Archive for the ‘The Music Reviews’ Category

First and foremost, I love Glee (and Dianna Agron). Second, the season finale was the episode that really got me ’emotionally invested.’ I hated to see New Directions get last place. My spirits were absolutely crushed when the results were unveiled. It was like something I did not expect even though I do read spoilers. Lastly, this latest EP by the Glee Cast is good but it does have blemishes, mind that.

Material coming from the show has relied on the tried and tested formula: Ride on Lea Michele and Cory Monteith’s vocals and see what happens and this becomes obvious right from the kick off. Faithfully, one of three classic tracks from Journey that got the Glee treatment in the EP, puts the spotlight on the show’s two biggest stars, Michele and Monteith. The effectiveness of the formula gets diluted in the track. When something gets used too much, the result is not going to be pretty and that is the case here. I will not deny that both stars have awesome vocals but it is just too much. Glee, after all, is not Lea Michele’s Got Talent. Proper balance in terms of the exposure for the cast must be achieved.

Just when I thought that the EP will be a huge mess, here comes the messiah of all the tracks in the EP, wrapped delicately waiting to be unleashed. I am referring to the flawless mash-up of Any Way You Want It and Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. Mash-ups have also been another calling card of the show. Some of them have been particularly impressive especially that mash-up of Usher’s Confessions and Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life while others just fell flat like that Don’t Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl mash-up. Fortunately, the latest mash-up falls into the former. The brilliance shines very brightly that I almost forgot this is a mash-up we’re talking about.

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Norther Irish band rock outfit Two Door Cinema Club’s debut album entitled Tourist History attempts to further showcase the band’s array of musical talents that all contribute to some very lovely music. The 10-track-long LP boasts of guitar-driven tracks that may remind some of Bloc Party. Tourist History is a record that relies on consistency to keep it afloat and guess what, the results are absolutely magnificent.

Just like Delphic, Two Door Cinema Club manages to fuse with great ease rock elements with that of electronic leanings, forming a very sleek overall package in the process. Alex Trimble’s vocals are consistently great all throughout the record. Sam Halliday’s guitar help in attaining that infectious feeling that one hopes to see in the tracks included in the LP.

With every track being consistent, it must be said that the whole package is massively enjoyable. Every track shows off the band’s stunning musicality with great success. The band does show some facets in which they excel in every track. At one point, it would be the songwriting that excels then suddenly, it would be the guitar sound that shines. Hearing it altogether is simply fabulous.

Of course, there are the tracks that earned my total respect. Album opener Cigarettes in the Theater stands out for that spectacular trumpet solo. Do You Want It All lets one hear the band play in a slower pace yet the product ends up well. Something Good Can Work, after hearing Undercover Martyn endlessly before, surprisingly ends up as the best track for the LP. The track shows everything that the band needs in order to be successful. Does the song have amazing verses? Check. Does it have a very pleasurable chorus? A big check. Put all of this together with a great arrangement and what you get eventually is the LP’s most polished track.

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I remain baffled when the matter about the lack of chart success that Mini Viva has is discussed. Their material has been consistently awesome with both I Left My Heart In Tokyo and I Wish gaining massive critical acclaim. Chart-wise though, only I Left My Heart In Tokyo has cracked the Top 10 by landing at #7 as its peak with I Wish faring very poorly by landing only at #72. To give the listening public more information, I am doing this review of the latest single by the UK duo that truly deserves more success.

Produced by the one and only Xenomania, the single is loaded with pure fun. The lyrics suggest some swagger coming from the duo with the line “I’m not afraid of no love, and I rock you anyway that I want” being the most notable. The synths, noticeable in every record by the lovely duo, are once again fantastic. The chorus nails it and puts the song over big time.

Make no mistake about this one. One Touch is a very fantastic and infectious record. This single only proves that Mini Viva does deserve more. This is a very awesome pop song that has not charted very successfully. Why has this happened? I am still baffled and yes, I want more candy.

Genre: Pop
Date Released: May 9, 2010
Label: Polydor Records

One of my favorite American Idol contestants teams up with Australian rocker Orianthi Panagaris for the rehashed version of Iraheta’s single Don’t Waste The PrettyDon’t Waste The Pretty is Allison’s third single after Friday I’ll Be Over U and Scars. Nothing much changes in the new version except for some added guitar riffs and vocals from Orianthi herself. Aside from that, the song remains untouched. Honestly though, I prefer the original over this rehashed version but to each is to his own. Still, this is a good offering from Miss Iraheta that should not be disregarded.

Release Date: June 8, 2010 (iTunes)/June 22, 2010 (Radio Airplay)
Label: Jive Records

The first compilation album by Matchbox Twenty brought me some welcomed emotions, particularly nostalgia, once I listened to it. Exile On Mainstream, the name of the album, contains 17 tracks with six of those being new material and eleven greatest hits songs. As much as I want to review every track included in the album, I just cannot. The eleven tracks are very great in their own merit and if one has not listened to any of them, that person must have been living under a cave. In this post, the spotlight will be on the six new tracks that the band wrote for this album.

Opening the album is the lead and anthemic single How Far We’ve Come which has a drum-driven intro that charges very strongly. The track is absolutely catchy with a very friendly chorus to boot. I’ll Believe You When starts with child-friendly bells that may remind one of Christmas (okay, that sounds lame but it actually is true). The bass also adds a deft touch of funkiness into the track. All Your Reasons lets one get a glimpse of the band simply having fun. The track has a catchy riff and that ba-da-da-dup part in the intro is absolutely contagious.

The band has been known to produce quality slow tracks such as Unwell and such tracks make their presence felt anew in this album with These Hard Times and Can’t Let You Go. Among these tracks, These Hard Times, without a shadow of a doubt, is the best. The track’s smoothness clearly helps and the quality of the ballad is astounding.

The rest of the songs are absolutely class. The album is a great collection of fantastic material from the band’s back catalog. Music lovers who have not listened to these material will undoubtedly enjoy them and as for hardcore fans, they will surely appreciate the material once more. If anyone is looking for an album that can give them that nostalgic feeling, this is it. An added bonus is the new material that the band produced and the quality of these tracks are great. What else can one ask for?

Best Track: How Far We’ve Come
Other Recommended Tracks: These Hard TimesAll Your Reasons, and I’ll Believe You When
Genre: Rock
Date Released: October 2, 2007
Label: Atlantic Records

Let me get this down quickly. The official single remix for David Guetta’s Gettin’ Over You is miles ahead compared to the album version. The tempo is faster and the presence of Fergie absolutely did wonders. Even LMFAO’s presence increases the appeal that the track has. To make things even nicer, Chris Willis’ vocals do fit now. It does not sound forced and they do mesh well with the vocals of the other collaborators.

The official single remix now has that killer appeal that the album version did not have. The presence of Fergie and LMFAO freshened the single in massive levels. Fergie’s power vocals are the bomb and even the repetitiveness of LMFAO’s lines is great. Overall, a remix that easily outclasses the original thus deeming the original very forgettable and should be included in someone’s party-oriented playlists.

Genre: House
Date Released: May 30, 2010 (U.K)/April 27, 2010(U.S)
Label: Virgin Records

The single originally meant to be sung by Cheryl Cole (now known as Cheryl Tweedy after she  dropped the Cole surname according to reports) for her 3 Words album has been making some intense waves in the U.S charts as it has reigned the Billboard Hot 100 for one time and is currently sitting on the charts for 13 weeks now. The original U.K release is something that I really loved for its infectiousness. The U.S release, which now has rapper Ludacris as a collaborator, aims to duplicate the brilliance that its UK predecessor had. Was it successful though? Let me put my thoughts about it then.

Cruz’ auto-tuned vocals perfectly fit the song. At times, auto-tuning makes the quality of the song even worse but in this case, it all contributes to the brilliance that the song proudly possesses. The slick production values for the song absolutely turned the track into a stunning club banger though it does feel a bit generic in some aspects. Ludacris’ appearance is something the U.S audience would like but it was a little bit unnecessary.

What we get overall is an impressive product coming from Taio Cruz. The U.S version is indeed successful in duplicating the brilliance its U.K counterpart had. The cheese flows in the track but who cares? Break Your Heart is infectious, catchy, and very chart-friendly. What’s not to love?

Genre: Pop
Date Released: September 13, 2009 (U.K)/February 25, 2010 (U.S)
Label: Island Records/Mercury Records

Lola Dutronic are an electronic pop duo who divide their time between Berlin and Toronto. Vocalist Lola Dee, who has performing on stage in Germany since the age of 5, sings in both English and French for their latest release, the Musique EP. Her partner, producer/composer Toronto-based Richard Citroen was a former member of the Canadian band The Diodes. Richard Citroen also does the mixing for their latest release.
ALBUM REVIEW: Musique by Lola Dutronic

The seven-track-long EP boasts of having great musical arrangements in every track. The overall vibe of the EP may be said as modern filled with electronic leanings. Lola Dee’s vocals do seem to act like they are not the main attraction in the record though. However, the album closer Best Years of our Lives allows Lola Dee’s vocals to get the spotlight while accompanied by a very polished arrangement. The aforementioned track actually is the best track in my book because the track utilized to full extent the capabilities of the duo.

The best arrangement in the EP goes to Chanson D’ete (Summer of Love Mix) for possessing new wave qualities. The production work done overall is good. Every arrangement in the record is well-polished and very pleasant to the senses. However, more attention could have been given to the vocals. Lola Dee does have some good vocals to boot. This is why I am wondering why at times, I felt like I was basically listening to an instrumental effort. Still, it must be said that Musique is a great effort though not everyone will appreciate material such as this.

Genre: Pop
Label: Red Star Digital Music
Date Released: May 18, 2010

The New York-based group Scissor Sisters have unveiled the first single for their upcoming third studio album named Night Work. The single is entitled Fire With Fire and what we have loved from the band (exceptional quality in their material, that is) is still present in this latest release.

The single starts out with a slow dramatic piano background which suddenly builds up into a bouncy danceable track with the infusion of the synths in the chorus. This is simply another taste of pop excellence. Fire With Fire literally can be scorching track with all of these elements present. It is a disco anthem that many people will love (expect people from the U.S of course). I am left wondering why the band’s home country does not appreciate the awesome talent that this band has. The band’s musicality easily outclasses the generic trash that is currently in their charts. I am freaking serious with that assessment. Hopefully, Fire With Fire will be the hit that finally wakes up the people of the band’s home country.

Genre: Pop
Label: Universal Records (US)/Polydor Records (UK)

She may be known to some as Ingrid Michaelson’s lead guitarist but Allie Moss does possess some mad vocals just like the aforementioned singer-songwriter. She has already released one EP named Passerby which includes the single which might have made her known in the UK, Corner. Recently, her single, Melancholy Astronautic Man, was part of the iTunes Indie Sampler and after hearing the said single, I was impressed.

If there is something that this single proved about Allie Moss, it would be that Allie Moss has the talent needed to make herself known in the crowded field of singer-songwriters present in the airwaves today. The single sounds very pleasing to the ears. It is nothing fancy but the simplicity itself is its crowning jewel. Allie Moss’ vocals are smooth and are perfect for bright and sunny days.

Ultimately, Melancholy Astronautic Man showcases the impressive musicality that Allie Moss has. The vocals are rich. As for the songwriting, it can be said as superb. Is she accessible? The answer is a resounding yes. Here is me hoping that she continues churning out singles such as this. The masses might realize soon that not listening to this talented musician is a mistake that they should not have done.

Genre: Pop
Date Released: January 11, 2010