Sunday, 28 October 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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