here they are:
"Junk of the Heart (Happy)" by The Kooks: I love how happy, free-spirited, and melodic The Kooks are!! That being said, when I heard they released a new song, I was pretty excited! The best part?! "Junk of the Heart (Happy)" sounds even BETTER than I expected it to sound!! In addition to the Beatles/Kinks-ish bouncy Britpop sound The Kooks typically have, there are also some Burt Bacharach-esque major 7th chords in this song that set it apart from The Kooks' other material. It's only fitting that lead singer Luke Pritchard's refrain in this song consists of the words "I wanna make you happy", because he does exactly that, and quite successfully, too!!
"Miracle Worker" by Super Heavy: What do Mick Jagger, Bob Marley's son Damian, neo-soul songstress Joss Stone, and The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart all have in common?! Well, aside from being rock 'n' roll royalty, they're also part of the aptly named supergroup, Super Heavy! Their first big song, "Miracle Worker" (which, in case any of you are wondering, is NOT about the biographical Helen Keller film of the same name), seems like it is clearly Damian's song, with its reggae beat and pulsating, syncopated guitars. Damian, Joss, and Mick all share vocals on the song, though (albeit, at different parts of it). With all that being said, this song ultimately comes out being a three-star song, despite the big names involved in it. Something just seems missing in this song! Perhaps it's that Damian just doesn't have the forceful, dynamic delivery his dad typically did, or that Mick doesn't seem to be maintaining the same amount of energy and fervor he typically had in The Stones. Well, nevertheless, "Miracle Worker" isn't a bad song, and the four people involved in its performance all seem like they tried giving it their best efforts.
"Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart" by Fountains of Wayne: I still find it fascinating how Fountains of Wayne's best known song has become the Cars-esque "Stacy's Mom". It really isn't that representative of their typical sound, which is more like The Beatles or The Kinks (see also The Kooks' "Junk of the Heart", reviewed earlier in this article). "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart" continues in the direction of The Fountains' typical sound, which I really like! Nothing particularly special about this one, musically, but what can I say, I'm a sucker for songs with a great melody and a catchy beat, and Fountains of Wayne seem to be experts at that! Perhaps another thing they're good at is just being quirky, as evidenced by the fact that the opening lyrics to this song are, "Staring at the sun with no pants on". Makes me wonder if the pants-less one they're referring to is Adam Schlesinger (the lead singer) himself or a girl he really likes.
"The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" by Red Hot Chili Peppers: Before I get into the song itself, let me just state that I LOVE the title to this song!! It sounds like the name of a comic book series of some sort! Well, now, on with the song! The title is really better than the song itself, which seems vaguely similar to one of those half-disco/half-rock type songs The Rolling Stones did in the late '70s/early '80s. It IS a catchy song, in typical Chili Peppers fashion, but I personally think they've done better material than this one. One advantage "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" has is its seemingly random, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. I can't quite figure out what this song is about, but it almost seems like that's the point of it!
"Walk" by Foo Fighters: Of the two songs released of The Foos' latest CD, "Wasting Light", "Walk" seems like the better song so far! "Rope" just seemed too full of anger and intensity for me to fully appreciate it. "Walk", however, leans more towards the melodic side of their catalog! It's still a rocker, but more in the even-keeled, steady manner of "Learn to Fly" and "Times Like These" than the frenzied, frantic one of "All My Life" and "I'll Stick Around". The echo-y, jangly guitars in the beginning of "Walk" already indicate a more positive theme in the song. And lyrically, "learning to walk again" sound like words that can lead in a more positive direction than the more desperate, disconnected delivery of "gimme some rope I'm coming loose" (from "Rope", released earlier this year). My one complaint about this song is that sometimes Dave Grohl sounds like he's a bit TOO enthusiastic, as though he's about to scream his head off (mostly in the middle of the song), but other than that, I think this one's a winner!