here they are:
"I Ain't the Same" by Alabama Shakes: Alabama Shakes came on strong earlier this year with their CCR-meets-Memphis-soul mega-hit, "Hold On". After all that surprise success, frontwoman Brittany Howard is on her feet again, but is still proclaiming that she "ain't the same", as the title of Alabama Shakes' latest song suggests. "I Ain't the Same" is a good reminder to people of where the "blues" part in "rhythm and blues" came from! This song has enough grit (and enough use of the electric guitar) to earn comparisons to people like Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker, both of whom were just as soulful as they were rockin'! Yet Brittany Howard's gutsy, raw, passionate vocal delivery is more along the lines of Mavis Staples, or perhaps even James Brown. After listening to this song, all I can say is that "I ain't the same" either!!
"Knock Knock" by Band of Horses: Knock knock! Who's there? Abanda! Abanda who? Abanda Horses, that's who! Joking aside, though, "Knock Knock" is a pretty good song, but it does have its flaws. First off, it's built pretty much entirely around a G major chord capoed at the first fret. Some people are masters at the "one chord vamp", but I don't think Band of Horses rank among them. Also, it seems like BOH are trying too hard to get a "hard rock" sound this time around. Though they do have that "quiet-to-loud" dynamic in some of their best songs ("Is There A Ghost", "The Funeral", etc.), they don't usually rock out all the way through in any of their songs. However, if BOH were intending on making songs that stick in peoples' heads this time around, they've succeeded this time around with "Knock Knock"! Catchy songs aren't exactly what BOH are known for, and nor is it really their strong suit, but still, it doesn't hurt to try (or hear) something new once in a while!
"Runaways" by The Killers: After two years of living the solo life, Brandon Flowers has reunited The Killers. Their latest song, "Runaways", is a fitting title for a song that has a sound that wants to "run away" into the past, specifically the 1980's. Being that The Police and (especially) U2 are some of The Killers' most prominent musical influences, this shouldn't be all that surprising. Much like the typical U2 song, "Runaways" has a dynamic, compelling enough sound to be a concert fave, but it also has an earnest, heartfelt enough sound to win over the more soulful side of The Killers' fanbase (myself, for instance, haha). All in all, though, "Runaways" is an impressive comeback for a band that hasn't been terribly active in about 4 years!