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Watch Out, It's Coming This Way! [Version One.]

5:28 am Angie 0 Comments

Hello to all you rock fans out there, wherever you are! You may be wondering where the album reviews are, but do not worry, need thou not be afraid. Instead of just supplying everyone with some stellar music reviews (if I do say so myself), I thought I'd do what I call 'chopping it up', and provide you with some brand new music recommended by me and that's set to come on your radios and TV sets pretty sharpish. So, here it is!

This week saw the release of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds new single 'If I Had a Gun...'. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is Gallagher's new project after the definate break up of Oasis. Personally, the fact that you've got your own name in your band's title is a little pretentious and self-centered. Frankly, if he had just left the band title as High Flying Birds, it would have remained more poetic and mysterious.
     The song itself is a beautiful melody perfect for a love song such as this. The intro itself has a 'Wonderwall' style riff, but when delving deeper into the song, the peaceful harmonies provide a subtle difference to the Oasis that we're all familiar with. Oddly, one thing did catch my attention when listening to this song. Whenever I listen to a specific song, it tends to remind me of another song because of the striking similarities. When listening to this cirtain song, I was reminded of the Fool's Gold track 'Lantern'. These two songs both have a ridiculously similar sound, and both have a swaying, sombre melody that leaves the listener morbidly singing along towards the end (If you haven't heard of Fool's Gold, you should definitely do so now. We've reviewed their album, so give that a read and check it out.).
     One distinctive aspect of the song is the lyrics. At times beautifully heartfelt and poetic, the lyrics marry well with the simple, slow riffs of the acoustic guitar. 'Cause you're the only God I'd ever need.' It's a raw, emotional song, stripped of any convoluted meaning. However, the song doesn't achieve complete poetic genius. One of the lyrics states 'If I had a gun I'd shoot a hole into the sun, leave a burning city down for you'. Now I don't know what your opinion is on that, but giving the one you love a burning city isn't the loveliest of things. Yes, the meaning's there, but I was just hoping that perhaps there would be more of a romantic metaphor.
     So in summary, this is a song you better watch out for! It's a song that you know will end up in some romantic comedy eventually, nevertheless, it's a very good song, and you'll most likely be hearing of it a lot more in the coming days.


Cruel Young Heart - EP Review!

11:38 am Angie 0 Comments


Cruel Young Heart are an unsigned indie rock band, originating from Vancouver B.C. Formed in 2010, they've recently released a self-titled EP earlier this year (September 2011) which can be streamed free on their website (http://cruelyoungheart.bandcamp.com/).

Now I was actually requested to conduct this review, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from the band. However, once I listened to the complete album, I instantly loved it. You'll be immediately intrigued with the catchy choruses and simple experimentation of synthesisers. The song that really stood out for me was 'Don't Come Any Closer', simply because I love how the raw emotion portrayed in the lyrics contrasts with the upbeat tempo of the drums and synthesisers.

The EP only has 5 tracks, which is expected from a EP, especially if that EP is a debut release. However, I did find that the songs are vaguely similar to one another and I did find myself listening to the album quite a few times until it stuck in my head. Perhaps this is just because the band are getting their sound out to the public, but I do think they should try a more varied mix of musical styles. From listening to the album, I felt that their musical style was completely the same in every song, except for a slight difference here and there.

Once you listen to songs like 'Nighttime Glow', you'll be pleasantly surprised by the excellent fusion of guitar riffs and synthesisers. The band have adapted a simple yet effective style that works really well for them. Repeat the hook enough times, and there you go, you've got a catchy song. (;

The vocals of frontman James Blackmon reminded me slightly of Simple Plan vocalist Pierre Bouvier. I do admire the vocals, the slightly edgy-punk vocals on songs like 'Don't Come Any Closer' mixed with the more softer notes on songs like 'The Hardest Way' fuse together nicely. I did feel however, there wasn't much vocal range achieved on the album. It seemed like the vocals stayed at one level and didn't offer much to the listener.

One thing I really like about the band are the lyrics. Unlike some other modern bands, they have meaning and delve deep into the theme of the album - love. I also appreciate the consistency in terms of theme in this album. As the band name suggests, it's all about the darker side of love and all the songs in this EP follow through that theme, rather than becoming contradictory like many other bands.

Moreover, the album art is really eye-catching. From my personal photographer/webpage designer's point of view, I believe it to be very eye catching and edgy. The photograph itself has great meaning and I love how it can be interpreted in many different ways. I agree with the colour choice of the album title, yet I don't quite agree with it's placement. If it was smaller and more centered perhaps, it wouldn't detract attention from the actual photograph which in itself is quite beautiful.

So in conclusion, for the reasons provided, I am awarding Cruel Young Heart a great 4/5 stars! It's a good album, but there are improvements to be made which is purely because of the fact that it is a debut EP. However, for a debut release, it's a brilliant effort! But, (and there is a giant but), I think that if the band don't experiment more with different beats that they have a danger of becoming an average band that sounds like the dozens of other bands out there. That's part of the reason most bands don't get signed - there's a carbon copy of them that are already famous and selling millions of records. Record companies need a strong reason to sign a band; they need the confidence to know that a band will make them money. Which is why I strongly advise the band to try a variation of different sounds.

That this band need to hurry up and get signed, because I can see great things in their future! (or so my psychic powers tell me).

Music Bloggerv Recommends: Don't Come Any Closer, Nighttime Glow, The Hardest Way, All The Stars


The Strokes - Angles - Album Review!

2:19 am Angie 6 Comments


'Angles' was released earlier this year (March 2011). The fourth studio album to be released by American indie rock band, The Strokes, it is the first since their previous release 'First Impressions of Earth' in 2006. 'Angles' was the longest gap The Strokes have had in between albums. However, I believe 'Angles' was worth the wait. No doubt it is more of an experimental album in terms of instruments, but it's a positive cacophony of various beats and synthesisers which combine to make one great mixed up album. There are more overdubbed guitars and lead vocalist Julian Casablancas can be heard experimenting with various vocal layers which adds more of a depth and makes for an interesting sound. Casablancas said in relation to the new album: "Sonically, I feel it's the album which should have been made between 'Room on Fire' and 'First Impressions of Earth'" and I completely agree. The band have not necessarily developed a new, refined sound (although this album does sound quite refined), they've stuck to their roots and followed the style of their 2001 release, 'Is This It'.

When you first listen to the album, you'll be taken aback by the interesting guitar melodies, synthesisers and Farfisa keyboards broken up by a few sombre, melancholy songs such as 'Life Is Simple In The Moonlight' and 'Call Me Back', while maintaining a small element of rock.

The album cover as well as the album art suggests a element of perplexity. Personally, I think this concept is a little pretentious. I got the feeling it's a little attention seeking, almost as if they were trying to say 'Hey, look at us, we're weird and cool. Like us!'. While the theme itself is coming across quite odd and disjointed, the music in the album is quite the opposite. The structure of the songs is quite basic and has your basic rock elements which I found was quite contradictory to the album art and theme. (Comment if you disagree!)

One of my personal favourite songs on this album is 'Two Kinds of Happiness'. The introduction of those eerie harmonies sets a tingle down your spine and the calming yet sceptic vocals of Casablancas reassure the listener.

While I believe this album to be a great collaboration of experimenting with instruments while keeping it simple, I do have one little niggling criticism. Now if you don't know already, I cannot stand vocalists who don't pronounce words properly! I know it sounds stupid, and some would say this is the attraction to indie music in the first place, but if I can't hear the words of a song, I can't enjoy it as much and it just ruins most of the experience for me. Casablancas isn't too bad, however, on a few songs such as 'Games', I find the words just impossible to understand in parts. Yet, in other sections, I can hear the lyrics completely.

So, for the reasons provided, I've decided to rate 'Angles' a mid/high 4/5 stars! I love the whole sound of the album, but I do wish it didn't contradict with the album theme and I wish Casablancas would develop a new style of delivery, as I'm not too fond of his current one. If you're new to The Strokes, you should definitely listen to Under Cover of Darkness, their first single from the album.

'Angles' In One Sentence: An exuberant, odd cacophony of interesting riffs and memorable hooks.

Music Bloggery Recommends: Macchu Picchu, Under Cover of Darkness, Two Kinds of Happiness, Taken For a Fool, Gratisfaction and Life Is Simple In The Moonlight


Paramore - BRAND NEW EYES - Album Review! {♠}

11:57 am Angie 5 Comments


Paramore, the Tennessee based pop punk band released their album 'Brand New Eyes' in 2009, and it was not without great success. Of course, Paramore was already used to success, as their 2007 release 'Riot!' got them to where they are today and it is the album when they received recognition and skyrocketed to fame.

It's because of this fame that I believe this album isn't as good as their previous ones. Paramore used to make music because they enjoyed it, and now on 'Brand New Eyes', it just feels like they're trying to re-create all their old hits to try and make some money (I mean, singing songs like 'Decode' for Twilight?!). It also seems like it's too much about Hayley Williams (vocals) and not enough about the rest of the band. If you take a look at the video for 'Brick by Boring Brick', you'll see how much footage there is of Williams as opposed to the rest of the band.

Initially, I felt there's the Paramore 'edge' that's lacking on this album. Whereas the previous two albums, 'Riot!' and 'All We Know Is Falling', didn't have Williams' extremely high range of vocals on songs such as 'All I Wanted', they were still much better musically and with meaning. I find that they delved deeper within the morbid aspect of love, and on this new album, it just seems to be a mish-mash of different emotions that don't work together very well. Songs like 'Looking Up' and 'All I Wanted' act as an oxymoron. You can't say that you're happy with life, and then literally yell out 'All I wanted was you'. Personally, it just doesn't work.

No doubt that as a standalone album, it is very good and has many different aesthetics and sounds which sound well together - but when comparing it with their older albums, 'Brand New Eyes' is nothing. Like many bands, they seem to be repeating themselves in terms of themes. It seems to be all about lost love with this band. Yes, this is an interesting concept to write about, I just wish they would learn to experiment with different themes more.

However, I do believe it is a good album as it is more of a refined Paramore. I do love their first single from the album, 'Ignorance', as it's a complete teenage angst song, and who doesn't love that?! (Apart from grumpy old men, of course.) Also, I believe that the lyrics for this song are really effective. Lyrics such as 'Where's your gavel? Your Jury? What's my offence this time? You're not a Judge, but if you're gonna judge me, well sentence me to another life'. They're really catchy and have some sort substance. The hook is repeated about a dozen times, it's hard not to get it in your head! I must admit, in all honesty, Williams' song writing is much more better on this album than on their older material.

In terms of the music, it is pretty decent, but nothing special. Like I said previously, it's been done before. By themselves!

So, for the above reasons, I believe the album to get a 4/5 stars. Paramore do have a very addictive sound, but they just need to broaden their horizons more and just get a little knock back down to Earth. I recently heard a story from a close friend of mine - her brother had the chance to meet Williams' and apparantly she came across as quite rude and uppity, which I didn't seem to like at all. Looks to me as if the fame really has gone to their heads. Do you agree? Comment below!

Music Bloggery Recommends: Ignorance, Brick By Boring Brick, Where The Lines Overlap, All I Wanted and Misguided Ghosts


Fool's Gold - LEAVE NO TRACE - Album Review! {☼}

3:48 am Angie 0 Comments


Fool's Gold are a fairly new Los Angeles based indie band emerging to the music scene in 2009, with the release of their debut album 'Fool's Gold'. Then earlier this year saw the release of 'Leave No Trace', one of their stellar achievements to date. Although I have not had a chance to listen to their previous album and therefore cannot compare the two, I believe this album is an amazing array of different musical sounds.

What Fool's Gold are best at doing is creating a great fusion of Western 80's pop styles and African melodies and rhythms. I was lucky enough to see them back in November when they were warming up for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and they were brilliant! Their interaction with the audience and clap-forcing beats made every aspect of the concert phenomenal. Also, it surprised me how humble and modest they are, because they acknowledged my constant screaming by waving at me!

When you first listen to this album, you'll be blown away by the amazing variation of their music. From memorable guitar riffs in songs like 'Leave No Trace', to sharp harmonies in songs like 'Street Clothes', it all works so well. The mesmerising riffs of Lewis Pesacov (guitarist) and intoxicating vocals of Luke Top are a force not to be reckoned with. The swerving range of vocals and guitar melodies float away with the listener and as cliche as it sounds, makes you feel at one with the music. Each song is a new melody and rhythm and doesn't sound like it's predecessor.

One of the songs, 'Tel Aviv', is spoken in Hebrew and constantly alternates to English. Personally, I love the fact that Top chose to do this, it just shows how proud he is about his roots and is not afraid to hide it! It offers something new and interesting to the listener and this almost epitomises the meaning of Fool's Gold. The theme of this album is quite an upbeat, lively one. All the songs make you want to get up and dance without even trying. I personally like how there is one exception to the theme. The song 'Lantern' is a peaceful, arms-in-the-air, ballad type song, without going over the top. I think it's a really beautiful song that shows another side of this mysterious band.

From an indie band, you would expect the lyrics to be somewhat inconsistent and of a simple style. However, Fool's Gold create a feeling of meaning that other bands lack. My personal favourite lyric is from the song 'Wild Window', that says: 'No, you have not ruined me yet, despite all your best efforts.' It's a complete 'you won't knock me down' song.

Therefore, for the reasons given, this is why I'm giving Leave No Trace 5/5 stars. This is only their second album, and you can tell that they have got so much more to give, and I can't wait! I'm definitely not psychic, but I can tell that this band are going to achieve fame pretty soon.

Leave a comment to share your views or if you disagree on anything I've said.

Music Bloggery Recommends: Wild Window, Leave No Trace, Narrow Sun, Tel Aviv, Mammal and Balmy


Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You - Album Review

3:09 am Angie 0 Comments


 Red Hot Chili Peppers are a psychedelic, funk rock band, first formed in 1983 in California, Los
Angeles when attending Fairfax High School. They were originally formed by Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Michael ‘Flea’ Bulzary (bass), Jack Irons (drummer), and Hillel Slovak (guitar), who was a close, long-term friend of Kiedis and Flea. He later died of Heroin overdose which sparked a new found sense of reformation in Kiedis. The band has had a lot of struggles in terms of battling drug addictions and fame, however, with the release of ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ (1991), the world had realised what they had been missing and finally wanted in on the world of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Over the years, guitarists have come and gone. One of the most memorable and most possibly influential guitarists who has recently left the band (it was made official in 2009), was John Frusciante. Recently made No. 72 in the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarist list, it could be argued that he gave the Chili’s their definitive sound. However, although Frusciante left the band in previous years for negative reasons, this time, he left on a positive note of developing his solo career, and the band respected that. Frusciante’s replacement, Josh Klinghoffer was introduced to the public in January of 2010 when the band performed for the first time with the new line up at the MusiCares event in the same year. After taking a hiatus of about three years, the Chili’s finally announced their comeback to the world, and after hitting the studio and creating up to 70 songs (though most were just experimental and were not actually featured on the album), they released their brand new album – I’m With You in August 2011.

The album artwork for this album was created by Damien Hirst and as you can see to your right, the cover is of a fly on a pill saying ‘I’m With You’. The artwork itself can be interpreted in many ways, and I believe that the meaning of this artwork is that that pill, which symbolises the disgust of drugs and drug abuse, is highlighted by the fact that an insect that is considered disgusting (the fly) is sat on this pill. The work in general stresses the degrading nature of drugs; Kiedis himself stated that this album has more of a positive theme as opposed to their previous albums. Nonetheless, there is a slight ambiguity in the art as the title I'm With You, suggesting that narcotics offer a supportive nature and lead the audience to question whether the band have actually turned a new leaf.

The album marks a shift in the band's sound as is it the first to feature Klinghoffer, and it is when we see his true skills as a guitarist - songs such as Monarchy of Roses and Dance, Dance, Dance feature great guitar riffs, both memorable and catchy in their own way. Earlier this year, Flea studied music at University level, and developed his passion for the piano – this new found talent and passion can be heard immediately. Happiness Loves Company is an example of Flea’s great skills as a pianist and musician and it gives the Chili’s a style that they’ve never had before. Even Kiedis is on form in this album; his lyrics have a level of meaning and emotion that left me shocked how he had never wrote like this before. Police Station is a great example of Kiedis’ new lyricism and yes, I am saying this, but it just might be the new Under the Bridge. I personally love this album; it is full of great melodies and riffs that cannot instantly be identified as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

They have proven to be on form once again, and with Klinghoffer, they have much more of a refined and somewhat mellow tone. Could it be that the Chili’s have toned down the funk? Maybe, but it could mean that their music is now better than ever? (Comment if you disagree!)

However, and there is one big however - The album seems to be lacking something; there’s some sort of void. Frusciante was the driving force that gave the Red Hot Chili Peppers their amazing sound and some of their biggest hits, and since that force is gone, it doesn’t really seem the same. There is no potential hit song in this album, they all seem to be songs that have potential, but are not quite there yet. As much as I love this album, I don’t believe that it was worth fans waiting almost five years for. For that reason, I am giving this album, 4/5 stars!

Music Bloggery Recommends: 'Factory of Faith', 'Dance Dance Dance', 'Happiness Loves Company', 'Annie Wants A Baby', 'Did I Let You Know?', 'Look Around', 'Police Station'


Coldplay - MYLO XYLOTO - Album Review! {♰}

3:49 am Angie 0 Comments


Coldplay are a Grammy award winning British indie band, forming in University College London by
lead guitarist Jonny Buckland and frontman Chris Martin in 1996. The band introduced themselves to the world with the release of their debut album 'Parachutes' (2000). It was in this album that they then released the song that would make them one of the most popular bands in the world - 'Yellow'.

Their new album however, Mylo Xyloto (pronounced my-low zye-low-toe) is anything far from yellow. Its colourful album art summarises the whole theme and tone of the album itself. Songs like 'Don't Let It Break Your Heart' and 'Hurts Like Heaven' feature beautiful melodies and hooks that are synonymous of Coldplay. Part of the reason I personally love this album is because a new story is unraveled for each new song. Chris Martin explained how he and the band wanted a more cheerful theme on this album, and despite a few exceptions, this is completely true. 'Up In Flames' is the only exception to this, and I believe that it just might be the new 'The Scientist'. The song has an extremely simplistic harmony yet it works ever so well, especially when combined with Martin's reassuring, calming voice.

My undeniable favourite song on this album HAS to be 'Paradise'. After listening to it just once, you're  hooked and you want more. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and the background harmonies have you reaching for the play button once again. Another reason why this song is my personal favourite is because of the deep meaning - it can be interpreted in so many ways, and it's such a beautiful meaning. 'When she was just a girl, she expected the world, but it flew away from her reach, so she ran away in her sleep, and dreamed of para-para-paradise.' Like I said before, a new story is unraveled, and it's done in such a beautiful way. Mat Whitecross, the director of the 'Paradise' music video has created such a great concept and idea and constructed it so well. It is definitely a must watch! (See link below)

Now I know some of you may dislike Coldplay because they're TOO 'middle class' (by the term middle class, I mean they can come across quite posh, rich and snobby to some) and uppity since Martin married Paltrow, but haven't they always been middle class? If you watch the music video for 'Yellow' you'll see they are quite middle class, although they don't show it immediately. Many people hate Martin for his donations to society and helping the less fortunate as they see it as his way of being pretentious, but if you look deeper, you'll realise that Martin is so humble and genuinely helping the less fortunate. If a person is doing a good deed, why should they be judged for it?

Coming back from my tangent, although I may seem as if I worship this album, I do not. The reason I have awarded this album only 4/5 musicos is because it lacks something for me. There is some sort of void that is not being filled. Their previous 2008 release, 'Viva La Vida and Death To All His Friends' was a truly amazing album, which seemed to have perfected and mastered all aspects of music. Mylo Xyloto however, seems to lack the Coldplay touch whatever 'it' is. It seems somewhat of an experimental album. Of course, that is no crime, but if you're leaving your fans waiting for the best part of 3 years, you should give them a little more worth waiting for. Songs such as 'Princess of China' are good, but the fact that they've featured Rhianna in the song speaks for itself. They're not content with having their worldwide indie fanbase and being one of the most popular bands in the world, they want to get even more of a mainstream fanbase. Yes, Coldplay have always been mainstream, but they weren't trying to be - the masses just loved their music! Now, it seems almost as if they know they are and don't really care. Correct me if I'm wrong  - feel free to leave a comment.

If you're a new Coldplay-er I recommend listening to 'The Scientist', 'Viva La Vida', 'Yellow' and 'Fix You'.

Angeli recommends: 'Paradise', 'Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall', 'Hurts Like Heaven', 'Up In Flames', 'Don't Let It Break Your Heart'


The Drums - PORTAMENTO - Album Review! {⋆}

4:06 am Angie 1 Comments


Portamento is The Drums' first studio album after the release of self-titled debut album 'The Drums' (2010). No doubt that Portamento is completely different to that of their first release. The album begins with the catchy song, 'Book of Revelations' and the rhythmic bass and the background harmonies are toe-tappingly addictive. As you delve deeper within the album, the theme seems to be one of self-loathing and cynicism. Other critics seem to despise the fact that The Drums have such a downbeat theme when they were expecting 60's style peace and love in this album. Personally, I think these critics are completely wrong. Some artists find contentment in morbidity and they find inspiration in it, so what's wrong in doing so?

The album itself is filled with a lot more memorable hooks and choruses, especially 'Money', one of the first singles released from the album. And what a good decision it was! Although the rest of the album becomes dreary and repetitive,  'Money' stands out from the crowd. It's great guitar and bass melody re-enforce the Morrissey-like vocals of frontman Jonathan Pierce. Another great breakthrough song from the album is 'I Need a Doctor'. The great uplifting, bouncy melody and lyrics give a great sense of a decent into madness and simply re-enforces once again the meaning of the whole song.

However, The Drums' major downfall on this album was the lack of meaning in lyrics. Lyrics such as 'You hit me yesterday, and you made me cry', lack poetic structure and underlying meaning that all the great songs have. Yes, this is part of the attraction to the band,  but if they want to gain a wider audience, better lyrics are the way to go. Come to think of it, most of the songs on this album are filled with extended oohs and aahs as opposed to actual lyrics.

Overall, this album is a very good album, but when listening to it, I feel as if there is a void that can only be filled with the joyous merriment of the band's previous album. This, and various other reasons provided, is why I have awarded it 4/5 stars. If you are new to the world of The Drums, I would highly recommend listening to their first album,The Drums, and then move on to Portamento once you have become used to their style

Music Bloggery Recommends: The songs I recommend from the album are 'Days', 'Money', 'Hard To Love', 'I Need a Doctor' and 'How It Ended'.


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