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Best Of The Batch: Stocking Stuffers
Best Of The New Releases
By Danny Canak, SydneyUnleashed.com
(more articles from this author)
2004-12-07
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Artist: Eminem
Title: Encore
Genre: Rap
Label: Universal
Website: www.eminem.com

Download: “Just Lose It”
Just Lose It

Lyrical mastermind Eminem drops another monster of an album that continues the journey from where last album, The Eminem Show, left off. Eminem fans should know what to expect by now and it's no different with this release. Basically, if you're a fan of his previous work, you’ll be a fan of this album as well. Tracks include the first single “Just Lose It,” which you would have heard blasting the airwaves recently, the anti-Bush tirade of “Mosh,” the dark groover that is “Never Enough” (which also features 50 Cent), and one of the album's highlights, “Like Toy Soldiers,” which samples the Martika classic from the ‘80s. The album does take a few listens to sink in and although there isn't much deviation from the last disc, the fans will lap it up.


Artist: Helmet
Title: Size Matters
Genre: Metal
Label: Interscope Records
Website: www.helmetmusic.com
Download: “Smart”
Smart

Helmet make a surprising return after a seven year hiatus with the release of Size Matters, the band's first album of new material since 1997's Aftertaste. There have been a few-line up changes since then, with frontman Page Hamilton the only remaining member. The band has also slightly refined their sound. The old Helmet would rip you apart and pound you into submission with their heavy riffs and chunky guitars, while the new Helmet do the same but in a watered down kind of way. It’s not quite the Helmet of old, but for those who aren’t afraid of a band that have clearly progressed and polished their sound up a little, then check it out.


Artist: Grinspoon
Title: Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills
Genre: Punk/Grunge/Funk
Label: Universal Records Australia
Website: www.grinspoon.com.au

The latest album from Grinspoon, their fourth, sees the band explore their softer side - more than ever before. While previous albums have been known to rock out, this one (as the Helmet album) seems more refined than previous offerings. The work that the band did in LA with producer Howard Benson has made an obvious difference, with a tighter sound and Phil Jamieson’s layered vocals. Standout tracks include “Enemy” and the first single “Hard Act To Follow.” With an FM friendly sound, this album should broaden the fanbase for one of Australia’s favourite rock acts.


Artist: Compilation CD
Title: The Annual 2005
Genre: Club/House/Dance Mixes
Label: VA: Ministry of Sound
Website: www.ministryofsound.com

The Ministry of Sound crew unleash yet another one of their classic compilations. The Annual series each year delivers some of the greatest dance tracks of the previous 12 months and it's no different with this release. The Annual 2005, mixed by Australia's leading DJs Mark Dynamix and John Course, features massive club hits from Eric Prydz, Deep Dish, Armand Van Helden, Basement Jaxx, and Mr Timothy - and that's just disc 1. The 2nd disc, on the other hand, is an electro/synth affair with gems from Mylo, Freestylers, The Prodigy, Shapeshifters, Starsailor, Ferry Corsten, Moguai, and many more. Definitely the dance compilation of the summer.


Artist: Compilation CD
Title: Chillout Sessions: Volume 6
Genre: Downtempo
Label: VA: Ministry of Sound
Website: www.ministryofsound.com

Can you ever imagine hearing acts like Jet, Coldplay, Ben Harper and Missy Higgins on a Ministry Of Sound compilation? Well all of these and many more feature on the latest installment in the MOS Chillout Sessions series. The 2CD set contains some of the best down-tempo tracks in recent memory - mixing indie artists as above with stripped back versions of dance classics. Other artists include: Mylo, Mark Farina, Dissociatives, Gomez, Martin Solveig, Cut Copy, Shapeshifters, Zero 7, Bent, and more. The kind of album to chillout to after a hard night out.


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