Sunday, 30 December 2012

Worst 6 Albums of 2012

As there were very good thing there also were really bad stuff that mostly happened because of the lack of edition. Some artist wanted to be so hype and invent new sounds but fail and some others put to much in their records or didn't had a clue were to go. Some of the albums that almost made it to this list are No Doubt's Push and Shove, that is literally the example of having great expectations but being fooled, and many musicians were in that note. Here are the worst of the worst that needed less things and more knowledge to be self critic. But on the bright side at least they tried to do something different instead of stay safe.

Worst Albums
6.The Temper Trap- The Temper Trap (Self-Titled): 12 songs that were randomly put together and has no direction. Instruments contribute to the mess and placed wrong, but songs can be separated in 4 mini albums.

4.Muse-The 2nd Law: as much as it has its highs the album is a mess and needs more a lot more edition. Muse ripped off their inspiration and aspiration bands and do it well but sounds like copying instead of make it their own.

3.Robbie Williams- Take The Crown: this album is so boring and cliche, bubblegum pop in the saddest way possible and you can notice is forced to not touch some limits because it could be too Take That or too Gary Barlow. So is to boring and almost just long song.

2.Overexposed - Maroon 5: the band could not get over a massive hit and tried to recreate it but reinventing it. Album is so eclectic and songs crash so bad that seems like they didn't put their all in it cause they could do really nice pop songs.

1. Example- The Evolution of Man: example tried to do something 'new', just for him, cause many have succeed mixing electro-dance with guitar rock, He failed bad,really bad, it almost hurts, well, actually ears hurt. Not even Graham Coxon saved the album.

Worst Songs

6. Skrillex and Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley-Make It Bun Dem
5. Will.I.Am and Britney Spears- Scream And Shout
3. Justin Bieber ft. Big Sean- As Long As You Love Me
2.Maroon 5-Payphone + And Pitbull's Don't Stop The Party
1. Fat Joe ft. Rick Ross and Juicy J - Instagram That Hoe

Hope apocalypse has taken them ;)

Top 15 best Singles of 2012

Many songs were stuck in our heads for good or bad reasons this year. As Pop seemed to be losing its round, electronic took the attention more than ever but rock and roll threatens to take back its crown back. Here are some tracks that have the elements to be classics or at least to give an idea of what was the most sincere music. Intimate and joyful songs are here from Katy Perry to The Cribs everyone adding their personal touch to what was happening. Melancholia played a big part but doesn't mean it was a sad year all music had a very joy vibe . These songs are in their genders the best.

15.The Subways- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
14.The Hives- Go Right Ahead
13.The View- Hold On Now
12.The Cribs - Come On, Be A No-One
11.RKC- These Are The Days
10.Damon Albarn- The Marvellous Dream
9..Baio- Sunburn Modern
8. No Doubt- Settle Down
7.The Maccabees- Pelican
6.The Virgins- Venus In Chains
5.Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)
4. Muse- Madness
3.Katy Perry- Wide Awake
2.Arctic Monkeys- R U Mine?
1.Blur - Under The West Way

With all of this, it looks like the next big thing is the guitar comeback, and to be more personal and less produced and more like 'jamming' . Hope music keep on this road with multiple exits and people going back to roots but in the way they are experimenting and remembering the music essence that is to be playful.

The Good The Bad and Some Other Bollocks: Year in Review 2012

When planet earth was nearly ending ,again, music industry gave all the best to make  a memorable year, and it was a great year indeed. Too many bands get back together to "save music" from what had been decadent for the past 5 years. Many awaited comebacks were made: Blur, No Doubt , Madonna, Public Image Ltd (PiL), The Rolling Stones and even The Stone Roses and The Spice Girls performed again anx yet Led Zeppelin were seen together. The year was filled mostly by experienced artists like Muse,The Hives, P!nk,The Killers, Alanis Morissette, Hot Chip,Papa Roach, Paul McCartney,Green Day, Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Williams,Linkin Park etc. some of them were letdowns but some were magnificent. Others wanted to strike back as well, with their second album, The Ting Tings, One Direction, Ke$ha,The XX, The Vaccines, Tame Impala,Mumford & Sons and Nicki Minaj did their comebacks but not for all of them was successful. With all of these well know artists bouncing around it seemed like there were no space for the new ones but Jake Bugg, Rita Ora, Jessie Ware, Enter Shikari  and Alt-J managed to hit the lists and make their name know. And what a year for 'The One Hit Wonders' (if it wasn't for all social media they would be that) they did everything to cheer up the crowds, they made the whole world dance like we were riding a horse and made us sing corny lyrics, if you didn't dance to Psy's Gangnam Style or sung 'Call Me Maybe', even as a joke, you probably were labeled as a sad ,Gotye and that Brazilian guy are also on the list and some even listed Ellie Goulding for her "Lights" single as one hit wonder probably Fun. could join them too but we all enjoy a bit of rubbish joy in our playlists.

If all music releases wasn't enough some mayor events make the world come together, Madonna opened the amazing televised performances, broke many records and stuff; then people were able to watch the Jubilee Concert which was just a taste from what was coming for the summer,some in repeat, the biggest ever event: The Olympics which was the most watched event in television history and inspired millions, and it came with 4 ceremonies that were hallucinating with a large display of almost every outstanding British musician that have ever live (maybe they just missed The Smiths), it had some lows but the highs overshadowed every misstep. Paul McCartney move craws in Mexico as well giving a free gig he also performed as usual in charity concerts alongside with the usual folks  Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and The Who and a lot of plain acts take the world's stages too, many 'artists' were creating visually good performances and forgot  about giving a whole show but many others performed as it was the end of world. Rihanna, trying to do something new, did something called 777 which meant to hit 7 countries in 7 days, plane tour ended well and she told she would do it again but press said it was a turbulent event. Other talked events were a man shattering sound barrier doing the highest skydive in history; and a band trying to break the barriers of the minded ,Pussy Riot put the spot light on stupid politics (which were a lot this year) and once again music was part of a movement against injustice. 

2012 was the year of cheer up and fun, we ROLF about apocalypse and music,as always go hand in hand. So for a great year, with plenty to hear & recommend, avoid and enjoy here's The Good,The Bad and some other bollocks:

Worst Albums and Songs

And as for Artists to Watch: Nina Nessbit that started the year with an amazing EP, Appple Tree, but the secong half she messed a bit and band Best Friends which are a surfing version of The Who and very fun and reliable. 

Top 12 Albums of 2012

What a great year for the music it was. Albums were made for save us from a 'music industry cliff' some of them were very careful other just came out raw and exploded well, some have their weaknesses but other were really strong so here are what I think were the most steady of them all. 

 12  'Jake Bugg' (self-titled) by Jake Bugg:
So young,so brisk, some people have called him the new Bob Dylan, and there are some similarities especially how mature the sound is but this album doesn't sound so natural, although it's so good,is fabricated 'pop' but at least is enjoyable. 
To Listen:Trouble Town, Country Song, Lightning Bolt ,Taste It,Two Fingers

 11 [DRAW] 'The Abbey Road Sessions' by Kylie Minogue + 'MDNA' by Madonna:  
Both albums are so pop and slightly different from what was happening in that scene, Kylie's has no electronic beats and is a compilation of her hits in a orchestral way as for Madonna's sounds like b-sides of her entire career and avoiding the 'fun' ones you get an amazing collection of intimate tracks. Two albums that were so produced that actually worked.

To Listen: [MDNA]   Gang Bang, Love Spent (Acoustic), Falling Free, I Fucked Up,Masterpiece, I Don't Give A, B-Day Song [The Abbey Road SessionsAll the Lovers,Where the Wild Roses Grow,Flower,Can't Get You Out of My Head,Finer Feelings,The Loco-Motion.

 10  Endless Flowers - Crocodiles: 
Very pleasant, what you expect from Crocodiles.No much risks taken and the sound doesn't go faraway from previous works punk/garage/fun.

To Listen:Endless Flowers,Hung Up On a Flower,Dark Alleys,Bubblegum Trash.

 9 . ill Manors by Plan B:  
Ben Drew AKA Plan B hit the big screen with a film he wrote and directed and with that an epic soundtrack came. Probably the most gutted and sincere Plan B work, which is weird because is about a film so is from a character perspective and not suppose to be very personal, but it is.

To Listen:  Playing With Fire, Deepest Shame, Live Once,Falling Down

 8  Spiderwebbed by STUMBLEINE: 
Electronic, Soft , chill out nothing more nothing less. What any other electronic artist  tried to do but on this album everything fitted well even the dub step bits. 

To Listen: Cherry Blossom, If You,Capulet, Fade Into You ft Steffaloo,Catherine Wheel ft Birds Of Passage, The Beat My Heart Skips ft CoMa.


 7 .A+E  by Graham Coxon : 
it has a futuristic vibe like from 1960's Jetsons. Many guitars and some kind of aggressive in the joy way.The Album may not have a super hit but has a sincere feeling and it's like the sound of a music playground, very experimeting and charming.

To Listen: City Hall, What'll it Take, Seven Naked Valleys, Running For Your Life,  Knife in the Cast.

 6 In the Belly of the Brazen Bull by The Cribs:
Back to their basics.The Cribs do and did a fantastic job with or without Johnny Marr sound like they have the spirit of classic punk, to entertain, be fast and joyable. Is also inspirational for new bands.

To Listen: Come on, Be A no One ;Confident men ; Arena Rock Encore;Should have Helped;Back To The Bolthole

 5   Mirage Rock by Band of Horses:
A Collection of underrated but in sake of making great music and for enjoyment of people who will hear it. The band still got what make them unique and enjoyable.Is an album with balance, everything calculated  in space and time  nothing shading anything.

To Listen: Electric Music,A Little Biblical,Slow Cruel Hands of Time

 4  Given To the Wild by The Maccabees: 
it's full of tunes to take you out of routine and from earth, gladly it is soft psychedelia not an overrated boring clichè. Very cosistant and full of interesting dreamy sounds. 

To Listen: Given to the Wild ,Glimmer,Heave, Pelican, Went Away,  Go,
Unknow (featuring Catherine Pockson),Grew Up at Midnight, 

 3 . Lonerism by Teme Impala:
The perfect balance of voice and instruments is reflected in every song.The album is more relaxed and trippy than their debut album but the essence is not lost.A band that have improved and know how to mix everything to deliver the best of them.

To Listen:Sun’s Coming Up,Keep on Lying,Apocalypse Dreams,Why Won’t They Talk to Me?, Be Above It

 2  Streets In The Sky by The Enemy
Probably band didn't save the guitar music (not by themselves) but this album has plenty of songs you can relate  or that easily brings memories to you and is not a forced sound it flows naturally. Fast and fantastic,has everything what great classics are made of, and is very rock'n'roll mixed with some melancholia.

To Listen: 2 Kids,Like A Dancer,Like A Dancer,Make A Man,This is Real,Bigger Cages (Longer Chains),Get Up and Dance,Gimme The Sign

 1 . Lex Hives by The Hives: 

Rock and Roll in the 'non-artistic' way, it's pure, classic,random and timeless. Band doesn't need to change to deliver a fantastic album that has the perfect amount of everything that sounds effortless. Stylized like a vintage album, The Hives do a retrospective/introspective to what made the band so fabulous.Proper rock and roll.

To Listen:I Want More, Patrolling Days, Take Back The Toys,Midnight Shifter.( but obviously you need to hear all the entire album) 

Probably You wont agree but IMHO these were the most enjoyable and strong albums and somehow they sensitize what 2012 were a year of comebacks and retrospective. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

¡Tré! by Green Day

Rated:A Kind of Magic

The third album of the trilogy, is the most Green Day record of all (so far). The album has a vintage vibe that links to every Green Day record and has they very own style all over. sounds like a mix the good pieces of ¡Uno! and ¡Dos!.

With more tranquil songs this new album is what complements Green Day and if there was suppose to be just one album this year from the band this would be it.This album is what was expected from the band, it goes crazy but don't get messy, sounds like a classic from the band and is very entertaining and has bits of melancholia for a change.

Although this album is more in the commercial side with songs like 'Little Boy Named Train' and ' Brutal Love' that sound like American Idiot, the album sound more like a modern version of 'Dookie' or 'Insomniac'  with more polished music and more edition but it stills very very good. It has a very American sound and hip like Black Keys but more fun and intriguing. It is a bit more drummy from '¡Uno!' and '¡Dos!' but this not take all, voice and guitars are there sounding fine as well. The perfect blend is very shown in songs like 'Drama Queen' and ' X-Kid' and also have a more "romantic" and nostalgic side of the band.

The band have not lose their punk-rock style and this album is the proof, probably has elements of britpop, and they have found the balance in what should be raw and what has to be more edited and polished. Probably nothing really new and is very what is expected but is not disappointing, also it is more timeless than some previous albums.

To Listen: The Forgotten,99 Revolutions,Dirty Rotten Bastards, X-Kid, Brutal Love
Nothing to 'not listen'.

Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars

Rated : (I can't get no) Satisfaction 

After 2 years of his debut album  Bruno Mars is back with an album that sounds like a very good version of N*sync with better voice and more "fun" tunes. The problem is the album is too dull and has nothing really astonishing.

Well this album starts with a bit of surprising song 'Young Girls' that is a little change from previous album and annoying singles but from that it stays plain, all go lineal nothing goes out from a very safe ways.Yes it does have a lovely vintage sound like end of the 70's and late 80's a mixed with funk and rock and roll, blended with classic R&B, soul, and reggae Bruno Mars style, which could sound interesting but is not that great. The Album Is in a very party mood but songs are too long and When I 'Was Your Man' , song, managed to give it a break but then the same boring stuff start over again.  

All influences are very marked in the record, and goes too far, something like he's making a tribute to past times. It is knew that he worked with Mark Ronson but almost every song sound like the Amy Winehouse version of 'Valerie'. The Album has also too much elements of Michael Jackson which is good but sometimes sounds too imitating,hear 'Natalie'. 

The record is not that bad but is really boring, if we talk about that it doesn't moves forward from first 3 songs it stays dull and songs are far too long , so it needed to have continuity but not to be the same song over and over again. Has it bits of fun but nothing exiting and something that says "this is Bruno Mars" is missing. 

To Listen:  Money Make Her Smile, Natalie, Young Girls
Avoid:  Show Me, When I Was Your Man

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Warrior by Ke$ha

Rated:A Kind of Magic

Ke$ha is back with what it sounds like a sequel of her first ep album (Cannibal)  , more electro-pop and more produced to be fun. Kesha said the album is inspired by the 1970's  and indeed it has a vintage vibe but maybe not in the direction she wanted.

First single, 'Die Young',  is an example of what the album is too much electronic, a bit of mess but with at least with direction, fun and very Kesha. Although the record is produced to sound very hip and has far too much electrononic music, Kesha's style is not lost and she shows some versatility putting  more "soft" songs that sound are like more personal an a bit Britney-ish.  Also this album has more songs that have influences from bands and artists she had worked with.Sometimes Kesha feels lost but yet her style is not, so the sound gets a bit stereotypical punky girl like Avril Lavigne and very modern like Rihanna so is like they meet Kesha and somehow is charming mix, not really good but fine.

The music in the record is very repetitive and nothing you wouldn't find in any other top 40 pop album nowadays and is a bit dull but digging meticulously there are very interesting sounds that probably are what make the album not so boring. Feels like the production wanted to imitate Calvin Harris because has those lows and explosions with intervals of voice very characteristic from him, maybe because they're a couple or something (?). Album also reminds of Kaskada but a bit edgy and with tiny bits of psychedelia .

Best bits of the album are when it sounds less electronic and more rock.Despite everything Kesha is one of the pop singers that have an "defiant" attitude like Madonna or Cyndi Lauper in the 80's and she know how to use it well so in this is the thing that saves it, the song with Iggy Pop has a lot of him but her style is not lost, is a great combination. The guitars, electronic or acoustic like in Past Lives, also saved  the record. It is not better than her first album and don't have massive hits but is what it is.

To listen:Crazy Kids,Dirty Love,Wonderland,Past Lives
Avoid:Supernatural,Die Young

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys

Rated: A Kind of Magic

Alcia Keys is back with a slightly but flawless modern style, refreshing commercial music with the perfect balance of new beats and her very own classic way to make music. Maybe co-writers and producers influences are very there but Alicia's style overshadows that. 

This new album has everything to sound hip, even has Nicky Minaj, but the interesting thing is how it is manage to still being very Alicia Keys. The album is update but without nowadays cliches because is pure R&B with just tiny bits of electronic pop and even rock guitars and a tiny beat of dubstep. The record is so powerful from lyrics to sound, especially from 'Fire We Make' to the very end where she gets more intimated. 
What connects every song in the album is the fantastic percussion, sometimes are marching drums sometimes African sounds or just a classic kit playing jazz or rock .The record is not boring at all music is entertaining it passes through very chilling beats to more dramatic sounds, has moments of dance, fun, neo-soul and ballads, very complete. Perhaps at some points the music is not up to Alicia's voice and is a bit dull and plain but when both merge the result is brilliant.

Although Alicia has a great amazing voice what makes her records very good is that she doesn't like to show off and this album is that, perfect voice accompanied by good beats,though in some points gets very Christina Aguilera ,or any other girl who likes to vocalize very much, and seems like losing her essence but then she gets back and these floppy moments are forgettable.A really charming album, beautiful done that sounds up to date with out falling in the 'consumerism, lack of ideas'. 

Highlights:. Brand New Me,Listen To Your Heart,Fire We Make,101

Wildlife by The Lovely Eggs

Rated: Music is my Radar

The third album from the married lovely couple has nothing but fun. Nothing really new but very refreshing to what most 'indie' bands are doing nowadays. Although are 18 songs the album goes very fast because most of the songs (less than a minute) are sort of intros to others.

This album has a 1990's vibes mixed with energy of the 70's, some craziness and sounding like early 00's  all in the idea of a teenage sitcom. With a very vintage soul but still sounding modern the album reminds of the most indie bands from the early noughties , the sort of bands you can only found  on MySpace and in electronics gadgets  adverts on tv. Also has like familiar childish beats, in a good way, like is the Pink Panther Theme on 'I am' ?

The band stays true their sound lite punk, rampant pop and dance rocky beats. The rawness of the record and the multiple sounds is what makes the album so entertaining and refreshing. Most of the bands try so hard to polish everything and the essence get lost but The Lovely Eggs are not doing that and taking the wildness to the next level and really works well. Screams and psychedelia sounds prepares you through the album to an epic rocky end.The album goes all ways from melancholia and church music to some sorts of nursery rhymes.

Is a proper fun record and a breath to the dust of very commercial music. It's obviously album of the year but it is not disappointing especially for the fans and a open window to the "classic" independent  essence of doing things for fun and not money.

Highlights:The Castle,Lee Mellon's Teeth,Scooter's Got Itchy,I Just Want Someone to Fall in Love With,Allergies

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Evolution Of Man by Example

Rated: Enjoy the Silence 

Where to start! I knew is going to be bad but not THAT bad. Don't know if should be called a disappointment or chronicles of a death foretold. The messiest record of the year, the blend didn't work and result is catastrophic. Trying to recreate Katy Perry sound  but more edgy and with something that reminds of annoying dubstep is not impressive if ends like this. 

This new Example's record must be a bad joke because it isn't funny. Songs are so produced and faked, it sound like he's trying to score what Plan B did with 'Ill Manors' but something went wrong really wrong. Example tries so hard to sound tough but maybe the weak lyrics fail or is his pop voice or the fact he can't reach the heaviness the song requiers but it ends like a  Justin Bieber meets One Direction and even have the instrumental bridges to do choreographies.

The sound of the album can't even save it because the blend of guitar rock with electronic and hip hop didn't mixed well. A failed attept to do something like what Kasabian does ended like a bad awful hybrid of Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit just listen to Close Enemies,a single by the way. The rock sound is very amateur like whe a bubblegum pop singer mix it to sound edgy and wild, sounds a lot like Miley Cyrus' Can Be Tamed but dull, and the torture never ends, songs are very very long.  

The album at least has a direction but Example get lost or do not follows it all the time. In songs like 'Blood From a Stone' and 'The Evolution Of Man' where he go back to his old sound, is good but that doesn't last long some horrible twists and when Example's voice is in the mood the music is not and vice versa. Nothing is in tuning or harmony everything is so pretentious and some tracks need to end before it gets to ugly but that didn't happened is all repetitive and too much of everything and songs are about the same always which in previous albums worked but for this one the tone should be other and needs more guts to be reliable and to be less like just a failed experiment.Also going mad with the guitar doest make you tough even if is with Graham Coxon neither does doing a mix that many musicians are doing great

just don't worth a listen. 

The Connection by Papa Roach

Rated:Music is my Radar 

First studio album since 2009 and probably most surprising and slightly different but familiar at the same time since their second album 'Infest'. From a great start the album just gets better and better.
The band still (or now,again) sounding fresh and without loosing their style they're are mixing with more electronic and synths. What makes a perfect mix is that has a bit more guitars and drums over synthesizers or any other electronic sound. The album also has some great hip-hop vibes and very well done creating even more interesting compositions. In some parts could be very teenage rock and mellow but the good vibes are overcasting this tiny beats.

At some points the tracks could sound like cliché but the way the band manage the get rid of it fast is impressive. The obvious rock paradigms with screams and everything are heavenly blended with rock'n'roll making almost dance-y songs, beats are easy to follow and sometimes gets more pop-rock which is so acceptable because sounds good. All the sounds sound like old stuff but modernized and up to date and flows nicely.  

The perfect amount of everything they wanted created a very elaborated work which entertaining and very in Papa Roach style. If there's an album to recommend to someone who's in a transition to commercial pop and wants new rocky adventures this is it. The album is fast, not forced, very gentle and catchy, a few slow songs, a few hard ones and sort of anthems is a very complete and competent album.

To Listen: Before I Die,Give Me Back My Life, Breathe You In,Leader of the Broken Hearts,Walking Dead,Won’t Let Up,As Far As I Remember

Nothing to Avoid 

Unapologetic by Rihanna

Rated: A Kind of Magic

A year since Rihanna released an album and the new one keeps her style but with some grateful new ideas. Songs are more deep and less pop from what we are used to from Rihanna and is in the predictable tracks where everything goes overrated and boring.

The album is not really amazing or outstanding is just another one but have some interesting beats specially when she is trying new things and duets, except the one with Eminem, which is foolish and not fun, and tried to be fun. The good sounds are the ones with less electronic and dubstep-y pieces and where it gets "dark". The album also have some rock guitars in a Christina Aguilera's Fighter style to make be more edgy and rocky. The dace stills there in songs like 'Nobodys Business' so it still Rihanna but a little more raw.

There's plenty of personal songs, which is obviously to sale but are kind of nice to give a rest to bublegum pop, electronic and Calvin Harris-ish pop which are also sounds sadly included. This new facet of Rihanna is great because is more easy to conect with her although is fake and probably she will release a new album in 6-8 months and this one could be the most forgetabble because of the lack of massive hits but could be the most "sincere" to date.

To Listen: Diamonds,  Love Song, Stay,
Avoid: Numb,Jump, Fresh Off The Runway

Sunday, 11 November 2012

¡Dos! by Green Day

Rated: A Kind of Magic

More raw and "dirt" than '¡Uno!' the second album of the trilogy is more in the style of the last 2 albums of Green Day.A little further away from they beginnings but without losing the essence and tracks are short enjoyable, if they were 3 seconds or more longer it will be boring and the charm will be gone, so everything is once again in perfect state.

The mix is less worked and producer so this album has more punk attitude than '¡uno!'. Guitars and drums sound brilliant and in harmony but as a whole the blend sounds a bit like an American version of Arctic Monkeys, so sound a lot like Black Keys' El Camino. Is very American rock and roll from 50-70's including bits of rockabilly and surf rock but more inclined to pop-rock, and a bit more like The Killers, or at least Billie's voice is there a mix of Brandon Flowers and Alex Turner. Although the sound is more rock and roll-y and modern than 'Uno! ' , both have the same vibe to sound like their old works.

That there's nothing really remarkable is what make the album a little less interesting. 'Amy' is the only song that has a slightly different and interesting style. Also 'NightLife' is kind of different with a Mexican feeling but still not being really surprising. There's a lack of something edgy  and really wild like "wow this is why i love green day" but  everything is pleasant  and safe they need to spice up things maybe for 'Tre!' ?. And is Fuck time sampling 'song 2' by Blur??

To Listen: Nightlife, Ashley, Stray Heart, Makeout Party, Lazy Bones
Avoid:Fuck Time, Wow! That’s Loud  

Take Me Home by One Direction

Rated:Mr. Personality 

If you are a grown up this album will be so boring. A bunch of catchy (or trying to be catchy) songs that last too much. Unless you are a die hard fan you won't notice the boredom of the album and that is too produced to be all catchy and that sounds like a one long song.

The good thing about the album is that the band sound more mature on the second half. One Direction are slowly becoming the next Beatles, (HA! they wish), actually are becoming like Back Street Boys in the Millennium and Blue era,could say  5ive but they were more complete. Some songs are very acceptable and instead of being so boring have some interesting bits when they get to different styles .

Basically the sound in every song are the same: a mellow acoustic guitar playing same note and lite electronic beats, the arrangements are the ones that create slightly different tracks. Voices are like pretending to be more faint and to sound less kiddish but are not blending very fine. The intention to do something different is there but probably producers managers and stuff wanted to go for the safe way.  

To Listen:Kiss You,Rock Me,Back for You
Avoid: Live While We're Young,Last First Kiss,Little Things,I Would

Lotus by Christina Aguilera

Rated:A Kind of Magic

As many other artists Christina wants to go back and create music like from her beginnings and give a modern twist but she went too much time back and the sound is her but very amateur. 

What is confusing is that Christina Aguilera was pioneer in the prototype of "Pop Princess" and now this album sounds like she is one new girl trying to emulate The Queen or any princess , which is fine, and she wants to be remarkable once again. The album starts with a nice "intro" sampling M83 and sounding like a midpoint within Ellie Goulding and Madonna's synthetic voices  in American Life, that is actually the sound of entire record with bits of Christina's very own Stripped. So the album is in the 00's mood which is good, soft electro-pop and somehow more personal. As to her voice in some parts is too much, almost boring, but is kind of nice, mostly.

The sound sometimes gets experimental which makes the album interesting and not dull. At moments it sounds like it could be a collaboration with Calvin Harris but less heavy electronic so she can stands out.In  'Make The World Move' (featuring CeeLo Green) the sound is like vintage sounds a lot like a sample and in 'Cease Fire' and 'Circles' the sound is more Rihanna-ish with African touches. The best beats of the album are the slow ones, as always from Christina Aguilera, where she sings her heart out etc.  there for the second half is better and cleaning the bad from first half. 

Perhaps with less hip sounds,less pop as well, more R&B and more passion  like 'Back to Basics' or 'Stripped' the "come back" would been better. Her essence still there, more immature though, just needs to get back her style instead of pretending to still searching for her style. 

To Listen: Just A Fool, Cease Fire, Blank Page
Avoid: Your Body, Around The World

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Take the Crown by Robbie Williams

RatedMr. Personality 

The album is all what you/we expected, Robbie Williams trying to go "back to his roots" and give it a modern twist but in most of the album it isn't working. From the starting song, 'Be A Boy' ,that sounds like Coldplay & Rihanna featuring a light version of Calvin Harris mixed with Lady Gaga (Hip ain't it? ), is very predictable what the album is going to be about.

What unite the album is the 1980's sound but not in the good classics way but in a old dusty way. The record has tracks that could be part of a "worst of the 80s" compilation because songs are trying to sound like someone else, Robbie even try to sound like Freddy Mercury in 'Into the Silence'. Another thing that is not good is his voice, maybe Robbie is too old or something but his voice is not gentle in this album, almost hurts, all the yells he's giving, the voice is to forced. That's not the only thing forced most of the fun songs like 'Candy' and 'Gospel' are over-cheesy.

The album would be better with more edition work. Some songs are entertaining but too long so they become boring, other ones have too much for a song, others don't have a way just try to sound like Katy Perry meets One Direction, or like  'Hey Wow Yeah Yeah' that have a nice 90's vibe but would be a good one if it was from Gorillaz, instead it ended like a bad mix of Cobra Starship and JC Chasez and not only the songs co-wrote with Gary Barlow have that feeling of "it should NOT sound like Take That" and in the end it sounds like weird Take That forced to do different stuff ,on drugs.

So too much pretentious songs and too much yelling and nothing really interesting make the album sink badly. Some songs trying to save the record, are the ones that sound like his old sound blended with bits of modern trend: electro-pop. The best tracks are on the end of the album, at least a slightly better end, and obviously the Deluxe edition is better with a Take That's  original demo, 'Eight Letters'. A complete mess with some tiny bits of charm.

To Listen: Not Like the Others,Hunting for You
Avoid:  Be a Boy, Gospel,Into the Silence,

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Spiderwebbed by STUMBLEINE

Rated:A Kind of Magic

Soft but heavy at the same time, incredible. This is the debut album from Stumbleine and is just a masterpiece of relaxing-dancing-trippy music.

A fantastic intro, first song, leads to what the album is going to be about, chilling dreamy melodies. This album makes you feel sleepy not because is boring but because has plenty of heavy relaxing sounds. Although there's no much lyrics the record is telling bedtime stories transporting to dreamland easily, which is almost that same effect sleeping drugs have.Tracks are gradually loosening one after other but in some points they surprise you to avoid that plain result.

The sounds compliment the few voices,coming from collaborations, impressively recreating something that is not new. Very hip lite dubstep is mixed with "tropical-jungle" beats and with vocals like poppy 1990's songs, hear 'Fade Into You', and also soft touches of electronic dance music. The album flows naturally nothing forced and is perceivable. Every sound is moderated, nothing out of control or overshadowing other 'instruments' and the voice becomes more like another thing on the song which works spectacular.

The way the album is blended to be modern but to make it through  the years is excellent, balance must be the key, a bit of everything but at the right moment and nothing boasting off. With electrifying tunes, soft melodies and a chilled style the album is like a nice gentle trip on train, everything on the same line and with moderated ups and downs and doesn't  fall into cliches so is not another one in the pile .

To Listen: Cherry Blossom, If You,Capulet, Fade Into You ft Steffaloo,Catherine Wheel ft Birds Of Passage, The Beat My Heart Skips ft CoMa  

Not Recommended: Kaleidoscope

18 Months by Calvin Harris

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction 

Rather than an proper studio album this is compilation of singles that we have overheard since 'Awooga' in march of 2011. The Album has all the collaborations, or most of them, Calvin Harris has made during the past 18 months.

As a well know fact Calvin Harris have changed everything not improve just changed style, he's not the singer anymore etc. but  leaving that behind and listening as a new artist the result is fine but the verdict is that He stills better on his own. Since the collaboration with Rihanna he has been trying to repeat the same jam and is so boring to hear the same over and over, feels almost like is the same note with differents instruments. I applauded his idea to leave the vocals and to take different ways and the "first" 3 singles were amazing ('Awooga', 'Bounce' and 'Feel So Close') , they were a nice change but they were entertaining and soft electronic/dance music also have some variations,but most of the other songs in the album follow a pattern and make the album so dull.

What make the album good is the tracks that don't come in someone else's album (or are not collaborations)  and have Calvin Harris personal mode, this songs are softer than others and luckily balance the album, 'School' is funky and brilliant. Tracks like 'Mansion' are  very dj-ish, some one with a console, and almost like Daft Punk, so are very dancy and fun, this tracks work more like intros to different chapters of the album which made it a bit interesting. The good songs clash hard with the awful ones because they are not the same, ones are from "Now: that's what i call the same song remixed by various artists 2011/12" and the other ones are from a Calvin Harris nice album.

Another good thing is that the album is modern and hip without making dubstep or an annoying remix, except from the deluxe edition, and still electronic-dance pop music. What is annoying is the lack of new tracks and that 'Mr. Harris' is trying to get all the credit from collaborations, he did the music and is the producer such as William Orbit did for 'Ray of Light' and he didn't went to pick the awards neither did Dr. Luke. or Ke$ha with Britney Spears 'Till The World Ends'.  This "Calvin Harris Greatest Hits 2011-2012" has its moments and the way different good sounds are mixed is brilliant but is a shame that is too repetitive and that best bits are not well exposed.The mayor problem: nothing really to go bankers for or remarkable but snooping through layers you can find good sounds.Also is a bit sad that he is know, worldwide,  as the guy who work with Rihanna and not for his amazing previous works. 

To Listen: Green Valley, Bounce, Feel So Close,We Found Love,Mansion, School, Awooga
Not Recommended: Iron, Let's Go,Here To China,Drinking from the Bottle

The Abbey Road Sessions By Kylie Minogue

Rated: LIKE a Virgin

What a better way to celebrate anniversary, in the music industry, than doing an acoustic version of your hits recordered at the Abbey Road studios. Kylie celebrates her 25's with reworking her "best of" in an orchestral way.

As we are getting into the festive season the songs have also a warm and cheesy air of Christmas. Some tracks has been reworked for better ,like 'The Loco-motion' , others sound weird and a bit dumb, but always fun. The orchestra play very good symphony versions of the original bubblegum pop sound which is noticed that was a meticulous work because sounds brilliant and still feel very pop and familiar and also is different from Kylie's live acts.

Her voice is not perfect but she's given all she can and it is appreciated, in some songs the voice could sound weak and forced like the song is flowing well but suddenly you can hear a little bad note, not a big deal because most of the songs are well balanced in instruments and voice and also all the songs are slowest/lowest than the original version, so the voice is mainly controlled.

Although there are not really new songs, Flower was played in some of her tour dates , the feeling is that everything is new and gives a different view on Kylie, more relaxed and showing some versatility and thank Elvis Presley the album is like this and not a electronic mix we are tired of in charts, like her previous single to celebrate her anniversary as well , "Time Bomb". The delight comes from the flawless blend of pop and the magnificent orchestral arrangements,also Kylie has always a charming indescribable thing and has a more mature proper sound appropriated for her age, maybe (?).

To Listen: All the Lovers,Where the Wild Roses Grow,Flower,Can't Get You Out of My Head,Finer Feelings,The Loco-Motion.

Not to listen So Much: I Should Be So Lucky

Sunday, 21 October 2012

House of Gold & Bones (Part I) by Stone Sour

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction

First part from a two part album inspired by Pink Floyd and Alice In Chains and conceived in grunge, sounds like could be a little mess but it is not but unfortunately is boring.

The album has its charm, is meticulously well made and very very American rock. Everything is in the right place at the right place and that is well mixed with wildness. The album is obviously a Slipknot melodic down with melancholia, as the last part 4 songs show, but there's a lack of spark something that stands out and almost feels Nickelback-ish.

It almost feels like is meant to be a joke. The songs are good but sort of floppy or maybe just fall into the cliche and gets very rock pop, nothing unexpected just what you can hear in any other average american radio-hard-rock album. Also the tracks are kind of cut off before they ended it hears weird.

On the bright side the album passes through different stages, the songs experiment variations of rock in a very good form. The record also ends in a magnificent mild heaviness blend which could lend to a brilliant second part ,hoping so, and also the album has connection to previous works plus a progress from the band. To be the 4th album is not that bad but is dull and forgettable, there's no  a 'wow fact' could hear it over and over and never notice it,just like coffee shop music. Good sound, good voices, doesn't go away from band's style but not very interesting but better made than many others out there .

To Listen: Last Of The Real , Taciturn ,RU486
Avoid: nothing really, give it A play to every song

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Halcyon by Ellie Goulding

Rated: Mr. Personality 

Drowned in chart pop and blind by love makes new Ellie Goulding's album dull and quiet annoying. When you haven't define your style properly is weird and edgy to do a second album with too modern things and different from debut and you can only flop or succeed and be the new wonder, and unfortunately Ellie failed or at least in the the first 3/4 of the album. 

The album starts 'Don't Say A Word' which is a bit hip hop à la Nicki Minaj and sadly the beat repeats on  many songs with some variations like more African in 'Figure 8'. The way the album is made to be just up-to-date is not what you expect and the form she made dub the mainly sound of the album, aside her voice , is weak , although sometimes is acceptable like in 'Only You', just because is in a 90's style. Is an album that could be on top for a while because is what people want to hear but is something that everyone will forget because is one more to the bunch.

Another and the worst problem is that songs are too long and boredom just grows and grows. It just seems like the album gives you more of the same in every song, we know Ellie have a peculiar voice but why exploit like that is almost torturing. Is tedious to hear sirens screams alike constantly , is pretty much like hearing a live concert of Lady Gaga which is fine because I don't have to go. Luckily the album ends well Ellie relaxes her voice and the sound is more like her debut album and the massive consumption (not even pop) sound is left behind . 

With many Disney-ish intros and hip sounds this album is insipid. Just a little less length in songs would made a descent job and if Ellie Goulding were a little more humble in some songs and instead of showing off her voice she had added something spicy to plainness. 'Hanging On' is quiet good but she added too much in a moment and is mostly how the record rolls. Hope she gets over this album soon and do an acoustic one. Not enough songs to save the album.  

To Listen:Atlantis,Dead in the Water,Joy
Avoid: Anything Could Happen, Don't Say A Word, Halcyo, Explosions

Lonerism by Tame Impala

Rated: Lucy in the Sky

Just sit and relax or you can psycho dance. This is band's second album and is even better than first one, a bit more instrumental and relaxed, from start to end it will lift you and put you to float in the clouds.

With a vintage vibe that reminds to The Beatles and the brightness of high quality from the 00's  the album have the perfect blend to make one of the most interesting and enjoyable of the year. The Album easily transports you to the 1960 psychedelia with songs like 'Be Above It'   'Endors Toi' or  the most dance-y 'Keep on Lying'. And another good thing is the way the songs are  twisted to sound a bit more modern and less rusticity and rockness of the previous album, which was fine at the time but now feels a bit old.

The perfect balance of voice and instruments is reflected in every song, not much voice, maybe, but if there was more it could be annoying. The music just flows by it is impossible to stop listening a song in full, although some have weird cuts and take slightly different  ways, like 'Sun’s Coming Up' which is a magnificent end to the record as well, but probably this little twists are what make the album intriguing and not boring at all.  The music never overtakes the voice which is more like another instrument among the others, never too high never behind.

Even though the album is more relaxed and trippy than their debut album the essence is not lost, and this album has reminders to previous work  like the song 'Why Won’t They Talk to Me? ', a brilliant more rocky tune. Fortunately the whole record is listening to a band that have improved and know how to mix everything to deliver the best of them.

To Listen: Sun’s Coming Up,Keep on Lying,Apocalypse Dreams,Why Won’t They Talk to Me?, Be Above It
Avoid: Nothing 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The 2nd Law by Muse

 RATED: Meat is Murder 

Somehow this eclectic album is a disgusting pop explosion of rubbish but at the same time has something that charms you. Muse are updated, which is good, the album is entertaining but in some parts you want it gets hideous and make you lose patience.

The band, don't know if it's on propose, take a too comercial fad-pop road on this album, has too much theatrical  aspects like in a Glee homage episode to Lady Gaga. The record has bit too much 'epicness' and scifi-orquesta madness , a mess that makes the Queen tribute band is losing their essence  except for a very few Muse songs like 'Madness' ,which is very good, or 'Animals' which is a bit more edgy from what we are used to and both songs are like a modern version of Muse and how everything should sound on the album.The album starts with the overdone 'Supremacy' and the theatrical sound explodes more in songs like 'Survival' (worst Muse song ever) and keeps on twisted to dubstep in 'Follow Me' that sound a lot like a song which I can't remember and is also very 1970's dance. The problem is that the album mostly sounds too forced or too acted and doesn't sounds easy like in band's anterior works is very cinematic and somehow explosive but not in a rock way.

Unfortunately good songs on the album are the ones that sound like others bands or rip-off's like 'Explorers' which is a mix of sampling Queen with a Radiohead but in a lullaby version of muse and is the song that connects this album with previous one. 'Save Me' is also a nice song that sound like another band as much as 'Liquid State' but this one is sweet-hard-pop that could be rubbish but has a charm and a familiar sound. Other song that is a lot like queen 'Panic Station' which has an amazing sound, perhaps Muse want to make notice their influences but the thing is you don't copy your idols you have to reinvent them play with the inspiration and create something unique like they did.

The Album has a very like a Christmas record, every song has a cheesy intro and you don't what to expect although you know is going to be somehow familiar and warm. Also the songs crashes with each other, the album just doesn't flow at all theres a Robbie Williams-ish, 'Big Freeze', clashing with
'The 2nd Law's: Isolated System' that sounds like a hyper video game version of Coldplay and both songs fighting with a theme of holidays corny film instrumental intro which is "Prelude". But definitely the album is amusing with all those twists it takes, you could never be boring just lost and scared.

To Listen:Madness,Save Me,Explorers,Panic Station
Avoid:The 2nd Law: Unsustainable,Follow Me,Supremacy,Survival