The year 2000 was, simply put, one of the most pivotally important ones in modern music history. Several albums released that year are rightfully considered among the most important in the last 20 years of music – Hybrid Theory, Kid A, Relationship Of Command, and Deftones’ White Pony were just a few of the year’s best. White Pony, in particular, is bestowed a certain unquestionable presence in the pantheon of alternative metal, transcending nu-metal completely.
Why is the album so celebrated, though? A multitude of factors come into play here, but White Pony is an important album because of the scene it transcended – it’s a bold departure from their previous work that could have easily flopped.
Side projects are a difficult thing to analyze indeed, both from a fan perspective as well as a critical one. Traditionally, the reasons for a side project are fairly linear – they tend to place emphasis on different aspects of the musician that won’t fit the main band(s), or a vehicle to explore and mess around with new styles and genres of music. Some of the biggest bands in history started off as side projects – notables ones include Gorillaz (Blur, Jamie Hewlett), Dashboard Confessional (Chris Carrabba, originally in Further Seems Forever), and of course, the ubiquitous solo album (Mike Shinoda, KISS, and entirely too many other musicians). While not all of these projects are commercially or critically successful, that’s not the point. If a side project explores new avenues of music, that always makes a musician more adept at their craft. Perhaps, the term “success” is actually relative in this market, but I digress.
Anyhow, Stone Sour – the side project of Corey Taylor of Slipknot, occupies a unique space in the rock and metal scenes. After all, Stone Sour was Taylor (and former member Jim Root’s) main project before Slipknot were signed in the late 90’s. In 2002, the band unleashed their self-titled debut album, which earned them Grammy nominations for “Get Inside” and “Inhale”, and while that record was a really solid start, it’s the 2006 follow-up Come What[ever] May that cemented Stone Sour as an act all their own.
Album Review: Jaret & Kelly – Sittin’ In A Tree [7.5/10]
Jaret & Kelly are comprised of the pop-punk giants frontman of Bowling for Soup, Jaret Reddick, and leading lady of pop-punk outfit The Dollyrots, Kelly Ogden. The twosome have been friends for a very long time, almost a decade, and the two have collaborated on songs in the past, most recently on the intro theme song to ABC’s hit show ‘Schooled’. Now, firstly I’d like to point out that pop-punk isn’t usually my cup of tea, I like some pop-punk, however as a rule, I’m a core boy, through and through. Needless to say, I like to give everything a go at least once, and I go in with an open mind, so here goes.
Scarlet Dress – Endless
8.5 / 10
Debut albums are always a very challenging thing – from wanting to appease fans, showing the world music you’ve been working on for months/years, aiming to bring in new listeners, and many other things. For Scarlet Dress, this is exponentially harder since both band members are far away from one another, and are only able to share their music with one another online. Despite all of the challenges that Scarlet Dress faced, they have managed to put out one very fun and entertaining debut album. Filled to the brim with djenty riffs, powerful vocals, and fantastic guest features, it’s very hard to picture that this all was done by just 2 guys with a passion for music.