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English music review

Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny.

music Updated: Aug 23, 2010 14:53 IST

The Final Frontier
Iron Maiden
EMI
Rating: ***
I have been an Iron Maiden fan for a long time and I find it difficult to find fault with them. This album, their 15th, is an epic. At over 75 minutes, it is the band’s longest album to date. It is going to take some serious listening to, particularly because most of the songs are more than seven minutes long. The longest song on this album is also the band’s longest until now. When The Wild Wind Blows has a ten-minute runtime after earlier epics like Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and Sign of the Cross. It’s truly amazing to see a band like Iron Maiden still at the peak of its powers after all these years. This one blazes right through.

Order of the Black
The Black Label Society
Warner
Rating: ***
The new BLS album is here, and it is wild. Yes, it is a throwback to the sounds of yesteryears. So what? There are no rules in rock ‘n’ roll anyway. Zakk Wylde was Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist for the longest time (since 1988), till he was jettisoned unfairly for creative differences. Well, Ozzy’s loss is our gain. This is a much more focused album, and Zakk brings to it the power that characterised Ozzy’s sound. Zakk’s vocals bring an unearthly power to the songs. His guitar playing has a Blues soul to it. Check out Crazy Horse, Southern Dissolution, Darkest Days and the ballad Time Waits For No One.

Thank me later
Drake
Universal
Rating: ***
Move over Bryan Adams, Canada has a new global superstar. He began as an actor in television but simultaneously pursued his musical ambitions, releasing his first mix tape way back in 2006. His first debut album of original material is a scorcher. We are all familiar with the hits Over and Find your Love, but the rest of the album is a revelation too. The melodies get to the core of the groove and the lyrics talk about life and its complexities. Watch out for him at the Grammies next year.

Rockstarr
Taio Cruz
Universal
Rating: **1/2
This British singer-songwriter and music producer has set dance floors across the world on fire with his current hit Break Your Heart. This is his second album (deliberately misspelled) and looks like there’s going to be no looking back for some time for this music entrepreneur. He’s produced music for Cheryl Cole and has launched his own line of 'Rokstarr’ accessories. But it is the music here that will make your heart sing and dance. Check out the other tracks like No Other One and Dirty Picture, which features electro-poppet Kesha. This is likely to the flavour of the season for a while to come.