Tag Archives: june 2011

Simple Plan – Get Your Heart On

[easyazon-image-link asin="B0054A0CZY" alt="Get Your Heart On!" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61zGb0FoZdL._SL160_.jpg" align="left" width="160" height="160"]

Pop-punk drums!  Pop-punk guitar!

Simple Plan must be back with a new album.  Get Your Heart On! is as solid an album that has been released this year, and it will fill the void in your life for the time between when Blink-182 broke up, and when they get back together.

Get Your Heart On! starts with the super up-beat, ultra catchy Can’t Keep My Hands Off You.  There is this weird break down 2/3 into the song where they do their best Jimmy Eats World impression.  It works!  Can’t Keep My Hands Off You is as fun as it is catchy, and you won’t be able to keep it out of your brain.  You may or may not be surprised to know that River Cuomo (of Weezer) is partly responsible for the Awesome this song contains, as it features him on vocals.  Rivers is like the Lil Wayne of the pop/rock/alt genre.  He’s everywhere!

The next song, Jet Lag features another familiar voice.  Natasha Bedingfield lends guest vocals to this song.  This, like “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You,” is upbeat, a quick-tempo song about the frustrations of love.

You say good morning

When it’s midnight

Going out of my head alone is this bed

I wake up

To your sunset

It’s drivin me mad, I miss you so bad.

This is easily the most radio friendly song on the album, with the 1980′s electric drum beat and the back and forth trading vocals.

Astronaut is probably the strongest song on the album, and one of the most complex.  It starts slow and acoustic.  The vocals are longing, and it’s Simple Plan, so it’s catchy as hell.  Snow Patrol could have written this song, for all you know (but they didn’t.  They just could have).  If you listen to no other song on this album–you should!  But if you just pick one–listen to “Astronaut.”

There are really no weak points in this album.  Get your Heart On isn’t going to be album of the year on any major critic’s list, but every song is a bullseye.  The thing you need to know most about this album, besides it not having any filler, is just how damn catchy it is.  So catchy!

Click on the album cover to preview the entire album, and read other reviews.

 

New Music – June 28 2011

The last new music Tuesday before we say goodbye to June. This month’s new releases range from a former American Idol winner, to one of the COOLEST compilation albums of the year (Rave On, Buddy Holly).  Click on the album art to preview the tracks.

Gillian Welch – The Harrow and The Harvest

David Cook – This Loud Morning

Beyonce – 4

Selena Gomez and The Scene – When the Sun Goes Down

Various Artists – Catch Me if You Can

Dolly Parton – Better Day

Queensryche – Dedicated to Chaos

Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra

Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear

Big Sean – Finally Famous

Taking Back Sunday – Self Titled

Def Leppard – Mirrorball Live

Various Artists – Rave On Buddy Holly

Beyonce – 4

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Beyonce is back with her fourth album, and it’s probably not the album you were expecting. Is that really a bad thing, though? Not a chance.

4 sees Beyonce really showcasing her voice: the control she has over it, the restraint she can show to really pull you in and make you a part of this record. Gone (mostly) are the hip-hop dance numbers, the fun, catchy beats and hooks. This is closer to Alicia Keyes than Christina Aguilera. The important thing is that Beyonce has the voice for it, and the skill to pull something like this off.

The album starts with the song 1+1, a slow, R&B style song that really captures Beyonce’s range. This is an interesting choice to start an album with, but it really sets the tone. There are moments of quiet, of sweet lyrics sung in a very simple way, and there are moments where she lets her voice go so that it cracks, every so slightly, before she pulls it back. 1 + 1 is one of those songs where you might not get everything on the first time through, but you’ll keep coming back, and the song gets better every time you hear it.

I Care is the second song, and it’s a little change of pace. The tempo is kicked up a bit, and the drums are simple, but interesting, with a dash of funk thrown in. There are not too many instrument on I Care, just a drum beat and a synthesizer playing a steady background note. Occasionally there are some harmonized voices to provide the song with a little thickness, but there is very little else. It’s a minimal song, and it WORKS. It’s also one of the funkier songs on the album.
Don’t miss the guitar solo, which Beyonce sings along with. It’s pretty spectacular.

Best Thing I Never Had is a strange track. There are some really radio friendly bits to it (including the lyrics “it sucks to be you right now), but the hook is not particularly catchy, so it’s probably not the most radio friendly song on the album. The music is really reminiscent of the theme to Baywatch, though, so that may distract you if you feel the same.

On the ninth song, the album takes a sharp departure. Countdown sounds like the Beyonce album you might have expected if she didn’t continue to change and grow as an artist. This song hip, and makes you want to dance. This song might remind you of something of a Destiny’s Child album, but with Beyonce’s grown up spin. If there’s one song on the album you MUST listen to, this is it. It’s a fun song, full of love of swagger and other hip terms! Listen here to see what I mean.

If you’ve hard the album, please tell us what you thought in the comments below.

Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel

Public Service Announcement: Bad Meets Evil is 1/2 Eminem.  Yeah, there’s a lot of people who are surprised.

[easyazon-image-link asin="B00544L9EI" alt="Hell: The Sequel (Deluxe Version) (Explicit)" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513wYSY9hmL._SL160_.jpg" align="left" width="160" height="160"]So what is this, some kind of guest spot on one or two songs?  No, no.  This is a true collaboration between Eminem and Royce Da 5’9.”  You will find each artist rappin on every song.

Hell: The Sequel is a master piece, an example of what two rappers at the very top of their game can sound like.  There’s no slow rapping here, it’s all spit fire lyrics rapped over some mighty fine beats.  And with Eminem present, there is a little trash talking going on.  Here, the targets range from Lady Gaga, to Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.

I’m On Everything starts with a clip from comedian Mike Epps.  That clip becomes the hook for this song, which is the lightest, most laid back on the album.  It’s catchy as hell, this song.  Check it out; the hook is pretty goofy, and will lodge itself right in your brain.

The most intense track on the whole album is called A Kiss.  The song starts with the kind of synthesized-piano/bells one can hear on a Master P album from the late 90′s.  But then the bass kicks it up and in comes the snare drums and the solemn and slightly agitated voice of Royce Da 5’9,” before the song (and the voice) backs off a bit.  Eminem is almost polite and soft spoken when he comes in, like a nice young man at the check out counter, asking you if you want paper or plastic.

But things changes quickly from there.  One of Eminem’s greatest skills is his understanding and use of dynamics.  He gradually increases the volume and tone of his voice, before the seductive, bassy hook comes in.  This song builds with every verse, and Bad Meets Evil has crafted something truly impressive here.

Weird Al Yankovich – ALpocalypse

[easyazon-image-link asin="B00560F9LO" alt="Alpocalypse (+Digital Booklet)" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Iw4hb4nxL._SL160_.jpg" align="left" width="160" height="160"]It’s been five years since Weird Al’s last release, Straight Outta Lynwood.  And what was Al doing in all that time between new music releases?  Well, he was doing Weird stuff, obviously, but he was also working on some hilarious new songs.

Perform This Way is a parody of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.

I might be wearing swiss cheese

Or maybe covered with bees

It doesn’t mean I’m crazy

I perform this way

Lady Gaga was reportedly a good sport about the whole thing, which is cool.

Another Tattoo is a parody Of ”Nothin’ On You” By B.o.B. (Featuring Bruno Mars).  This is a song, about, uh, having lots of tattoos on one’s body.  The lyrics are great, and Al is as clever as he’s ever been.  If you listen to this song, you will bust out laughing when Al pauses akwardly and says …it’s Ronald Reagan.

Hilarious!

Perhaps there are some people out there who think parodying songs is a low form of art, and perhaps it is in the hands of lesser Geniuses, but when Weird Al does it, he makes these songs shine, and turns them into something different (and sometimes GREATER) than they started as.

The last parody of the album (but not the last song) is a parody of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like.

This probably isn’t Al’s best album ever, but it’s a pretty dang good one.  Where else can you hear a grown man change the words to a Miley Cyrus song and make it about being in the F.B.I.  No where, hopefully!

So check it out, and click the song titles to listen to them.  If nothing else, check out Another Tattoo

New Music Releases – June 21 2011

There are some real gems in this weeks new music release.  Among the new releases,  ”Weird Al”  returns with a new album filled with parodies and crazy originals,  Bon Iver with a self titled, softly sung album, and Simple Plan’s new one.  Below are the best new releases of the week.  To hear the album, click the (affiliate) link.

Bon Iver - Bon Iver

Jill Scott - The Light Of The Sun

Weird Al Yankovic - ALpocalypse (review)

Symphony X - Iconoclast

Matt Nathanson - Modern Love

Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven

Night Ranger - Somewhere in California

Michael Bolton - Gems: The Duets Collection

Pitbull - Planet Pit

Simple Plan - Get Your Heart On!

Crossfade - We All Bleed

LMFAO - Sorry for Party Rocking

Stay tuned for this week’s reviews.

New Music Releases – June 14 2011

Jackie Evancho – Dream With Me

Neil Young - A Treasure

Paul McCartney - McCartney

Barry Manilow - 15 Minutes

Original Cast Recording (plus Bono and the Edge) - Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel (review)

Pat Metheny – What’s It All About

Madeleine Peyroux – Standing on the Rooftop

Owl City - All Things Bright And Beautiful (review)

Ledisi - Pieces Of Me

Black Veil Brides - Set the World on Fire

Ziggy Marley - Wild and Free

Various Artists - Transformers: Dark Of The Moon – The Album

Various Artists - Cars 2

Owl City – All Things Bright and Beautiful

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Owl City is back with the same synth and earnest vocals you loved on Ocean Eyes. The first song is called The Real World, but it could also be called “Classic Owl City.”  The first time you hear Adam Young sing, you know you’re in for another great record.

Weighed down by heavy lids

And lunar lullabies

I knew you were wide awake

Cuz you smile with your eyes

Can you feel yourself start to swoon?  The Real World is a mid tempo jam that signals the return of toy-like synthesizer, and the late-night-poetic lyrics.

Dear In The Headlights is a quick and quirky little number.  The lyrics are very tongue in cheek, and it’s probably the funnest song on the whole album.

Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust picks up where “The Real World” leaves off.  It is about the same tempo, but with a little more of a kick, a funky beat hidden behind those soft vocals and synthesizer loops.  This is a song you could dance to, maybe a song you can’t resist dancing to.  Even the lyrics are similar in their theme, which can be summed up as Sometimes real life isn’t as good as the imagination.

Probably the best track on the whole album is called Honey And The Bee  It is a duet between Adam Young and [easyazon-link asin="B004ZLPAH8"]Breanne Duren[/easyazon-link].  It starts off with a pretty acoustic guitar riff, and more of the same Owl City sound you’ve come to know and love.  This one has a pretty solid backbeat, like someone plucked the drums out of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. The trading off vocals (first Adam sings, then Breanne answers in her sugary voice).  This song is dynamic, and builds itself up to the bridge, so you have something of a climax here, or an adventure.  ”Honey and the Bee” comes highly recommended.  If you do nothing else, make sure you check this song out.

Paramore – Monster

[easyazon-image-link asin="B00535BVN2" alt="Monster" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514UmePiN0L._SL160_.jpg" align="left" width="160" height="160"] Paramore is back with a brand new single, “Monster,” from the upcoming Transformers 3 – Dark of the Moon original soundtrack.

“Monster,” is a bit of a bleak thing at first, talking about loss and drowning and sinking.  Those are some heavy metaphors.  But the darkness introduced in the beginning of the song only makes the chorus that much brighter.

The chorus follows a faster, more aggressive pre-chorus, and offers a bit of hope.

Hayley Williams sings

I’ll stop the whole world

I’ll stop the whole world from turning into a monster

And eating us alive

This is a song made for Hollywood.  It’s more epic than single-handedly saving the world.

“Monster” is a significant release for Paramore, because it is the first release since brothers Josh and Zac Farro split from the band.  Fans worried; would Paramore move forward?  Yes they did.  The cover to the single says it all.  Where before there would be more backlit figures looking at the camera, there are only three.

But the Farro’s were heavily involved with writing new music, would Paramore still sound like, well, Paramore?

Consider “Monster” a huge, resounding YES.  Paramore retains their pop edge, the same cutting lyrics that made “Decode” such a huge hit.  Paramore fans will be relieved to hear this one.  Don’t wait, listen to it now.