Album Review: The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles

The_blessed_unrest_coverThe Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles 

Record Label: Epic Records

Genre: Pop

Release Date: July 12, 2013

Songs: 13
good good

Sara Bareilles is an American musician, singer-songwriter and pianist. She has been releasing music since 2002 and has released four albums-Careful Confessions, Little Voice, Kaleidoscope Heart, and The Blessed Unrest.

opinion

Sara Bareilles has come a long way from her hit, Love Song.  Since then, I think that everyone has succumbed to her beautiful voice and songs about love–broken and new ones. I, for one, have always turned to her when in the need for something poppy and uplifting. But after listening to this album I’m a little angry with it and definitely disappointed.

I don’t mind when artists like to dabble into different things especially with the world of music constantly changing but I hate it when they go full-out in a direction that just doesn’t complement their sound. Brave and Eden are examples of this with the use of techno beats that for one, distracted me from the song and two, didn’t go well with the song (mostly for Eden). Satellite Calls is a slow song that also includes echoed vocals to make it unbearable. Some of these songs are all over the place with only the piano keeping things barely coherent.

The piano is still heavily woven into each and every song that Bareilles creates. They still have that sweet rhythmic tune that so many love her for. Manhattan is sweet and gentle with lyrics about going back to a place. I love it when songs include different types of instruments especially with Little Black Dress because it has a cool saxophone part that adds to an already fun and poppy song. It can easily be the second part to her other song, King of Anything. 

The Blessed Unrest isn’t all bad by any means. The vocals are a lot stronger this time around and there is a bigger variety of notes that catches listeners attentions. Bareilles still sings about heartbreak and being your own person even if it hurts to be alone, I just found this one lacking and poorly executed where she adds in a new twist to her sound. Still, I recommend this album to people who don’t mind all those techno beats and will forever love Sara Bareilles no matter what. But be sure to check out Manhattan, Little Black Dress, and I Choose You before listening to anything else.

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Brave-3:41

2. Chasing the Sun-4:27

3. Hercules-4:24

4. Manhattan-4:38

5. Satellite Calls-4:52

6. Little Black Dress-3:35

7. Cassiopeia-3:34

8. 1000 Times-4:30

9. I Choose You-3:39

10. Eden-4:06

11. Islands-4:21

12. December-5:01

13. I Wanna Be like Me

Album Review: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! by Panic! at the Disco

Too_Weird_to_Live,_Too_Rare_to_Die!

Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! by Panic! at the Disco

Record Label: Fueled by Ramen

Genre: Pop

Release Date: October 4, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Panic! At The Disco are an American pop band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2004. Since then, the band has released four albums-A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, Pretty. Odd.,Vices and Virtues, and Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!. Current band members are: Spencer Smith (drums, percussion), Brendon Urie (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, piano), and Dallon Weekes (bass guitar, synth, backing vocals).

opinion

Panic! at the Disco is that odd band that I will forever love because they’re so odd. But honestly, what the hell is this album? Did I click on some demo’s or parodies because this cannot be the same band that I know and love! Honestly, I grew up with this band and I have been listening to them ever since their music video for I Write Sings, Not Tragedies came out so believe me when I say that I am extremely disappointed with this. Extremely disappointed.

Starting off with the first two tracks on the album, This is Gospel and Miss Jackson are bad choices to start this album off with. Not only are the electronic vocals destroying these songs but there seems to be no direction with them. Add in some “oh oh oh’s” and you have some mindless crap that doesn’t even make sense. This album is nothing like their older stuff, in fact, I’m a bit shocked that this is even the same band because there aren’t any trumpet parts nor is there that fun tone that reminds you of a circus. With that being said, these songs are forgettable and repetitive and oh so very boring. Nothing about them stand out and caught my attention.

One thing that I can say with much joy is that vocals are a lot stronger this time around. I guess since this album is mindless party music, the band has finally relaxed more than they used to and are having fun with it.

I’m not one that enjoys listening to dance music unless I’m in a club. TWTL,TRTD is an album that will be famous in clubs because that seems to be the direction that the band wants to go in. Unfortunately, for their older fans, this album is going to be a huge let down with almost nothing of their older selves weaved in with the new. What happened to all of the creepy clowns and awesome festivals that they were so known for? The greatly executed trumpet parts that made me want to dance along? Because Miss Jackson is definitely not leaving me in a dancing, “happy, so happy” type of mood.

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. This is Gospel-3:11

2. Miss Jackson Ft. Lolo-4:19

3. Vegas Lights-3:10

4. Girls That you Love-3:08

5. Nicotine-3:07

6. Girls/Girls/Boys-3:28

7. Casual Affair-3:32

8. Far Too Young to Die-3:18

9. Collar Full-3:19

10. The End of All Things-3:31

Album Review: Home is Where You Make it by The Masquerades

Home Is Where You Make It

Home is Where You Make it by The Masquerades 

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Pop Punk

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Songs: 5
good

The Masquerade is a Pop Punk band from Erie, Pennsylvania formed in 2013. The band is composed of Geo Martinez, Brandon Eaton, TJ Hess and Dakota Valerio.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publicist, Umusicians for giving me a copy of this cd to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

The Masquerades are a tricky band to talk about since this is their début and I’d hate to believe that this is the best music they can produce.  I can see that they have a lot of potential and enthusiasm for what they do. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I feel more than admiration for them when I listen to this album that displays everything boring with pop punk and why it’s so hard to stay in this type of genre. At no point could I fully or even partially connect with this band on a personal level which plays a huge part on how I rate their product.

The lyrics are all so generic and simple. I couldn’t relate to them nor did they seem special for the band either, they just sound like the same songs that have been played over and over again but other bands only with a different band name. With song titles that are extremely straight up and sum up the lyrics like for Best Day of my Life, the Weekend, and All my Life, it’s no wonder that I couldn’t bring myself to like them. I also don’t like the guitar bits and riffs because they sound a bit too strong for the songs and feel odd.

With what I said before, I admire their dedication and their enthusiasm but I just wished that it was put to better use and worked on their sound, making it smoother and a lot more relatable.

Overall, Home is Where You Make it is an album I was expecting a lot more from. I think that they have a very long way to go and that they need to take a few steps out f the generically produced music pool and start coming out with songs that actually hold meaning without so much repetition and sameness. Still, I’ll be looking out for this band and hoping that they come out with something  a lot smoother and well finished than this debut. After all, EPs are not the same as albums for a reason.

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Songs on the Album

1. The Weekend*

2. Best Day of my Life-3:16

3. Back Up Plan*

4. Set Your Mind to it-4:02

5. All my Life*

*Song couldn’t be found on YouTube, sorry!

Album Review: Collapsible Lung by Relient K

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Collapsible Lung by Relient K

Record Label: Mono Vs Stereo

Genre: Pop

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Songs: 12
Collapsible Lung - Relient K

Relient K is an American rock band formed in 1998 in Canton, Ohio, by Matt Thiessen, Brian Pittman, and Matt Hoopes. The band has released seven studio albums:  Relient K, The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right…But Three Do, MmHmm, Five Score and Seven Years Ago, Let It Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer, and Collapsible Lung. Six EPs: All Work and No Play, Apathetic, The Birds and The Bee Sides, Forget and Not Slow Down, Is For Karaoke, and Is For Karaoke Pt.2. Current band members are: Matt Thiessen (lead vocals, guitars, piano, synthesizers, keyboards), Matt Hoopes (guitars, backing vocals), John Warne (bass guitar, backing vocals), Jon Schneck (guitars, banjo, bells, omnichord, nord, backing vocals).

opinion

I’m all for bands trying something new, I really am. I’m a firm fan of everything The Maine comes out with, (even their pop punk stuff is good, and Lydia’s stuff too) so when bands try out new sounds and change their direction, I’m excited for it. The only problem I have with bands changing their sound is when it’s done very sloppily and to get more ‘mainstream’ fans rather than sticking with their older fans. It’s embarrassing and sad, I understand that the music industry is very demanding and cruel (Look what happened to A Rocket To The Moon) but at least don’t completely change into something that’s almost unrecognizable. Is this a great album? No, of course not, never expect a new direction to sound good. But is it at least average? Nope. With all of that being said, it’s safe to say that this is a very disappointing album.

Collapsible Lung is a little dribble of a lot of subgenres and sound like tunes from other bands just with different lyrics attached with them. The second Can’t Complain starts playing it’s easy to think of that Bruno Mars song, The Lazy Song or a song by Jason Mraz…or even Train. What’s even worse is PTL (Part-Time Lover) the song starts off fine with a nice guitar part until the chorus comes in with vocals squealing, “I never meant to be a part-time lover, But I’ve never been a full-time man.” Did I mention they use techno for this part as well? No, thank you. Disaster is an okay song as well, it’s fun and easy to dance to but it sounds too much like a copy of Panic! At The Disco to actually enjoy it too much.

Even with all of the faults, I do like Don’t Blink,  it has a bit of their old sound to it, easing listeners into the pop direction they were going for. I like Sweeter because it’s very soft and delicate with a simple guitar part and sad lyrics. The references to all the songs and bands in That’s My Jam is fun, a time to remember better music. But that’s all I like about the song, the use of techno sounds and an up-beat tune just make my ears bleed a little.

It seems the band decided to follow popular artists and make sloppy facsimiles of popular songs. Unfortunately the band also hired co-writers to come up with these sad songs. I don’t recommend this to anyone unless you enjoy mainstream pop songs that have the same tune as other songs but with different lyrics.

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Don’t Blink-3:03

2. Boomerang-2:48

3. Lost Boy-3:10

4. If I Could Take You Home-3:33

5. Can’t Complain-3:14

6. Gloria-2:59

7. PTL-3:24

8. Disaster -2:59

9. When You Were My Baby-2:45

10. Sweeter-4:28

11. Collapsible Lung-3:21

12. That’s My Jam (Ft. Owl City)-2:43