Sunday, August 21, 2005

Music Review - Tony Iommi's Fused. Red Sox Update.

Fused - Iommi

Legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has a new solo CD out. The CD, titled Fused, was released last month during the same week that the Ozzfest North American Tour kicked off (funny timing that...), and is the third collaboration between Tony and former Deep Purple/Trapeze singer/bassist Glenn Hughes (the first two are the 1987 release Seventh Star, and The 1996 DEP Sessions released earlier this year).

The CD was produced by Bob Marlette, who gives the overall sound a slick, yet hard-hitting quality. Veteran session drummer Kenny Aronoff keeps the beat with dexterity and power throughout as Iommi's heavy riffs and biting solos grind away in tandem with Hughes's powerful vocals and pumping bass lines. Here's a song-by-song rundown:

1. Dopamine, the first single, which displays a typical set of Iommi riffs with a fiery wah-wah tinged solo to balance Hughes's confident delivery.

2. Wasted Again is a bit slower, and features some of the few higher-end vocals from Hughes.

3. Saviour Of The Real comes across as a song that purposely avoids heavy solos and tempo changes, and doesn't really stand out on this CD. If not for the intospective lyrics Hughes provides, the song would be very forgettable.

4. Resolution Song is a very moody piece with even more of Hughes's soul-searching lyrics.

5. Grace starts off slowly, but gradually builds and has a nice optimistic feel to it when compared to the previous tracks.

6. Deep Inside a Shell has a repetitive Iommi riff and a solo that seems way too short.

7. What You're Living For is a faster, more up-tempo track that features a Iommi terrific double-tracked solo played over multiple riffs.

8. Face Your Fear features some of Hughes's most heartfelt vocals balanced against even more of Iommi's powerful riffs.

9. The Spell has a heavy doom-like quality to the riff that starts the song, and Hughes proves that he can handle the lower range of his vocal register with confidence and power.

10. I Go Insane is an epic that last more than nine minutes, and is the best track of this CD. It is also the final track, and is a fitting end as it contains multiple time changes that seem so abrupt that they could easily be classified as songs within a song. The highlight is the slow, bluesy solo Iommi churns out as Hughes puts it all on the line in his powerfully convincing manner.

Overall, the sound quality is slicker than that of the 1996 DEP Sessions, and some of the songs lack a bit of urgency as a result, but that isn't such a negative given the quality of the writing and playing that these English hard rock veterans have produced. The CD is a solid "A", and fans of both Iommi and Hughes should be quite pleased to add it to their collections.

Red Sox Update

The Red Sox salvaged a split in their four-game series against the Angels in Anaheim with a 5-1 victory this afternoon. The win, combined with the Yankees 6-2 defeat at the hands of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox moves the Red Sox back to a four game lead over the Pinstripes in the AL East.

The game was scoreless into the 8th inning as Angels starter Paul Byrd kept the Sox bats off balance with a variety of breaking pitches and an 87-mile-per-hour fastball that he was able to place just out of the fat part of the strike zone for most of the game. The Sox finally got to Byrd when Edgar Renteria hit a three-run homer, his 7th of the season. Manny Ramirez followed a David Ortiz BUNT SINGLE with his 33rd homer of the season to give the Sox a 5-0 lead.

Sox rookie starter John Papelbon pitched into the 6th inning before turning it over to the Mikes (Myers and Timlin) who kept the Angels off the scoreboard. Curt Schilling, who will apparently rejoin the starting rotation later this week in Kansas City, surrendered the Angels lone run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

A few words about Mr. Papelbon. He is a keeper. His fastball hums in between 91 and 95 MPH, and he is developing a nasty split-fingered pitch that has a deadly drop. He seems to have good command of his pitches and he has a nice, smooth delivery. He is also not afraid to pitch inside to the big bats, as he proved when he backed Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero up on a high 0-2 fastball that set up a nice high fastball that Vlad chased for the strikeout. A lot of veteran pitchers have trouble executing this maneuver, and this kid did it as if he had been pitching for ten years. In recent years, Papelbon would have been traded as part of a package to another team that was out of contention for a proven veteran for the stretch run. Three starts isn't a large sample from which to evaluate someone, but I hope the Sox don't deal him away because he looks like he can be a big winner in the big leagues for a long time.


Miss Templeton said...

Fenway Park in Yahoo headlines now. Thought immediately of you.

listerplus said...

Landmark status. Mixed feelings about this one. Fenway is a great old ball park, but the majority of the seats were built for people about 5 1/2 feet tall. I'm 6 1/2 feet tall, so leg room is definitely an issue. The newer seats that have been built are roomier, and more expensive. Also, there are quite a few support pillars throughout the grandstand that block many sight lines. The new ownership is trying to address these issues, and I wouldn't be shocked to see landmark status granted.