Ah, Christmas time is upon us! Maybe you love it, maybe you don’t, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s that time of year again. I debated, with myself as I tend to do, if I should include any holiday themed tracks. After a lot of internal deliberation, I decided that I had no choice but to include a track by the amazing Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is the title track from their fourth album, and while not as energetic as some of their other tracks it delivers a great vocal performance and tells an interesting story.
I recently started listening to Tenacious D more frequently again, and this track in particular. It’s fun, well written and performed with a lot of energy which makes it stand out. Kyle Gass is a very talented guitar player and the acoustic guitar parts are simply amazing.
Apart from having an amazing trumpet solo the track this week has some of the best lyrics ever written. For a track that starts out very innocent, it quickly escalates into something frantic that describes the destructive nature of humanity. This track also has a great flow and rhythm, which together with everything else makes it pretty darn good.
The track this week is a power metal track full of energy that starts off with a bang. It also has what I consider to be one of the most fun guitar solos of all time, starting around 3 minutes into the song. Those facts alone would be enough to make this a great track, but when you add a talented vocalist on top of that you have a true winner.
While technically covers, I wouldn’t call what East Village Opera Company produce that. Their tracks are highly accomplished compositions, and such a departure from the original work that you’d need another type of description for them. This track is one of their absolute best, and an improved version of one of the tracks from their debut album. It’s energetic, rhythmic and simply put just a great track.
Hans Zimmer is one of the best contemporary composers, and his work in movies is impressive. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to include his work from the Pirates of the Caribbean as track of the week, and picking which one was fairly easy for once. It’s a very energetic track with amazing orchestration and great use of both brass and woodwind instruments.
I wanted a track from Volbeat’s 2008 album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood to be the track of the week, but I honestly had a very hard time choosing which of my two favorite tracks to go with. In the end, it was the first few lyrics from this track that made me go with this one over Hallelujah Goat, which has a great title. What I like most about this track is that it’s hard and heavy with great vocals.
Most people know the artist behind this week track as the original Captain Kirk, but William Shatner has also released three full length albums. This track, which is the titular track from his second album, is a rebuttal to everyone calling Mr. Shatner a has been. It features a great western theme written by Ben Folds accompanied by fun and interesting spoken lyrics.
I’m not exactly sure when I heard The White Stripes the first time, but I’d guess it was sometime after their 2003 album Elephant. One thing I know for certain, though, is that when I heard this track I knew without a doubt that I’d keep listening to whatever else they decided to put out. This track is simplistic, smart and they will be missed.
Steven Martin is a really good banjo player as it turns out. Of all the tracks on the album The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo this is the only one where Mr. Martin sings, which is why I chose it as the track of the week over the others on it. It’s an excellent bluegrass track with the added value of a fun story, which is told very well.