Monthly Archives: January 2012

First Aid Kit’s Carefully Crafted album ‘The Lions Roar’

In a world where dub-step is considered a valid type of music, many music fans wonder when true music will come back with instruments and no laptops. Enter Johanna and Klara Söderberg two Swedish sisters, which form the group First Aid Kit. The album’s title is ‘The Lions Roar’ (Wichita) and boy does this album show a great deal of musician ship. Each song is carefully crafted and the fibers of each song carefully come together to create a tapestry of sound.

Starting with the title tracks soaring melodies and harmonies along with carefully placed instruments the album is already a delight to listen to. Halfway through the album you encounter ‘This Old Routine’ which is a beautifully strummed up-tempo ballad with many instruments layered beneath. One of my favorite tracks is ‘Dance to Another Tune’ which is a slow moving song with beautifully constructed melodies and harmonies. The most interesting track on the album is it’s closer ‘King of the World.’ which has a very upbeat interesting sound and a guest spot by Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst.

 You won’t find a broader mix of styles anywhere in the music industry as on ‘The Lions Roar’.  You will also not find a record as beautifully composed as this, so go buy this and give it a listen. You will not be disappointed.

Check out the Music Video for the Title track ‘The Lions Roar’ below:

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Lana Del Rey – ‘Born To Die’

25 year American songstress Lana Del Rey has a voice that sounds like it could have been on pop records in the 1960’s. Lana Del Ray has made her arrival known in 2012 with her major label debut ‘Born To Die’ (Interscope). Born Elizabeth Grant in 1986 Lana Del Ray made up her stage name do to the sound it made when spoken. But after listening to her you realize that it’s not just her name that sounds mysterious, but her music too.

Her debut album features 12 tracks of pure musical genius, and self reflection.  Starting off with the title track which begins with a slow wistful orchestral sound, and then a beat that is reminiscent of Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’. The next track to really spark my interest was ‘Blue Jeans’. The track which starts out with a very 1960’s heavy reverb-laden  guitar and then gets a very interesting sample put under it. The tracks lyrics are an emotional ode to a lover. ‘Video Games’ the next track is the first single and was also performed on the January 14th episode of SNL. The track is alsmost written as a reflection upon a relationship.  My favorite track however is ‘Million Dollar Man’ which I can picture being sung in a smokey bar room.

‘Born to Die’ is certainly a strong debut and has many songs that are ready for radio play. America get ready because in the future we will see a great deal more of Ms. Del Rey.

Check out the Music Video forVideo Games’ below:

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‘Bama’s Finest: YELAWOLF- Radioactive

From Yelawolf’s music you can tell he’s proud to be from his home state of Alabama.  You can also tell that well he likes spitting verses, he also has an appreciation for Chevy’s, Lamborghini’s, and a good party.

A follow up to Yelawolf’s very successful mix-tape ‘Trunk Muzik 0-60‘(Ghet-O-Vision), Radioactive’ ( Shady/Interscope) is a collection of 15 thunderous tracks. Starting with the introduction track to the last track ‘The Last Song’ the album never stops.

Radioactive’ features many twists and turns and many tracks that show a strong emotional side, not seen on previous mix-tapes. Some of the highlights include the track ‘Lets Roll’ which features Kid Rock on vocals and ‘Hard White’ featuring Lil Jon. And the collaboration between Yelawolf, Gangsta Boo, and Eminem ‘Throw it Up’

However the best track on the album is the autobiographical ‘The Last Song’ in which Yelawolf talks about growing up without a father and how he overcame all his struggles. The track almost seems like a letter to his absent father, telling him he doesn’t need him and is just fine now.  Overall the album is a solid major label debut and shows that Yelawolf as a bright future ahead of him.

Check out the music for Yelawolf’s ‘Lets Roll’ music video Ft. Kid Rock:

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Anthrax- Worship Music

Being part of thrash metals ‘ Big Four’ (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax) you have to release music that is up to a certain standard. Anthrax delivered and exceeded this, with one of  the best albums of their career entitled Worship Music’ (Megaforce). The album also brought in the return of classic Anthrax era singer Joey Belladonna. ‘Worship Music’  is also the second album to feature lead guitarist Rob Caggiano (Also plays in The Damned Things with Anthrax’s Scott Ian).

Worship Music’  consists of 13 tracks, and also a hidden track which is a cover of Refused’s ‘New Noise’ . Among the tracks there are many highlights, including the video single ‘The Devil You Know’ which is a groove oriented rocker.  Also found on the record  Is  ‘Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t’  which features rapid fire guitar playing and a very melodic chorus. My favorite track on the album however is the almost seven minute long track entitled ‘In The End’which when played live is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell. The song which is introduced with funeral bells and is a very driving piece of music that rocks all the way through.

Overall the album is a solid piece of work that will be listened to for ages. I have to say I am impressed with this album, and as Scott Ian said at the end of their set when I saw them on 11/11/11 (National Metal Day) “Remember to always Worship, Music

Check Out the music video for  ‘The Devil You Know’  below:

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‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’ as performed by Miley Cyrus and Johnzo West

Bob Dylan, a name so prominent in the music world that not only are his songs remembered but also his philanthropy and political ideology. Dylan speaks to people in a way that not many others do and thus why in honor of Amnesty International’s 50th year they’ve put together a 4-CD 76 song compilation of Dylan cover songs by more than 80 artists (including- Pete Townsend, Joe Perry, and Adele).

My favorite of all the cover songs on the album is You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’ which is covered by Miley Cyrus and Johnzo West. The song came from Dylan’s 15th studio album released in 1975 entitled as Blood on the Tracks’.  Miley and Johnzo put their own take on the song, slowing it down and putting a lap steel to play the solos instead of a harmonica. Overall a great track.

Check out The Music Video below:

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The Black Keys- El Camino, Flying the Flag for Rock

The Black Keys are an interesting group from Akron, Ohio. Consisting of two members vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, they’ve been producing their unique sonic storm since 2001.  And with the help of  Alive  Records , Fat Possum  Records , and Nonesuch Records  have put out 7 full length albums and 2 EP’s. Over the 11 years they’ve been together they’ve endured harsh criticism, but in the end triumphed and are now in a position to take over the world of rock.

Their latest release ‘El Camino’ (Nonesuch) has taken over rock radio with the single ‘Lonely Boy’  and landed them at number 2 on Billboard’s Top 200. The album itself consists of 11 tracks, each with their own flare and flavor. The Album starts with the single ‘Lonely Boy’  and ends with a Rolling Stones sounding track entitled ‘Mind Eraser’ .  There are many highlights on the album, including the rocking ‘Gold on The Ceiling’ . The most impresive song on the album however is the track ‘Little Black Submarines’ which starts with an acoustic section that sounds like a mix of Jethro Tulls ‘Aqualong’, Led Zeppelin’s classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’, and Blind Faiths ‘Can’t Find My Way  Home’ . The song then goes into a heavier section reminiscent of Tom Petty’s ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’.  

Overall the album in my mind is a great addition to anyone’s music library. I  definitely  will be jamming this record for years to come.

Check Them Out:

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Lamb of God – Resolution

One band that flew the flag of true metal in the early 2000’s was Richmond, Virginia’s finest Lamb of God. Comprising of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler, Lamb of God puts down their own signature mark with influences of metal, hardcore, and rock. ‘Resolution’ (Epic) their seventh studio album is no different, melding their influences and style into 14 amazing tracks.Starting off with opening track ‘Straight for the Sun’  and ending with ‘King Me’, Resolution never lets up on the brutality factor and there is not one weak track on the album.

Lamb of God is one of those bands that has a signature sound that is not easy to duplicate, but this album at some points shies away from those aspects. One of these instances is the opening track ‘Straight For The Sun’, the opening to this song reminded me of Heaven and Hell era Black Sabbath mixed with Pantera. The next major variant aspect I found was on the track ‘Insurrection’. The intro to Insurrection was something that was similar to Lamb of God of the past but when Blythe began to sing, I was amazed. Blythe has a very natural tone to his voice, which I quite enjoy. The final track of the album is by far the best on the album. Entitled ‘King Me’, the final track brings together elements of jazz, metal, and spoken word that give it a very intriguing atmosphere. Honestly King Me could be found on Pantera’s 1996 albumThe Great Southern Tredkill’ (Rhino/Elektra).

This album is a modern classic and with a projected first week sales figure of 55,000 copies this album could land at no1. Lets hope so!

-B. Harlow

1/26/12

Bellow the Music Video for the single ‘Ghost Walking’

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The Civil Wars

Quite recently I stumbled across a folk/country singer songwriter duo called The Civil Wars. The Civil Wars where founded in 2008, and in 2009 released their first digital EP Poison & Wine.  The Poison and Wine EP consisted of four masterly written songs. In 2011 via Sensibility records they released their first full length entitled Barton Hollow. Featuring 12 tracks (not including the 2 Bonus Tracks) the album which was recorded at Art House Studios, in Nashville gives off a definitively country/folk vibe. The tracks also give a little touch of rock sensibilities especially on the title track which has a really country rock stomp to it (Think Fleetwood Mack meets the White Stripes).

Check out the Music Video for Barton Hollow:

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MUSIC

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