Wednesday, 18 December 2013

2013: The Good, The Bad & The POP!

As the unlucky 13 was developing we were living more and more key moments that will make this year memorable. From David Bowie album comeback to Miley Cyrus singing with a lipsyncing giant kitten or Beyonce's surprise date album, the year was full of surprises, some were a lot better than others but what an exciting year for music!. 2013 was a great year for woman, even if Robin Thicke tried to defend the domestication of them -all blurred lines- , girls took the lead in the charts specially Miley Cyrus who came as a Wrecking Ball to make us forget about Hannah Montana and scored the two most watched videos of the year. Everything went Pop! the bands, solo artists and even goats went for a pop direction to be a hit and be more radio friendly, probably influenced by Lady Gaga and her so awaited album Artpop ,which weirdly, lacks of this, but if you weren't into that there was an alternative: Folk or Electronic, which also got massive attention this year and if you were a fan of Mumford & Sons folk/rock style and dance beats why not mix it and listen to Avicci or Ellie Goulding ,even Britney has a slip to that. 2013 had variety, that's for sure, but almost everyone aimed for the same:to be on everyone's lips some made it, some fail.

As for the news for 2013: Meteor and opinions on homosexuality crashing in Russia while they keep Pussy Riot bounded luckily many artists showed they support to the band and the human rights, sadly the new Pope and his 'open mind' couldn't help, in other news Prince William passed from changing THE royal baby nappies to perform Livin' On A Prayer with Bon Jovi And Taylor Swift and suggesting that we could see a Royal Twerk soon,The Hives apologized for singing a song about 'stuff blowing up” in Boston, and U2 honoring Nelson Mandela by releasing a song just a few days before he passed away; Events and music were once again hand in hand through 2013, can almost relate any event in the year to a song, but there wasn't an official song for Andy Murray winning Wimbledon or for NSA hacking phones and USA Government Shutdown, or probably Arctic Monkey's 'Do I Wanna Know?' is?. Probably we will never know what a fox says but now there's a song for that and also one that reminds us we'll never be royals (royals) what we do know is Katy Perry's roar sounds like and it was a powerful hit. Psy demonstrated he's not a one hit wonder and we tried to learn the moves but probably ended up more like a 'dancing' in Harlem Shake video,but most important we listened to 'The Best Song Ever',it was impossible not to. In the end 2013 wasn't about bad luck, at all, because we got lucky with Daft Punk's funky comeback,we hear the coming of Yeezus and album names were like AM,BE,MBV,MGMT & 180, easy to remember or lack of creativity? the thing is that '13  all about pop culture.

But aside Pop , the music was also affected by a trend that keeps growing the 90's vibe and new artists like Icona Pop showed that the Eurodance is stronger again and probably will strike hard again. So my lists of the best and worst of the year will be focused on who did a congruent and bold move to survive in a year that expectations were high and many were pursuing the same goal.

 Albums Of The Year 

13.Crimes Of Passion by Crocodiles 
12.The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae
11.This is... by Icona Pop /The Terror by The Flaming Lips
10.The Bones of What You Believe by CHVRCHES
9. Forever by Holograms / 180 Palma Violets 
8.The Weight of Your Love by Editors
7.NEW by Paul McCartney 
6.Mosquito by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

5.Every Weekend by Hadouken!
4.Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
3.The Next Day by David Bowie
2.Overgrown by James Blake 
1.Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action by Franz Ferdinand 

 Singles Of The Year 

13.2013 by Primal Scream /Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
12.Black Skinhead by Kanye West 
11. Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys / Do What U Want by Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly 
10. I Sat by the Ocean by Queens Of The Stone Age
9.Right Action by Franz Ferdinand
8.Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey / My Number by Foals
7.Diane Young by Vampire Weekend 
6.First Time Caller by White Lies
5.Sacrilege by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4.Roar by Katy Perry
3.Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft. Pharell /Evil Eye by Franz Ferdinand 
2. Love Illumination by Franz Ferdinand 
1.Levitate by Hadouken!

 Worst Songs 

5.Saturday by Rebecca Black / Chinese Food by Alison Gold 
4.#Twerkit by Busta Rhymes 
3.Started From The Bottom by Drake
2.Let's Get Ridiculous by Redfoo
1. Scream & Shout (REMIX ) by Will.I.Am ft. Britney Spears, Diddy, Hit-Boy, Lil Wayne, and Waka Flocka Flame

 Worst Albums 


4.In a World Like This by Backstreet Boys

3..Paramore by Paramore

2.Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! by Panic! At The Disco
1.Avril Lavigne by Avril Lavigne

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Black Panties by R. Kelly

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction

Musically this album is delightful, is everything you expect from R. Kelly, there are many details, multiple layers and all work fine together but is on the lyric side where all gets a bit disconcerting because is too cliché and pointless dirty talk. It has a sexual theme, fine, but why do it so amateur,like seeking for attention and we know R Kelly could do it so much better, it sound like these new wave of singers that want to have a 'catchy' hit with say load of boring/mindless words. Also, at  some point it gets boring and there are far too much songs and  could sound very similar but a few surprises will save the album and revive a style that has been slagged. Feels like the album didn't got all the attention require to make it unique, amazing or modern.

Thankfully the album has a magnificent old school vibe and flows brilliantly, although there are some moments where it sounds more like is another artist featuring R. Kelly the record stands out for the enjoyable melodies .Is nothing new, in fact,it does sound old (like from 10 years ago) but who cares if it is this good. An ideal harmony in soft/pop and aggressive/urban sounds, is the sound to which we are used but a little improved and more elegant but not arrogant, is almost perfect. In conclusion it is a very elaborated album that sounds wonderful and in unique R Kelly style but  maybe another direction and more edition it would have been better. I blamed on Lady Gaga and wanting to be so pop.

Recommended: Cookie, . All the Way,  Spend That ,  Shut Up

Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes

Rated:Lucy in the Sky

This is a great album to escape from reality that is not astonishing but is entertaining and alternative to what we listen or is more popular from this producers, which in lays the mayor attention. This kind of albums are (almost) always magical probably because in appearance they don't sound complicated so is not surprising but for the target market (introduces westerns to musicians they may not otherwise have listened to) it has something that will make it special. The fun, the melancholic chords,the eclecticism of sound and the endeavour putted on the album make it very special.

The producers style doesn't mix really well, is too 'pronounced' and very easy to recognize who did what, which is kind of good-sometimes-, but the direction the album has is what puts all together and makes it work. The songs are very elaborated but sound simple and transmit feelings even you don't understand what it's saying you sort of connect with every song which is always great. There are many variations, highs and lows in the record all with a chill out vibe that will make you embark in an delightful musical adventure that is enjoyable from start to end. No matter what genre the songs highlight the most, hip  hop, R&B, soul etc. because all leads to the same end with a pop twist. Notes and effortless voices  blend into beautiful tracks that if you had heard previous works from this people you will hear that is not far from what they do but is not a repetition is more something like an collective evolution. Hopefully it will persuade people to have more choices and a bigger ear to "new" stuff.

Recommended: Songhoy Blues, Bijou, Gambari

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Britney Jean by Britney Spears

Rated:(I can't get no) Satisfaction

Britney Spears promised that 'Britney Jean' was going to be her most personal album but is not as deep and thoughtful as you can imagine ,if that. There are a few songs that can be personal but not as touching as her previous works like 'Every time' or 'Someday',  'Britney' (album) is more personal in some way but probably what Britney meant on this album is that it will have more or her essence and not just songs that were written and then made it fit to a moment in her life, because 'Blackout' could also be on the same Britney's Personal Records line. So mostly the album is a follow up to 2011's 'Femme Fatale' but with a little more connection to the person and not the image Britney Spears is.

The music is nice but it gets boring as it is not new and very similar to last over-electronic Britney works. As -of Black Eyed Peas- is the executive producer the(my) expectations were not really high but at least it could have been so much better, and not just another pop album and there are like another million producers on the record not making enough for Brit. On the bright side the album is a mix of modern pop and electronic with tiny pieces of  Britney's first album so is and interesting combination, with sometimes eclectic sounds, that fans will like. Another good thing is that her voice sound more real creates closer bond to her and with little elements of Folktronica it brings her style up to date, unfortunately there are a few songs that didn't got the memo and sound like Ke$ha back in 2008. The "power ballads" are also confusing  as they don't know what to be: a dance track or a shivering song but after all the album is good not the album of the year not her best album but with a little December luck it will be the album of the month.

Recommended: Alien,Work Bitch,Perfume,Passenger,Don’t Cry


Rated: Music is my Radar 

The debut solo album of  'bEEdEEgEE' (AKA Brian DeGraw from Gang Gang Dance) is a party to your mind. Modern disco sounds with great pieces of hip hop make this album be so enjoyable because although is not something new it has a little something that can make this album stands out from this year similar music. Electrodance ,with variations, is what is most distinguish about sound and very explosive moments.

The album is not far from Gang Gang Dance style, which is good but not brilliant, probably the only difference is somehow more relaxed and less energizer/'aggressive' but it still being powerful and experimental. There are so many different sounds mixed really good ,flowing gorgeously, that will keep you entertained and interested. The hyper and the calm moments mixed with plenty nature-like sounds remind a little to the early 2000's music a mix of electronic and trance with bits of world music and very dance-able but it has tiny bits of new rave that means have loads of fun. Also the record is modern and friendly, recalls to video games music, a great combination of tunes to young people and a new old-way to re-explore.

Recommended:  Like Rain Man, Empty Vases,  Flowers

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Midnight Memories by One Direction

Rated:(I can't get no) Satisfaction 

The quintet has to release as many merchandise as they can before they get too 'old' and this is their finest but dull record to date. A bit more than a year ago the boys released an album that was supposed to be the step or the introduction to a more mature sound and this new one is really it,perhaps,far too mature. The band is once again trying to move away from the silliness and the doll-like commercial pop which is part of the youth and it worked for them well so there is no much fun tracks on this album and sounds so demure, they are young and they're supposed to have fun and fail, this album is like what you expect from a boyband in their 40's after they split 4 times in the past 12 years. It does sound better but for being One Direction album you expect/wish for more cheerful and memorable songs that will stuck in your head even though you don't like them.

The sound is as well trying to get rid of bubblegum-pop and gets more rocky, which is good because it improves their style and is less annoying, probably to a bigger audience.Surprisingly this 'new' sound doesn't sound forced but the voices sound a little young to what they are trying to create though. And there's still a voice that doesn't merge with the others and still causing horrible crashes like in the past album. For its style the album could fit in the rock-pop section alongside with Metro Station,The Script,Hellogobye ,(Latest Cage The Elephant)  etc. is like a Mcfly record without the craziness (or letting loose). Mainly the album turns around the song 'Story of My Life', {which is a song for a man that has lived 30 years ,at least} and all the other 13 tracks are basically the same in different shades/tones [which works for nowadays] and has nothing surprising or at least different from what we listen this days and is inspired by the 80's . Not a bad album, their most concrete to date but lacks of their youthfulness spirit.

Recommended: Best Song Ever,Story of My Life,Right Now

Fellow Travelers by Shearwater

Rated:Lucy in the Sky 

The band are giving a new life to this compilation of covers,from bands they had tour with, by adding some magic to them to turn into something more charming and relaxing.This album has a lot of the band's style and the songs are fit for them so well that you the only thing that reminds you that is a cover is the lyrics that you have heard before but with in a different composition. The music is fantastic and how instruments blend together is magnificent and almost mesmerizing. All songs are in the same range but doesn't mean that is boring or plain there are many powerful and animated moments as tranquil ones so there's a nice balance. There is variety in music but all on the same line and is not anything new but very well done compositions and twists.

The band stay true to their style in every song. Although most of the tracks are not originally their property they own it by reinterpreting them.The original songs could be eclectic and hard to integrate on the album -maybe- but Shearwater manage to join them with their soft old fashioned rock style ,that has been around over 10 years, and their ability to mix a repertoire of instruments that add an epic ('theatrical') fact but without being over-dramatic or to seek for attention. Is not an album that will change their history or music history but is a great material to enjoy from start to end.

Recommended: I Luv the Valley Oh!!,Hurts Like Heaven, Natural One, Ambiguity, Mary Is Mary

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Artpop by Lady Gaga

Rated:Charming Music

One of the most awaited (by many people) albums of the year is finally released and comes with two sides: the boring one and the fun one in which you can find songs that are closest to what 'The Fame' was so there are dance-y and catchy joy-pop tunes, on the other side are the theatrical overworked songs and that at this point are boring and too fabricated. The album is 50/50 about natural and 'faked' songs, when is natural the songs are glorious and bring back memories of why we all talked and followed her, but some songs crossed the line and are far too much Lady Gaga cliché and sound like and amateur pop star that want to be her,that where many in 2011-12.The music is nice, sometimes powerful, but needed to step it up so as for the lyrics that are not very encouraging as they were in 'Born This Way album', in some way this is more a 'selfish' album like it was the first but not as good. But with all the media and the behaviour and BTW  the expectations have been quite low, so this is kind of a victory.

The sound of the album is not really modern, although at some point it does has some elements of modern music,it is mostly inspired by 80's music, once again for Gaga, and lacks of something that get it out from 2008-2011 era. Most of the music nowadays are following the trend that is trying to bring the 1990's but Lady Gaga didn't follow it, and stayed with her sound and the 1980's influence is all over so it does sound a bit dated ,not what you can call POP music. Unfortunately when it tries to sound modern it gets weird with too much drama layers and there is too much happening in a single song, which is also too long. The album needed so much more  edition , 15 songs are so much, some sound like are there just to fill, the drama needs to chill down (like some songs that have it that is in the right amount so the song is entertaining and not shocking-in a bad way-) and the record needs something that is really appealing and that make it wanna listen for it own merits,not just for the media attention it has. Conclusion: The album is fine and give a slightly different idea of what pop is nowadays(Refreshing?), it will entertain you but  is not her best and not the best pop album in this year, neither the best pop in the past three months so is not very exiting, the pop is once again in the hands of what surprises us and this is not astounding .

Recommended: Applause, Dope,ARTPOP,Do What U Want  

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Matangi by M.I.A.

Rated: A Kind of Magic 

Finally after almost two years of the release of the first single, 'Bad Girls', M.I.A is back with this album which is her fourth and her first in three years, and last one was so forgettable, that this is almost the first good thing we hear from her in ages. Her more coherent album to date have many intriguing sounds and is entertaining, full of catchy memorable sounds this "comeback" is strong and will refresh a bit the pop industry,and maybe give a lesson. Includes duets with The Weeknd and kind of sampling Blur's Charmless Man. Probably is too long because you can perceive some songs that are not as creative as others and also fails to be as chart pop as some songs aspire to be. There are elements of nowadays music but probably not so good executed. In every Song there's a twist that makes it interesting.

The music of the album is incredible and keeps you awake because is so energetic, although is nothing new and not very modern it has a Gorillaz style so is kind of eclectic , and with some 'folkloric' / 'ethnic' sounds mixed with electronic sounds so thats what brings the sound up to date also it sometimes resembles a not so bubblegum pop Katy Perry,some bit of Mad Pop-Hip-Hop . Everything works fine and harmonic, keeps up with previous M.I.A albums but this aims more to be fashionable, or to follow a trend but in her own style not just to impact but to trace and spice up her career and be on the spotlight. There are beats of reggae, hip-hop, plenty of pop, electronic, dance, r&b all mixed together with this thing apparently called 'worldmusic', so is very what we are used from M.I.A but pumped up. The fun this album have overcast the dullness it has for tracks that sound like a repetition of previous works.

Recommended: Sexodus, Bring The Noize, Come Walk With Me, Bad Girls,Matangi

Avril Lavigne by Avril Lavigne

Rated:Mr. Personality

Avril Lavigne is back to her old tricks and it seems that they are not working this time. This self-titled album is a step back to what Avril was trying to left behind by being more mature and personal in last album  ('Goodbye Lullaby') . Silliness and immaturity are back teamed up with pop to create songs that we have previously heard in a so much fun  version. The album sounds a lot like 'The Best Damn Thing ' (2007) days mixed with modern pop tunes and tries so hard to be catchy,it's just messy. Many ideas on and trying to revive something that is so burned now and old .

The good thing is that there's a little exploration to new sounds , at least from her style, but unfortunately it mostly goes wrong and weird in a bad way.The album jumps in a song, from a cheessy  female version of stagnant in 2003 Nickelback, which is obviously a duet with her partner and lead singer of that band ,Chad Kroeger, to a ruined by Avril, forced to be rebel song with Marilyn Manson, everything connected by an post-grunge mixed with bad pop aura. Mostly the rest of the songs are what wouldn't even work to fill a pretentious pseudo princess of pop album, it includes songs inspired by K-pop and what Britney Spears last album would have been if it were produced by Nicki Minaj  and without the edition arrangements. Definitely Avril's most  cringeworthy to date, it has no a proper direction and sounds dumb with no connection to her public.

Recommended: Sippin’ On Sunshine,Here’s To Never Growing Up

Free Your Mind by Cut Copy

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction 

This album is too basic pop, could have been so much better, there's a perceptible fear to fail (again) that the band went for the safe road by trying to repeat 'In Ghost Colours' which is fine but it lacks in surprises and wildness and has far too much of trendy music that is very confusing . There are plenty of pop sounds that you can hear in the charts nowadays ,which isn't very from the band to take fashionable sounds and then mixed with their style, so you can feel something is wrong. If you dig a little and separate some pop beats you can find some delightful music, thankfully, and know what this band is about,is just that there are several layers of abstract late 80's-early 90's pop revival , and is hard to identify the band because many people is doing the same these days and this album doesn't stands out.  

The album is more friendly and pop than the last one and the essence of the band is a bit lost but when is shows ups is kind of good because, very similar to the DJ style of the first album and with the dynamic of the second one so is really good but sadly not good enough or with the same impact. This album is pretty much an attempt to repeat, so it lacks of new music and/or surprises, that previous three works had, so is pretty annoying because the band have everything to stand out from the bunch. The record sounds like a boring reprise of the bands more successful single to date 'Lights And Music' but remixed by a beach-y David Guetta in a house style.At the end the album at least is entertaining and spice up a little from previous album but that there are not wild or attractive moves, neither catchy sounds (and is what tries to do), and that is hard to distinguish the band from similar artist is what makes this record plain (dull). Nice but could have been so much better and intriguing.

Recommended: We Are Explorers,Let Me Show You Love,Footsteps

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Prism by Katy Perry

Rated: A Kind of Magic

Perhaps not her best but this is a one great pop album. Katy Perry has had something in every album  that make you say 'This song is going to be a hit single' but this new album lacks of it, which could be good, because every song, aside from 'Roar', sound like the non singles from her previous album so it somehow gives more variation and eclecticity to be range of a typical Katy album. Also there are some explorations to new sound, a bit hidden but there's a variety of sounds that are very interesting maybe not new but rather surprising.

This album keeps a bit the vibe of '...The Complete Confection' which was about healing but without being very dramatic. Katy Perry transmits her personal feelings by singing with party mood and sometimes silly songs, so is more cheerful than an Adele or something.The sound is a mix of what is trendy  in many genres , not just in pop so it adds a intriguing sound that is fashionable but is predominantly timeless. Katy gets rid a bit of the 80's influence and goes into this new trend to bring the 90's back, specially  in 'Walking On Air' in  which Katy did a nice work that is an amazing piece of 1990's eurodance revival.Even thought is like an healing album and has few powerful songs it goes more to the corny and romantic way that she found a new love and everything seems bright now etc. so is very cheesy and less fabulous than her previous works but at least it is entertaining and natural. Music helps very much to create this joy and to feel related to it, is more to carry on with old fans rather than make new ones.

Recommended: Roar,Legendary Lovers, Walking On Air,'This Is How We Do,This Moment

Moon Landing by James Blunt

Rated: A Kind of Magic

After his 'retirement' James Blunt is back with his fourth production which is, once again, an attempt to reconnect with that affliction that make him famous. Almost 10 years since we started hearing of him with his first ever single and now James is trying to bring those days back by recruiting one of the producers of his first album ,Tom Rothrock, but unfortunately this album is too lost in trying to be modern and to put something new/fashionable in the industry. It does have a vibe like first two albums which where different but something joins them, this could came in between them if it were not so confusing(messy). But not everything is wrong, the album even comes to be a nice fun, after all ,with a few surprises.

Music saves the record because although it keeps with the beachy-silly vibe of last album on this it gets right. There are many interesting and unexpected sounds that flow natural that may go unnoticed but it is what keeps this album being entertaining. At some point it does get really cheesy and girly but there's a bit of balance with more dramatic music almost like an low budget orchestral thing and James Blunt does that passive-aggressive voice he has already done in previous works ,so theres sort of a relief after many corny stuff .  The mayor problem is that it does sound forced to catch up with many sounds that are trendy this days that it gets weird, if the goal was to make it modern James Blunt should have gone for something more like Ellie Goulding and it would fit perfectly  because it has the base and the potential but just needs to spice up with more electronic music to go into this 'folktronica' synth-dream- pop thingy.

Recommended: Face The Sun, The Only One,Sun On Sunday

Aftershock by Motörhead

Rated: Music is my Radar  

If getting electro-shocked was fun this is how it would sound. From the beginning to end this album is powerful and it transfer the good classic feeling of the genre. After many years this band is one of the few that still demonstrating that you can release several solid albums without changing drastically and just by upgrading. The album has all the elements of a band that is a milestone and creates classics and is mixed with little bits of modernity and a lot of rhythm so is very attractive for old and new fans. 'Aftershock' is probably one of the most friendly,not as heavy as it could have turned,  albums of the band that still got the essence of the band very marked. It sounds old but modern, experimental/amateur but wise... to be more simple it kick ass and can give a lesson to many dummy bands out there.

The record sounds LIKE being influenced by 90's and early 00's electronic music,more specifically Trance, which gives a very appealing sound/combination to the incredible display of guitars and percussion.The music is simply delightful, it apportions rock and roll and hard rock,once again, and bring an enjoyable heavy metal  .Not  everything is explosions sometimes it is softened with some blues like music that puts balance in between craziness.  A burst of energy to your ears.

Recommend: Keep Your Powder Dry, Dust and Glass, Death Machine, Lost Woman Blues, Coup de Grace

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam

Rated:A Kind of Magic

This album might not be surprising but is as good as a Pearl Jam album can get these days. We have to face it, the band will never archive the relevance they got in the 90's but that doesn't mean that they can not do great albums after the breakthrough era.This new album has an old fashioned alternative rock style that is amazing and is a rediscover of many elements of the band ,in their early years, that have been missing in past albums. You can recall ,with many interesting and good beats, why this band was so important in music and why they still are an inspiration for many bands.Those classic 90's rock guitars make this album as good as listen a very thoughtful album from that decade and is not overwhelming or hard as it could turn is very friendly for a big range of listeners. The album doesn't feel forced, it is more natural than previous ones and there's a balance of soft songs and more crazy ones and gets closer to a more rock and roll style, which could be new for the band.                

Finally Pearl Jam putted rhythm to their music and make it sort of more dance-able, the songs are more catchy and there's more cheerfulness from the band which is always good,let's say is more pop but not cheesy.Unfortunately not everything is good there are bits where the bands attempt to be more modern and the sound is very similar to Maximo Park in their beginnings which is good but is not very Pearl Jam , also the music is perfect in every song, closest to 1990's, in so long, but voice and lyrics are on a different road and crash in moments which leads to a messy mix.Another weird thing is that is too 2000-2004 movie theme rock music and Nickelback comes to mind easily which is not very flattery.But with a little time the songs and the album start to get better and the songs with problems ,of wanting to be modern, are forgettable or rather say the songs that don't aim for too much are the ones that shape the album and revive those glorious days of the band.In general is good as is a way to reconnect with the band but is not something astonishing or to talk about it for long time.  

Recommended:  Future Days,Sleeping By Myself,Pendulum,Sirens, My Father’s Son

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Melophobia by Cage the Elephant

Rated:A Kind of Magic

Two years after the release of 'Thank You, Happy Birthday' the band is back with their third album that is slightly different from the "grunge revival" sound that we are used to. With first single 'Come A Little Closer', which is beautiful, it does seemed to be that the band would take a new direction but not this one. Although it is good the sound is not very defining it sounds like MGMT trying to do britpop in a OK GO way. There's nothing really new but at least they are doing a great job at what many bands do average these days. What happens is that the band essence is there but some elements that shaped it are not, so it is a bit disconcerting.The good thing is that they still sound like The Beatles in a super modern quirky rave form.

The album is enjoyable and has more crazy and 'party' songs than mellow cheesy ones, which is very CTE,  but it doesn't reach the looseness the first 2 albums had. It flows well and maybe is far too much worked for being a Cage The Elephant record and unlike the band past works it follows a trend so the music is somehow catchy and have sounds that we commonly hear these days. The punk is almost gone and the wildness attitude is a bit lost into many layers of pop.The album is exploring new sounds, which is brilliant, and sound more immature than previous ones which is kind of good that the band is not just doing the same over again so that makes the album good what bothers is maybe that we know it could have been better. Even though it is a bit hard to find it the band's style is there and the work and effort is nice, just I would like it to be more messy and less think but hopefully live it will be amazing and a new less posh album will come fast mixing the past with the new.


Bangerz by Miley Cyrus

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction/We're Not Gonna Take it 

Well, around this album the buzz has been huge and apparently it shouldn't be quite close to Hanna Montana stuff but it is closest than her last two albums. Aside from the singles already released the album is a mess of synths and mix of many sounds which sometimes work for good (is interesting) and sometimes don't.The Album is modern with pop trendy sounds very similar to Kesha, Selena Gomez and Britney last album. Music is nothing but pop sometimes it tries to venture in other genres (hip-hop mostly) and produces this messy 80's style. Miley's voice is annoying when she effort too much to not sound like what we are used to ["innocent Miley"] but when she chills and  it harmonies with the music the mix is kind of good. Music is dramatic ,in someway, mixed with 'underground music' but in its most bubblegum pop sound possible.

There's certainly more fun or more looseness than in her last album, that's was pretending to be mature and wanted to catch  a grown up audience, that make it  feel more likable but the this album still tries so hard to not be the kid's pop star. Miley's fans that has grown with her will be pleased because it is not remotely different from ANY of her albums is a ,nice follow up, some songs can even fit for a Hannah Montana 2nd movie. The good thing is that she's still young and the album has a vibe like Britney Spears' first record which was loaded with beachy and girly sounds so it's a bit entertaining but nothing that is really unique it is very generic and the only thing that will make it transcendental is all the things we are saying about Miley behavior during this stage.

Recommended:We Can’t Stop, Wrecking Ball, Do My Thang

Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! by Panic At The Disco

Rated: Enjoy the Silence 

We know this band is in decline but this album is outrageous. They are trying to be so popular and cool to compite with Maroon 5or something, it sounds really annoying like The Wanted doing alternative music .Fortunately songs are very short and end before it turns duller because this album lacks of feeling and is another plastic over-produced pop record that we can hear anywhere .It is too repetitive and the absence of innovation is incredible, it is even worse than last album that was so forgettable.The album has a peculiar hidden vegas sound that is the last remaining thing of the band that was compared once with The Killers.

The album is full of synths and don't know if it is on purpose but it gives the idea that it is a failed attempt to be tacky 80's music. It is just really messy cos there's a bunch of ideas that are trendy nowadays but  poorly executed.It doesn't even work as satiric if that was the idea, Cobra Starship at least have made this catchy and have an idea of what they're doing but sadly Panic At The Disco remains try so hard and eventually buried they "career", not that it have been great but at least they had have some good songs.This record sounds like it was inspired by Bowling for Soup's 1985 which could have turned interesting but the desire to be fashionable kills everything. And if you liked the first album,unfortunately,the fake drama is back! and now mixed with more cheesiness.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Innocents -by Moby

Rated: Music is my Radar 

Many trying to bring this 90's ambient electronica back but there's only one that could it done perfectly or maybe it was never gone for Moby. This new album keeps up with his last albums but has less modernity and could be more transcendental/Complete/interesting.It doesn't mean it is not trendy this album has enough to compete against anything on the charts now and give a lesson of  how to mix without being pretentious even Lana del Rey can learn something because there's a vibe in which she could get inspired by or inspired by her. The end of the 1990's chill music makes it attractive plus intriguing and is mixed with little doses of more fashionable tunes that make the album be a little more timeless in Moby's very own style. The record is a delighting mix of many sounds that could turn low and soft of more powerful and vibrant. 

The music is relaxing and more balanced than in past record which at some moments it heard to be crashing and producing a bit of mess. It perfectly flows and variates from disco to more folkloric and kind of gospel sounds also there are bits of soft sounds and more "aggressive" ones that blend very well together like in the song 'Don't Love Me', which also mixes some sort of sexiness . Every song is beautiful like a work of art so you can hear the difference between a random generic singer/band and the brilliance of Moby. The tracks are mostly cheerful with a dark little twist and have nice warms ups and keep growing to explode in music joyfulness . Collaborations as in any album from this musician works magically and make sense as the instrumental lapses do. This album is so easy to identify with Moby's unique style and is very pleasant to hear it to give a rest to your mind from many noise pollution we get this days.        

Recommended: A Case For Shame , The Perfect Life, Don't Love Me, The Lonely Night , The Dogs

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The 20/20 Experience Pt. 2 by Justin Timberlake

Rated: A Kind of Magic 

After a bit weak first part this second one makes the Justin Timberlake come back even more joyful and kind of rejuvenate the style and sound. The 20/20 Experience Pt. 1 was the refined, sophisticated and adult side of Justin and now this is the young and playful one.I was concerned that this could sound way different because first single is a different but this is the perfect sequel that makes the album has a better close.It keeps exploring "new" sounds and mixing them gorgeously also the songs twist at the end which create almost a new song, like in FutureSex/LoveSounds,  the only problem that it keeps carrying on is that songs turn a bit boring because they are too long. At some point it gets cheese as part 1 but this is less pretentious and more electronic and in party mode but balanced with acoustic guitars that are a glee.

Musically it isn't genius as is not very innovating but it is more like the whole composition what makes this album be so good. It sounds a lot like 2000's Justin Timberlake and to the music that was popular in 2003 ,so, at some moments it could sound dated but JT is perfect to replay this and make it some sort of a timeless genre because He knows how to do it brilliantly and gladly he's not just following a trend. The diversity of music blended ,so well,  is  amazing , even the songs that are very long  keep you at least surprising once in a while with little treats. Although it is not very modern it is some how up to date, resembles new Daft Punk and songs from Great Gatsby OST and even give an idea of what Nsync sounded in the early 00's and how it could sound in this era. It contains tracks that like for those girl fans but also more rocky and crazy tunes, so is balanced, corny and powerful, it also brings more of the JT live experience with more natural songs and not so worked. This is just as nice as the first part but a spiced up.

Recommend:  Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want),Take Back the Night, Murder ,Drink You Away,Not A Bad Thing

Sunday, 22 September 2013

This is... by Icona Pop

Rated:Lucy in the Sky

Finally a duo that can bring out what a Powerpuff Girls album could sound like. This album is the international debut of the Swedish pop sensation so it includes some tracks from their first production that was released less than a year ago. From start to end this album is all of the best of pop, enjoyable , catchy and dance-y , it has the chart music vibe but without being one of the bunch.This record has its own style and stands out from the others because is modern and very girl power.There are highs and lows but mostly high hyper dance beats and the lows help to break what it could be a monotonous record that is average in today's charts .

Dance, joyful and crazy like any young pop band ,but with incredible tunes that will be hard to forget. Probably Icona Pop will just be like another craze band and will end soon (5 years) but if they keep this style, who cares!, it will be a memorable career . The music style is like for the same target market as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Rita Ora, etc so it is strong and commercial but with a lot of feeling on it to find empathy. Synths are wild and voice is refreshing, it has a very similar feeling to the Spice Girls. The beat changes to create another mood and everything is in harmony and measured like a good Power Pop album should be. It is nothing new or special, could be compared with Calvin Harris latest track, but the duo own it and make it very cheeky and feminine, they managed to twist the popular music and cool it up.

Recommended:  I Love It, All Night,Girlfriend, In The Stars, Hold On, Then We Kiss

Mechanical Bull by Kings Of Leon

Rated: Music is my Radar 

Kings of Leon are back with a good album that hopefully will get better feed back than previous one. Mechanical Bull, the six album by the band, is a a great follow up without being too corny but  still have similarities with 'Come Around Sundown' but spicing it up with a vibe of the first albums.It sounds like this is the more relaxed  album the band have done, it is not too worked, sounds like more natural, the band let it flow and is so nice because add some more joy and an emphatic feeling . You can hear more of the band without many details that sometimes, in past songs, just overshadowed the band essence.It is pure but very well edited to have a more charming sound for the new fans and the old ones . There's a lot of passion for doing the perfect music but not aiming for being the best.

Young and refreshing is what this new album sound like but with a twist of classic late 70's and 80's  rock and is less Country Pop than previous records and the Garage Rock style stand outs more again like in the first albums. The album has everything typical from rock and roll, nice beat, fun, nice lyrics, a bit of cockiness, some craziness, etc. everything works perfectly together and gets close to all that amazing bands like  Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Guns N' Roses,White Snake, Eagles and all those bands we enjoy when randomly pop up on the radio, but targeting a public for this  era and that is modern and love to hear bits of trendy sounds. Could sound like is a very though album but is not, it keeps a mellow and sweet ambient  like the last one but with plenty more of an adult-but-playful version of KOL. Music is a delight probably nothing so new except for some Jazzy tunes but how good and timeless the blend was done is what makes this album entertaining and distinguishing the band once again .

Recommended:  Supersoaker, Don’t Matter,  Wait for Me, Family Tree, Comeback Story,  On the Chin

The Bones of What You Believe by CHVRCHES

Rated: Like a Virgin

The new Scottish band comes stomping hard with this sort of new sound.  This is the atypical beat in the stereotypical chart synth pop, the band are aporting to the genre, that these days could be repetitive and is starting to become boring, some kind of clever new mix to the sound and are definitely creating their own style. A magnificent shift to what is hip and popular nowadays, with a  young new spirit is what industry has been looking for  with the indie touch and 'The Bones of What You Believe' has all to hit, catchy tunes, fast,entertaining , dance and  juvenile, songs will definitely gonna get stuck in your head for a while. Although they  are very similar the band managed to put some interesting sounds in each track that will keep you listening and interested as it is  new and joyful.  

The innovating sound is a mix of late 80's and 1990's dance scene but not what was very mainstream but some sort of variation the underground dj, clubbing and dance scene ,like the song 'Let Me Love You For Tonight ' by Kariya, this record has a intriguing cool sound. The
Songs morph into something even better to what were you listening and percussion not just join everything but gives it a more hard sound than the usual. The result is a mix of two very different songs merging to be just one dance tune and the band nailed it perfectly. At some points it does get a lot like ordinary pop and what we can listen on Top 40's but the key moments are huge enough to make the album very special and magic it even sound like a lite version of new rave. Mixing the old with the new  and calm moments with party  Chvrches debut album is set to be memorable.

Recommended:You Caught The Light,Lungs,Science/Vision, Night Sky, Lies,Tether,Gun,The Mother We Share

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Nothing Was The Same by Drake

 6 /10  
Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction

Drake is back and letting all out, his feelings are supposed to do the talk but unfortunately it sounds forced/faked. Perhaps the willing was good because there's a lot of effort and you can hear it in each song and that could be the main problem with this album, it  sounds  far too worked and overthink that the essence is lost. It is dull and the only few good moments, that are where it sounds natural and with guts, are lost or didn't got the attention to spice this album up. It lacks of aggression/wildness ,variety , spark and modernity that some previous albums had have. Some good collaborations could been  used in the right way, but the album is to inclined to Pop and to be catchy that everything sounds messy.

Depression is also playing a big role here, there is a lot of this feeling that a new genre has been invented, Emo-Hip Hop, it sounds theatrical and not very real. The music is a little-much "dark" and the R&B is undistinguished, we have heard this album a million times in the 2000's that is boring. Although it sounds like early Kanye West music there's an exaggeration that doesn't let the songs shine. This record is probably the most intimate from all Drake's  albums but fail to be intriguing and there's no balance of hollow and encouragement, it is very sad, slow and dated . A very typical album of hip-hop and R&B that is not giving anything new or taking something, except for joy, it is not impressive or to make so much buzz about it. The album has the potential with many clever twist it has but doesn't innovate or provoke any action, is just one more.

-No songs to recommend-

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Loud Like Love by Placebo

Rated: Music is my Radar 

This band never disappoint to create an good album because they have a consistent work that will probably never be a massive hit (Again?),modern or radical but is always satisfying, impressive and congruent with past records. The way the band  manage to keep the style is genius, they never go out of  it but never repeat they just give little variations to it and this album s full of that,  in the right amount. The band know how to mix those chill fashionable vibes with more hard and  the sort of anger the past albums have had is now transformed to something more melancholic and almost mellow which add more to the band range , although  in the previous records it was  a similar feeling this record is where it explodes. Also is a bit more cheerful not just lyrics, feeling, and voice but music is more up beat that could be on the dance-rock side but obviously with more rock and roll than  clubbing. Music  resembles the mid 1990's relaxing style and psychodelia it is soft, fine and refreshing with very vibrant style and weird positivism. Another scale of the same old good band.

The songs have many variations which keep you interested and there's no way you can get bore with the amazing mix which is very 'classic' Placebo with little sparks of trendy music (psychodelia, synth-pop,new wave, etc). The album has plenty to offer the keep you entertain and enjoying to bits, it goes from gloomy lyrics with cheerleaders beats to more sweet and merry notes mixed with hard rock , it is a complete album that even thought it combine a lot it sounds natural , not forced or crashing at all, and that gives another 'sight' of the band but without losing or going too far from what they are used, fans will love. It doesn't matter if you have been a fan since the beginning of the band or this is the first album you will hear, the amount of Placebo on this record is so good that you will be delighted to listen to it , any ways , it is a good start and an amazing complement to their career and also is radio friendly.Balanced, complex, dark an timeless from beginning to end.  

Recommended: Scene Of The Crime,Too Many Friends, Hold On To Me,Exit Wounds,Begin The End


Rated:Meat is Murder

The band is finally back with an album that will not fulfill great expectations. A little more than three years the band released 'Congratulations' with a slightly different sound from their debut hit album to not be too 'pop' and to be less successful. This Album is the sequel but in its most Pop form. There are plenty bands these days mixing psychedelia, synth-pop and rock , dream pop,etc. that to succeed you have to be surprising and this album is not. It is plain, although there are many new elements from the band like more hard-industrial sounds the  record got lost in selfishness and many bizarre beats like a pop female singer that tries too look freaky to get attention but it's not Gaga or Niki Minaj  just a sad forgettable one.

The album is pretentious, weird and heavy, like for real, it feels like music is a weight in your head and after a while you start getting exhausted, the sound is fine but is too much and not surprising. The voice is lost again like in congratulations and just like the lyrics it sound forced to be "chill" or "cool" . There are some good moments like when it get more cheerful and rhythmic ,like in first album, some powerful notes and vibes are shyly hidden under layers and layers of trying to sound different and supernatural . The songs tend to transform and pass many stages that make the album interesting and not so boring. 'Cool Song No. 2' mysteriously sounds like it came out of Blur's Think Tank but in a psychedelic way  and is the only one that is fun and were the voice sounds potent and leading which was MGMT's original sound.

With more than one listen you might probably find more nice moments but as a lot it doesn't surprise it is like one of the bunch of psycho-pop, the band identification gets weaker and is too much 'dizziness' or 'drowsiness' to handle. It is closer than the second album was to the demos and to 'Oracle Spectacular'  and have a nice 80's touch, but  is over-oddness and attempting to be so atypical is overrated. The album mixes a lot and is sweet but is like the a super-dull version of Madonna's True Blue with out the hits or the spark so it means there are many good different sounds but needed more attention and to concentrate in how to make it astonishing and modern. I bet the band will move on and split or keep trying to loose fans as they will work on side projects just to not be 'mainstream', which is  a shame.

-No Song To Highlight-

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Forever by Holograms

Rated: A Kind of Magic 

A bit more than a year since the band released their first full-length album which was more gloomy and garage, but as great  a this new one.The previous EP's and songs were too loose and was difficult to identify their style,with a similar sound to The Futureheads, but here is the album that hopefully will give them the fame they deserve and will the define their style. This album is an evolution to a more eloquent and strong sound but they just polished their skills so is basically the same in a more congruent direction. There still a uncontrolled and young atmosphere with a dark twist that makes the album more intriguing and enjoyable, alongside with the variations of very cheerful and dance tracks to the most overwhelming and 'obscure' ones.

Song after song and minute after minute the album keeps getting better and surprising, the songs are powerful and full of energy. 'Forever' keeps the band idea of having fun with the music and sound very natural, although it is full of details it doesn't sound elaborated, it flows magnificently, the song are all in the same line but not being boring or similar, it is a nice brotherhood of songs. The album is full of great energy and old classic rock vibe gives the band a especial thing that make them stand out form many other good bands. The mix of everything and mostly the genres is very potent like a blend of many metal/alternative/rock bands like from Papa Roach and Slipknot to Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica and Iron Maiden but in a softer and Pop-y, mellow way without being cheese, so it is sweet, beaming and the music tell a story by its own.It is a fast Swedish Punk-New Wave-Epic-Rocky mature album that sounds familiar but with a fresh sensation, it is just brilliant and vigorizing.

Recommended:  A Sacred State, Flesh & Bone, Meditations, Luminous,Lay Us Dow

AM by Arctic Monkeys

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction 

Two years after their last album the band is back with the same formula but with the right direction but fail in edition. This new album has a very mature sound (ann closer to Kasabian) , flows really well and the songs are very attached to each other which is provably where it get a bit boring.'R  U Mine' was "first single" of this album released more than a year ago, it is amazing and was a return to the band's roots with a more grown up sound, it was also a great starting point to the album but every song in this record is a variation of that song with no much effort to make it better or to surprise. The first two minutes of every song are everything for the music then the music is like played on loop, they are very good sounds but does not change for a long, long time and songs are very long, a shorten length for every song would have done great things for the album because is could be strongest band album so far. Everything is good but not impressive, a bit pretentious and cocky but it is part of the Arctic Monkeys but safe.

Although their last album , Suck It & See, had great reviews, in my opinion it wasn't so great because is a bit messy and not very related to previous works. 'AM' is like a good sequel to a floppy past because is very similar but with the very Arctic Monkeys style and in their unique way to sound modern but not fashionable. A more American sound mixed with a 90's and 50's rock and roll vibe, which is what make it a nice follow up, made this album interesting and if you listen closely there are bits/ or vibes that are inspired by 80's synth and new vave .There is a little twist for the band and there are nice new sounds that make you want to hear the album but unfortunately not in full because tends to bore. The album is magnificently worked,it is more dramatic almost like Muse but with rhythm (dance-y), and very related to the band, it has a nice funk touch but is a bit plain as for there's no explosion. Though there are highs and lows that keep you awake it doesn't really manage to surprise but it is exciting .

Recommend:R U Mine?, One for the Road, Arabella, Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?, Snap Out Of It

Kiss Land by The Weeknd

Rated: We're Not Gonna Take it 

Don't understand why so much people were excited about this album, it is maybe because is the 'acceptable' version of Chris Brown(?). This album is another male pop one that is mixed with R&B and electronic beats like Justin Bieber,Chris Brown,Justin Timberlake (not that great) and many others so it is trendy and nothing more. For The Weeknd is kind of upsetting because you expect something more relaxed and less pop. The music is good with little 70's-80's vibes but is plain, there a few songs that have edgy variations which are perfectly made. It starts like warming up to big surprising tunes but never wild seems to happened to the record and songs need edition they're far too long. As a whole the sound is predictable and compared to last year's songs it is a little slope  because the identity is faded probably is more to please that to create something.

Yes it is hip, it is vibbing and well made but is not astonishing or outstanding from many others out there. All songs flow very well and there are soft and more clubbing ones, there's balance and entertainment  but it needs to be spiced up, it needs something that is so good that stands out from others and that identify the musician. The style stills there but the direction is what is wrong, it goes to much to the pop side and to the masses so The Weeknd essence is a bit lost and also there's nothing new so turns kind of boring and overheard album that will be forgotten but it is nice and you can hear the effort in every detail, just wasn't enough.

Not Likely:  Kiss Land,Pretty

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Later...When The TV Turns To Static by Glasvegas

Rated: A Kind of Magic

After a little more than two years since the release of  "‎Euphoric Heartbreak" the band is releasing another big production that is even more powerful and overwhelming than past works. As it is usual the band is going for a melancholic/death/dark themed album but adding some kind of laments and lullaby's .This album has more balance with cheerful and bleak songs because it is not extremist, to be a Glasvegas album. Although there are few modern sounds the album still sounding actual in a strange way mostly because is a step forward for the band and you can hear the progress and their essence with slightly new variations .

The music played is more epic than past albums and very sci-fi  theatrical which gives a little twist to what is expected and make the record more enjoyable.The percussion is very potent and almost get all the attention but guitars are very loud as well so 'classic' rock predominates but there are bits of everything in more fewer portions but add a lot the album that at first could be monotonous. There are more 'folkloric' sounds than in any other of their records. Also there's a more loose feeling that makes a more relaxed because last two records are more controlled but this is as worked as any of their albums and sounding as it was effortless so this album is their most solid so far and blends in the right amount many sounds that makes it interesting and brilliant without losing the band's appealing.

Recommended:Later...When The TV Turns To Static,All I Want Is My Baby,I'd Rather Be Dead (Than Be With You), If,Neon Bedroom

Sequel To The Prequel by Babyshambles

Rated: (I can't get no) Satisfaction 

After 5 years or so the band is back together and releasing  their third album and for many the 'long' waiting is over. The album is everything you expect,typical from the band,  and very nice but probably not for this era, it still in sounds like mid noughties .It is not a repetition but is not very innovating the band decided not to be very risky and to not be experimental as well so theres a unsatisfactory feeling because is an 'acclaimed' comeback so should be bigger and surprising even though it could very bad but not just be "meh". Any how it feels like Babyshambles  were struggling to make it hip and to refresh themselves but it is like a slow progress because the album start sounding modern at the end but not very successful, anyway it is brilliant how is part of band's catalog .  

Is good that the band hasn't change and that they  still got the charm and the strange manner to highlight Peter Doherty annoyingly stills there. The music is played mostly very quiet and is a shame because sometimes there are very interesting sounds that overshadowed by a voice and lyrics that doesn't collaborate too much. The lyrics are a bit weak and  kind of forced to be funny,silly and punk-y that could have worked but the band needed to grown up a bit and be out of their comfort zone and surprise the fans.What makes this album good is the songs that are very well mixed and integrate everything in harmony, also, the songs that are new beats for the band are good and show that the band care. More cheerful and animated songs also balance the album but doesn't sound effortless. The album is fine but nothing  that your next-corner-venue-band could do better.

Recommended: Nothing Comes To Nothing,Farmer’s Daughter,Sequel To The Prequel,Dr. No, Minefield