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Meteor

The Shazam

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Album Review

While most contemporary power pop acts seemingly subscribe to the notion that all cultural progress came to a halt after the release of Big Star's Radio City, the Shazam are one band not afraid to pledge allegiance to the bigger pop/rock sounds of the late 1970s and early '80s, and on their fifth album, Meteor, they've literally put their money where their mouth is by hiring Reinhold Mack (professionally known simply as Mack) to produce. Mack was behind the controls for albums by Queen, Billy Squier, Sparks, and Electric Light Orchestra in the '70s and '80s, and here he gives the Shazam the sort of big, punchy, and polished sound that by all rights would have made them radio fodder had it been recorded at a time when radio still cared about rock & roll. With its crunchy guitar sounds, booming drums, and layered harmonies processed within an inch of their lives, Meteor is the closest thing to a Queen album the Shazam will ever have the chance to make, but in its heart it has a lot more in common with Sparks — for all the slick popcraft, this band can't resist letting their smart-ass sense of humor rise to the surface on tunes like "Hey Mom, I Got the Bomb," "Time for Pie," "Disco at the Fairgrounds," and "NFU" (which stands for "Not F—ked Up Enough"), and in some respects, Meteor seems like a knowing parody of '70s rock rather than a for-real contemporary pop/rock epic, with bandleader and songwriter Hans Rotenberry having a hard time not snickering at his own joke. In all honesty, the joke is pretty funny, and from a musical standpoint, the Shazam are more than solid enough to make these songs work in the studio, and the melodies are well served by Mack's epic-scale production. But at the same time, it's hard not to think that the Shazam missed an opportunity by not playing a bit straighter on Meteor — they could have created a gloriously mammoth rock album instead of just making fun of one.

Customer Reviews

worth the wait...

The Shazam returns with their first new material in five years. Definitely worth the wait. For fans of 99's Godspeed the Shazam, there is something here for you. With the song, NFU, Hans and crew have written the first sing-a-long rock anthem of the 00's. Disco at the Fairgrounds, with it's impossibly catchy refrain will burrow its way into your consciousness for days."I Got the Bomb" borrows nicely from everything good about late sixties rock, and will have you singing along immediately. Buy this record...I mean ...download.

M3TEOR ROCKS!!!

I had to get M3TEOR the day it was released. One of the greatest Rock bands of the last ten years produces a masterpiece. Influences like Zep, Mott the Hoople, Cheap Trick, Who etc. are worn on the sleeve only to wipe the sweaty brow of this blistering Rock and Roll. This is not revisionism; this is a new vision-a new classic rock. All Shazam albums are wonderfully produced, but it’s nice to see them have a chance to work with Mac of Queen, T Rex, Squire etc. fame. Meteor has a vital ying and yang of hope and realism perfect for these exciting, yet unpredictable times. The song cycle is a one-two punch, "So Awesome" unbridled hope counters with the realization that life is a high wire act so "Don't Look Down." NFU will be misconstrued, but it really seems to be an anti-drunk driving song. "Disco at the Fairgrounds" follows and it has to be the greatest party anthem to ride the Rock-o-Planes at fairs across the country. The next jab and counter pairs a song that Ray Davies would love; On “A Little Better", this self-help guide gets tested by the song that follows, the "The Dreamcrusher Machine." When Hans sings "Don't tell me I don't have dreams...here have one." These boys play like they’ve been backed into a corner, and they come out fighting. I mean, they drive the thing musically and metaphorically. “Always Tomorrow” celebrates the beauty of procrastination, while the freedom of “Let It Fly” exhibits that rarefied air of what a great hooky rock song used to be when Wings or ELO played at the pool. If radio was radio, these would be summer classics. “Hey Mom, I Got the Bomb,” is a Ramones-Beach Boys bastard child that’s a fun rave, nonetheless it is poignant for we live in a world of chilling realities with Kim Jong-Il, and terrorists with their IED’s. Thinking man’s Rock has never been so fun. It’s only fitting that “Latherman Shaves the World,” has come to give us a blast of clean. To the Shazam lather from a can, sounds like a Hiwatt turned to ten. This one of the funniest songs of the year, but upon further listening, you become emboldened and powerful; you want to join the cause and help Latherman shave the world. Letterman was on the air the other night saying that Tennessee is the “want some pie? state.” If there was any justice, this Tennessee band would have the chance to play “Time for Pie” on that show and prove to the world that Rock still lives. With its Zep custard filling and all, it would be a nice slice…

Meteor

Now here is really something!

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Led by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Hans Rotenberry, the Shazam are a contemporary power pop band from Nashville, Tennessee, who've earned a loyal following among pop obsessives for their sharp, rollicking, and often witty British-influenced sound. The Shazam were formed in 1997 when Rotenberry teamed up with bassist Mick Wilson and drummer Scott Ballew. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1997, which was produced by Brad Jones and found Rotenberry composing tunes with the likes...
Full Bio
Meteor, The Shazam
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock
  • Released: Aug 04, 2009
  • Parental Advisory

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