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: Monsters in the Closet by Mayday Parade

download (1)

Monsters in the Closet by Mayday Parade

Record Label: Fearless Records

Genre: Pop Rock

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Songs: 12
good good

Mayday Parade are an American rock band from Tallahassee, Florida. They came out with their first EP back in 2006 without the help of a label which sold around 20, 000 copies. Since then, they have released four albums and two EPs. Band members are: Brooks Betts (rhythm guitar), Jake Bundrick (drums, percussion, co-lead vocals), Alex Garcia (lead guitar), Jeremy Lenzo (bass guitar, vocals), and Derek Sanders (lead vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar).

opinionMayday parade are one of my favourite bands. And if you’ve ever listened to one of their songs, it’s obvious why. They have the ability to lull me to sleep with soft melodies and sad lyrics. Mayday Parade is the go-to band for anyone who’s having a shitty day and need to listen to some sad music. That’s how good they are. Which is why this album comes to such a shock to me and probably to most people. Where the hell are all of the sad, slow and depressing songs that this band is known for? Because to mu knowledge, there’s only one.

It might seem like I pick on bands because they decide to dribble in the mainstream crap, but I really don’t. I only pick on bands that use mainstream stuff too much and with Mayday Parade, the mainstream thing that they oh so love is using “oh, oh, oh” and “la la la” in every song. It also doesn’t help that on top of this, songs Girls, Nothing You Can Live Without, Nothing You Can Do About and Sorry Not Sorry sound overly crowded and too fast for the vocals. Speaking of vocals, on this album they aren’t as prominent as they are on their self-titles album. There are far less high notes and both vocalists sound a bit out of tune with each other.

The one and only slow song that sounds like Mayday Parade is Angel which is actually a beautiful song that has lovely lyrics. Each song starts off with a killer intro especially Last Night For a Table of Two which starts off with a sassy guitar solo that pulls listeners in, Even Robots Need Blankets with a lone piano and vocals, and Hold Onto Me with a duet that starts off sweetly. Songs are easy to distinguish and lyrics are magnificent as always, Monsters in the Closet might be different from their older stuff but it still has the same lyrical tone to it as the other albums and Ghosts, The Torment of Existence Weighed Against the Horror of Non-Being, Even Robots Need Blankets, and Angels prove this.

Of course, with time we outgrow things but I wouldn’t have thought Mayday Parade would outgrow depressing and slow songs. That’s their thing so they shouldn’t ditch it. Nonetheless, this isn’t a complete flop, it’s actually good and I recommend this to listeners that are new to this genre because there’s some pop songs mixed in that will appeal to that audience as well as some emo-rock that will satisfy older fans as well. Maybe with time I’ll learn to love this album and by time, I mean by Oct. 25 because I’ll be going to their concert.

3.5 Treble Clefs
3.5 Treble Clefs

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

1. Ghosts-4:49

2. Girls-3:29

3. Last Night for a Table of Two-3:45

4. 12 Through 15-4:59

5. The Torment of Existence Weighed Against the Horror of Non-Being-4:11

6. Even Robots Need Blankets-3:30

7. Repent and Repeat-3:00

8. Demons-3:37

9. Sorry, Not Sorry-3:31

10. Nothing You Can Live Without, Nothing You Can Do About-4:01

11. Hold Onto Me-3:22

12. Angels-4:21

Album Review: Intersections by Into It. Over It.

into-it-over-it-intersections-2013

Intersections by Into It. Over It. 

Record Label: Triple Crown Records

Genre: Indie/pop

Release Date: September 24, 2013

Songs: 12
good good

Into It. Over It is a one-man band from Chicago, Illinois that started out in 2007. Evan Thomas Weiss started out by writing and recording songs every week for one year that quickly got picked up by record labels and then became something more. Since then, Weiss has released three split EPS and five albums-52 Weeks, Twelve Towns,Iioi/Kioji, Proper, and Intersections.

opinion

When I first listened to Into It. Over It., he was pretty new and had quite a different sound. Now, with many years and a load of experience, his sound is a lot lighter and softer without all that anger. Intersections has given me new-found respect for him and his music. It’s inspirational, complex yet simple and all the more beautiful.

While looking for certain things in an album, one of them are the vocals. With a few songs on this album, especially Your Antique Organ, the use of overlapping vocals sound okay but they also sound a bit too strong for the song and left me overwhelmed. Also, I wished that there was a better range of notes played out with the vocals.

I love all of the drumming in this, it’s unbelievably smooth and steady that I didn’t think a band so rough could accomplish. The build-ups are executed perfectly in A Pair of Taxi Rides and Spatial Exploration. I know that I say this a lot, and it’s pretty hard to do wrong, but once again I have to bring up the great guitar riffs (like I do in every album review) that are in Upstate Blues, A Curse Worth Believing, and The Shaking of Leaves.

In conclusion, I really like this album and if I didn’t live in Canada I would be impatiently waiting for Into It. Over It. to be in my city killing every song and making my night, But, I do so I can’t do that but maybe you can and this is an album that I don’t think anyone can dislike since he has talent and a certain voice that are almost impossible to dislike. I recommend this to everyone, even if this isn’t your type of music, at least give Your Antique Organ, Upstate Blues, No Amount of Sound, or Spinning Thread.

4 awesome Treble Clefs
4 awesome Treble Clefs

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

1. New North side-3:14

2. Spinning Thread-3:18

3. A Curse Worth Believing-4:44

4. Spatial Exploration-3:17

5. Favor & Fiction-2:33

6. The Shaking of Leaves-3:30

7. Upstate Blues-4:30

8. No Amount of Sound-3:39

9. A Pair of Matching Taxi Rides-4:01

10. Obsessive Compulsive Distraction-3:35

11. Your Antique Organ-2:54

12. Contractual Obligation-6:52

Album Review: Overnight by Parachute

images (5)Overnight by Parachute

Record Label: Island Def Jam

Genre: Pop

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Songs: 11
good good

Parachute is an American pop band from Charlottesville, Virginia that formed around 2008. Since then, they have released three albums-Losing Sleep, The Way it Was, and Overnight. Current band members are: Will Anderson (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Johnny Stubblefield (drums), Alex Hargrave (bass), Kit French (Saxophone, Keyboard, vocals), and Nate McFarland (guitar, vocals).

opinion

From the reviews that I’ve read this album is a hit or miss. You either love it or you don’t and I’m not sure where I stand on that scale. Some songs are great–catchy with a very poppy up-beat tune that have swoon-worthy vocals that I have fallen for time and time again in the past. But then there are the songs that are too poppy and too much for my taste, leaving me either cringing from cheesy lyrics or sighing from simplistic instrumental parts.

Hurricane is one of those cringe worthy songs. Sure, it’s different from their older stuff so kudos to them but they’ve ventured too much and crossed into the line of Maroon Five squeakiness. With their last album, the band moved towards a country/alternative sound that, for the most part, sounds really good. It suits the bands easy sweetheart feel with soft melodies and lyrics about sunshine and love. Now this album has shifted gears and moves towards poppy/barely-alternative-but-whatever sounds that don’t work out. There is just too much going on. Very few bands can actually work with techno beats and still sound great.

Well, at least the songs are catchy and light.

Overnight is pretty different from their old stuff. It’s sucks to watch a band with so much potential and warmth and sweetness head in a great direction and then make a sharp turn into one that they should never go to. I don’t recommend this album to anyone but I do recommend this band to anyone looking for a light, so sweet you’ll get cavities band that make lovely songs about love. Because, really, who doesn’t want that?

1.5 Depressing Treble Clefs
1.5 Depressing Treble Clefs

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

1. Meant To Be-3:25

2. Can’t Help-3:23

3. Drive You Home-3:50

4. Hurricane-4:10

5. Overnight-4:12

6. Didn’t See It Coming-3:32

7. The Other Side-3:47

8. Waiting For That Call-3:16

9. The Only One-3:56

10. Disappear-4:04

11. Higher-3:33

Album Review: Talon of the Hawk by The Front Bottoms

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Talon of the Hawk by The Front Bottoms

Record Label: Bar None records

Genre: Indie/Pop Punk

Release Date: May 21, 2013

Songs: 12
good good

The Front Bottoms are an American acoustic-indie-punk band originating from New Jersey that formed in 2006. The duo have since released two albums: The Front Bottoms and Talon of the Hawk. Band members are: Brian Sella (Vocals, Guitar) and Mathew Uychich (Drums, Bullhorn, Megaphone).

opinion

With my musical taste expanding, I feel odd reviewing this album since it’s so…weird. And by weird I don’t mean the lyrics like in Mad World or the band’s sound like Panic! At The Disco but I mean weird because they’ve been touring and making music for years and have a record deal yet they sound so…new. And young and I can easily see why many of my friends like them because they give off a teenage feel with their sound and more importantly, their lyrics. ultimately I’m not yet sure whether I like The Front Bottoms or not just yet since there are a few things about them I just can’t overlook.

With many bands, the vocals have to be proper and reel listeners in but above all, they have to be in tune. The front Bottom’s vocalist isn’t, throughout the whole album, in tune. It took everything in me not to start banging my head against my computer to help with how uncomfortable the singing made me. This type of singing only works during concerts and not recordings because with concerts, as long as you’re saying the lyrics no one cares but it matters when the song is being recorded. Moreover, I found that on top of bad vocals, some of the tempos in songs, especially in The Feud, are too fast for the vocals so everything just crashes and burns a merciless death. I also hate the build-ups in songs like Swear to God, the Devil Made Me Do it where there’s such a great build-up that just disappears into thin air without any sort of release. WHY MUST YOU DO THAT, FRONT BOTTOMS? WHY?! Ugh, that shit ain’t cool.

Moving on, I did like a few things about these songs with one of them being the nicely executed guitar riffs and solos that are presented in Swear to God, the Devil Made Me do it, Twin Sized Mattress, and Tattooed Tears. What makes me believe that this album is directed mostly if not completely towards my age group are the lyrics about having to grow up too fast and needing a friend as well as helping a friend out with lyrics like, “You stopped by my house the night you escaped/With tears in my eyes, I begged you to stay/You said, “Hey man, I love you but no fucking way”/I’m sure that we could find something for you to do on stage./Maybe shake a tambourine or when I sing, you sing harmonies.” (Taken from, Twin Size Mattress) Remember that friend that helped you out a shit ton? Because I sure as fuck do.

Overall, Talon of the Hawk by The Front Bottoms isn’t a bad piece of work. If anything, I think that a lot of teenagers and twenty-one year olds will love this and remember all those times that shit has happened but someone was there for them. I recommend this to anyone who likes this genre or are looking for some really great lyrics. My favourite songs are: Twin Size Mattress, Peach, Au Revoir (Adios), and Funny You Should Ask. 

3 Sexy Treble Clefs
3 Sexy Treble Clefs

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

1. Au Revoir (Adios)-1:51

2. Skeleton-3:41

3. Swear to God, the Devil Made Me Do it-3:36

4. Twin Size Mattress-4:26

5. Peach-3:11

6. Santa Monica-4:11

7. The Feud-3:16

8. Funny You Should Ask-3:36

9. Tattooed Tears-3:56

10. Lone Star-3:53

11. Blackflip-3:51

12. Everything I Own-3:46

Song of the Week#7-Dynamiter by Maycomb (Based on a Book Edition)

song of the week

 

This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Day except each week there will be a different ‘edition’ and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is:Based on a Book! This song is loosely based of off the classic novel, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Now, I haven’t read the novel but it’s on my TBR list so hopefully I can get to it soon!

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Maycomb is a melody driven pop-punk band, hailing from the West Midlands. Armed with a diverse, intricate, harmony focused sound, they’ve spent the past few years touring the UK, building a widespread and loyal fan base. After sharing stages with the likes of Saves The Day, The Wonder Years, and The Starting Line, the band are gearing up to release their long-awaited debut album, I Opened My Heart To Caustic Things, on I Am Mighty Records at the tail end of 2012.

I reviewed this album a few months ago and although I didn’t really care for the album, I really like this music video!  “Loosely based on “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand, ‘Dynamiter’ is about keeping your integrity and staying true to yourself, especially when presented with the option of taking the easy way out and caving in to other people’s expectations. The video is a continuation of these themes, along with the idea of destroying something fundamentally flawed in order to start anew; the books that are discovered and eventually burned representing miss-steps, failures, and the naivety of past decisions.”-The band, Maycomb

My favourite part is:

Go back to the start; it’s like you’re trying too hard
And when did you get so cynical?
Those things you build with your heart;
When we tear them apart, it’s really nothing personal
But we’ll make a target out of you if your guard is down

Bend and break and dilute my best intentions
I’ve got nothing to prove; I’ve learnt that lesson

 

You can watch Dynamiter here.

Bandpage is here.

Song of the Week#6-The Way We Touch by We Are Twin (Get up and Dance Edition)

song of the week

This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Day except each week there will be a different ‘edition’ and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is: Get Up and Dance! Who doesn’t love dancing? Even if it’s bad dancing, sometimes you just feel under a spell when a  certain song comes on and it takes hold of you. Well, this song will do just that! With such an upbeat sound and fun guitar riffs and blues-like vocals that will at least have you bobbing your head.

LA based Indie-pop duo WE ARE TWIN is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and producer Nicolas Balachandran and singer/songwriter Gabi Christine. As the story goes, the two met at a songwriting session in 2009 and instantly clicked – songwriting synergy at first sight, you might say.

First time I listened to this song, I was dancing. I couldn’t help myself! I just love the poppy beat and the smooth lyrics that seep into my body everytime I listen to this!

My favourite part is:

You got me on a hook, from the moment you said baby
If I faint from overheating, call the Marshall Mr. Davy
I’m running out of breath, I feel it in my head
I can’t go without you boy
Let’s hit the road to live!
If you would be my hero, then I would be your girl
You could have me anytime you want, even in the morning sun

To listen to The Way We Touch click here.

Lyrics are here.

Album Review: Youth by Citizen

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Youth by Citizen

Record Label: Run For Cover Records

Genre: Pop/Punk

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Citizen are a pop/punk band from Michigan that formed a few years ago. Since then, the band has released at least three EPs-Split, Young States, and Vanity as well as one album: Youth.  Band members are: Mat Kerekes (Vocals), Nick Hamm (Guitar), Ryland Oehlers (Guitar), Eric Hamm (Bass), and Cray Wilson (Drums).

What can I say about Citizen that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. So I’m just going to say all the things that have already been said about these band. They’re great and have a lot of potential. In fact, I’m shocked this is their debut album. A band with this much experience and talent usually have about two or three albums already out. Although the band has been coming out with a ton of EPs Youth is a bit different in the aspect of a more summer-like sound.

Citizen has created an amazing album, they really have. And like I said before, it’s a little different but not enough to allow me to love it as much as I want to. There’s growth for sure but there isn’t enough growth from a band that has been releasing as many EPs as they have.

Many of the songs have great guitar riffs especially in How Does It Feel? Where there’s the constant clashing of symbols and the guitar build up that brings back the vocals. Another thing I love about this album is the overlapping vocals. I’m very picky about this, most songs don’t pull it off well and I tend to get confused and uncertain of which vocals I should listen to but in The Summer, Sick and Impatient, and The Night I Drove Alone Mat Kerekes proves his strengths by weaving his voice together and in such a way that if the overlapping vocals weren’t part of the song it would insult it. Cray Wilson does an impressive job on drums by adding such intensity that helps ad build up to every song and brings out a softer sound when it’s necessary. Okay, now for bass and the noticeable parts it has throughout every song. I love duets especially between guitars and basses and Youth doesn’t fail to provide that for me.

Overall, Youth is just that. It’s a youthful album that has great pacing and special, meaningful lyrics behind every song that is a great beginning and ending for summer. My favourite songs off of Youth are: Roam the Room, The Summer, Sleep, Sick and Impatient and Your Head Got Misplaced.  I recommend anyone who is a fan of Bran New and/or looking for something new to listen to before the summer comes to a sad end.

4 awesome Treble Clefs
4 awesome Treble Clefs

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

1. Roam the Room-3:00

2. Figure You Out-2:37

3. The Summer-3:02

4. Sleep-3:11

5. How Does It Feel? 3:54

6. The Night I Drover Alone-2:15

7. Speaking With a Ghost-3:25

8. Your Head Got Misplaced-2:13

9. Sick and Impatient-3:43

10. Drawn Out-3:36