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