Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Terror by The Flaming Lips

Rated: Lucy in the Sky 

Less strong as rock and stronger in the experimental/psycho side of  the band; The Terror is heavy as band has always been but pulls down the laud garage style and the result is good but not as a band's classic or as an introductory album  to new followers. 

Overall the albums is, indeed, edgy and bold in which at some moments could be boring because you expect   to have a little more of the band and that thing that make it so unique and delightful.The essence of the band is there, don't get it wrong, but there's a lack of something that make them stand out from other great bands that are making good experimental rock. The album is really entertaining with many twists and surprises, all tracks have continuity and all have the same theme, the mix is perfect (except on  'Try To Explain' which music overcomes) so the album is really great and charming.

The album could get boring at some points but the band knew how to wake you up, like in “You Lust" and "Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die" that  are long but have many variations and have that power that The Flaming Limps have accustomed us. The album get soft again at "Turning Violent" which is full of craziness as well, the album keeps a good style at anytime either is fast strong track or more trippy songs it is consistent and very acid trip-y, has the ability to transport you to a no mainstream (music) genre and does properly.
With no much to complain, aside the lack of  a stronger/defining sound of The Flaming Lips , the album is really nice that starts a bit weak and sometimes is a bit repetitive and sound so much electronic but it grows and have a great closer, 'Always There…In Our Hearts' , and that is just the culmination of many great songs compiled together. Would recommend  as a band essential/introduction and is not career  highlight. 

Recommend : Always There…In Our Hearts; Turning Violent;You Lust;Be Free, A Way

Monday, 25 March 2013

Wild And Free by A Rocket To the Moon

Rated:Mr. Personality [but somehow charming]

(Diabetes). Too sweet and so much cheesier, this album is too much for an album in a 'pretentious' way, not sure if that's the word but fits anyway. Is not actually a mess or really really bad but  at some point it exceeds the cuteness limit and starts to bore.

As a boy band that their golden years have gone and is trying to recover their fans,not that they're, this album is full of corny songs and catchy melodies that probably will enchant a bunch of girls but will not be a remarkable work. The record has moments that remain a soft version of old Train mixed with gentle Simple Plan tracks but is stuck in 2004-2008  era, it is a throwback to a band that has done a nice debut album and defined their own style but in this album seems a bit lost. It is a boring attempt to be fashion and more commercial and when finally wakes up from that sugary dulnness is lame.

The sounds are really well played, very mellow and calm instruments achieve gentle melodies which is the most remarkable from all, even reach some great bands master works. If  Bon Jovi decided to do a very mellow album this is how it would sound.  'Another Set Of Wings' has a bit of more risky sound, in soft beats,but where the band finally reach the sound of previous works, like in  'Somebody Out There', is were they failed mostly because sounds even weird because theres something that don't let them show properly, like the hollow of tenderness that surrenders the album. And The same happens with the 'edgier' tracks ( Nothing At All,Wild & Free) had a Hanson vibe but even more caramelized pop-rock. 'Wherever You Go' is probably the sound the band should had done in every song with twists to not making this over-bored album.

The lack of something really attractive or a surprising thing makes this album really dull because is the same thing over and over, the band sound constantly like is searching for that something that makes them hit the charts strongly  but easily they get lost, because it sounds forced and is not that great. At least is not annoying nor clueless, the aim is to satisfy rock-y girls that want to listen something less wild, which the album is, not as entertaining as previous album, and very commercial if it was 2007 and chick flick-ish, typical beachy California .

Recommended: First Kiss, If I'm Gonna Fall In Love
No So Much: Ever Enough, I Do,Wild & Free

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Comedown Machine by The Strokes

Rated:(I can't get no) Satisfaction 

Not as amazing as i could have been, not as boring as it feels like. The Strokes new album has nice beats that remind their debut album with bits of their latest albums. The band now sounds more Australian and less European, so they as always are trying to not be Americans but is always good how they play this mix of music styles.

Although the record sound fake and even pretentious the result is kind of good and entertaining is not astonishing but is not really awful which leaves it in the indifference side. Is an album that is to adorned and polished that has a lack of The Strokes but when they shown up they do it great, 'Partners In Crime' and '50/50' have that edginess and rock joy that is like the Strokes signature but sadly some songs has this thing do it wrongly that sounds faked or very forced.

The album may suffer from the absence band's unique style that sounds natural but is good that The Strokes are experimenting and there are plenty of variety to hear.Songs are very different but in the same style, 'Call It Fate' is the most alternative and weird has a Blur's 13 style mixed with Latin notes but is a nice close to a sound that has been growing track by track. When I wrote the review to The Virgins' Strike Gently i said that wasn't very related with Julian Casblancas' style but with this album is easy to understand the influence each band gave to another (Welcome to Japan). Unfortunately the instruments overtakes the voice (80's Comedown Machine, Slow Animals) and result is quite confussing . the album sounds pretty 1980's brought to the present like 'Happy Endings' that sound a lot like a The Virgins version of Madonna's Holiday, many synths doing a great job and giving fun to this quiet party.

We would expect more from the band but maybe this album was too neat and there is where the band feel lost but what balances is the fact that they are looking for new vibes.It is not the best work but to compared with last two albums it isn't their worst.

Recommended:  Call It Fate, Call It Karma; Partners In Crime;  50/50
Not So Much: Slow Animals, All the Time,Slow, 80's Comedown Machine

Delta Machine by Depeche Mode

 Rated:Music is my Radar 

Depeche Mode's 13th album is a good follow up to their career, it mixes the 1980's and more contemporaneous sides of the band very well, with bits of sinisterness and sex, All blended together to produce that amazing moments the  band has accustomed us to love and expect.

This album has everything that makes  all the great records sound modern but timeless.  Electronic, Blues, Country, Psychedelic, all in most not so obvious way and with the classic  Depeche Mode style.  Delta Machine has plenty to offer but unfortunately in a limited range. Many experimental different sounds and many classic vibes are compressed and blended to be an intriguing and anxious record but in very short times, although that sensual slow hip dance style of Depeche Mode is in every song so is nice how the band still evolving without changing or going bonkers about it.This  is probably the album that has more relativity with 1980's band's style but not setting aside the savageness and virility the band had earned in the last 20 years.

The only complain is that is probably too slow  and the lack of something harder, but in many songs this really works like in  'Soothe My Soul' ,which has plenty of Depeche Mode classics, so is mostly is very forgivable. Everything is sweet and softer like in the past album but a little more darker and edgy. The band sound fresh as always and in this record ther are very classic moments like 'Heaven', ' Soothe My Soul' and 'Secret To The End' that keeps the epic-ness from the band and that lot of vitality they still got.

A very brilliant continuity to an amazing trajectory with classical  and a full grown up sound , which is what you hope for Depeche Mode, and they give that step forward to still innovating and being modern with out losing their essence all in very nice harmony and has  many highs and lows,in sound, so is a very amusing ride and is a very complete album, full of sin, love, darkness, booms, wildness, interesting and all those things that describe the Depeche Mode.

Recommend:  Heaven,Secret To The End,Slow,Soft Touch / Raw Nerve, Should Be Higher,Soothe My Soul, Goodbye [except for that horrible twist at the end]

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Every Weekend by Hadouken

 Rated: Lucy in the Sky 

(don't understand why some people are hating it)
In a more radio-friendly attempt Hadouken! made an amazing job keeping their style, upgrading it and renovating it without loosing anything. Is always good when a band moves forward but stills caring a strong core that made them famous and thats what this album is, is not a SO notable change but could be guideline to the future.

The album stars in a classical band -spectacular- manner, with touches of dubstep and aggression, but then it gets more controlled, even shy, but as it progress it goes from from lows to highs, very entertaining. Songs has moments of sweetness like in songs 'Stop Time' ,which has summer hit aspirations, or the wonderful 'Levitate',but  keep an intense theme. Many beats of different genres but with the classic traditional Hadouken! twist so it has many variations from the same basket, even has gospel-ish  moments (Spill Your Guts), to a kind of african drums played so fast mixed with dubstep (Vessel) and  pieces of boy band pop.'Bliss Out' have moments when you can hear a neo-psycho The Beatles rave style.

The most interesting and fabulous thing is how the influences are there but withou being too obvious, you can notice gleams of Faithless,The Prodigy,Chemical Brothers and at some point the album has beats that reminds the not so popular electronic and dance scene from the late 90's,sometimes even can hear ATB sparks (Mecha Love),all this mixed with the typical  video-game soundtrack alike and new rave sounds. How They managed to bring the 1990s in a not so vulgar and evident way is astonishing and rewarding, they have always aimed to but this is probably the album where it shines the most,specially in tracks 'As One','Come Down', 'Bad Signal'.

Every Weekend is like a essential album to introduce Hadouken! because sound a lot likea extended play of their first ever single 'That Boy That Girl' and thats why is so radio-friendly because hits Pop and what is fashionable without falling in clichés. From first song to the bonus tracks [Oxygen is BRILLIANT!] the record is full of explosions and fun with vintage airs but is very modern with plenty floorfillers that transport you to an accelerated culture that releases tension so fast.

Recommended: Vortex, Levitate, Bliss Out, As One,Stop Time,Comedown,Daylight,Vessel, Oxygen

Bloodsports By Suede

Rated:A Kind OF Magic 

After the  reunion in 2010 the highly awaited album is finally out. A little more than ten years since their last studio album attempt 'A New Morning', which was a floppy and a bit boring this album is the resurrection of Suedes glorious years but a lot more mature.

The exceptional band sound has been updated and brought to time in such a mint way. Although the sound is not very surprising because has plenty of  'Dog Man Star' the amusement comes from how perfectly and brilliant all those 1990's dark vibes are modernized and with out falling in a fad, sound naturally, every track has Suede essence.The album has a little bit of goosebumps in band's style of obscurity blended with guitars gleams (Always, Snowblind) and also that cheer up and that brave/defying attitude like in songs 'It Starts And Ends With You' and 'Hit Me' which are more drummy and captivating .

The album marks  it's own road by being so strong ,consistent and unique, from start to end the album is timeless and the band still experimenting and trying new things without thinking if it is going to be as good as the others, song 'What Are You Not Telling' that is a bit o a failure still has its brilliance but maybe more for someone more pop-y like Dido,but for Suede is a bit loose.

The band still got it and is easy to recognize  them in every piece, even if it's a experimention track like 'Sabotage' or a more mellow song like 'For The Strangers', the 90's Suede signature is everywhere. The lack of a very surprising moment or a boom! is compensated with classical euphoric Brett Anderson voice and intense tunes,all songs have controlled explosions and beautiful twist,tho, but the highest points probably are 'Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away' and  Faultlines which finally had that great blast and where everything blends magnificently. So is a very good and highly recommended comeback record that wrings out the best of Suede.

Recommended: Snowblind, For The Strangers,Hit Me,Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away, Faultlines

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Strike Gently by The Virgins

 Rated:Music is my Radar 

After 5 years from their debut album The Virgins are finally back and with the same enchanting concept but more mature. Althought Donald Cumming ,vocalist, is the only original member, apparently,the style stills the same.

A little less Pop and a bit more rough is the key the album has to be the complement to previous album and to keep the joy that caracteriza the band.'Prima Materia' the first track in the album has plenty of what you are about to hear, vintage beats, rock and roll,dance punk and lots of fun.Is a dose of old school amusement à la mixtape, with unexpected things but on the same line and taste, resembles first album but with a more grown up style that at some moments gets sad-ish ,specially at the end, but preserve a entertaining melody in a more ironical mood like in 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Amelia' .

Fast and soft tracks make the album have a punk/rock sensation but not savage, it's more a love, peace,pleasant sound but doesn't take off the fun because it has the perfect amount of decontrol and craziness. Gleams of 80's bands like The Police,even from Wham!, and influenced by jazz the tunes acquired a breezy relaxing sound,for example 'Impressions of You' and 'Travel Express (From Me)', which is accompanied with powerful memorable guitar riffs and all  fits so well because it has tiny bits of everything at the right time.

So many will talk more about the record label they signed for, Cult Records,Julian Casblancas, The strokes etc. but record talk itself and that not created a mayor effect on the style. In a very party spirit,mostly,listen 'What Good is Moonlight', the album takes a slightly different direction than the single released last year 'Venus in Chains',sadly not included, the band show a sort of California alter-ego, but without leaving the New York essence aside.

Recommend: Prima Materia;Flashbacks, Memories, and Dreams;Figure on the Ice;What Good is Moonlight,The Beggar

Exile by Hurts

 Rated:(I can't get no) Satisfaction 

Well....Hurts second album is not as brilliant as their debut. An attempt to be hip and greater turned the electro-pop into a more melodramatic weak boy-band collection of forced tracks that are bearable but not as distinguish as 'Wonderful Life' or 'Better Than Love'.

The album keeps the 80's synthpop vibe,  mostly in songs as 'Cupid' and the opening track 'Exile', which is the most plain repetitive track of all, and is appreciable that those 1980's sounds are modernized in songs like 'Miracle' but sometimes is far too much compared to previous work that was balanced.  To have that vintage flashes is very from the band,people even compare to Depeche Mode, (slightly truth if you take off the roughness and vigor) , but in this album that Hurts twist doesn't shine, is just like band had to put that 80's synths otherwise it could have their essence. Sound is very band boy pop, in the weird form, like Take Thats non singles.

Fortunately the record gets better with the time and shows the band's epic-ness in songs like 'The Road' and 'The Crow' that are the strengths of the band and the album. Where the band failed was in making this monumental sound too theatrical and attention seeker so falls in a cliche and lame hole of not outstanding,astonishing unique sound. When the album gets more spiced up is like almost the whole second half but is weak because is not an evolved sound, except for the track 'Sandman' which is the most "risky" track with bits of hip hop. Also the "darkness" of the album sounds a bit faked.

Album is on the edge  to be a massive failure, a lack of excitement surrenders it and sounds a lot like it was  too rushed or that pressure make its evil work and didn't let the band shun as was supposed to. Not a very satisfactory album but has its moments that maybe with more time it would been massive so the ones to blame here are us, the fans, who were desperately for new material and was pushing and the result is a floppy not memorable material .

Recommended: Somebody To Die For,The Crow,The Road,
Not so: Exile,Blind

The Next Day by David Bowie

 Rated: Like a Virgin 

David Bowie come back album is finally here and the wait was worthy. Although the first single released  was good but gave the idea that the album was going to be melancholic and soft the whole album is very variated and is a complete retrospective to Bowie's career.

The album starts very sparkly and full of life and stays like that all way to the end, pass through many different stages that glimpses all David Bowie previous works and is done magically that feels modern and at the same time classic,very contemporary. It has melancholia,glam rock, psychedelic beats, pure rock and roll in Bowie's very style and even redefining it like in the song 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)' that has amazing guitars and such the album has, everything is balanced , maybe just a few songs are overtime but is nothing really annoying. It's a record that feels very young in spirit and mature in how was made, the exactly amout of guitars, perfect balance between voice and instruments, flawless edition, etc.

Modern in sound but not hip or overworked to sound like what people of this time and era expect but more to be timeless and a follow up to all David Bowie's career and it is also  a classic, a very pleasant work. Incredible tracks like 'Dancing Out In Space' that has all the artistic side of Bowie and without being boring, just an incredible beat that makes you rejoice and fall in love with his music over again. All of the songs have very energetic tunes and vibrant sounds from marching drums in 'I'd Rather Be High' to more anthemic pieces like You 'Feel So Lonely You Could Die' the album contains many radiant variations.

The album gets ,even more, personal and mellow, specially at the end, in 'Heat', and has its dark bits as well is the full package and everything that and album should have, it's  so entertaining and delightful. With surprises at every minute this record manage to keep you very charmed and without losing David Bowie style and without sounding old.

Recommended: The Next Day,Where Are We Now?,Valentine's Day,I'd Rather Be High,Boss Of Me,Dancing Out In Space, (You Will) Set The World On Fire