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The Hype Factory introduces a whole new way of reviewing albums! It's like sitting in a room with a bunch of jaded music critics and getting a snapshot of how they feel about an album.

Andrew - What's It All About?

Dasher: Bright, shiny pop music - very 60's flavor. Peaceful and easy feeling feeling good rock.

Donner: Like a one-man 60's pop revival.

Prancer: From Gin Blossoms To Connells to the Turtles, Andrew makes some excellent pop music.

Aphasia - Aphasia

Dasher: Nu-metal kids. Sharp beats, thick and sweet guitars... not groundbreaking, but very good.

Donner: Nu Metal + Emo = Rush.

Prancer: Standard Hoobastank and Incubus type nu metal.

Vixen: I'm into this teen sounding stuff, and I love it.

Army Of Me - Fake Ugly

Dasher: Clever and intriguing indie semi-pop. quirky vocalist on solid, well-written tracks. Cool guitars, too.

Donner: Sounds like space. Indie-rock-lounge-nasal.

Prancer: Hard to place. Decent rock'n'roll, familiar yet not so familiar.

Vixen: Cabaret warbling and opposing smart aggressive music. Pretty damn cool, like that band Space.

Bermuda Triangle Service - High Swan Dive

Dasher: Quirky pseudo-Americana from ambitious indie kids. Clever lyrics anddiverse, interesting music and arrangements.

Donner: Singer is weird like Ani diFranco, but cool. They Might Be Cowboy Junkies.

Prancer: Finally - educational rock music, songs that transcend boy-meets-girl tripe.

Vixen: Bad imitation of Mazzy Star.

Various Artists - Christmas Grass vol. 2

Dasher: Essential new collection of modern songs re-interpreted nicely as bluegrass. Great songs, great players.

Donner: Gorgeous string bending and firebrand fiddling. Lush harmonies. Dolly needs to shut up and sing.

Prancer: Good folky, bluegrass holiday music. Nice to hear good holiday music!

Vixen: It has cool cowboy christmas songs. Very cool, great background music for holidays.

Client - City

Dasher: Oblique European synth-pop. Very cool sounds, very cool female vocals, very cool grooves.

Donner: Totally tubular. Droll and wry satire of love songs, utterly devoid of emotion.

Prancer: Like very dark Depeche Mode mixed with darker Human League. I'm an evil robot!

Daniel Carlson - Now

Dasher: Melancholy, beautiful pop music filled with strings, organs, and smooth songwriting. Lush with emotion.

Donner: Mopey and dreary. Best listened to when your plan's to sit and bask in ennui.

Prancer: Almost folky orchestrated music to pick up chicks by. I think it would work, too.

Elly Brown - Wax The Roses

Dasher: Laid-back country singer-songwriter with moments electronic, but always beautiful songs. Nicely produced.

Donner: Melodic and folky with a few small surprises. Better than most female singer-songwriters..

Prancer: Like a back-country Suzanne Vega. Not as depressing due to her country charm.

The Fight - Nothing New Since Rock'N'Roll

Dasher: Logical continuation of Blink 182 style pop-punk. Great chops, high energy, fun rock music.

Donner: That's a girl? I think she's got more cojones than most guys I know!.

Prancer: You've heard pop-punk before. If it's your bag, go get this.

The Firebird Suite - Archives 1996-1998

Dasher: Old school Chicago emo at its finest, mixing up nice guitar with musical ingenuity.

Donner: Tuneless, driveless drivel. Postal correspondence from emotional cripples.

Prancer: A little slow, but the music is good.

Vixen: Drawing a blank.

Glen Closer - Glen Closer

Dasher: Fairly laid-back AC-style rock, adequate and pleasant. Not challenging or explosive. Great sounds and production.

Donner: Too many references to draw from. Mellow, simple, introspective rock.

Prancer: Local band makes good record for hometown fans... not much else, though. Cute girl.

Vixen: Sometimes they sound like they're channelling The Who. And sometimes they don't.

Hanzel Und Gretyl - Scheissmessiah

Dasher: Tongue-in-cheek heavy industrial rockers seem a bit more serious this time. Maybe it's that Dante.

Donner: Perhaps more brutal than Third Reich. Tighter, but not as funny.

Prancer: Angry German metal from New York. Look out Rammstein.

Vixen: Always love this hard rock. It's got power that blows me away.

Heaven Is A Hotel - Heaven Is A Hotel

Dasher: Captivating and musical indie-math-rock for people who like good songs. Cool production and Atari sounds.

Donner: Ian Curtis fronts yet another awesome indie rock band. Great drumming!.

Prancer: Well, it's certainly spacey and unique. Rhythmically complex; maybe it's nerd music.

International Guitar Night - An Evening With...

Dasher: Simply beautiful acoustic guitar music - from Spanish to Irish folk. amazing dinner music.

Donner: Understated but elegant numbers. Rich classical and jazz tunes for the Tuck Andress set.

Prancer: If you like acoustic jazz gutiar, this is your album.

Vixen: Mellow, smooth, beautiful instrumental guitar.

Jaffe - Something To Fall Back On

Dasher: If Jackopierce were from California... Great musicianship, adequate songs, very cool guitar and keyboard tones.

Donner: Madonna, Cher, Prince, Jaffe? I'm not sure an unknown singer-songwriter deserves a one-name moniker.

Prancer: More John Mayer type singer-songwriter stuff. Not bad, not exceptional either.

James L. Venable - Holding Space

Dasher: Cartoon composer makes good with quirky electronica. Great off-kilter beats and cool synths.

Donner: This collection of highly syncopated, orchestrated electronics shows why he's the new Danny Elfman.

Prancer: Crazy, funky electronica with a jungle beat flava.

Vixen: Great collection of fast paced songs, plus hearing Samurai Jack demos is awesome.

The Jane Anchor - Second Wave

Dasher: Brilliant emo-pop with (finally!) a good girl vocalist. Nice melodies, lush guitars, cool songs.

Donner: Needs to learn about timbre and melody. Her voice is exhausting.

Prancer: Very nice songs, some fast some slow... good by me.

Vixen: Reminds me of Belly.

Kim Hill - Real Christmas

Dasher: Cool AAA interpratations of Christmas classics. Smooth, husky voiced chanteuse with nice modern arrangements.

Donner: Lousy arrangements and ill-fitting phrasing. She's just trying too hard. Nice instrumentation.

Prancer: The WB's One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls, etc. Christmas album.

Vixen: A bit slow for me, but it is nice music.

Little Darlin' Christmas feat. Bobby Helms and Johnny Paycheck

Dasher: Re-issue of classic Helms Christmas record with cool Paycheck songs as a bonus.

Donner: Bobby's too twangy, even for me. Johnny was even better before he lost all hope.

Prancer: Never knew Johnny Paycheck was this soulful. My new favorite Christmas songs ever.

Vixen: Old timey country christmas album. Good stuff.

Lorenzo Goetz - Jesus Elephant

Dasher: Groovy jams with interesting rhythms and sounds. Lennon-style vocals and songs, only with indie attitude.

Donner: Skirting the edge of 70's pop psychedelia, with nice songs and tuneful vocals.

Prancer: Many Beatles vocal elements mixed with American rhythm and pacing... Sort of.

Ming & Ping - Mingping.com

Dasher: Tasty Kraftwerk-style techno full of 80's flavor and smoooooth vocals. Almost industrial, but clean.

Donner: Who knew pandas liked Erasure? Not really bad for the dead language of synth-pop.

Prancer: Poppy dance music, heavily 80's inspired.

Vixen: I'm digging it! Very cool sounds.

Nell Bryden - White Rose e.p.

Dasher: Beautifully voiced siren on ironclad Massive Attack style pop songs. Vibrantly produced exceptional songs.

Donner: Great voice capable of evoking soulful reverberation. Accompanying music is a little weak, though.

Prancer: Nice voice and music along the lines of Tori Amos, Shawn Colvin, etc. and she's hot.

The Paper Champions - Weekend Of Compromise

Dasher: Pure emo goodness. Heavy guitars, but weak drums. Great vocals, but shallow lyrics.

Donner: Whining, crying, and wailing accomplishing nothing. Musical equivalent of spitting in the wind.

Prancer: Love this new stuff. Bam! It hits you hard, very cool.

Vixen: Emo Must Die!

Pinkeye d'Gecko - Dry Clothes For The Drowning

Dasher: The bastard progeny of hair metal and blues rock, mostly... musical identity crisis.

Donner: Schizo leaps from Great White to Ministry. The sort of band your brother-in-law was in.

Prancer: If you like Delbert McClinton, you might like the first two songs or so.

Vixen: Started with a bluesy feel, then hit a KMFDM vibe, then went somewhere uncomfortable.

Ragz Mo' Rocka - Rise Of The Phoenix

Dasher: Groovy, funny hip-hop with unique style and chillin' grooves. The most listenable hip-hop ever!

Donner: A less ambitious, less ominous A3. Very solid, clever and groovy.

Prancer: Funky, soulful hip hop like the Gorillaz. Track 4 is killa!

Vixen: Sort of hip hop, a little jazzy, groovy.

The Scrubs - Return To The Basement

Dasher: Bad Religion-esque punk rock - crisp playing, cool guitars and thick meaty vocals.

Donner: Decent pop punk. More like Yellowcard than Blink 182.

Prancer: Same review as for The Fight. And then some.

The Snake, The Cross, The Crown - Mander Salis

Dasher: Ultra-sonic beauty in a semi-Britpop shell. Well prioduced, perfect songs full of depth and character.

Donner: A rich, fleshed out sound that still can't seem to move me.

Prancer: More heavily Radiohead influenced songs from a borderline metal band. Weird, huh?

The Spectacular Fantastic - Vortex Of Vacancy

Dasher: What Pet Sounds should have been. Incredible one man psychedelic band. Simply groovy, awesome tones.

Donner: Has listened to a lot of Donovan, but obviously not the newest one.

Prancer: Psychedelic rock like the Polyphonic Spree, only it's just one dude.

Vixen: I think the yellow submarine sprang a leak.

The Planet The - Physical Angel

Dasher: 110% prog rock with the punk attitude. If Fripp was 20 years younger....

Donner: Frank Zappa goes electronica.

Prancer: New Wave freakouts turn into indulgent art jams. the annoying voice is cool.

Vixen: Wow! Funny person singing the songs. Very cool.

What Made Milwaukee Famous - Trying To Never Catch Up

Dasher: Keyboard heavy garage rock, filled with cool grooves and excellent, emotive songs. More great drumming!

Donner: Could be mistaken for an early 80's James Bond sounstrack.

Prancer: Indie rock with brilliant new wave sensibilities. Infectious and danceable.

Zolof The Rock'N'Roll Destroyer - Popsicle e.p.

Dasher: Smooth, punky pop music with female vocals, bright drumming and cool guitars.

Donner: Best artwork 2004. Best song titles 2004. Not the best rock, though, unfortunately.

Prancer: For 13-year-old girls who've wanted to trade their Barbies for Doc Martens, but can't commit.

Vixen: Bubblegum pop punk.

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