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center : level : roar

April 22, 2003 | Format: MP3

$8.99
Also available in CD Format
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Popularity  
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1
0:32
30
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5:25
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3
4:19
30
4
6:51
30
5
3:53
30
6
5:10
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2:24
30
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7:21
30
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4:09
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2:40
30
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4:53
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5:37
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4:20
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6:39
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3:39
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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I first became aware of Youngblood Brass Band at a concert on the third floor of an old warehouse in LaCrosse, WI. I rarely buy CDs these days, but I bought their first two albums immediately. Their blend of New Orleans jazz and hip-hop, with distinct flavors of Afro-Cuban percussion and an arranging style right out of top-level drum corps (no doubt gleaned from co-creator David Henzie-Skogen's stint in the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps), is not only one of the most seamless crossover styles ever created, but also has more raw passion and power than any other band I've ever heard. The other co-creator, sousaphonist Nat McIntosh, has such technical majesty you'll wonder if your ears are hallucinating. Throughout his material, he makes a tuba sound like a dj turntable, electro-synthetic bass, rock organ, and even some sounds that defy classification. Having started playing together in high school, the core of the band has developed an incredibly tight synchronization with each other, and it shows. Each of their songs is well-crafted and has beautiful transitions and grooves in it. Their infectious fire will keep you dancing and humming their tunes to yourself for weeks, even months. And "fire" really is the only word to describe it; it's like having a horn line throw gasoline on you, a snare drummer/mc master strike a match to you, and then having a whole sousaphone full of liquid oxygen dumped on you just to kick it up a notch. In short, there is no band more passionate about what they do or how they do it.
This is their third album, and it's an interesting one. As a band, they are noticably maturer than on their debut, Word On The Street; the sound is even MORE power-packed than before, hard as that might be to believe.
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Format: Audio CD
A collage of brilliance. Innovative compositions, skillful imrpov, liquid mceeing, just beautiful. The real feature here is the rhythm section, though:
Nat McIntosh has invented a new style of tuba-playing which is highlighted in his "Handbills for no man," a veritable smorgasbord of (I'm guessing) five or six overdubbed tubas. Throughout the album Nat is constantly busting intervals, and sometimes he just strait-up yells into the mouthpiece, genius.
Bountiful props must also be given to the percussion section. Ranging from traditional second-line, to funk, to hip-hop, the snare is dripping with volume and soul at every turn while the base is so ridiculously in-the-pocket I wanna cry during every breakdown. This album contains some of best beats I've heard in awhile, amazing considering that its a two-piece rhythm section. The division of labor creates a hurdle for the drummers who have to be in sync with each other as well as the rest of the band but they've overcome this handicap allowing for more complicated rhythms and a diversity of sound which culminates in "Avalanche," a hip-hop triumph. There are definitely two or three weaker songs on the album but, as a whole, the CD overflows with potential samples, breaks, a treasure trove for any DJ searching the horizon. Don't know if its on vinyl (not likely), but I guess DJ's don't even need to spin vinyl anymore. DJ or not, this CD is inspiring.
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By A Customer on June 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Center:Level:Roar is the kind of music-making that those of us who bemoan the recent further deregulations of mass media could only dream of. Youngblood Brass Band, out of Madison, WI, represents the kind of honest diversity, integrity, and ingenuity that's hard to find in this society of air-brushed pop stars and watered down "music." Brilliantly composed by band leader Nat McIntosh, and tightly played by the band, the songs on this album are unlike anything you'll hear anywhere else -- a mind-blowing blend of hip-hop, nawlins-style brass band, jazz, rock, and overall greatness. MC D-Cipher brings to the mix some achingly lovely verse, as well as mad kickin beats. No independant music lover's collection is complete without this album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sometimes music is so good that it's unbelievable. Well written, well arranged, and well performed. This CD is just that kind of music.

Youngblood Brass Band is true "brass band" comprised of sousaphone, trombone(s), trumpets, tenor sax, bass drum, snare drum, and cymbals, the main feeling is POWER: the power to play loud or soft, featuring inspired solos backed by thick harmonies and counter-melodies to make the music interesting listen after listen. The drum beats are so tight you'd swear they were played by one person on a drumset instead of two people on separate bass and snare drums.

While the album does feature some "rap" over the music, if you (like me) dislike rap, thankfully two of the best songs, "Brooklyn" and "V.I.P.", are instrumentals. Also, the lyrics are more cerebral than most you'll hear these days.

"Brooklyn" is probably the best song, featuring trombone solos, tenor sax solos, and one of the most fantastic sousaphone solos you'll ever hear by Nat McCavish. Tuba players must listen to it!

I've listened to this group as often as possible for years, and have yet to become bored of their music. I suggest you visit their website for more of their music, too.
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