Posts Tagged ‘Music Review’

Music Review: Arcade Fire

January 7, 2010

Yes Folks, Arcade Fire

I know its been a while but yes I am back with reviews. I can’t believe I am still on A. I am so ashamed of my inconsistency. Ah well, be glad I still enjoy doing these dammit!

Arcade Fire is a band with God knows how many members in it originally from Quebec, Canada. The name of the band stems from an actual historic fire where a bunch of children died in a fire in a filled arcade. Tragic? Yes. Hell of a band name, YES!

Anyways, the first song I ever heard was Neighborhood #1 from their Funeral album. Very very odd sounding to me. I cant pinpoint it. I wasnt crazy about the lead singer’s voice. There wasnt a lot of unity in the harmonies. It was kinda all over the place. Yet… yeah, thats ACTUALLY what made the song awesome. You felt the intense emotion from the lead singer, Win Butler. He has this shaky, trembling voice almost like he cant control the notes he hits its just a reflex action that comes out. The main female harmony is made by his wife, RĂ©gine Chassagne, however there are a bunch of people singing and performing on this song. It just sounds like a crowd of people singing you a story in their own way and time. It makes it so impactful. The video is also an abstract cartoon that is melancholy, morbid, yet colorful and bright. That one song got me.

I got the album. It pretty much all sounds like that one song to me. Thats not a bad thing at all. It keeps the momentum going. However I admittedly cant remember many of the others ones from that album… except for Power Out, Wake Up, and the song that makes me cry (if you remember, making me cry in a song is almost always a great thing) In the Backseat.

In the Backseat is sung by Regine. Its like hearing a little child sing a very very sad song but initially is really shy. You can sense the apprehension and timidness at the beginning. As the music gets stronger and the song progresses, she gets bolder and louder. Shes still innocent sounding but she is determined to express herself. Towards the end, she is “aaaahh”ing and “oooh”ing like her life depends on it. Its so touching, so strong, its like standing in a room naked just to make your point known. You cry because you know shes trying to make sure you feel what shes feeling. I cry every time I hear it. Its that good. If you love Bjork, you’ll love this song.

Wake Up is an awesome song. Powerful beginning. David Bowie loves this band. So much so he actually has sang this song with them live. This song was used in the movie, Where The Wild Things Are. When I heard it in the trailer, I thought it was the most clever usage of a song for a film. It belongs in that film.

So to me, the Funeral album was awesome but the band just seemed so chaotic. Neon Bible came out after and that album did well but honestly, I have never seen the band live and I know THATS where the magic is, Ive seen footage of them performing live and it shows WHY they are so seen by others. They put on a great show and its a show to be experienced. I didnt get into Neon Bible. It didnt sound bad but I dont remember any of the songs except for My Body is a Cage which is awesome. The all were good. Just not memorable to me.

I look forward to seeing them live just to get me more motivated to enjoy them as they should be enjoyed. A new album is in the works for this year but hell if I know the title of that or the exact release date. I highly suggest checking them out though.

Video: The video that started it all for me, so so so weird but awesome. I love the artwork and I love the flow. Its the video for Laika (Neighborhood #1)

Music Review: Aqua

December 8, 2009

Yes, I am seriously reviewing the band, Aqua

Don’t even try to pretend that you don’t remember this band! You SOOOOOO do! No! I will not even hear of it! You do SO! Stifle!!

Ok so yeah I am reviewing this band. I will sit here and tell you quite honestly. I like this band. I really do. As I have said about other bands, I dont LOVE them, I like them.

We all know about the song Barbie Girl. Its instilled in our heads. We cant shake it out even after all of these years.

Btw, mini rant before I go any further: How fucked up is it that when this song came out Mattel actually got all fucking high and mighty and sewed the band Aqua for using the name Barbie meanwhile recently they have used THE VERY SONG in their campaign ads for the bimbo doll???? Like seriously they changed a few words around but its still the same fucking song. What douchebags!

Anyways, Aqua is a band formed in Denmark. They got famous in the late 90s in Europe first with songs like Roses are Red and My Oh My. Very bubblegum eurodancy but fun as hell. I mean if you wanna work out and dance to some songs, I highly suggest them.

Im sorry but Barbie Girl is one of my LEAST favorite songs. Yes, you heard right, I actually like OTHER songs from Aqua. See fellow Americans, you gotta stop that big ole “One Hit Wonder” mentality sometimes. We forget, the US isnt the only country that plays the music haha. Aqua released 2 albums before they split up in 2001. There was of course, Aquarium and then Aquarius…. yeah I know, how original.

Now I know many people are thinking, “Natalia, really? What on earth made you like this band??”

OMG, you HAVE to listen to the lyrics. These types of bands always got me for the sheer silliness of their music. Im not even talking the sound. Im talking the actual songs. I mean lets be honest, that dance beat will make TONS of people dance. Whether they like the song or not. I laughed the very first time I heard Roses Are Red because I honestly thought Aqua was a parody band. Like I thought this band was just a bunch of actors imitating the sound of eurodance music ala Spinal Tap with Metal. Imagine my surprise when I realized this was a REAL band!!

Lene: “Roses are red and violets are blue, honey is sweet but not as sweet as you, roses are red and violets are blyue, mmya neena nefgjwrgowreiowefiljweif dum dee da dee dum dum dee da dee dum dum dee da dee dum..”

Rene: COME PICK MY ROSES!!!

I swear thats how the song starts! I almost peed myself. So so so funny! How can I not like their stuff its just a good old time and makes me happy. If you are ever feeling down put on an Aqua song. It will brighten up your day.

Oh but dont put Goodbye to the Circus from their second album. It actually made me cry. I think its cuz I pictured the video and they are all circus performers in the bedroom of a little boy who is dreaming and its time for him to wake up and they are telling him goodbye and they will always be with him and hes crying.

What? I have an amazing imagination and I made myself cry. Shut up.

Ok so I cant pronounce or even spell half the names of the band members cuz I dont think my computer types them, but I will get close: The girl lead vocalist is Lene Nystrom (there should be a slash in the o but I dunno how to do that), The bald guy that sings like a gym rat given a mic is Rene Dif, The guy with the blonde spikey hair is Soren Rasted and the other dude is Claus Noreen…. that was actually exhausting.

Ok so the way the band started was actually by the two guys that never freaggin sang! Soren and Claus would write music and then they met a prostitute named Rene. Yes the big burly bald dude was a prostitute in Denmark… how fucking awesome is that!?!?! They formed a band and called each other Joyspeed and release an album and then Rene met Lene on a ferry where she was singing and got her in the band. They actually dated for a long while and then Lene cheated on him with Soren and eventually married him. (Omg Danish Drama!!!) They would all say that the split was amicable and what not but no one believed it especially after Lene gave an interview in 2004 admitted she cheated on Rene before they broke up he vowed he would never forgive her……

…. yeah so they reunited hahahaha! Yeah they reunited in like 2007 and they put out a greatest hits album and are working on a new album for 2010.

This band made a bunch of videos. Most are down right ridic! However funny as hell cuz they are so lame and weird. However, I needed proof of the Roses are Red lyrics so here is the video. Old as hell but omg, please, just pick Rene’s roses:

Music Review: Apples in Stereo

December 5, 2009

Apples in Stereo

I have to be very honest. I haven’t listened to this band in quite some time. I mean, if they have a new album out I dont know nor am I interested. Its not that I dont like them though. I just lost interest. It happens with bands and my psyche. However I can talk very highly about this band.

If you are familiar with bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and The Olivia Tremor Control, you may have heard of this band back in the day since they were all once in the same grouping, The Elephant Six Collective.

This band is just very catchy. All the songs I have no problem calling “fun lil’ ditties” because thats really what they are. The sound is very nostalgic. You can sense the influences of The Beatles and The Beach Boys in their tunes. Strawberryfire is very reminiscent of The Beatles psychadelic ventures or The Beach Boys and their song, Good Vibrations. You can tell this band knows what got stuck in people’s heads.

The lead singer Robert Schneider has a very nasal sound and I get it when many of my friends think its a but annoying however to me its endearing and works with the songs played. What I love about this band as well is that the lead singer isnt some overly sexed, emo looking hot guy. Its a balding guy that wears glasses, a beard, and has a gut. Every cub or bear’s wet dream! Sorry dudes, the man is straight.

He was married to a time to their drummer Hilarie Sidney. They have divorced and have a child. Logically the line up changed and she left the band. It kinda sucks though because the band did have songs that had her on lead vocals and I really enjoyed them. Since then I havent been a fan of the songs that they have released once she was gone. Im not saying they are good, I just lost interest.

I do know that they eventually joined Simian Records. The reason thats worth mentioning (to me anyways) is because Simian Records is a company started and owned by Elijah Wood. Yup, Frodo himself has a record label. Whodathunkit?!

I used to love the song Energy however on my trip to Puerto Rico this past August, I grew to hate that fucking song. Why? Well picture it: In the mall in Puerto Rico they have these panels everywhere that play commercials over and over and over. Well Pepsi endorses TONS in PR and guess what song was in a Pepsi commercial this summer… yup, Energy. I dunno if it was played here in the states because honestly I never heard it here nor have I seen the commercial since but for a week in Puerto Rico it was PAHHLAAAYED OUT! I can NOT listen to Energy anymore. Sorry dudes, I know its not the band’s fault. I mean hey, when ya need bank, Pepsi is a good way to go. However they really played that shit out!

If you are looking for some up beat, sunny songs that make ya smile. I highly suggest checking this band out. Its worth a listen.

This is a cute video for a cute song haha. The song Same Old Drag from their album New Magnetic Wonder. It has a it more electronics used on that album but still great songs. Check it out!

Music Review: Apartment

December 4, 2009

Yes, there is a band called Apartment

I gotta say this band is really hard to look up. You look up the word “Apartment” logically a picture of a British Band isnt something that pops up. Yet because I am so determined I have found a pic of the band, a video of the band, and yes even a bit of wiki knowledge although I must be honest there wasnt much on them.

British band from London who formed in like 2005. Yeah thats pretty much all I need to know in terms of history. Whatever, all I know is the lead singer David Caggiari has an awesome voice and the sound of the band in general is fun, nostalgic, and rockin’.

The Dreamer Evasive is their cd. I think its the only one they have out right now. I know they have a new single out which is cool but no new album.

David has this vibrato to his voice that reminds me of Martin Gore from Depeche Mode and the sound the band has reminds me of 80s New Wave which just makes me reminiscent of “Da Mode” even more. Its like Depeche Mode meets The Killers…. but in a totally good way I swear! If you like 80s music but also enjoy alternative brit rock/pop then I can assure you that you will enjoy Apartment. Just my opinion. I notice how I will say what I PERSONALLY hear only to be told “Wha? Natalia are you on crack? Where do you hear THAT?!?” Whatever, I swear thats what I hear, deal with it. Hmmph!

My favorite song is Pressures. It just runs the gamut when it comes to sound. Its poppy, then brash alternative, then new wavy, then emo, its just all over the place yet Apartment makes it sound precise and together.

Confusing? No worries you will understand after seeing and hearing the video. This is the promotional video to Pressures. Enjoy.

Music Review: Annie Lennox

November 24, 2009

The Legendary Annie Lennox

I was truly looking forward to writing this review. There are so many things that need to be said in regards to this woman. Its beyond her voice, beyond her presence, beyond her deeds, its all of it rolled up into one. The Great Annie Lennox.

As most people, my first experience with Annie Lennox was with the band, The Eurythmics. The 80s brought about sooo many amazing bands into my life and The Eurythmics were one of them. The moment I saw her I saw fire. LOL. That short red hair, the stunning eyes, the androgynous look made me think “Who IS that???” Then I heard that voice!

Annie has this voice that you see her and think, “wow that just came out of her mouth… really…awesome!”. Its deep,sultry, powerful, shocking, beautiful, enchanting, I could go on forever. You heard her voice and you forgot about everything around you. All that mattered was her voice. The great thing was my mom fell in love with her too and when you are 8 years old, with not many friends, and raised by a single mom, your bond is stronger and having our love for The Eurythmics and Annie Lennox made it just that much more fun!

So eventually Scottish-born Annie took a much needed break from the Eurythmics to work on solo work and whoa did THAT take off!!

Her first “solo” work was mainly a duet with Al Green covering the song “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” for the movie Scrooged. it was produced by her Eurythmics cohort Dave Stewart and it was just uphill from there.

Her first solo album Diva is probably one of THE most amazing albums ever. The songs “Why” and “Walking On Broken Glass” were epic! I can listen to Why and cry my eyes out. Its basically everything I feel in my head when I feel supressed or patronized. Its someone yelling for you “THIS IS HOW I FEEL YOU DONT KNOW HOW I FEEL!!” Its such a release you want to laugh, scream, cry, shake your fist, breathe a sigh of relief. Walking on Broken Glass the range of octaves for her in the bridge are just so amazing. Its a standard of mine in karaoke. Little Bird is also a favorite from that album. The video for it is just as great. A bunch of lookalikes from all her personas in her many different videos from the past. Its a fun romp!

She also did a song for the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The movie kinda sucked but the song “Song for a Vampire” is one of the most beautiful songs in the world. I wish I had sang it. I wish I had that talent. I do have talent but wow, to be Annie Lennox!

Anyways after Diva came Medusa which was an album of cover songs however I gotta tell ya, I forgot No More I Love You’s wasnt her own song. In fact almost all the songs on that cd you forget they are from other people because she makes them her own.

Bare was exactly that but in a good way. A bit more simplistic yet just as beautiful. Annie found her niche and its as a phenomenal solo diva!

As for soundtrack work, she release yet another gem with her song for Return of the King, “Into the West”. It won a well deserved Oscar for best original song.

More recently in 2007 she had put out yet another album entitled, Songs of Mass Destruction. I highly suggest checking out all of her work. Annie Lennox is sheer majesty! I bow down in reverence.

The video I have is Song for a Vampire from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was hard finding a video since most were disabled for embedding yet I lucked out with this one!

Music Review: Anna Ternheim

November 22, 2009

The Adorable Anna Ternheim

Not many people (at least here in the states) know who Anna Ternheim is however if you are a fan of folk sounding tunes from an extremely adorable pixie of a woman then I highly suggest checking her out.

Anna Ternheim is a Swedish musician who primarily sings in English. Heavily influenced by 70s folk musicians, Anna has made quite a name for herself in Europe. Her sound is of course very acoustic rock and folk oriented but there is a darkish quality to them that makes the songs quite ambient. There are effects on her song but they are to emphasize emotion than rather change the sound of the song. It keeps it real and not technical.

If you see her your instinctual reflex would say “aww”… well, at least it was mine. Its funny too because I heard her sing before I actually saw what she looked like and I thought she was adorable even then. She has this child-like innocence to her voice.

Her singles like Follow You Tonight, To Be Gone, My Secret, just to name a few always make me feel something. I know it sounds weird but there are days when you just feel like a zombie, where you feel nothing. You are zoned out. You just feel like you are living to live and not doing anything on earth. Like you are floating. It happens, its a normal reaction. I hear Anna and I remember that there are emotions in my head. Crazy? Yeah maybe. Whatever Im explaining what it does to me, so there!

One of my favorite songs is Lovers Dream. Anna released it as a solo song but she also duetted with Fyfe Dangerfield from the band Guillemots. Very goth yet romantic. Just the way I like it.

Video of the day, of course the video to Lover’s Dream featuring Fyfe Dangerfield. I love this video. I love the imagery and the costumes. Its so beautiful and fits the song perfectly.

Music Review: Anita Baker

November 19, 2009

Anita Baker

So this is one of the few artists on my Itunes that are on there PRIMARILY because I live with my mom and therefore some of her music is on my Itunes. Whatever despite R&B not being a big fave of mine, I have to admit out of the great divas to the genre, she to me is one of the many Queens.

I dunno what it is about this woman, but she is this tiny little thing who has the sultry, deep, sexy voice of a vamp. Anita Baker came out of the woodworks in 1985 for me with Sweet Love, Giving You the Best That I Got, Rapture, and No One In The World. Those songs… oh man.

Its almost like the woman just woke up from a groggy sleep and began to sing but it sounds amazing. Its like breathing. You listen to her sing you feel warm and cuddly. She’s got an insane amount of Grammys under her tiny belt and she should be proud because they are all well deserved.

Ok video time. I had SUCH probs. I must admit, there is hardly anything on her. Shes not super famous anymore. So the only video I have is of a newer song called I Apologize. I PERSONALLY apologize that I know nothing of her after her hey day and this sounds cool but again not my thing however enjoy it for yourselves!

Music Review: Animotion

November 14, 2009

The Original Animotion

They were a one hittish wonder in the 80s. I say “hittish” because technically they charted twice but its complicated and I’ll get to that in a bit.

The original band is the one that came up with their rather shockingly upfront and risque single “Obession”. It was just so amazing to hear a line like “Who do you want me to be, to make you sleep with me?” For a 9 year old kid. That made no sense. As time went on I figured out what that meant and the video pretty much made it all come together. A song about role playing with someone who is freaggin amazing in bed. So much so you are obsessed with the idea of taking on different characters. Yeah… great premise for an 80’s song.

Seriously I loved this song. I still do! I hate that hardly anyone remembers it! I wanna duet with someone at karaoke with this song. Its such a flirty song to sing. The video I thought was cool back in the day cuz I love costumed and I love people in different characters and the band dressed up, it was fun.

This was really their only huge hit. The bands line up pretty much fizzled out and a NEW line up formed. The lead female singer in the band by 1987 was Cynthia Rhodes. If you are a Dirty Dancing fan, you would know the name. Shes the dancer that was Patrick Swayze’s partner that had the abortion. She is also Richard Marx’s wife. Yeah don’t pretend you dont remember who Richard Marx is. Deny it all you want, deep down you remember.

When Cynthia was in the band there was another top 10 hit though. The song Room to Move came out and it was on the soundtrack of My Stepmother is an Alien so somehow THAT made it radio gold.

After that, the band officially stopped. However recently the original members of the band (sans Cynthia logically) has reformed and played reunion shows.

I hate saying it but I really cant picture the concerts. I mean, what do they play? Obsession…. uhh….yeah what else? I always think about that about One Hit Wonders. I mean most people that would go to those shows go for their hit and if they only had one big one, what else is there to listen to. Maybe Im just being a bitch lol.

I loved the synth pop of the 80s and I loved the New Wave sound. The lead male singer of the band had this debonair and sexy voice and it worked well opposite the girl. (yea yea I dont know their names, so sue me). I will always think this song is kewl!

Video: Well duh, what else am I gonna show you? OF COURSE its gonna be the video for Obsession!

Music Review: The Animals

November 8, 2009

So I know its been a while and Im still only on “A” Ive said it before but I sincerely mean it this time, I will make up for lost time. For right now the next thing in my list is… The Animals!

The Animals

You remember them dont ya? 60’s band? House of the Rising Sun? No?…. Ah, there ya got it now!

Well I really dont have too much to say about them. Originally part of the British Invasion, the one thing for me that set them apart was a HUGE influence of blues in their music. So much so that I really am not a huge fan of them. I mean I like some songs but not enough to be a fan. I respect them though. They would break up get back together in a new variation of the band then split up. There are so many different versions of this band its hard to keep up with which was the best or which came up with which song. At any rate they have been around for a while, the main guy that really is the vision of The Animals is legendary Eric Burdon. Having collaborated with other bands and produced solo work its hard to not remember the guy. he gets my respect for all the work he put into it and House of the Rising Sun is probably the most memorable and amazing song to ever come out of his mouth.

Yes yes I know its a cover but sometimes a cover is so awesomely done, the band that does it makes it their own and that is in fact the case with this song and The Animals.

Ok video time:

Here is The Animals with House of the Rising Sun:

Music Review: Ani DiFranco

October 5, 2009
Ani Difranco

Ani Difranco

Ani Difranco really didnt come to my attention until Lilith Fair really got going. Thats one of the many great things that came about with the invention of Lilith Fair. All these female artists who were making the music circuit and even though they were signed and playing venues, they really were virtually ignored until there was a concert devoted to musicians just like them.

When you think of Ani (pronounced “Ahhhneee”) you think of patchouli smelling feminist women (some bi, some straight, some lesbian… ok more lesbian and bi than straight) who wear flannel and dont shave their pits who love folk rock and poetry. Well, you would be right however despjte my wording, thats not a bad thing. I love Ani!!!

I always feel bad for her though cuz shes always pigeon holed into being a certain way. Shes bisexual and discusses that at length in her songs. She is a feminist icon and women look to her as someone who isnt afraid to say whats on her mind. Not only is she a great lyricist shes also a pretty amazing poet and on her albums she will have soley spoken word poems alongside her folk rock music.

A few years ago she married a man and the worst thing happened. Something that will now make me go on a rant…

Ani Difranco as I said became a feminist icon and being bisexual, lesbian and bisexual women loved her. When she married Andrew Gilchrist, a sound engineer whom she worked with often all these women who claimed their love and respect for her being who she is turned their backs on her. So many people were offended, agitated, pissed off, and betrayed by her.

Really? She opens her heart to you all in her music, tells you flat out shes bisexual (remember, bi sexual meaning she liked BOTH MEN AND WOMEN) and she marries someone of the opposite sex and you feel betrayed? Im sorry but fans really have issues when it comes to figuring out what stance you fall on. I as a bisexual woman have a tendency to get very agitated by this double standard (as you can see).

So if your bisexual you are allowed to be loved by both men and women but once you fall in love with a man, its wrong? Is that really how it works? I really hate when women who are bi or lesbian claim to be open minded, want to be respected for their way of life and then become hypocrites and be upset if someone is bisexual and believes that love shouldnt have to do with gender, it should be about how you feel about the person.

Ok rant done for now. Lets get back to the greatness that is Ani. Ani has made a name for herself in the folk genre, feminist genre, indie genre. Indie is the best place for Ani. Its the best place for ANYONE who wants to make a career in music where they can say whatever the fuck they want, not bow down to the powers that be (in 1989 she made her own label,Righteous Records) and do what they love. She just seems like a down home girl that loves talking politics, religion, life, love, you name it and not give a fuck what others think. You dont love her, whatever, she doesnt fucking know you so why should she care. You love her, awesome shes sincerely honored to have your attention and does her best to make sure you enjoy her.

There are two songs by her (well I love more than two but anyways…)that always stick with me. 32 Flavors basically talks about how she knows how she is perceived but is making sure you know she is worth more than you think she is. “I am a poster girl with no poster I am 32 Flavors and then some, I am beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head”. Alana Davis covered it and both are great but knowing those words came from Ani herself, it just shows how attentive she is. My other favorite is Not a Pretty Girl. A line like “What if there were no damsel in distress, what if I knew that and called your bluff, dont you think every kitten figures out how to get down whether or not you ever show up!”

God those lines! I hear those lines and I get this grin on my face like Wowww she really knows how to put people in their place. I feel like I relate to soo many negative experiences shes gone through in her life. The difference is, she knows exactly how to handle herself in them and knows what to say meanwhile I can only think them. Its like she takes the words out of my mouth. I gotta love that. Whenever I am feeling like Ive been pushed aside from someone because I am not attractive enough or special enough, I can put one of her songs on and it makes me feel bold and strong and I can remember that they can never break me!

Ok video time: Sadly I could only find one, and I must be honest I didnt even remember the song. Its not one I listen to often. However its a good song and will do just fine!