CD Reviews: The Prodigy, Social Distortion, Tyler Hilton

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Prodigy - Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

It took a long time for The Prodigy to go from "Firestarter" to "Spitfire," the new album's first track.

Seven years have passed since they burned the world's eardrums with Fat of the Land, and everybody is going to wait for the bitch to be smacked up when listening to Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.

Liam Howlett, the head of the band, wrote the whole album himself.

The other two prodigies, Keith Flint and Maxim, don't appear at all. Instead, Oasis' Liam Gallagher, Kool Keith, Twista, the Ping Pong Bitches and actress Juliette Lewis, among others, take over the vocals.

The result is a mixture of dance and break beats and electro-rock with hip-hop elements.

It is dirty, it is loud, and damn, it's got the beats.

It is still definitely Prodigy that's playing here, and every greasy bass drum, rusty snare and nifty break will make electro-beat lovers dig this album.

Middle Eastern melodies are scattered throughout and Howlett's intention to make it sound sexy is definitely met.

"Hotride" starts out with a belly-dance rhythm, which is then met by a mind-blowing break beat.

Lewis' voice contrasts between sweet and rough, though she mostly yells her lungs out.

"Action Radar" is a dance track with raspy raps and softly-sung hooks.

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned makes it finally cool again to crank up the car stereo and let everyone know which CD they need to buy next.

- Djamila Noelle Grossman

Social Distortion - Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll

Social Distortion was making punk music before a lot of us were born.

On their new album Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll, they remind us what real punk is supposed to sound like.

After the death of renowned guitarist Dennis Danell in 2000, Mike Ness began writing new songs. Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll will be their first album of new material after an eight-year dry spell.

While sticking to the original sound of Social Distortion, Ness and the new members of the band have incorporated contemporary sounds and used higher quality production to bring new life to the band.

The song that stands out the most is "Don't Take Me for Granted." It is Ness' tribute to his boyhood friend and former bandmate Danell.

It's heartfelt without being sappy, and if you listen to it within its context, it's the most meaningful and beautiful song on the album.

All of the songs on the album, however, have great lyrics. A lot of the lyrics are "stick it to the man!"-themed.

With Ness' throaty, harsh voice, the songs give today's punk audience a taste of real punk rock.

I could go on and on about Ness or the role of Social Distortion or what punk is supposed to sound like.

It's better, I think, for you to take a listen to Social Distortion's new album, and make those conclusions for youåself.

- Celeste Meiffren

Tyler Hilton - The Tracks of Tyler Hilton

In a society in which pop artists attain fame with implants, makeup artists, and song writers, Tyler Hilton distinguishes himself as an up-and-coming musical talent worthy of the term "musician."

The Tracks of Tyler Hilton includes 11 original songs, which he actually wrote himself! In fact, Hilton comes from a musical family and can play the piano and the guitar, writes his own music, and sings. One begins to wonder if pop music even deserves someone with talent.

Hilton's first song, "When it Comes," is already making waves with a music video and heavy media exposure, making the song available on dozens of sites.

Hilton derives his initial inspiration from the blues, and such famed artists as B.B. King.

The Tracks of Tyler Hilton maintains a fairly consistent mellow and relaxed sound.

Hilton could be compared to John Mayer or even Dave Matthews, minus the distinct vocals. However, the genre remains similar.

Hilton supports a vintage image with a new sound.

He embodies light rock and contemporary pop culture.

If new artists or the top 40 are for you, Tyler Hilton is definitely worth a listen.

Even if you have an appreciation for down-to- earth or folk music, you can enjoy Hilton's blues influence.

- Autumn Johnson