here they are:
"Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys: They've been around for nearly 10 years now, released five studio CD's, and opened for The Black Keys back when I saw them at Staples Center. So why haven't I reviewed anything by Arctic Monkeys yet?! Well, until "Do I Wanna Know?" came along, I just assumed that Arctic Monkeys was one of the more jagged, nervy bands from the mid '00s "new wave revival", like Bloc Party, Hot Hot Heat, Interpol, and an endless rabble of other bands I just never really cared for that much. This song has changed my opinion on Arctic Monkeys, though. It has a bit less of a frenzied beat than most of their songs do, and it's hard to resist that fuzz guitar in the song, too! (Perhaps touring with The Black Keys rubbed off on Arctic Monkeys a bit?!) The riff, built around a rather blues-y G minor chord, consists of only three main notes that are repeated throughout the song. It never gets any louder or softer at any point either, it just kinda stays the same. Normally, I like when a band or musician takes risks that wander off the beaten path of their usual musical style, but perhaps for Arctic Monkeys, less is more!
"Ordinary Love" by U2: The funny thing about legendary rock groups like U2 is that they just seem to lose their edge (no pun intended) after a while. "Ordinary Love" seems to use the same pattern that U2 have used since around the mid '00s - soft melodies, glossy sound production, and enough of an electric guitar based sound to make them "rock" even during their most sentimental moments. The guitar is probably what saves "Ordinary Love" from becoming a completely lackluster song. Well, that, and how Bono truly has an unstoppable, passionate spirit whenever he sings! While the intentions are good, and the song is catchy and harmless, there is still something about "Ordinary Love" that seems...well...ordinary! I still think it was worth talking about the song for the effort they put into it, though.
"Penitentiary" by Houndmouth: Imagine what The Band would be like with a more wry sense of humor in their music. That's pretty much what Houndmouth's "Penitentiary" is, even during its opening lines ("Hid a batch in Frisco, I couldn't score a job/So I did the next best thing and I learned how to rob"). The song's laid-back, roots-y vibe does a good job at masking its caustic lyrics, and gives the impression that Houndmouth are just a bunch of "good ol' Southern boys" (and one girl). But as soon as the chorus invites you to "come on down to the penitentiary", you know these folks have a trick or two up their sleeves, and you'll just be left begging to hear more of it afterwards!