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click to enlarge Golden Smog  - Another Fine Day  -  -  - Lost Highway  -  - There's no denying that supergroup side projects can be - prickly affairs. Often, expectations exceed the actual - music created by converging forces of whatever genre. - However, this is not the case with Golden Smog - featuring Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), - Marc Perlman (The Jayhawks), Kraig Johnson (Run Westy - Run) and Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum)  who just released - their third full-length album that explores the pop side - of the alt-country music movement. From the darkness - of "Gone" to the beguiling acoustic sounds of "Long Time - Ago," the material definitely lives up to the reputations - of its members.  John Benson
  • Golden Smog

    Another Fine Day

    Lost Highway

    There's no denying that supergroup side projects can be prickly affairs. Often, expectations exceed the actual music created by converging forces of whatever genre. However, this is not the case with Golden Smog featuring Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Marc Perlman (The Jayhawks), Kraig Johnson (Run Westy Run) and Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) who just released their third full-length album that explores the pop side of the alt-country music movement. From the darkness of "Gone" to the beguiling acoustic sounds of "Long Time Ago," the material definitely lives up to the reputations of its members. John Benson

click to enlarge Jurassic 5  - Feedback  -  -  - Interscope  -  - Hot producers Scott Storch ("Brown Girl") and Salaam - Remi ("Radio") help update the Jurassic 5 sound without - stepping too far out. The former track is a radio-hit-in- - waiting, while the latter is an old-school triumph. - Perhaps the highlight of the album is "Baby Please," a - self-explanatory warning to all males about women on a - mission; MCs Akil, 2na, Soup and Chali step up with an - impressive vocal display. Surprisingly, the Dave - Matthews-led "Work it Out" is arguably the best thing - he's done in over a decade. If Jurassic 5 is hoping to - gauge their place within the hip-hop community, the - Feedback is all positive.  John - Benson
  • Jurassic 5

    Feedback

    Interscope

    Hot producers Scott Storch ("Brown Girl") and Salaam Remi ("Radio") help update the Jurassic 5 sound without stepping too far out. The former track is a radio-hit-in- waiting, while the latter is an old-school triumph. Perhaps the highlight of the album is "Baby Please," a self-explanatory warning to all males about women on a mission; MCs Akil, 2na, Soup and Chali step up with an impressive vocal display. Surprisingly, the Dave Matthews-led "Work it Out" is arguably the best thing he's done in over a decade. If Jurassic 5 is hoping to gauge their place within the hip-hop community, the Feedback is all positive. John Benson

click to enlarge Sammy Hagar  - Livin' it Up  -  -  - Rhino  -  - Is the Red Rocker going soft? At 58, Sammy Hagar may - finally be mellowing out. Livin' it Up sounds like - Hagar's version of a Jimmy Buffett record, only his - fascination is with  surprise, surprise  Mexico, - tequila and his Cabo Wabo cantina. There are a few - guitar moments, with the rousing "Mexico" and groove- - oriented "Sam I Am." Where Hagar digresses from his - past is his kowtowing-to-the-masses cover of Toby - Keith's "I Love this Bar" and the sentimentally mid-tempo - "Sailing." Throughout his 30-some-year career, Hagar's - never been too far removed from the schmaltzy, and - Livin' it Up ventures  for better or worse, - depending on your Sammy love and tolerance for - mariachi music  even closer than recent efforts. -  John Benson
  • Sammy Hagar

    Livin' it Up

    Rhino

    Is the Red Rocker going soft? At 58, Sammy Hagar may finally be mellowing out. Livin' it Up sounds like Hagar's version of a Jimmy Buffett record, only his fascination is with surprise, surprise Mexico, tequila and his Cabo Wabo cantina. There are a few guitar moments, with the rousing "Mexico" and groove- oriented "Sam I Am." Where Hagar digresses from his past is his kowtowing-to-the-masses cover of Toby Keith's "I Love this Bar" and the sentimentally mid-tempo "Sailing." Throughout his 30-some-year career, Hagar's never been too far removed from the schmaltzy, and Livin' it Up ventures for better or worse, depending on your Sammy love and tolerance for mariachi music even closer than recent efforts. John Benson

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