Demi Lovato has transformed from a teenager to a young woman in the public eye since releasing her debut album Don’t Forget in 2008, but at her core she’s still a vulnerable girl who longs for love and acceptance just like the rest. Today the singer released her fourth studio album Demi, her second album since publicly addressing personal issues like self-harming. This this album isn’t as heavy as Unbroken, however. Demi features more riffs and powerhouse vocals mixed with playfully serious lyrics, a combination that has worked for Lovato since “Get Back.” Lovato has quite a few writing credits on this album so I expected her to incorporate a lot of her experiences into the album, but unfortunately she keeps things light and on the surface, for the most part. Here We Go Again, Lovato’s sophomore album, is still the most solid album she’s released to date, but Demi displays the discord within Lovato who’s not a girl, not yet a woman (*slaps knee*) perfectly.
Check out my track-by-track review below! Continue reading
Fall Out Boy’s fifth studio album, Save Rock & Roll, was a pleasant surprise. In February the band announced a comeback album and tour under the ambitious title, despite the fact that most fans thought they were done for good following their 2008 album Folie à Deux. Everything about Save Rock & Roll is aggressive, from song titles, to noisy tracks with signature Fall Out Boy lyrics, but none of these songs live up to the band’s previous hits. I don’t think Save Rock & Roll will garner the success the band is used to, but it is a nice treat for fans who thought they’d never hear the band together again. Continue reading
In many way Scott Mescudi, aka Kid Cudi, is still the same person he was when he released his popular mixtape A Kid Named Cudi in 2008, bursting on the scene with anthems like “Man on the Moon (The Anthem)” and “Day N Nite” and becoming the spokesperson for troubled teenagers and young adults everywhere. The Lonely Stoner has accomplished a lot since then, but his internal problems still remain the driving force behind his music. Following his debut album Man on the Moon: The End of the Day, none of Cudi’s subsequent albums have strayed too far away from his typical drug-laced, self-reflective lyrics or his rock-inspired hip-hop beats.
Indicud, produced mostly by Cudi, is nothing new. The album features 18 tracks that transition smoothly into each other, creating a feeling of solidarity, but also a feeling of “omg when does it end?” Most of the songs feature similar intergalactic, Transformers-reminiscent beats and lyrics similar to the ones fans have already committed to memory. But, like most recreations, these songs aren’t nearly as good as their predecessors. Continue reading
It’s been four years since Yeah Yeah Yeahs released It’s Blitz! and with the growing popularity of Euro-styled dance music the band probably could’ve released a similar-sounding album this year and been just fine. Instead, the band tried their hand at a soulful rock album. All in all Mosquito is an experimental album full of groovy synths, double-tracked vocals and tribal beats. Continue reading
Paramore has undergone a few major changes since the release of 2009′s Brand New Eyes. Outside of growing up and the personal issues that come with that, two of the band’s members Josh and Zac Farro made an infamous exit from the band. Paramore’s music has always been about conflict, but the struggle to deal with the betrayal they felt was clearly evident in the songs released since the Farro brother’s departure.
Now, the group, lead by Hayley Williams, is back with their self-titled fourth studio album. Naming the album Paramore is fitting, considering the band feels like they’re reintroducing themselves to the world with this project. Where their first three albums followed a similar pattern of catchy rock songs with pop influences, this album shows the group experimenting with a few unexpected sounds. But, while they may sound different sonically, the theme of their music remains the same. Paramore has always viewed themselves as the underdogs with something to prove, and that probably won’t change any time soon.
Track-by-track review below!
Well, Justin Timberlake officially owns this week. Following a highly anticipated episode Saturday Night Live where Timberlake hosted and performed, the singer put his third studio album, The 20/20 Experience on iTunes for fans to stream a week before it’s official release. Fans have not received a full album from JT since 2006′s FutureSex/LoveSounds and the positive reception of that album mixed with the long wait for new music created an enormous amount of hype. I, for one, worried that Timberlake and his sidekick/producer Timbaland would not be able to live up to all of the high expectations.
So how does the The 20/20 Experience sound? Continue reading
Less than four months ago I reviewed Death Proof, an EP Kate Nash released to hold fans over until the release of her third studio album Girl Talk. Compared to her first two albums, Death Proof showed Nash experimenting with a darker sound, so I was interested in hearing how the new album would turn out sonically. Continue reading
The title of Tim McGraw’s 2 Lanes of Freedom is apt. For a widely successful country music superstar with well over a decade in the business, he hasn’t had the amount of freedom that might come with a star of his stature. Two Lanes of Freedom is McGraw’s first album since parting with longtime label Curb Records – the label that signed him and released his self-titled debut album 20 years ago. Disputes and lawsuits with the label ultimately led to McGraw ending his contract with Curb. After releasing a Christmas single in 2011 on his own record label, Tim signed with Big Machine Records in 2012 and is now label-mates with Taylor Swift. This brings us to his debut release with Big Machine: 2 Lanes of Freedom.
Just so we’re clear, when Tegan & Sara said they were releasing a pop album they meant 80s, Cyndi Lauper pop, not Lady Gaga or Katy Perry pop.
The girls have made it very clear in recent interviews that they wanted their new album, Heartthrob, to have a huge sound and appeal to a larger audience. In other words, so long indie-pop/rock phase and hello mainstream. Normally when groups take such a big leap old fans are left disappointed, and sure older fan may still prefer The Con, but I think in general the new material will catch on to old fans and help the twins gain new followers as well.
At it’s core, Heartthrob is still a classic Tegan & Sara album thematically and the girls are still whining over heartbreak and the fact that growing up means becoming a new person that you may not always like. But, now that they’re in their 30s they’ve have thrown in a few tunes of empowerment as well.
For the record, as an older fan, I fully intended to hate this album and everything mainstream Tegan & Sara stands for, but I can’t. After all, it’s kind of hard to hate something when you can’t stop dancing and singing along.
Releasing his third remix album to date, Believe Acoustic showcases Justin’s growth as an artist. Besides re-recording tracks from last year’s Believe acoustically, he adds several new songs to the album. Continue reading