Pearls and Chains

Finding new music has taken a back seat for me lately. It's just I've been busy to do anything besides ripping my old CDs (tons of them) into mp3 files, with a much higher bit rate this time, to upload into my new iPod Touch. But, despite being time-deprived and all, I still managed to find out about -and also purchase- the new albums of Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains.

Alice In Chains

I thought it was the end of Alice In Chains when Layne Staley (vocalist) died a couple years ago. But then they did a reunion tour back in 2007 with a new vocalist, William Duvall, in tow. Although I never really expected them to record another album. That's why I almost cried when I heard their first single, "Check My Brains", from their new album, Black Gives Way to Blue. The album is really good, heavy but full of melody, and it even sounds as if Layne never really died. It's probably their best one ever since Dirt.

Pearl Jam

I'm not really a big fan of Pearl Jam, and I only own a few of their albums. But I really like their new album, Backspacer, a lot. Although Pearl Jam fans, especially the ones who like their older work, might be put off by this one. No more meaty riffs or a screaming Vedder here. They stripped down their sound to a minimum and what's left is just good ol', lighthearted rock & roll.

Both bands are almost at the 20th year of their career. But, after all these years, they still rock. While both albums aren't "album of the year" material, they're still worth listening compared to most crap that is out right now. So to all former fans, it's time to re-discover these bands. If you haven't heard of Alice In Chains or Pearl Jam before, then now is the best time get acquainted with them.

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