Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New songs for September 24th, 2014

here they are:

"Shut Up And Dance" by Walk the Moon: Is there any hit song by Walk the Moon that hasn't proven to be an absolute anthem so far?! The answer to that, of course, is "no", as "Anna Sun" and "Tightrope" have both proven to be some of the biggest hits and catchiest songs of the 2010's! WTM's third big song, "Shut Up And Dance", is sure to follow in the footsteps of their first two smash hits, as far as I'm concerned! There is no underlying, "deep" message behind "Shut Up And Dance", it's pretty much a song that celebrates how fun it is to just get up and dance to music! So, do as the song says, and "shut up and dance"!!

"Simple Machine" by Guster: Hard to believe Guster have now been around for a little over a decade and a half! Their material still sounds so fresh, from their breakthrough song, "Fa Fa", to their 2010 song, "Do You Love Me?" Guster's latest song, "Simple Machine", shows that they are still keeping up with the times! "Simple Machine" is a catchy, quirky indie-pop song, which has become standard for the 2010's, but Guster have been churning out songs like this ever since bands like Third Eye Blind were hot items on the pop charts and the term "indie-pop" was not yet in widespread usage. "Simple Machine" also combines the best of both worlds when it comes to its sound, in that it is equal parts folk-rock and new wave!

"The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" by U2: And last, but certainly not least, U2 brings us the most anticipated song of the week! It looks like their whole ALBUM ("Songs of Innocence") is going to be all the rage for the rest of this year, and well into 2015, but for now, let's focus on the first single of their new album, "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)". The Ramones aren't the most obvious influence in U2's music, but they were one of many CBGB's punk groups that inspired U2 to become musicians themselves. Joey was the first member of The Ramones to die, and, as if by coincidence, one of the last songs he heard before he died was U2's then new song, "In A Little While". Perhaps Bono and the boys knew about this, and are not only paying tribute to their fallen hero in this song, but are also keeping in mind how it was their song that got Joey Ramone through his last day on Earth. The sound of the song is a chugging, crunchy hard rock sound, but definitely more characteristic of U2 than of The Ramones.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New songs for September 10th, 2014

here they are:

"Budapest" by George Ezra: He might not be from Budapest (he's British), but George Ezra's song about the capital of Hungary is still a song that grabs your attention just from the first listen! "Budapest" combines the world music influenced rhythmic patterns of later Paul Simon songs with the more galloping acoustic rhythm of Mumford and Sons. As neo-folk-rock is becoming more and more in demand these days, it's no wonder George Ezra's rise to stardom has climaxed so quickly! "Give me one good reason that I should never make a change", Ezra demands during the chorus. I'm with Ezra, personally. He should make a change, stylistically, as many musicians do, so I can see just how capable and diverse his musical range is. Some folks might sound better than Ezra (including Better than Ezra), but he's still worth listening to for the moment.

"Forgotten Man" by Tom Petty: In less than three minutes, Petty proves that he can really rock no matter how little time he has, with "Forgotten Man"! The song opens with a Bo Diddley shuffle and Chuck Berry licks, and it continues to use them both throughout. Not too many chords are used in the song, either. Petty might be complaining that he "feels like a forgotten man" during the song, but it's pretty much impossible to forget a song like this one! Sometimes, simple is best!!

"Happy Idiot" by TV on the Radio: If "love will tear us apart", as Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis coldly claimed almost three and a half decades ago, then what is there left to do afterwards?! Well, according to TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, the answer to that is to be a "happy idiot". The chords, atmosphere, and lyrics of "Happy Idiot" all owe a lot to Joy Division. "Happy Idiot" is an icy, brutally honest song about how retreating to idiocy can be a way of escaping the harsh reality of certain situations. In this particular case, the other TVOTR members are probably using this song to grieve over how their original bassist, Gerard Smith, died last year. It almost seems eerie that the word "idiot" and the Joy Division influence in the song can serve as a potential parallel to how Iggy Pop's similarly titled album, "The Idiot", was the last album that Joy Division's Ian Curtis listened to due to the fact that he hung himself after putting it on. Isn't music history fascinating?!

"Home (Leave the Lights On)" by Field Report: Folk-rock group, Field Report, seemed like they had one of the saddest, most beautiful songs of 2012, with the stark "I Am Not Waiting Anymore". The fact that no other songs from their debut CD got any attention led me to believe that Field Report were pretty much destined for one-hit wonder status. Two summers later, it appears as though I've been proven wrong with the release of Field Report's "Home (Leave the Lights On)", the bouncy sound of which shines like a glimmer of hope next to the more bittersweet "I Am Not Waiting Anymore". With "Home", Field Report actually sound more like a band, as opposed to sounding like one person posing as a band. A rhythm section is added in, and it sounds like there are two different guitars being used as well. Field Report probably kept their original fanbase in mind, though, as "Home" still sounds as poignant as ever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New songs for September 3rd, 2014

here they are:

"Fools' Gold" by Fitz and The Tantrums: No foolin'! This song somehow sounds old and new at the same time! Those "Be My Baby"-style hand claps at the beginning and its initial vintage R & B style keyboard sound make it sound like a song from the '60s, yet as the hand claps fade away and the synthesizer changes from authentic soul to more artificial new wave, it doesn't sound that different from your typical Top 40 hit. I honestly have mixed feelings about this song (and their sophomore record overall, really). Fitz and The Tantrums' shift in sound from Motown revival for their debut to more straight up alt-pop for their follow-up isn't entirely a bad thing, as it has resulted in the infectiously catchy whistling of "The Walker", the equally infectiously catchy beats of "Out of My League", and even the soul-meets-new-wave sound of "6am". Four singles from one album is an impressive feat to brag about in this day and age, but FATT were fools to make "Fools' Gold" sound as spruced up for Top 40 radio as they did. This song will probably grow on me later on, though, as many of their songs have.

"Half the City" by St. Paul and The Broken Bones: And here is yet another band who started off being a "soul revival" band. Thankfully, St. Paul and the Broken Bones have only had one album so far, so I'm hoping they continue to stick with their sound, because I like what I've heard from them so far! For their latest song, "Half the City", they mix Al Green influenced vocals and rhythm with crunchy, blues-y guitars that wouldn't sound too out of place in one of the more soulful songs in The Rolling Stones' catalog. In contrast with Fitz and The Tantrums' image as a "neo-soul" band fading away, St. Paul and The Broken Bones seem like the type of group that will probably slather on even more old school soul influences if they come out with another album. Tell me you don't detect hints of Al Green, Sam & Dave, and Otis Redding (among others) in this song!!

"Strong" by London Grammar: It's tempting to dismiss this song as a "Florence and The Machine ripoff", except this song has a sound all its own!! It is equally as haunting and emotional, if not more so, than Florence's material. This song does what Goo Goo Dolls' "Naked" did almost two decades ago, lyrically, by exposing the most raw, vulnerable part of the emotional psyche in the lyrics, albeit using a soft, angelic sound, instead of a more raw, grungy one like The Goos did. The title of this song only indicates what the lead singer appears to be on the outside. There is a much deeper story to be told upon actually listening to the song!!