Spotify Listen Link: Ed Sheeran – +
- Nomination: Song of the Year, "A Team"
Did you see this guy perform with Elton John this year?
This is an artist that seems to have alluded me thus far. He's got something I like, but can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's his slight throw-back style to my old soft spoken favorites with twisted lyrics that get inside your head and make for excellent quotes. Maybe it's that mop top of red hair. Either way, I'm interested, if not excited, to hear what's about to happen.
"The A Team," the hit single, starts off the album. It's such a light, sweet song, and something we haven't seen much of in mainstream music, save Jason Mraz. I still haven't wrapped my hand around the lyrics entirely, which is both fascinating and frustrating for me. He has a way with words, that's for sure, and I think a lot of the song is actually pretty heartbreaking. Yet you can't help but melt in his sweet, quiet natured voice.
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All right, here we go! On to the never-heard-before music! "Drunk" most definitely has a little more to it instrumentally. In fact, I may or may not be dancing a little salsa dance around my room to this one. There's also a very on-the-air sound in the recording style, which is only a little weird, but we'll say it's in a good way. But how sad is this lyrics? "I'll get drunk again to feel love."
"U.N.I." brings us this little Jason Mraz-like rap at the start. I'm trying to stay away from the comparison, but so far I'm thinking Ed's a Jason Mraz / James Blunt combo. The style on the guitar here as a steady backing is really cool. "U.N.I" is "you and I" in the song, by the way. Heh, lovely. It's a relationship that's over, and he's "okay with it" - though she obviously knows otherwise. Oh joys.
The next one is coming on for me a few days later (I fell a bit behind), but I'm finally starting to understand where this soul thing comes in genre-wise. "Grade 8" has a soul/R&B feel throughout the song, and it's funky and different. This one's about love and feeling like a kid because of it. Good times. Better than that is the use of beats, both instrumentally and vocally.
"Wake Me Up" is unbearably quite as it comes in, especially in an entirely quiet apartment at night. It makes all of the words hit a little harder and mean a little more. It's also the first time you can tell there's an accent in this voice. He's British or something align those lines for sure (I'm not doing my research until after the music). This is sort of a weird mode for the middle of an album. It sounds more like an ending that an interlude. I'm a little thrown off on this one.
I heard this one earlier by mistake when I left random on, but hearing a song all about a baby not yet born is really different. "Small Bump" is something I have yet to experience (and won't for a while, sorry mom) but it's very sweet. I've seen it in parents eyes when they hold the baby for the first time, or even just during the pregnancy, and I think Ed hits the sentiment right on the nose with this one.
"This" is actually not a title I've ever seen before that I can think of off the top of my head. It seems like a fairly simple song on new love. Really intense love, but love and that's what matters. Lyrically, it really does sound like a poem just put to some simple strumming of the guitar. Oop, sounds like there's a little trouble in paradise towards the end of the song, and ask the relationship complicated, so does the music.
Next up is a funky little song called "The City." There's some effects on the beat that break it down just a bit throughout. Instead of the hectic-ness of the city, this one seems to capture some real heart and feeling of this insane city. And yes, I assume he's talking about New York, because where else would he be thinking about? Mhmm, I'm a bit selfish. The piano, by the way, is an unexpected and really cool touch.
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"Lego House" is one I put on while I was walking around the room cleaning. It's got a heart-full feeling somehow. It's super sweet not only in lyrics but in feel. There's a sway with a gentle rhythm, and the bass notes used on the piano add this depth and loveliness. As he gets into it, his voice even intensifies, giving even more life to the song as it goes on. Simply beautiful, really. I may be missing the point, but I really just don't care right now. Just give me more of this feeling and warmth and tenderness out of a little bit of music.
A bit tougher drums and that accent comes back on for "You Need Me, I Don't Need You." Obviously, a telling title. Not sure if it's about love or a fallen friendship, though maybe it works both ways. The movement in the melody is rougher around the edges yet doesn't miss a single beat. This is one that is amazing, though could even go a step father in being stripped down to acoustic instruments and highlighted with some great bongos. Feel that reggae nature too, wow. There are also a few remix versions of this floating around on Ed's YouTube page you should totally check out.
"Kiss Me" is a little awkward to listen to first thing in the morning in the office (don't you love when I give you stupid little glimpses into my life?). I've got to give credit where it's due though. The echo and recording work in general works here, and I don't normally agree with a lot of reverb and production work on music. This song maintains its raw emotion even with a guitar sweeping off into the background on the musical bridge and the whispers of a voice into the melody of the song. It's definitely not an up-and-at-em song, and that's tough, but this works. This album's getting better and better.
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This one may have gotten sort of lost on me. It's "Give Me Love." I don't enjoy the chorus as he trills through the same line over and over. I get the lovely sounds in the background, but the strumming is odd against sweet violins, and the melody isn't entirely meshing in my ears. Now, I could see this, with a slightly different chorus melody, being really great, but it's not hitting me here.
And now we move into the tracks on the Deluxe Edition of the album. Yay for Spotify getting more music. "Autumn Leaves" comes across as very simple with an electric guitar holding it together and a whispered,s west voice. This is probably one that is worth another listen, or two, or five. There's depth there unmatched by a lot of other music, while the music alone is completely relaxing. Okay, maybe I'm not 100% sure of how to really describe this one correctly, but I like it.
Funny story: before "Little Bird" came on, a commercial played on Spotify for "+." This has probably the most rock-like beat going for it throughout. This is one that'd probably have you bopping down the street with headphones on. It's cute without having a kid-like nature. I guess you could just say that it moves really well It sounds like a song of the frustration of love and being thankful for it.
"Gold Rush" is nice and bouncy again. These bonus tracks have very little production on them apart from the simply cleanly recorded sound. There's mostly just simple strings against each other, building a good general piece. There's a slight island sound that just keeps this sounding good and fun. The main realization I get at this point, which I'm sure I'll throw into that final wrap-up paragraph, is that Ed is a storyteller. His lyrics aren't necessarily meant to be so catchy they get stuck in your head, but they can make you either think or relate (or, okay, both), while you tap your foot along.
Final track time: "Sunburn." Now, I may be listening to this pretty low at work this morning, but I'm only getting actual sound every few seconds. It's like listening to something from across a room on someone else's computer. But the lines I am catching a interesting, and deeper than expected for some reason. The idea is simple: you scar like a sunburn. But I think there's some element of sadness when it's gone, probably some idea about it being cold and depressing at that point of the year. Anywhos, a solemn end to an up and down album.
Added to My Playlist:
- "The A Team"
- "Grade 8"
- "Lego House"
- "You Need Me, I Don't Need You"
- "Kiss Me"
- "Autume Leaves"
- "Little Bird"
First follow-up reaction is still a comparison one that places James Blunt / Jason Mraz / a little Steve Kazee a la "Once" in my head. None of this is bad, I promise, it just makes me a little nervous for his future career. But what is originality anymore anyway? So maybe this'll work. It certainly works for me. The lyrics are complicated enough to warrant me wanting to come back for more, if for no other reason than to grasp a better understanding. The good songs are lovely, and the bad songs just need another chance.
Spotify Listen Link: Beyoncé – 4
2013 Grammy Nominations:
- Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Love On Top"
Anyone else feel like Beyonce must be on album 10+ by now? You'd be a wrong as I was - this is legit solo album #4, as the title states.
So, as far as interesting stories behind the album, what we've got here is Beyonce's first release since severing professional ties with her former manager and, more importantly, father, Matthew. She went on a career hiatus for about a year, and came back to us with this more natural tone she was striving to portray.
Also, interesting note: Ryan Tedder is one of her background vocalists on this album. Not sure at all what made me check out the credits list, let alone why I noticed this in particular, but you may more commonly know his as the lead singer of One Republic. Cool, right? He also produced "I Was Here," but isn't credited on any particular track as a featured artist or writer. He's really a legit BGV. Wow.
"1+1" kicks the album off with this very simple guitar pick and Beyonce's soulful voice coming in. I remember her performing this for an awards show, sitting in the room with my mom, and at first, as she was hitting these awkward high notes, we were annoyed. Then, as the song went on, and she just sang her damn heart out, we were mesmerized.
The next one is all right. "I Care." I mean, I get it, and the sentiment of it, but the sound's just too broad and not entirely enjoyable. I know she was going for a rawer sound on this album, and she's by far achieved it here with such a simple layering of beats, but it's just not hitting right with me personally.
"I Miss You" just plays to me like a slightly more echo-y version of the last song. It's sad and simple, but nothing that hits hard. At least it's honest. I respect the song for sure - I mean, any self-respecting girl with heartstrings is having them tug in the listening process here.
Ah, my favorite song from the album out of what I've heard, "Best Thing I Never Had." And yes, there was a boy this totally got directed at. Jerk. Anywhos, what a freaking brilliant way to put it. The music there songs so classy, and her voice has so much heart. It's a great feeling to realize you really ARE better than his crap, and that he'll regret it… and you just won't care anymore. Seriously, ahhhh. So good!
So, here's the video. Don't love the garden scenes, or that Jay-Z's not the husband, but watch her expressions while singing - priceless and amazing!
"Party" features Andre 3000 and a very confused Janelle. On one hand, I like her throw back harmonies and beats here. On the other hand, I feel like I'm a kid in the 90's again listening to my cousin's R&B albums. Personally, the song doesn't thrill me in the least, but there's that damn respect again for the musical side of things. So props for that, but I don't think this one'll be on repeat for me anytime soon. Here's the video, though it's J. Cole, not Andre?
Speaking of throwbacks, "Rather Die Young" is a Whitney influence if I've ever heard one. It's gentle, sexy, and sung fantastically with a good back beat. Same deal here - mad respect, much like Whitney, even if ever song isn't going to be a perfect hit to my ears. She keeps at it with that voice in a way not many, if any, could.
"Start Over" has be baffled. Maybe it's my own personal situation right now, but I can't tell if they're a struggling couple or two people who broke up and are considering it again. Either way, this song grew on me more and more with each passing lyric. The music's nothing one of this world, but it's okay when you can carry it with these kind of words.
I read that Beyonce pulled influence from some old sounds, including the Jackson 5, but I had no idea until "Love On Top." It's the cutest beat for a love song I've heard since anything they ever put out. It's just so happy and sweet! Man, when I'm finally with someone again, this is going to be a playlist song about them for sure. For now, it'll go on as a hopeful little addition. Nice to know it comes from a place a real love as well - I mean, have you seen her and Jay-Z? Anywhos, here's a video from her Roseland concert:
If you haven't heard "Countdown," you've probably been living under a rock, and that's coming from a girl who only drives with the radio once in a very blue moon (I <3 my CDs!). This is a really cool creative song, literally utilizing a countdown to rock it down through the chorus. The beat could quite possibly get super annoying, but I don't know - somehow B makes this work really well. The shifts could be jaunting, but somehow the transitions work without killing your ears. Everything so of works for a young person.
All right, let me get this out - I went in to "End of Time" with the thought (for no real good reason) that this could just be really, really bad. It's pretty much all backed by a drum line - oh wait, there's some trumpets. Okay, I like the simple use of the marching band - very cool. But it gets old on a casual listening basis. The whole thing just screams the need of a real stage show, which I'm sure is amazing.
I thought, on my first ever listen of "I Was Here," that I'd be prone to hate the cliche sentiment of leaving a mark, but I got over that pretty quickly. The song's quite powerful and does express an inner desire that I think we all possess without necessarily saying it out loud. We all want to be remembered. We all want it to be for something great.
"Run The World (Girls)" could have been placed first on the album and set a really interesting and independent tone. Instead, it's at the end, and I can properly regard it on its own. The song's freaking fantastic, don't get me wrong! Any girl in the world will probably stand by me on that opinion. I don't love the twists and turns, but Beyonce makes it all work enough to keep me feeling confident and powerful throughout every beat.
Can Beyonce please put out a workout video?
Added to My Playlist:
- "Best Thing I Never Had"
- "Start Over"
- "Love On Top"
- "I Was Here"
- "Run The World (Girls)"
Yeah, Beyonce. I mean, sheer greatness, right?
- WIN: Best Gospel Song, "Hello Fear"
- WIN: Best Gospel Album "Hello Fear"
Spotify Link: Kirk Franklin – Hello Fear
I have a great deal of respect for Kirk Franklin, and I think a big part of that solely comes from having one of his tapes when I was younger. I only owned a few, and I listened to them endlessly. One was "Kirk Franklin and the Family," and the main song I rewound and replayed was "Why We Sing." Something was entrancing, and this was way before my CCM phase.
Kirk's still clearly making a huge impact in the gospel world, remaining one of the first names anyone ever thinks of when asked about the genre. For me, for a long time, he was actually the only Christian artist I could have named! And now, years and years later, I get to hear his latest and greatest.
I think it's a ballsy move to put a title track up as the first one on an album, but that's what we get here. "Hello Fear" starts with the family lightly singing an intro speaking to Fear itself. It gives a background and context to the song, and then moving on to better things. It's a break-up song in some ways, and an introduction to the new love of grace. Simply, it's a standing up against fear and for yourself. For a lighter sounding song lacking musical intensity, it's a strong song. The tone is a great beginning to the album, and could even well stand on its own. Very impressive from all angles considered.
"The Story of Fear" is simply that! It's a spoken verse with a slight rhythm, saying what it is. Yup, that's it. A cool interlude before we really launch in.
We do pick it up more with "Before I Die." There's a cool slight dance beat along with this one, but Kirk always has had this voice that makes you sit ups and listen a little closer. He's so serious when he leads the family in praise. It's almost a little intimidating, but he does have the sweet lyrics backing him up and making it easier to handle. Plus, he's got that crowd going out there.
"I Am" is a conversation I believe we've had before on this blog. I Am is also another name for God. So, songs that tend to use it have always been a little more intriguing because of the duel meaning. This one's sort of cool. It starts with the shush choir singing a story of coming to what they actually are, what "I Am." They could also be singing of coming to God though. See how that works? Aside from the lyrical interesting aspects, the song's really very beautiful.
The next one is slow and sweet. It's "But The Blood," a story of healing and cleansing through faith. There's an if/but statement throughout. The accompaniment is just a slow piano and slight beat with ad libbing guitar in the background for a while. Here's a moment in the gospel concert I've talked about: slow, swaying, and everyone getting in to every moment. There's a testimony in the middle, set to a sad violin, about the sadness in the world. Seems to flow right into the next track…
"Everyone Hurts," which is not, in fact, an REM song. Kidding, I know the difference. This has an R&B backing with very little church-like atmosphere to it. And of course, there's an assurance that God'll heal the hurt. It's not till the very end you hear a little organ, reminding me there's a church element. Not a bad thing, just not a hard-hitting song at the moment.
This next one starts off just like a show tune for some reason in my head. "I Smile" is upbeat and cute as it goes, and sickeningly sweet in melody. We've now gone from such incredibly sad and down songs to one that doesn't have a care in the world. I never thought I'd describe a song from a Kirk Franklin CD as downright cute, but that's about all I've got left for this one when it all boils. down. Awww. And then he goes on to give shout outs to various cities and states - and includes Jersey. Just too sweet for more words.
"Give Me" transitions us into a live song from the sound of it, and features Mali Music (?). This one's sort of weird. There's rhythm to his words, almost like a slow rap, and not much singing. It actually all sounds like a testimony to the crowd, but there's most definitely music going on their too. And I'm pretty sure Mali Music is actually CCM/Gospel music's answer to Lil Wayne with an almost tolerable voice. In other words, listenable just for the comparisons alone, so why not?
Quick one: "Never Alone Interlude." Having just come from a choir concert at my old high school it's got a really pretty sound, possibly with some younger voices if I'm not mistaken. Really pretty transition into the last section of this album.
"The Altar" features Marvin Sapp and Beverly Crawford. Very classing group gospel at the start with every word being sled into as it builds up. It's like the title - going back to the basic roots of everything at the center of gospel.
Rance Allen, Marvin Winans, John P. Kee, & Isaac Carree are all on board for "Something About The Name Jesus Pt. 2." If it weren't pushing one in the morning right now, I'd be less lazy and figure out if there's a part one. Instead, I'll assume there is. Lots of ad libbing, lots of feeling the power. No idea who's who, but oh well. This is what we miss out on when you get a recorded version instead of seeing the live excitement.
"Today" is live and a little more exciting even through the recording itself. The song takes on a much most pop-based beat. If you were to put other lyrics to it, there's a good chance this could be any female/male duet song you hear on the radio. It's fun though, not raunchy, and I feel the crowd and choir all up on their feet partying throughout the whole thing.
I guess the titling for the next two is for what they create in the show: "The Moment #1." I mean, that really strips down any possible alternate meanings, and lets it exist as just that. A woman who takes lead lets go with her voice in a very extreme, real way. Even the quiet testimony moments of trading sentences is solemn and honest. It flows so seamlessly into "The Moment #2" that, since I didn't realize the change, I don't even feel the need to create a new paragraph. Just listen.
"A God Like You" brings us to a hip-hop number in final song time! Okay, there's some child-like bounce to it, but I doubt that's totally what they were going for. On the more intense song, the words are quick and poignant. It's an interesting way to end things out. I like that he's not closing on a quiet note, because my image of Kirk Franklin has always been loud and out there, not soft and pretty. It's a generally good song beat-wise and a good closer overall.
Added to My Playlist:
I lost this dang review twice while trying to publish because of the 'swipe-to-go-back" feature Macs have. But as far as the music goes, well done as always, Family and Kirk. They put on a great show even through a recording (the only way I've heard them) and never fail to display true love through speakers.
- "Hello Fear"
- "I Am"
Spotify Listen Link: Gotye – Making Mirrors
2013 Grammy Nominations:
This came in originally as a request by one of my best friends, Jess. We listened to a lot of the album last year while looking at bridesmaid dresses at her place for about two hours. Update to that: I have one, and it's a different color and length completely than original discussions entailed. =)
- Record of the Year for "Somebody That I Used To Know" (feat. Kimbra)
- Best Pop/Duo Group Performance for "Somebody That I Used To Know" (feat. Kimbra)
- Best Alternative Music Album
Wally de Backer is from Australia and… wait, yes - that is in fact his name. I KNOW. He got into what Jason Ankeny calls "cut-and-paste electronic music" after his band, Downstairs, resolved. He's had a few albums under his belt, but obviously the song "Somebody That I Used To Know" is what really launched the world's obsession.
There's a lot of art involved throughout these videos, and plenty of music to hear, so let's get right into this thing and learn more than one song.
"Making Mirrors" opens up the album in such a timid way for the first minute that I am almost sure I'm listening to the wrong album. Nonetheless, here we go with a smokey soft sound.
He picks up the pace though with "Easy Way Out." While the voice is one like Beck's (man it's hard for me to be okay with that), the music has a Cee Lo funk sound I wasn't expected, and harmonies in the chorus like the Beatles. Basically, I'm pretty much into what's happening, even if I have to strain to hear any of the verse lyrics.
"Somebody That I Used To Know" comes in with just a little more force than I remember it ever having, especially coming off the funk beats of that fist song. It's been long enough since I've heard it for the millionth time on the radio that I remember why I enjoy the bitter kiss of this song. I also have only heard the Glee version in recent months, so this is refreshing. It really is a fascinating, creative, and wonderfully biting song. I bet everyone's got someone for this to be spitted out at.
Weird, I feel like the songs on here are mega-short. They're not, but they move so well (so far) that nothing drags. "Eyes Wide Open" has a fantastic running beat to it, and finally I am loving the vocals through and through. If this is electronic, please let Skrillex catch on.
"Smoke And Mirrors" is sounding more and more like Darren Criss as the song goes on, for some reason. Maybe I just have that beautiful man's voice stuck in head. The music is steady and just a little on the side of triply with this little carnival aspect to the keys. There are lyrics about putting on a show, so, yay connection. The song's a bit more on the intense side, both lyrically and musically.
WHOA wait, when did Gotye discover a voice and rhythm? "I Feel Better" is possibly the best thing I've heard so far in this session just due to how much fun and rock steady it is. The song's a pick-me-up for just about any down time I can think of, and completely necessary for that 'dance-around-the-room' soundtrack.
"In Your Light" seriously starts off like a good ol' church revival song, until that keyboard comes in with all its glistening goodness. Basically, think Coldplay, sans the vocals, at least for this first bit. Oh shit son, there's horns too? Please, don't let vocals come into this one - it's… oh, there they are. And they're… good! This is the most ridiculously happy sounding song done almost entirely with a computer I have ever heard. So much fun!
In a slight slow down, though just enough for a rockin' little sway reggae beat, we get "State Of The Art." Annddd I liked it till effect on the voice (namely dropping it way down low - and not in a sexy way) comes in and kills the vibe for me. I understand experimenting, and even understand other folks really enjoying this, but sorry - just not for me. So much so not for me that I won't even waste my time trying to fill up my paragraph space with justifications.
"Don't Worry, We'll Be Watching You." The way I see it, this could go one of two ways: (1) a comforting song of someone there for someone else, essentially watching their back, or (2) an incredibly creeptastic song from a stalker. Now, as the voice is very soft and there's a fair amount of echo, I can't totally figure out which direction was taken. I think it's the first, though the tone is just off enough to be borderline on the second.
Next up, now that I've finished another bit of work I didn't want to break for, is "Giving Me A Chance." It's on a more mellow wavelength with just a little play electronically with some strings. Overall, sort of just an interesting sound. I'm pretty sure that lyrically I'd love this, or at least over-relate, if I could grasp it more intensely. The cute play over the air is nice, and the only flaw I can really grasp on to is a very high-pitched, ear-piercing sound like a car breaking. Okay, that sort of bores right through the brain, and makes the song slightly unbearable… damn it, the little things are usually what makes it all worth it, not ruins it all.
Didn't type during "Save Me" but simply loved it. It's like a song from the wild, reigned into a computer and played just so well. Had my foot tapping enjoying it even without the concentration factor. Very nice.
"Bronte" is the final song. It's okay. Sort of a weak ending, but sort of works because it's more solemn and a good close-out for the night. Overall, pretty appropriate and comforting I suppose. Not something I'd necessarily want to hear randomly, but with the collection I guess it all sort of winds up working.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Somebody That I Used To Know"
- "Eyes Wide Open"
- "I Feel Better"
- "In Your Light"
- "Save Me"
I discussed this with two friends today, including Jess, before I finalized the review. We're all in agreement - the songs are completely and totally different from each other, and are each other completely hits or completely misses. This is sort of an awful way to lay out a full album, but when it works, it works well, and I'd say here it's like a well-oiled machine.
Spotify Listen Link: Kaskade – Fire & Ice
2013 Grammy Nomination: Best Dance/Electronica Album
Kaskade's site just screams sun down, party up, in Miami. It sort of sets the exact right mood for what I imagine this music coming across like. As I'm looking down the music page of the site, I see a lot of familiar names from other artists' albums, though that's what you tend to start to run in to with house music. Time to see what's up with this artist on their own.
Here's a cool intro to the album - explaining the double CD idea that I should have known about earlier… eh, you'll get it when you read the review.
If memory serves correctly, Kaskade always had a beauty to the sounds compiled, and you can hear that immediately on the album as we start up with "Eyes" (feat. Mindy Gledhill). The piano alone adds something gorgeous to the track, and the vocals are light enough to be downright entrancing. It's an easy, sweet way to start things and is hopefully a great sign for the remaining 20 tracks coming up.
"Turn It Down" (feat. Rebecca and Fiona) isn't a title I would've expected on a dance album. I mean, more often than not you hear these songs exclusively in a club where the only option is to pump it louder. This is a little hard to grasp on to the concept of though - the voices are so incredibly spacey I'm having issue with getting into it at all.
Ooh, yay guest artists. "Lessons In Love" (feat. Neon Trees) has that great familiar voice. Something's really great about that band, because they can sound like they're out of the 50's but jam like an electronic infused machine. This is no exception to the rule. They do a heck of a job bringing it alongside Kaskade and I love it. Totally a headache-inducing song when pumped up, but that beat is something that can't be touched.
"Lick It" (feat. Skrillex) is probably pre-disposed in my mind to be awful. I very rarely escape a Skrillex song with any ounce of happiness or without a headache. Ahh, that's better - I turned the volume down. Now it's a dull little clanging in the background as I switch off the notepad to check emails and let it finish out.
Alrighty, moving on. "Llove" (feat. Haley) (what's with these one-named folks? Come on - you're not Cher.) comes at us a little lightly and nice to the ears. It's more like being on the sweet sound waves that are coming out, than just listening to some song blasted out at you. I could get used to something like this and enjoy it.
"Let Me Go" (feat. Marcus Bently) is pretty gentle in the back beat, at least for the first minute or so. I mean, the sound builds and takes over your ears a little more and more as it goes on. It's a steady sound without much embellishment, but catchy. The vocals lay on top just fine without any annoying tries and fancy trills, though I may be just a little too tired to last through the whole thing.
The dance mood gets picked back up with "Waste Love" (feat. Quadron). This is sort of an older feel as far as dance songs go. Anyone feeling the head bop from "Night At The Roxberry"? And right when I finish typing that sentence, the whole thing slows down to a trance-like pace. I mean, it picks back up, but that always makes for an awkward time on the dance floor.
"ICE" (feat. Dada Life and Dan Black) comes at you hard and fast. It's a classic insane electronic number that'll get in your brain as it revs up and back down again. It's a little catchy, even if it lacks for something to actually grasp on to subject-wise. But sometimes, and only sometimes, who cares? You'd be moving to this one just like I would, mostly waiting for the end, but enjoying the general ride in the meantime.
It's really hard to find new things to say about dance albums' individual tracks. You either like them or you don't, and even then it's hard to not hear an album as one complete sound. Kaskade at least has these different sounding guest artists throughout this album. For this track, "How Long" it's Inpetto and Late Night Alumni. It's a long, in-your-face track that isn't exactly the best thing on my ears.
"Room for Happiness - feat. Skylar Gray" came on without me even noticing. That's how flawless the movement was into the next song. Whether intentional or not, that's kind of great proof of a good DJ. I love Skylar's voice in almost everything I've ever heard her in. While this might not be the most amazing song I've heard her do, she brings out life in a song that I think music would lack if she weren't around. Good choice on Kaskade's part.
And now for the… uh… fun part? of the album. The remaining songs are all remixes of EVERYTHING WE JUST HEARD. Yes, you can indeed remix a dance song that sounds like a remix to begin with. In fact, some artists make entire album out of it (I'm scowling at you, Skrillex). "Eyes - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Mindy Gledhill) is up first. Without looking at my original list of songs I like, I believe this one was on it. I may be pre-disposed then to enjoy it, as it slowing brings you in and onto this section of the ride. It feels slower this time, for some reason, but I think I listened to the original mix a week or so ago.
"Turn it Down - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Rebecca and Fiona) is back up next. This is so subdued and thus a bit unexpected. It's almost trancelike, like the one before it. I'm starting to wonder if every one will be like this - oh wait, there's the hard hitting mix that seemed so lost. It's a weird combo, but it does kind of work for some reason here.
We move on into the next one at a steady, familiar pace. Something about this transitional sound seems so typical to me when it comes to the genre. Or maybe I'm remembering the first version. Nonetheless, this is "Lessons In Love - Kaskade's ICE Mix." It's a little layering here and there and still generally a good mix of sounds both long and short. I think at this point I'm fading into the 'over it' attitude, no matter how hard I try. Respect for sure, but addiction? Probably not. Volume's going down - "Big Bang Theory" is on.
"Lick It - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Skrillex) starts off slow too… maybe I missed something in the original tracks. I like the little down-played beats in throughout that are, more or less, maintaining the melody. It's kind of just nicely playing along, with a backing that's pleasantly taking a space journey. Yup, that's about all I can do to describe it. Look, the sound's pleasant enough and not invoking a headache, so yay!
I confuse myself. The original version I really liked, but "Llove - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Haley) just isn't hitting me nearly the same way. You wouldn't think a remix would be all that different, but I think it speaks to how music, well, speaks to us. The smallest changes to something can turn you off or on completely. I bet if you think hard enough about that fact you'll probably realize you've felt the same way at one point or another. Although, I have to admit, the idea of mostly clapping and hard beats carrying the entire song is quite different for this collection.
This is a new one entirely. "Let Me Go - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Marcus Bently) sounds like a straight-up Lite Rock song you'd hear on Delilah at night. This is totally weird and completely unexpected of a remix, let alone a dance album. What is going on? Mind blown - just a little. I mean, take a listen to the two and help me understand this, please, anybody. I just want to know how the transition was made.
"Waste Love - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Quadron) seems to fit the mold a little more appropriately. I don't like it nearly as much, mostly because it becomes confusing as it goes on. The vocals layer with no clear lead in a few spots. But it's mostly just the sound itself that isn't as appealing as I'd like. Just one that rubs off a little odd for me. I get bored easily I suppose, and this one doesn't keep me going.
Don't ask me to put logic to work on the next title because I don't have the energy to. "ICE - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Dada Life and Dan Black) comes back at us with a very steady pulsating beat (damn, that was the adjective I've been trying to think of for two days!). If it weren't for a very high-pitched sound every once in a while ripping through my head, I'd probably enjoy this for the most part.
"How Long - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Inpetto and Late Night Alumni) has a really nice groove to it that makes getting ready around your room a pleasure. Now lyrically, it's a bit sad. She seems to be realizing he's been on his way out the door for some time now and you can hear her heart breaking throughout. I could see this being a torturously beautiful song without the dance beat behind it, though with hit's just enjoyable. Screwing with my head, personally.
Skylar Grey is back for "Room for Happiness - Kaskade's ICE Mix." After what has turned out to be a very long, rough day to deal with, this is actually pretty damn relaxing. Wow, didn't expect to type that in this realm of music, but this is almost encouraging. "Don't be fooled by your emptiness - there's so much more room for happiness."
And now for what I suppose is the bonus track, only because it's actually not labeled with ICE, "Eyes - Lazaro Casanova Remix" (feat. Mind Gledhill). Talk about an 80's throw back with those mega drums throughout. Kind of a cool take on the number though, I have to say. It's a long, slightly drawn-out track, but not a bad way to end things on the whole. Bookending an album, especially with a title track, sort of makes logistical sense when you think about it. You probably wouldn't even notice unless you're looking at the track list to be honest. Side by side, other than the words themselves, the songs generally sound different and unique to each other, making for a nifty little experience throughout them all. And this paragraph officially only takes me halfway through the song. Off to listen to the rest!
Added to My Playlist:
- "Eyes" (feat. Mindy Gledhill)
- "Lessons in Love" (feat. Neon Trees)
- "Llove" (feat. Haley)
- "Turn It Down - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Rebecca and Fiona)
- "Lick It - Kaskade's ICE Mix" (feat. Skrillex)
- "Room For Happiness - Kaskade's ICE Mix - feat. Skylar Grey"
- "Eyes - Lazaro Casanova Remix" (feat. Mindy Gledhill)
Completely understandable that this album received the high honor nod, and almost a little disappointing that it didn't win. But hey, that's showbiz. Nonetheless, this really was a well-crafted album. Took forever to get through, but the mix of beats was worth it and always provided a little something different to hear throughout. Almost refreshing in a way.
Spotify Listen Link: LMFAO – Sorry For Party Rocking
- 2013 Grammy Nomination: Best Pop Due/Group Perofrmance, "Sexy And I Know It"
What am I doing here? LMFAO, really? I mean, a couple of their big hits are sort of fun to party to, but I've never stopped when they come on the radio, and I've never actively sought out there music. Also, I feel like they're a far less cool version of Ninja Sex Party.
Sigh. Regardless, let's get a little tiny bit of history in here. Oddly enough, there are legit roots here. Redfoo and SkyBlu (Yup.) are descendants of Berry Gordy Jr. and formed their group in 2006. They're on hiatus as of September 2012.
They also performed with Madonna when she "came back" at the halftime show a couple of years ago. Yeah, I'm trying to forget that too.
"Rock The Beat II" is the intro track. Quite literally, it's a spoken intro track backed by, of course, a dance beat. You thieves - if that's not Daft Punk inspired I'd be in shock. I suppose it does set a good tone for a dance/comedy album, and probably the live show. Alrighty, here we go with this insanity!
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I feel like the question of the year, jokingly, was "Is LMFAO really 'Sorry For Party Rocking'?" They don't strike me as truly remorseful. Hehe, sorry, had to go there. Anywhos, this one's the title track, obviously. Basically, it seems like, already, that this s going to be a non-stop party from track 1 through track 14. This one gets the apologies out of the way though, and sets the pace for the insanity to come.
"Party Rock Anthem" (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock) comes on immediately next, but we can't be mad - we were already warned! You can't deny getting into this at least once at a club or some other sort of crazed party. Everyone gets moving to it, regardless of how full your drink is yet. I'm sure the words in the verses are crazy, but I know I've never actually listened to them. We all just sing out the chorus loud.
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And let the images of Ricky Martin begin. Dude was on "Glee" and did this song, "Sexy And I Know It," only half in Spanish. I tried so hard to get into this song at least on a workout basis, and I just couldn't do it. It's funny and not awful, but something's not clicking for me here.
"Champagne Showers" (feat. Natalia Kills) is up next. Oh joy, robotic voices, always fun. The ups and downs in this one demand strobe lights, not computer speakers. And yeah, I wish I had more to say, but, sadly, nope.
Almost a litlte depth to "One Day." I mean, he's reflecting, which is kind of cool. He's got everything he wants, except this one girl, it seems? Ugh, I listen to a lot of deeper rock music, so I'm probably just fooling myself trying to find something of importance in this album.
"Put That A$$ To Work" is um… well, it's a workout song. I mean, I guess you could wind up saying that about a lot of this album. I mean, in reality, it works better at Mixx at three in the morning when people just don't know when to call it quits.
Ah, calm down guys. I totally missed the song "Take It To The Hole" (feat. Busta Rhymes) starting because, well, I didn't realize a new song had started. Can't miss the Busta! Heh, okay, more filling space. Probably would have been just fine missing it. Everything's more of the same: same music, same beats, same theme. It's probable be more annoying if it were louder too, but at least for now it's just taking up some background thought space.
GoonRock is back for "We Came Here To Party." Like we needed to be reminded, come on. It's another one that could be thrown onto any DJ's regular spin list and sound like it meshed in right away and had been there forever.
We flow seamlessly into "Reminds Me Of You" (feat. Calvin Harris). You know, it's probably a sweet sentiment if you're just looking at the words alone. Sadly, at this point, I've basically tuned out because it sounds just the same as everything else that's played thus far.
"Best Night" has a slightly different sound and therefore is a welcome breath of fresh air in the midst of repetition. This one includes will.i.am, GoonRock, and Eva Simons, which may the the ultimate cause of the new feel. I mean, it's the same idea - party, party, party - but at least this time there's a little something extra happening with the harmonies and even the general sound itself. It's about damn time.
Oh auto tune, how I NEVER miss you. "All Night Long" (feat. Lisa) (and yes that's really the name they give us) is up next, and again, a little different song, even if the theme is ever un-changing. He's coming through a computer big time throughout the number. Ugh. But okay, there's real drum beats coming through, and there may even be a slight throwback to Lionel Richie here, which is respectable and fun.
"With You" kind of gives a sweet 80's throwback sound too! We may have, at the tail end of this album, finally struck some goodness! I mean, granted, it's still the same ol' same ol' story-wise, and just about every little thing is clearly from a machine (possibly even the people), but I'll welcome new sounds anytime.
The final song on this album is "Hot Dog." Basically, it's a short little final tune that I missed most of the words of, but the beats seemed a little more stripped down and just gave a nice, calmer mode to dance our way out of the club at the very end of the night as the sun comes up.
Yeah, nothing was added to my playlist on this one, sorry. It's not that anything was bad at all, I just don't feel like hearing any of this again. Like I said, I never sought out this music to begin with, so this review was sort of bound to be it for me. Gotta give them credit for consistency - I'm pretty sure they managed to put the words "party rock" into EVERY SINGLE SONG.
Spotify Listen Link: Rihanna – Talk That Talk
- Best Pop Solo Performance, "Where Have You Been"
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, "Talk That Talk" (Feat. Jay-Z
- WIN: Best Short Form Music Video, "We Found Love" (feat. Calvin Harris)
Ah Rihanna. We're back for more of our love-hate relationship. I find some of her songs so awesome and downright intoxicating, and others I just can't stand. Also, there was that whole Chris Brown thing which makes me question her mind a little… but she's a damn talented lady.
"You Da One" kicks things off. Seems happy enough. I mean, he obviously, uh, pleases her the right way. But even musically it sounds like a happier track, complete with some island accented melodies. Not a bad way to start things off really.
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All right, confession time. "Where Have You Been" is one of my favorite club songs in recent memory. The beat is just incredible and she's got some great notes held out that are perfect when you're letting loose on the floor. Not that I let loose very often. But Rihanna is one of the recent women to be famous for her ability to basically control the playlists of clubs, and this is no exception. It doesn't even totally suck to listen to outside of the club.
"We Found Love" (feat. Calvin Harris) is the other one that I didn't entirely hate as it grew on me. She may have "Glee" to thank for that. Regardless, it is a really uplifting song in the love sector of life, and another great dance number. The video you'll see below is the Grammy WINNING video, by the way. Kind of twisted when you actually see it. Pretty sure I adored the video 100x more before I watched this.
| |The title track of this one, "Talk That Talk" (feat. Jay Z) is one I really really want to like, mostly because Jay Z is the man. But it's raunchy, and I just feel like this whole damn album is going to be themed with the like. I just don't get the point. Are you that either sexually frustrated or sex-crazed that you have to write an entire album on it? I somehow can't get it through my head that a concept album on the subject is happening, but maybe I'm just nuts.
"Cockiness (Love It)" just carries it on. I mean, one of the opening lines is her saying she wants him to be her sex slave. That sentiment aside, I just don't like it musically either. The vocals sound like they're completely played off a synth, and the beat is just mind-numbing in the worst way.
Wait, another song started? Because I have some trouble differentiating "Birthday Cake" from anything else. It's a short interlude song of sorts, and uh, very straight forward. Moving on.
"We All Want Love" starts off innocently enough. It has a sound like some of the best popular non-dance music today (in other words, it sounds like Fun.). She's actually singing and doing it well and seems to have feeling behind it. Okay, I think I can support this one Riri. The guitar's light and supportive instead of trying to create noise to dance to. And there's no video to ruin my perception of what seems to be a generally good song!
At least the sentiment's kept up and understandable as we move in to "Drunk On Love." It's a little more hardcore than the simple statement of want, and the beat gets a little more heavy and steady, but that's not a bad thing. As far as I can tell, she's finally broken the sex-themed streak for something deeper. She also is being honest in a completely different way at this point.
"Roc Me Out" might have me eating my words. Though, this one sounds more focused on dancing than sex. At least there's some subtlety to it instead of flat out demands. And there's a chorus that could be super catchy if it hits the mainstream clubs. All right, acceptable, sort of, morally (at least be comparison). It's something that's a little more fun to let got o when you're out, though I'm not sure if I necessarily care if the DJ spins it.
I always liked Rihanna's music because it didn't some like everyone else. But "Watch n' Learn" does sound just like everyone else. i almost figured a commercial for something else had some on or I'd hit some other artist by accident. At this point, it's just kind of dull and I'm waiting for the end. I guess it's sort of a lesson, and there's a back and forth or sort. Eh, what am I even talking about? Just trying to fill up blog space right now.
"Farewell" is our final song - surprise, surprise. Actually this does seem to have just a little more heart and build up of intensity and meaning. She's understanding of the impending end of the relationship and knows it's better that way. There could be, in theory, a lot of uses for this song, from relationships to graduations. Hm. Okay, well, never would have heard this if it were not for the album listen, so yay for blogs revealing hidden treasures.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Where Have You Been"
- "We Found Love"
- "We All Want Love"
- "Drunk On Love"
Well, that was interesting. I didn't expect the album to wind up being remotely all right given where it started. She just seemed to be so completely crazed with sexual acts in the opening music that I couldn't handle it. I just don't see why am entire album would ever have to be based on that as a subject. There's depth to that subject, even, that she never touched on until pretty far in. But there are some moments that, when she gets it right, she hits a bull's eye.
Spotify Listen Link: Hunter Hayes – Hunter Hayes
2013 Grammy Nominations:
- Best New Artist
- Best Country Solo Performance, "Wanted"
- Best Country Album
All right, let's get this out of the way: Hunter Hayes is absolutely adorable. And aside from the fact he was born in the 90's, he's 21 so I can feel completely comfortable saying that.
Hunter came on to the scene with his lovely sweet song "Wanted," and I haven't heard much else since. But he's a sweet southern boy from Louisiana, and we'll see what else he has to offer.
"Storm Warning" kicks things off. You know, that would be so much more fitting if the title of the album was like, "Tornado" or something. Regardless, his sweet, far-too-Rascal-Flatts-like voice is very nice. The song's about twitting he had warning about the girl that walked in and rocked his world more than expected. It's sort of a compliment in a way. He's just too dog-on cute to take it any other way.
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Ah, and the first breakout single: "Wanted." So sweet, so very sweet… how any girl in the world is not melting to a puddle throughout this one is beyond me. Dog on he looks young, but he makes you feel like a lady for sure. Obviously, it's a love song, and one that hits directly to the heart. It's just the right kind of fast/slow mix to sing along to and dance in someone's arms at the same time.
"If You Told Me To" starts up with this beautiful and typical guitar playing in extremely typical country fashion. I mean, tell me you've never heard this sound before. He also gets on those higher airy lines that makes you smiles. It's a great country song, through and through, complete with steel guitar and a sweet story of devotion undying that just just don't see.
Ooh, you gonna throw a little rock in there Hunter? "Love Makes Me" starts with one of those great rebel yells that amps a song up. Now, lyrically, it's fairly innocent, but this is good ol' country music here people. We can only push things so far out in the open. I like the concept - all the insanity love makes you do. Boys are more liable to loose their minds in this awesome way while a girl stands by and giggles. Dear god I need a boyfriend.
"Faith to Fall Back On" is sheer proof this boy's from the bible belt. I love the rhythms in this, and actually the lyrics aren't overwhelmingly a call back to the church. It's just a generally good concept, in the feel of "Stand" or other inspirational songs you just need to hear once in a while. The kind of song that makes you let go just a little like you should.
Ah, right, there was another single other than "Wanted." "Somebody's Heartbreak" was this other adorable little number that hit the airwaves and stole us away. Nice line: "one minute with you is better than two without." He wants his shot even if it's going to end badly. Just one break, come on. Oh well, okay Hunter, if you insist. ;)
| |"Rainy Season" is the first truly slow song on the album, and I have a feeling the saddest yet. Yup, that's some kind of sadness happening here. Sorry, but cute country boys singing sad songs rarely works (unless you're Luke Bryan, in which case ANYTHING works). It's a gentle song, and I appreciate the smokey guitar solo, but let's move on.
Oh man, is this the sad part of the album? "Cry With You" has that old school Keith Urban sound where you could listen with a broken heart or when you were preparing to break someone's heart. Though, here he's pledging devotion in any time she needs it. Basically, a call out of empathy, unendingly. Basically, more proof of the sweetest guy ever.
"Everybody's Got Somebody But Me" is so dang cute. I'm talking from the lyrics to the melody to the backing music and rhythms. Everything about this one screams adorable. It's supposed to be a little sad, as he's just annoyed with seeing love everywhere he looks (heh, I gotcha there babe), but you can't help but just bop along to this one as it goes! Even down to the singing of "You-oou-ouu" - come on!
Now we slow it down a bit and give this song, "What You Gonna Do," a little more serious of a tone. Reasonable question being asked - after all he's done for her, what's she going to do once he's not around anymore? There's some real hurt in this one, and some really good lines used throughout, some of which I really wish I had thought of a few years back. Something hits really perfectly on this one.
Rock back on it for "More Than I Should." Hah, the payback song after the breakup. He gave her everything, she broke his heart. Funny how his titles work right on into the song itself, where Blake Shelton's always seem to be a little different than what you expect. The guitar's great in this - close your eyes and imagine him getting his little dance on on that stage. Adorable, right? Great breakup song for sure, with a lot of fun to be had while singing. Dang, where's this music when you really need it?
Sweet slow final song time. "All You Ever" finishes things out with a more solemn tone, but it's still about a relationship. We're 11 for 12 in that department. But he's young and probably mostly un-lived in this world. Traveling for tours will change that up a bit. In a turn-around from the last one, this time it's him who didn't do enough for her, and now he's realizing it and basically kicking himself through song. It's a slightly sadder ending to the album than we probably really wanted, but the mood is final and I guess that makes it work.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Love Makes Me"
- "Faith to Fall Back On"
- "Somebody's Heartbreak"
- "What You Gonna Do"
- "More Than I Should"
Aww, a sweet new Country face. Can't go wrong with a cute Southern boy singing to your heart. I look forward to seeing him mature musically as the years go on, but this was a nice little start to get him on to the scene.
Spotify Listen Link: Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
Florence captured my heart with "Dog Days Are Over" and "Shake It Out," both equally uplifting songs when the crap in your life threatens to overtake your heart. So, when "Ceremonials" came out, I was excited to hear what was next. I remember listening through this album on my last night of Master's work, and taking my final test to it, and… not being terribly impressed. That was also the night I decided to start my music blog the following day, but having not been happy with the album, did not want to kick off the blog with it.
- Best Pop Duo/Grup Performance, "Shake It Out"
- Best Pop Vocal Album
Well, a year and a half later, here we are, and it's time to re-visit and hopefully love the music.
"Only If For A Night" starts things off. Of course you get the echo-y sound you get with Florence, sounding more like a choir than a singer ever does. This time, the sounds are a little more lost of the ears. There's less impact for me on the lyrics of this one than ever before with her music. There's also power though, regardless. Such a weird feeling but okay, enough to pique curiosity for more.
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Ah yay, "Shake It Out" comes on next with every bit of soul-saving power as I needed and was expecting. This song builds and is fantastic in its way. It's intense for sure (I mean, listen to the lyrics for real) but there are moment when everything is solved. This is a song to let loose for and relieve the pressures of life. Can I say anymore positive things before you're convinced of my love for the music and all it does? Not the video I was expecting, but I'll love you for it anyway my dear Florence.
"What the Water Gave Me" was going on in the background while I was in the middle of an email, and I was getting into it totally sub-consciously. My foot was going and everything. Wow, what power. I know, I know, I'm using that word a LOT today, but that's what I keep getting from this. If you can feel music in your heart without even truly honing in on it with your ears, you know there's something special there.
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On an airier sound moment, "Never Let Me Go" takes over the ears. Why didn't I like this album a year ago? So confused now. I noticed a video was up for it and stopped just listening because something like this just cries out to be accompanied by visuals. This one's a little darker than before, but somehow more spiritual. I'll admit - I have no flipping ideal what's happening with this oily water dripping everywhere and over everything. I can't tell id it's tears and sadness over the heartbreak, or if there's a relief in out-pouring of emotion from giving in to love. Quite frankly, I don't mind either.
I had to check Spotify to make sure a commercial wasn't actually playing as "Breaking Down" started up. It doesn't sound like anything on the rest of the CD so far! The opening instrumental part alone is so poppy and cute, who would've known it was the same artist? I mean, as it goes in, the vocals give her away and it all makes more sense, but I was really weirded out by that at first. Jeese, just throw me off a little more why don't yah?
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Seriously, when did we go pop-soul on this album? "Lover To Lover" has a piano carrying this old-school little cute beat. It's matched by a drum later on with some great sound, though I can't make out half of the words. The question remains, is that bad or can I live with it? I mean, this is the one that can get the crowd up and moving with her and the band in such a cool jam way. I think I love it.
"No Light, No Light" is a little more on the choir-esq side we're used to. By that, I guess I just mean that there's a very lofty feeling. Straight out, we should be a church (a rockin' church, mind you) for something like this. It picks up and moves like nothing else as we hit the chorus of the song. It's about now I'm noticing how long her pieces are. This one, for instance, sits at about four and a half minutes, though the next three push over five. Long for music, but the fact that it largely goes unnoticed as you listen means it's worth all of the time.
You had to expect something on the dark side with a title like "Seven Devils." You can feel the intensity of the depth of evil (ooh poetic) right from the start here. The deep beats alone take it to a very different place. This is one you know was an outlet for dealing with those personal demons.
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"Heartlines" has invaded my ears before. There's drumming from a primal source and a reaching out to your soul and being. I don't get the full-on message that's being sent out (mostly because Meg and I are discussing possibly investing in better Brooklyn seats for 98 Degrees this June and I wasn't completely listening), but something was hitting right for sure.
Goodness gracious, this is a long album. I just scrolled down - 16 tracks. You don't see that very often anymore. "Spectrum" is next, and it starts off with Florence on the air, until the band picks up with more campfire instruments than I remember in recent history. It's a great movement beat, don't get me wrong. There's also a hard feel to the sound, where you really have to concentrate on the words in order to pick up anything serious. That may be the style, or just the way it's recorded, but I have to admit that this one is really hard to listen to.
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This next one has a nice feel of happiness surrounding it: "All This And Heaven Too." Now, we still get Florence's air of singing, but there's also a sweetness to the music itself, with a surrounding sound of happy! Did not really expect this, but I like the input of feeling into the album. I just want to spin in circles and enjoy this one.
"Leave My Body" brings us back into the dark twisted world that is the typical Florence sound. You can feel your body just wanting to sway in all sorts of weird ways to this one. The drums are keeping an excellent beat under the vocals that are just flowing all over the place like a crazy river or even just a drop swiveling its way downhill. This is, for sure, one of those moments I wonder if anyone's really reading and how crazy he or she may consider me to be by now.
Whoa, did not know my headphones had so much bass in them. "Remain Nameless" basically relies on it for the first minute. The rest, even, relies namely on speaker beats controlling your heartbeat while the girl sings over them. There's a slight 80's throwback sound here, obviously with updated recording style, but the general feel is there.
"Strangeness and Charm" plays around a little more with beats and charming voices (sorry, titles do that to me). The one thing here that's getting me is this wonderful off-beat that's driving the music along. It's a clapping beat that was big years ago and I haven't heard much of, at least prominently, in quite a while. She makes great use of it here.
Hmm, interesting idea for a title: "Bedroom Hymns." There are hints of body talk going on, so it could exactly what you think it is. It could also be immensely deeper than that, given the nature of this layered music that continually spins down and down and down some more.
We made it to the final song, which in this case serves as a bonus track of sorts. "What The Water Gave Me - Demo" is up last, which was great as a fully produced track. In this instance, we loose some of the layers, and I'm left a bit confused because demo's typically stick to acoustic instruments. Here, we still get a lot of the beats provided electronically, but the effects of recording are stripped away. Whatever - it still pretty much works.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Shake It Out"
- "What The Water Gave Me"
- "Never Let Me Go"
- "Lover To Lover"
- "All This And Heaven Too"
- "Leave My Body"
- "Bedroom Hymns"
Okay, seriously, what was my issue with this back in December of 2011?? Maybe school really got to me and I was not in the right mindset. Regardless, this was mostly excellent. Some songs were a bit out there, as to be expected since this chick really does seem to do her own thing more often than not. Respect.
From Manchester, TN, and formed in 1997, I'm sincerely hoping Glossary is one of those bands I managed to miss and will now enlighten my musical life. Influences include Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth, and Neil Young, as well as '80s country music. An interesting combination there, which will hopefully make for some incredibly interesting music as a whole!
Joey, Bingham, Maggie, Jason, and Gregory were a part of the first lineup of the band, but that's changed over the years. They've had multiple albums out, and by now it looks like Joey Kneiser (frontman) and Bingham Barnes (bassist) are the only two originals remaining. They like to consider their work as alternative country, and I'd like to start considering it now.
"Trouble Won't Last Always" starts off the album. There's an old-school feel to this somehow. It's like a cool mix of Van Morrison and… man, I can't put my finger on it. There's a female voice in the harmonies, and a nifty little country piano toward the end. This is an easy-going way to start off the album, and just sings out the feeling of nice. It's just nice. Not terribly moving, not disappointing. Just nice and there.
In a nice little friend song, we get "A Shoulder To Cry On." Again, gotta say, nothing stand-outish to me here. There's a little echo effect in the bridge that creates an interesting few moments. Overall though, just a steady song with a sweet sentiment. Oh wait, we just came across a cool aspect - there are horns! Now, that's a throw-back, but interesting sound, if I've ever heard one.
"The Flood" has really got me weirded out in that I feel like I've totally heard this before. It's a completely familiar sound with a somewhat modern-sounding vocal front. Now, I'm in the middle of script distro (yes, this has been the 'Janelle listens to music while counting 100 scripts), so I may be missing the stronger elements of the music itself, but it's nice to have it there I suppose.
I feel secure in saying that "Cheap Wooden Cross" is officially where Glossary has begun to grow on me. There's this totally psychedelic sound to the guitar in the instrumental break. The lyrics are pretty interesting. The sound is groovy without being too mellow. Just a lot of really trippy (in a good way) stuff going on that I'm digging baby.
"Nothing Can Keep Me Away" slows it down. Slow dancing in a burning room style. From the get-go on this one, I can feel the romance, combined with the sleepiness. Oh man, the sleepiness. Damn script distro. Sorry, unrelated frustration.
Finally home and able to concentrate. Don't you love how I input just a slight bit of normal blog-ness into these reviews? Eh, probably not. Anywhos, "Everything Comes Back" is totally on the breeze at the start with the instrumentals, but then the voice takes over that breeze. This is sort of eery in sound, much in the same vein as "Blue Jay Way." I like where the harmonies drop out, just allowing a few more words to hit hard than they might with layering for effect.
"When We Were Wicked" intrigues me in title alone, before any sort of listening takes place. It's all I can do to not quote "We Are Young" as the song the subjects of this used to sing. It's a reflection on those good times - probably high school - being insane and free before the real world caved in. He finally gets to a point of saying the fire's still there to feel that awesome. I mean, age is just a stupid number, right? Feel awesome all the years through! Anywhos, here's a video that makes this band seem so much more fun than their mellow songs seem to show off.
Next up is a dance-beat number, "Heart Full Of Wanna." Cute isn't the right word to describe it, but it's as close as I can approximate at the moment. It's a good one to bop around your room to, say getting ready for bed at night. Okay, at this point, I think y'all have gotten a pretty decent glimpse into my day's schedule. Loving this instrumental break in the closing portion of the song. Very cool use of different guitar styles in one song.
"Keep It Coming" steers the album in the Red Hot Chili Peppers direction that's sort of interesting. The lead vocals take on this odd melody that usually only works for Anthony, and the guitar is harsh, breaking in every few seconds. Yet somehow, it all actually works together in its own odd way. I don't love the song as a whole, but much like RHCP's music, I just can't stop listening or wanting to float away somehow on the melodies. Damn music's weird.
Um, 1920's blues jazz on an old paler piano? That's what I'm getting from "Under A Barking Moon." Now, some folks may not understand what I mean when I say this has a great old Southern and Nashville feel, but if you've been to places like B.B. Kings or just relaxed on a porch during a Nashville summer (say, your balcony on Belmont's campus in Hillside), you may understand it. There's also this warms jokey feel, compliments of the saxophone before the two minute mark. It's a low and sweet on you just need to be taken away in. Something special is completely encased in this kind of music.
"Some Eternal Spark" is a nice wind-down song. I mean that purely on mood and tone. I also say that after being awake for about 19 hours and on the brink of completely spacing out in favor of sleep.
This final song, "Ghosts In The Vapor" kind of has every quality a final song could have. It's got lyrics about moving on. The melody is quaint and uplifting. The rhythms are steady and familiar of the entire album. A good choice, overall for the ending track for a very interesting album.
Added to My Playlist:
All right, well, I'm not moved beyond words. Clearly - I wrote a whole entry, though I feel like I may have repeated a lot. That's because there was a lot of repetition to the sound. The moments here, though, that were different, and they were pretty brilliant. So, yeah, I'll accept this new little discovery into my musical world.
- "Cheap Wooden Cross"
- "When We Were Wicked"
- "Under A Barking Moon"