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New CD reviews for Eagle County

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Heart On, Downtown For a two man band, Eagles of Death Metals sound kicks a lot of ass. And no, for those of you wondering, its not a death metal band. Think My Bloody Valentine meets Foghat during a rave at Rob Halfords house. What we got here is straight up rock n roll that leans toward the dark side.EODM is Jesse Hughes on lead guitar and vocals and Josh Homme manning the bass and drums. You might know Homme from his other band, Queens of the Stoneage. Theres also a smattering of other musicians with guest spots on the album. Heart On, the bands third studio release, makes fun of stereotypical rock n roll cool while being just that, one of the coolest albums of the year. Heavy, infectious riffs and funny, often grim lyrics about nasty women, drug use, broken hearts, loneliness and learning how to dance make it an easy and enjoyable listen that holds up to plenty of repeat plays.Heart On is coated with glam-rock sensuality and psychedelic outrage and it never gets dull. (I Used To Couldnt Dance) Tight Pants might be the albums catchiest and silliest tune with lyrics like It used to be a massacre/I never got a second glance/Now Im kinda lethal on the dance floor. They even slow it down briefly on one of the most un-corny break up songs of all time, Now Im A Fool. Look, we all know that real rock n roll is a scarce resource these days, so pop Heart On into the CD player, turn it up, and remember what it feels like to actually want to play air guitar again.Charlie Owen, High Life writer

Gossip in the Grain, RCARay LaMontagne has again mastered the art of beautiful music with album number three, Gossip in the Grain. LaMontagne really opens up with his most eclectic album yet, which covers a wide variety of musical genres, such as blues, Americana and bluegrass. This collection will have you listening again and again.LaMontagne is a singer/songwriter from Maine with a musical style comparable to Stephen Stills. He is noted for his deeply mysterious and raspy voice. An extreme introvert, LaMontagne rarely speaks between songs during his concerts, and he can best be described as awkward during interviews. Most people categorize him as a folk singer, though his influences range from rock to classical and even front-porch country.Leona Ness has been opening for LaMontagne and lends her beautiful harmonies on I Still Care for You and A Falling Through. Both songs also feature a pedal steel guitar a twangy sound new to LaMontagnes work. While some of this album has his traditional romantic heartache feel to it, it is hardly a downer of an album. Breaking his usual mold, LaMontagne opens with the very catchy track You are the Best Thing, an upbeat, jazzy blues style song. He continues to mix things up with Meg White, an ode to the White Stripes drummer. This song, which is borderline satirical, is quite the aberration for LaMontagne. The song is upbeat and sounds like it could be featured in a Western movie.The Gossip in the Grain bonus album sold on iTunes contains four extra tracks including live versions of Be Here Now and Empty, both from previous albums. Be sure to check it out.Robbie Jane Paup, High Life correspondent

Who Killed Harry Houdini?, Mute U.S.Im from Barcelona used to be adorable. A 29-piece collective of Swedish musicians who like to sing in unison and play tambourines, the bands 2006 full-length debut, Let Me Introduce My Friends, covered tree houses, friends from foreign places, sleeping in and not actually being from Barcelona. It was saccharine and it was awesome.As a follow-up, Who Killed Harry Houdini? is considerably less fun. Theres no reason to have 29 people in an indie pop recording studio if theyre not going to be churning out deliriously joyful music. But the bands bulk remains meaning Houdini is packed with needlessly full chorus lines and orchestral character studies. This is best expressed in Music Killed Me, in which Im from Barcelona systematically kills any remaining likable elements of its music, with strained vocals, swishy piano vamps and a toned-down sing-along.There are a few light-enough moments mostly on the lead single, Paper Planes, with its xylophone and clarinet inserts that give Houdini just enough buoyancy to be bearable, but not nearly enough to be enjoyable. Margaret Hair, Steamboat Pilot & Today


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