Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alanis Morissette becomes a mom and gets kind of lame

Alanis Morissette has been the queen of angry breakup songs. From her first hit "You Oughta Know" to "Straitjacket" from her amazing last album. Morissette is back with her eighth studio album Havoc and Bright Lights. The album is her first after getting married and becoming a mother. The result isn't always great.
The first single "Guardian" is a headbanging pop-rock anthem for parents everywhere about watching out for your child. "I'll be your keeper for life/as your guardian," Morissette sings in the chorus. The song kind of makes you want to vomit, but in a good way. It's a catchy song and it rocks.
Morissette tends to be better on her harder rocking songs such as the two best songs on the album "Numb" and "Spiral."
"I feel anxious, I feel nervous and unloved/I'm overwhelmed, rather be out of my/Have to remove myself from sensation," Morissette sings angrily during "Numb."
Other highlights include "Lens," "Woman Down" and the quirky "Celebrity."
Another great song that is a soft ballad "Til You," which is about her husband and son. It's touching and shows Morissette's softer side.
The albums few misteps are the slow songs "Empathy" and "Havoc."

Christina Aguilera releases lackluster single

Pop singer Christina Aguilera has always been known for amazing first singles, but the first single off of her fifth studio album, due in November, called "Your Body" is a let down.
The song, is an electropop song about desire. We've heard Aguilera do this before and it's simply getting old. The song sounds like a song that didn't make the cut for her last underrated album Bionic.
The song is a little bit catchy, but it just doesn't match up to her past hits like "Dirrty," "Fighter" or "Ain't No Other Man." The song basically sounds like a song Lady Gaga refused to record.
Aguilera will do better to just be herself and try something new. This review is short, but there are no good things to say about his song. While it's decent and it could be played in a club, it's not hit worthy. If Aguilera wants people to want to pick up her new album Lotus on November 13 she'd better come out with a second single that is better.

In This Moment losing too much blood

Metalcore band In This Moment launched their career in 2007 and released three phenomenal albums. With the release of their latest record, Blood, last month the band took a huge step backwards. While several of the songs rank up there with the band's best, this album has some huge problems.
The main problem being that for some reason frontwoman Maria Brink finds the need to do a shitty Otep impression on "Whore" and the single "Blood." Brink doesn't have the screaming chops that Otep Shamaya, frontwoman for Otep has and while these songs are great they aren't as good as the band's older music.
Another issue with this album is the fact that Brink has become lazy in her lyrics. "Shut up, shut up, shut up/Shut up, shut up shut up/Shut up, shut up, shut up/You're gonna listen to what I say this time," Brink screams during the chorus of the catchy yet stupid "You're Gonna Listen." While it's a fun song to listen to the lyrics simply take away from what could have been greatness. The music of the song is similar to their older albums but the lyrics are just ridiculous.
Another song that isn't good is "Burn." It's clunky and tries to hard to be heavy and deep but the lyrics are just silly. "Set me on fire and watch me burn," Brink screams dramatically during the chorus. This song is just silly and Brink seems to be a drama queen.
There are some great moments on Blood. "Whore" features Otep styled rapped verses and a screamed chorus. Brink's clean vocals in the pre-chorus sound heavenly and beautiful. This song is different from other In This Moment songs but it's great. Another highlight on the album is "From The Ashes." From the chugging guitars and gorgeously sung vocals, this song is a winner. It almost sounds like it could have been written for their second album The Dream. "Beast Within" starts out slow with Brink doing spoken word verses before singing the pre-chorus and singing and screaming in the chorus.
Blood has a few great ballads. While the album closer "11:11" is boring slow songs such as "Scarlett" and "The Blood Legion" are gorgeous while mixing in some heavier influences on the second halves of each song.
The best song on this album is by far "Adrenalize," a sexed up rocker featuring Brink seductively singing the verses and screaming the choruses. The song also features a breakdown similar to their Beautiful Tragedy and A Star-Crossed Wasteland albums. The song is a great reminder of what In This Moment have been and hopefully what they will become. The song sound like if Lady Gaga started a metal band, which is not a bad thing.
The album all in all sounds like if Korn didn't suck and were fronted by a woman. While this album is still great, it falls short of topping the masterpiece that was their last album, A Star-Crossed Wasteland. Hopefully the band will stop trying to be something they're not.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alicia Keys is on fire with new single

Alicia Keys released her soulful new single "Girl On Fire" last week, the title track from her fifth album. The song has R&B flavor mixed with hip hop thump and is the best thing Keys has released since her single "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" from her disappointing last album.
The song, whose "Inferno Remix" features Nicki Minaj is all about being strong. "This girl is on fire," Keys sings passionately during the chorus. She clearly isn't going to take any crap from anybody. The inclusion of another strong female, Minaj, adds strength to this ladies anthem.
Keys stated that the song was inspired by giving birth to her son and her marriage. The song is epic and anthemic and shows that Keys is back and better than ever.
Her latest album, The Element of Freedom. That album was boring and didn't have the kick that her other albums had. It lacked the energy and passion that Keys is known for. This song and her single "New Day" are sure to get fans excited for her next album, due out in November.

Yellowcard finally change things up

Last month pop-punk band Yellowcard released their eighth studio album, Southern Air. The album was released just one year after it's predecessor When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes. That album was great but it didn't stand up next to their other albums Ocean Avenue and Lights and Sounds. The album didn't do anything different than those records and while it was well-done it wasn't a classic.
This album is just like Ocean Avenue, emotional and well written. The lyrics are written directly from frontman Ryan Key's heart and that's what makes a great album. This record has some different characteristics. One thing is the music.While it's not much of a change from their violin-filled pop-punk, it just has a different energy. Songs like "Awakening" and "Here I Am Live" which features a duet with We Are The In Crowd singer Taylor Jardine and was cowritten by Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump, have an undeniable energy to them.
The highlight of the album is "Telescope" which features vocals from Jardine, Cassadee Pope from Hey Monday and Alex Gasgarth from All Time Low. The song is dedicated to Key's late aunt and it's a touching tribute. "My only hope, you're my telescope," the four singers sing beautifully at the end. The song's music sounds like "Work" by Jimmy Eat World and it's one of their best songs of their career.
Other songs like "A Vicious Kind" and the first single "Always Summer" simply rock. Every song on the album makes this one of the best Yellowcard albums.
The one low point lies in "Ten" a boring acoustic number that slows down the pace of the album. Even that song is forgivable because the album is so good. Surely Southern Air will be getting serious play by fans all over the world.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Joss Stone stays soulful on new album

Joss Stone burst onto the music scene with her debut album The Soul Sessions, which featured Stone covering classic soul songs. The album featured only one modern cover and it was "Fell In Love With A Boy," a cover of The White Stripes song "Fell In Love With A Girl." Now after four albums of amazing original material, Stone is back with the follow up to her debut The Soul Sessions Volume 2.
The album still features soulful remakes of soul songs and one cover of a song by indie rock band Broken Bells. The album features lots of great songs but the best is the first single "While You're Out Looking For Sugar." The song features Stone singing to her cheating lover that while he's cheating, she'll replace him. Stone sings the lyrics with such confidence.
"The High Road," which serves as the second single is another highlight. The soulful guitars and Stone's emotive vocals prove this song to be one of the best performances Stone has given since her third album back in 2007.
Other highlights include "The Love We Had Stays On My Mind," a gorgeous ballad, "Teardrops" which has Stone showing off her softer side and "I Got The..." which is the song that Eminem sampled for his hit"My Name Is..."
One of the downsides to the album is "Pillow Talk," which features Stone trying to be sultry and seductive. This song is decent but sexually is hardly Stone's strong point. With the exception of course of "Put Your Hands On Me" from her album Introducing Joss Stone which is one of her best songs ever.
All in all every song on this album is good and shows the world that Joss Stone truly is one of the most underrated R&B singers of this era.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

No Doubt are back to their prime on new single

Last week No Doubt released the second single and title track off of their long awaited sixth album Push and Shove. Their first single came out about a month earlier and while it's amazing this song is truly a classic. It mixes the reggae, ska and rock elements of their previous albums with a parts that can only be described as diet dubstep.
The album features Jamaican dancehall artist Busy Signal and Major Lazer a production group that features Diplo.
The verses feature reggae inspired vocals by vocalist Gwen Stefani and Busy Signal. The song also features the vocals of Diplo. The song also has a little bit of ska influence with horns during the second verse. The lyrics are about Busy Signal trying to pick up Stefani and while they're cheesy, this song is just so great that it's hard to hold that against it.
The highlight is the rock chorus. "You work it hard, boy you got me good. You push and shove, oh boy you're hustling me," Stefani sings over the rocked out chorus.
No Doubt release the album on September 25 and if it's like the first two singles the world is in for a great treat. This song reminds everybody that just because their last album came out over a decade a go, doesn't mean that No Doubt aren't still legends.
Below is a video of the radio edit. That's all that YouTube has.