Canned Heat rose to fame because their knowledge and love of blues music was both wide and deep. Emerging in 1966, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite. Hite took the name “Canned Heat” from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They were joined by Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine, another ardent record collector who was a former member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans.
Obliterating the concept of guilty musical pleasures, I Get Wet turns hair metal hedonism, punk energy, and pop melodies into an instant, insistent blast of fun with all the power of a beer commercial. From the opening anthem, "It's Time to Party," to the excellently named finale, "Don't Stop Living in the Red," the album is all climax – the blasting guitars, blaring keyboards, and Andrew W.K. himself are all turned up to 11 throughout. W.K. is a one-man manifesto, dedicated to spreading the way of the party with songs like "Party Hard" ("We do what we like and we like what we do!" could be "Dirty deeds done dirt cheap" several generations down the road), "Party Til You Puke," and "I Get Wet," and the fact that he looks like the stoner bully from high school only adds to his cred. Guessing whether or not Andrew W.K. is a big joke or not is almost beside the point; he comes on so strong that he either really means it, maaan, or he's got his tongue stuck firmly in his bloodied cheek.
It's clear that a lot care goes into the Hives' seemingly immediate, fired-up sound: this is a band, after all, that has only released three full-length albums in its 11-year lifespan. While the 2002 collection Your New Favourite Band ended up winning the group many more fans thanks to its fortuitous timing with the garage rock revival craze (and also ended up being the band's most consistent release to date), it didn't do much to disguise the fact that the Hives hadn't released a new album since 2000's Veni Vidi Vicious. Two years later, Tyrannosaurus Hives arrives, and proves that the band isn't just a fossil from the days when everyone (or critics, at least) thought that the Hives and the other bands lumped in with the rock revival were going to change the face of pop music. It may have taken the Hives awhile to follow up Veni Vidi Vicious, but they didn't waste any time: Tyrannosaurus Hives is half an hour of highly compressed, high-contrast rock that is far and away the band's best album.
Instead of paying homage to John Williams' celebrated score for Richard Donner's 1978 Superman film, as composer John Ottman did with Bryan Singer's 2006 reboot Superman Returns, Hans Zimmer has crafted an entirely new set of themes for Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder's 2013 re-reboot of the franchise. Closer in tone to the composer's work on Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, the 15-track Man of Steel is grittier and darker than any of its predecessors, due in large part to Zimmer's proclivity for non-stop, thunderous percussion, though it retains enough goose bump-inducing moments to be called a proper Superman score, especially on the elegiac "Look to the Stars" and its soaring counterpart (pun intended) "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?," both of which dutifully reflect the iconic superhero's propensity for both goodness and might. A Limited-Edition Deluxe version added bonus tracks.
Director Sacha Gervasi's 2012 Alfred Hitchcock biopic was less of a proper biography and more of a breakdown of the events leading up to the release of 1959's Psycho. Composer Danny Elfman's elegant score reflects that sense of minutia, offering up a scant 38 minutes of material, much of which clocks in at under a minute. Elfman's signature blend of dread, whimsy, and mischief serves the tone of the story well, and while it may not be as stocked with memorable themes as some of his better-known works, it dutifully conveys the pathos, unpredictability, and humor of its source material.
The soundtrack to director Ron Howard's 1995 blockbuster Apollo 13 effectively blends dialogue, actual audio clips from newscasts, classic songs, and portions of conductor James Horner's original score, creating a worthy aural companion. Included are songs from the period of the titular spacecraft's peril-fraught mission, such as the Young Rascals' "Groovin'," Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love," the Who's "I Can See for Miles," and a classy version of the oft-covered "Blue Moon" by the Mavericks (produced by Nick Lowe). The orchestrated score manages to capture the drama of the events in a manner that ranges from quietly stirring to sweepingly epic, with Eurythmic Annie Lennox adding her distinctive, ethereal vocal accompaniment to several of the cuts.