Wednesday, April 2, 2014

There will be no blog this time...

....APRIL FOOLS!! Yeah, I had to throw one in there a day late! Anyway, here is today's blog:

"Dark Sunglasses" by Chrissie Hynde: Just from the title of this song, I guessed that this song would be one of the "tougher" sounding songs of the Pretenders frontwoman's catalog. Boy, was I right! Not necessarily hard rock here, but certainly rock!! Opening with a cowbell driven percussion section, "Dark Sunglasses" is full of both attitude and mystique. This is my first taste of Chrissie minus The Pretenders, yet it still sounds like The Pretenders! It doesn't quite sound like a solo effort with its full band instrumentation keeping it together. However, it's still great to know that even into her 60's, Chrissie can still rock it, and sound as young as ever!!

"Fall In Love" by Phantogram: One woman, one man, yet tons of sound!! This is a good way to describe the New York duo known as Phantogram, whose debut song, "Fall In Love", takes electronica to new, more orchestrated heights! In fact, "Fall In Love" doesn't even open with electronic instruments, but instead with a string section. The synthesizer in the song comes in at about 30 seconds into the song. Sarah Barthels' soothing vocals contrast with the scathing lyrics of the song (i.e. "I was the reason you feel sick inside", "The lines on my face that ate away my smile", etc.) In spite of all this, "Fall In Love" still lives up to its title, and makes you want to do exactly as it says, with its sultry, seductive sound!

"Lanterns" by Birds of Tokyo: For any anime/Japanese culture fans who may be reading this, I hate to burst your bubble, but no, Birds of Tokyo aren't actually from Tokyo. They are an Australian band who named themselves after a newspaper headline that talked about the increasing endangering of birds in Tokyo. Their song "Lanterns" is a rather dreamy, wistful sounding one, set to sparkly synthesizers, tranquil vocals, and poetic sounding lyrics like, "On we march to the midnight sun, we will light our way with our lanterns on". Midnight is definitely a good time to be listening to "Lanterns", but preferably when envisioned as a still, starlit midnight, as opposed to one bustling with nightlife.

"Mr. Tembo" by Damon Albarn: Damon is one hard working British musician! He started out in the Brit-pop group, Blur (whose biggest hit, the "woo-hoo" dominated "Song 2", didn't sound a THING like most of their songs), and then went onto unlikely success as a band of wild, hip-hop/techno loving cartoon primates in The Gorillaz. A lot of his material can be described as "quirky, but edgy". His latest song, "Mr. Tembo", is certainly quirky (just look at the title of the song!) Edgy?! Not really. In fact, I'd even venture to say that it sounds like a Latin tinged version of a Raffi song! It's certainly repetitive and (insanely) catchy enough to be compared to Raffi! The subject of the song is in the chorus, about "Mr. Tembo, and what he's going to do". So who IS "Mr. Tembo"?! I haven't the slightest idea! Sure is a fun song, though!

"Take Me to Church" by Hozier: The funny thing about most successful Irish musicians is that you can't really tell they're Irish at first when you hear them sing!! Just ask Bono, or Van Morrison, both of whom have that soulful sound that fellow Irishman Hozier has now adopted with his debut song, "Take Me to Church". The "church" in the title of the song is not your grandma's church, though, make no mistake! "Take Me to Church" is not meant to sound like uplifting gospel music, but rather like a slow, aching dirge, exposing the dark side of religion and spirituality. The chorus opens with the title of the song, followed by lyrics like, "I'll worship like a dog in the shrine of your life", and "I'll tell you my sins while you sharpen your knife". Chilling words, but sometimes it can be just as enlightening to explore the dark side of life as it is to explore the light side!