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Reviews of CDs by Eric Bibb and Needed Time and Coal Chamber

CD Reviews

Eric Bibb and Needed Time, "Spirit and the Blues"Coal Chamber, "Chamber Music"
Play These Songs
"Why Didn't You Call Me""Do Something""Caligula"

Real Audio Required -->Eric Bibb and Needed Time, "Spirit and the Blues" (Earth Beat) — The son of '60s folkie Leon Bibb, young Eric grew up surrounded by the cream of the Village scene, and he clearly learned love and respect for music at an early age. "Spirit" blends honest, spare country gospel with folk music to create a package of acoustic sounds that both calms and refreshes.

Recorded live with no overdubs in Stockholm in 1994 but only released early this year, the CD captures Bibb and a group of his Swedish friends tracking a meandering 15-tune musical walk through spiritual and secular territory.

Bibb's mellow, soulful Taj Mahal-tinged voice and finger-style guitar meshes with harp, bottleneck guitar, accordion and zither on the quiet tunes, while also ably accompanying his gospel backup quartet when they get serious on a couple of numbers. Shot through with an intense yet humble fire, "Spirit" is a measure of welcome soothing grace just right for the end of another frazzled day.

— Ames Arnold

Play These Songs
"Why Didn't You Call Me""Do Something""Caligula"

Real Audio Required -->Coal Chamber, "Chamber Music" (Road Runner) — Hip-hop-laced rock may be the new status quo, but with "Chamber Music," Coal Chamber launches a massive countercultural attack, kicking trip-hop beats to the curb, and nailing down a pulse born out of goth and post-industrial rock. No mono rhyming here.

While all the geisha makeup in Japan can't cover up their influences, Coal Chamber manages to apply its own method — new, progressive theories mixed with signature styles from the recent past — without resorting to forgery.

"Untrue" and "Tyler's Song" showcase a Robert Smith-esque high-end guitar with a fistful of Korn thrown in for good measure. What really sets these songs apart though, are the melodic anthem choruses. They're great.

Ozzy Osbourne, whose wife manages Coal Chamber, lends his vox to an abbreviated cover of Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey."

From the hard and heavy "Tragedy" to the experimental "Burgundy," all 16 tracks are strong.

— Jeff Maisey, The Virginian-Pilot

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