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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Music Review They Don't Want You To Read!!

The following post is the un-edited version of my weekly music review over at Confront Magazine:

Steve’s Three-Way 2006-12-06

As a music critic, my favorite phrase is “Debut CD”. I think it has to do with my personality type; my love of the lottery. “Debut CD” can mean so many things: Triumph or Tragedy; Genius or Federline; Music-as-Poetry or Music-at-its-Most-Insipid.

I’ll give you three guesses as to which of the above best describes the debut CD for Drake Bell.

“It’s Only Time” is the title of this CD. Time, it is said, is the fire in which we burn. And I wasted my time on this insipid piece of perky-preteen-pop so YOU don’t have to!

Let me break it down for you: The CD sounds like the worst of late 1980s perky-pop, combined with a fatal overdose of Sesame Street and Disney Channel. Perhaps that’s because previous to his soon-to-be-over career as a “rock-star” (as the “Break-down” on AOL’s music page calls him), Drake Bell was the star of a show on the Nickelodeon network, which has so often brought us the best and the worst in children’s programming.

Drake Bell: It’s Only Time

Steve’s Rating: 11.13 % (11-13 year olds being, I presume, the target audience)

Holiday Shopping Guide: Grandmothers: Buy this for your Ritalin-addicted tone-deaf little Tween Grandson today!!

From wonder bread I moved on to hot chocolate funk-ay with Brian McNight’s new CD, “10”. Listening to this CD is like spilling a warm beverage in your lap: you get a sudden warm feeling and then you’re drenched. There. I said it: I listened to the CD and even I’M wet.

After listening to this CD, all I can say is that McNight is the heir and rightful King to sit upon the throne of Barry White, and all other funk-master soul artists who have given us such great f**k music over the years.

Brian McKnight: “10”

Steve’s Rating: 110.00% (And DEFINITELY NC-17)

Holiday Shopping Guide: Gentlemen: Stuff her stocking with this CD. Batteries not included.

The movie “Love, Actually” is set around Christmastime in London. One of the many subplots of this film is an aging British punk rocker who’s doing a ghastly Christmas CD in a cynical bid to make money trading on his name.

It must be said that this is pretty much how I approached Billy Idol’s CD. Then on his Myspace site I found the video for him performing “Jingle Bell Rock”. Good lord…how to describe it? Imagine Spike from Buffy / Angel in the stupidest “Rockabilly Swing” video imaginable, singing “Jingle Bell Rock.” Then go to and see it for yourself.

This album is hilarious. I mean, we know in Buffy that even with a soul Spike was still basically evil at heart; the same can be said of Billy Idol; that’s why we loved the little ponce despite all his bluster and airs.

But nonetheless watching him embarrass himself doing this video, listening to him croon Christmas carols…the Hawaiian Electric guitar solo at the beginning of “O, Christmas Tree”…never even mind “Here Comes Santa Claus”. It is like that soulless monster (From the movie “Love, Actually”) has come to life!

This is either the most cynical of all holiday ploys and proof of the Antichrist’s return to Earth or Billy Idol is a comedic genius of Andy Kaufman proportions, conducting the greatest self-parody since William Shatner.

Billy Idol: Happy Holidays

Steve’s Rating: 100.00 %

Holiday Shopping Guide: Younger Siblings: Buy this for the 40something recovering heroin addict in YOUR life!


Anonymous said...

Ok now i know that everyone can have thier own freedom of speech and everything but the things that u are saying about Drake Bell's CD (its only time) are a little harsh. I mean like just because u dont like his version of music doesnt mean u have to say stupid crap about it b/c many other people including me love drake and his version of music and like how he takes old school and puts a modern twist on it so just because u dont like it doesnt mean u have to tell people not to listen to it b/c they might actually listen to you then they wont listen to it and they'll never realize how amazing his songs really are specially if u just listen to the lyrics of his songs they are so real life and why are you only dogging everybody's CD's why cant you just say some good stuff??? j/w Sincerly, an extermely dedicated Drake Bell fan (aka Jess)

Steve Karmazenuk said...

Dear Jess,

First, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. Even if you very strongly disagreed with what I had to say, it's nice to know that someone is reading what I post.

You are perfectly entitled to disagree with me about Drake Bell's music. In fact, it is as much your right to tell people your opinion about him as it is mine. However, I am a music critic, so it is my *job* to tell people what I think of certain CDs, good or bad.

However, I would like to say that if you really feel that strongly about Drake Bell's music, you might want to consider joining or creating a Drake Bell "Street Team" to put the word out about his music and get more people to listen to him. That's actually how a lot of fans are helping their favourite music acts get bigger notice.

You might also like to know that my editor at Confront Magazine, where this review was originally posted agreed with you that I was too harsh. If you look it up on http:\\ you'll see that what was published was censored.

I also invite you to post your comments on the feedback sections of Confront Magazine; one of the things we're trying to get readers to do is to Dare, Defy and Provoke the norm and tell us about the music they like. I can assure you that if you are this passionate about your music, other readers--and probably other fans--will take notice.