of it. What makes the Foo Fighters a great band is largely due to the fact that Dave Grohl has an amazing voice and it carries through once again in the new single. Good job, guys.

Megadeth "Insomnia"
Rating: 3.5

Definitely not one of the stronger tracks on "Risk", but being a Megadeth fan, I gave it a fair chance and it has grown on me. The song, if it were not Megadeth, would be a good track, hence the rating. However, considering that they've had better stuff, I'd say that this track seems more like it's appealing to the fans pre-Cryptic Writings who are resistant to any sort of change. My only problem is that it's not very solid, and the production is messy, even more so than "Symphony of Destruction" and "Sweating Bullets", which were both great singles. In another way, this messiness is the appeal. There is also a hook, which stays in your head, especially late at nights when you can't fall asleep. "Twisting and turning, something's haunting me". It takes a while for the hook to sink in but they've had better: "Almost Honest", "Trust", "Crush 'Em", "A Secret Place". I hope they decide to release "Breadline" next.

A - S E C O N D - L O O K

Santana featuring Rob Thomas "Smooth"
Rating: 4

The first non-alternative leaning single from rock radio that crosses over to pop radio. And who would've expected Santana to make such a comeback? Well, duh, he's collaborated with every artist from every genre possible to make sure this was the case. It's good to see that this is a good rock song getting decent national exposure and Santana's guitar playing is as great as ever and the combination of Spanish and American rock influences make this track truly unique.

Previous Reviews
Great White, Dokken, Buckcherry, Scorpions, Tom Petty

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