I blog about music. I'll review music, post lyrics, and music news in general.

Maroon 5 - Overexposed - Album Review

Release Date: June 20, 2012

By the time Maroon 5 announced they were releasing new material, I was so engrossed in their previous works that the wait was unbearable.  ”Payphone" served as their first single and from the second I heard the snippet I as itching for more.  Two weeks.  Two weeks we had to wait fo this inevitable smash to be released.  I played the 30 second snippet on repeat for days just waiting for April 16th.  When the day finally came it felt like they broke the radio because it was played almost every five minutes.



 It quickly became Maroon 5’s biggest hit and Wiz Khalifa’s feature seemed to really appeal to audiences.  In my opinion, the Adam Levine solo version of “Payphone" was far superior considering that the extra verse fits lyrically better to the song than Wiz’s addition.  When Oerexposed was released, I was hasty with my opportunity to grab a copy.  On first listen “Daylight" and "The Man Who Never Lied" were my two favorite tracks.



 As “Daylight" became a single and was overplayed on the radio, "Love Sombody" and "Tickets” easily became my new obsession.  Don’t let the disfunctional cover fool you, the record feels like one cohesive piece rather than a mix up of genres.  Maroon 5 is one of those groups that just seems to improve with every release.  Hands All Over might be my favorite, but Overexposed is still the better album, I just relate to their third LP more.  If you’re a music buff, I bet you already own this record.  If not, you should go to your local Starbucks and pick up a copy now. 

★★★★★★★★★★ | 10/10

Standout Tracks: ”Payphone,” “Love Somebody,” & “Tickets

Maroon 5 - Hands All Over - Album Review

Release Date: September 21, 2010

When Maroon 5 came out with their first single, “Misery,” for their third LP, I remember thinking it was the worst song of the year.  His nasally voice, the lyrics were cheap, and I thought the production was terrible.  The truth of the matter is that it’s a grower.  After hearing the radio essentially put it on repeat, it got stuck in my head and now I think it’s one of Maroon 5’s best songs.



 ”Misery" was the perfect first single for the band because it really ave them the opportunity to say "hey, now we’re gonna do pop music."  Shortly after the song started to die down, the released info about Hands All Over.  Artwork is a very important aspect for every album.  If done correctly it could boost sales and if not, and artist could dig themselves a grave.  With Hands All Over, Maroon 5 used a beautiful, yet haunting image of a girl kneeling on a bed.  While it’s slightly elegant, it’s kind of creepy in the fact that the girl has an extra pair of hands wrapped around her, but she’s the only one there.  Interestingly enough, it works well as a metaphor because the album using “longing” as a regular theme.  ”Stutter" is my favorite track on the record; it’s upbeat, catchy, and heartfelt.  Probably the most successful single, "Moves Like Jagger,” features the genie herself, Christina Aguilera.  With it’s catchy hooks and it’s infectious rhythm, it’s no wonder the world fell in love with it.  I can’t say much more about the record without dragging on and on about how great it is.  If you don’t like Maroon 5 or you just WANT to like them, this is the album you should listen to first, the others will fall into place. 

✩ | 9/10

Standout Tracks: ”Stutter,” “Never Gonna Leave This Bed,” & “How

Maroon 5 - It Won’t Be Soon Before Long - Album Review

Release Date: May 16, 2007

Maroon 5’s second studio album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, was what first sparked my interest in the band.  ”Wake Up Call" (the second single) was their first hit from the album and it really showed what direction they were moving into.



 ”Nothing Lasts Forever" is probably the only song that really reflects their previous work, even though it’s still a pop song at heart.  My favorite track on Soon Before Long is without a doubt the piano driven, “Better That We Break,” which remains their best ballad to date (in my opinion.)  Rihanna joined the group on their single, “If I Never See Your Face Again" which didn’t do as well as it should have; it’s the best single from the album.



 The album is pop-rock at it’s core, but it fell off during their dabble in jazz/soul.  ”Kiwi" is the worst song on the album because it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the set; it’s so out of place.  It was definitely an improvement from their last album production wise, but is lacking in the lyrics department, sadly.  

✩ | 7/10

Standout Tracks: ”Wake Up Call,” “Better That We Break,” & “If I Never See Your Face Again (Feat. Rihanna)

Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane - Album Review

Release Date: June 25,2002

Songs About Jane was the first album by the American pop-rock band, Maroon 5.  I was never really into the band back in the day, their old stuff used to leave me bored and tired.  Now that I’m older, listening to albums like this brings on a sense of nostalgia; reminding me of when I used to hear songs like “Harder To Breath" on the radio.  "Harder To Breath" was their debut single, it gave them the exposure they needed to get their name out there.  Honestly, I was never a huge fan of the song, sure it’s catchy and I know all the lyrics, but who from my generation doesn’t?  "This Love" and "Sunday Morning" were another two singles from the album that everyone has heard at least once before.



 You might have heard “Sunday Morning" from the popular singing competition, American Idol, where early episodes were littered with half-bit covers of this phenomenal Maroon 5 song.  The album was just a little too low-key for me.  Not enough upbeat songs and the ones that were just had a sort of lack-luster about them.  Another positive aspect, though: growing up gave me the ability to understand the complexity of lyrics more clearly.  Songs like “She Will Be Loved" and "Tangled" were beautifully written, but it just added to the unorganized mess of material on the record.  You see, I think my main disposition for the album was that it didn’t feel cohesive enough; there was even a live track in the middle of it that made the record feel cheap.  I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad album, in fact it’s quite good.  It’s just not Maroon 5’s best work, but hey, it was their debut after all.

★★★★★★✩ | 6/10

Standout Tracks:This Love,” “She Will Be Loved,” & “Sunday Morning

Porter Robinson - Worlds - Album Review

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Release Date: August 12, 2014

From his monthly residency in Vegas, to his sold out shos, to his phenomenal debut album, Porter Robinson definitely has the “it” factor needed to compete in this ever-changing rubix cube that we call “the music industry.”  Leaving behind his EDM roots (which he quotes as “boring”), Porter gravitates towards a more delicate, more introspective way of looking at music.  From first listen you’ll realize that Porter makes every beat count, he makes every hook intentionally, every drop heartfelt, and it’s all to exude his passion for creating an almost artistic approach to this bass-drop genre.

  1. Divinity - For a lot of artists, lyrics stand as a backbone to any great song, without them the track’s emotional tug is torn away.  Every so often an artist comes along with the ability to create a production that not only has lyrical appeal, but uses the music itself as a way to make people think.  Porter Robinson is one of those people, demonstrating this talent well on the first track, “Divinity.”  While the song may seem repetitive to some, it’s all intentional for this synthpop artist.  With the lyrics at a minimum, Porter uses his bass-drops and dreamlike production to leave the emotional struggle up to the listener.  It works well for Mr. Robinson too, the track cold be either seen as an almost redemption piece or a crumbling work of art.  I’m not gonna spoil anything, but the last 3 seconds of the song are absolutely the best. 
  2. Sad Machine- Porter’s guest singer from this next track is a little unconventional; it’s name is Vocaloid.  Vocaloid is a program used to simulate a singing voice, one which fits perfectly into Robinson’s view on a toxic relationship.  With this track he uses this “Sad Machine" to talk about his outside view on a friend’s romantic struggles.  One thing that personally stood out for me was Porter’s decision to switch the chorus’ lyrics from "She’ll go alone and never speak of this again" to Vocaloid’s point of view: "I’ll go alone and never speak of you again.”  With this subtle, yet dramatic, change, we are thrown into thi brilliant metaphor about how “she" has become so numb over her lover that her emotions are as nonexistent as a machine’s.  Again Porter tapes into his production techniques by giving this hopeful, eccentric breakdown after the line "we depend…on you.”

 

  1. Years Of War - Is that LIGHTS Poxleitner?  No?  Are we sure?  Either way, Breanne Düren was perfect for this track; her vocals just fit the overall tone in a way that others couldn’t.  Referring back to LIGHTS, the track vaguely reminds me of her music video for “Banner" because of them ooze this desolate interpretation of creating peace.  In each of their songs they seem to be trying to create some kind of balance between love and hate by providing an uplifting beat & making the lyrics blatantly obvious.  Being only the third song on Worlds, it’s the most vocal one we’ve heard so far and it makes me reconsider which I like more, Porter’s emotional production techniques or his catchy, more outspoken lyrics.
  2. Flicker - Maybe one of the more intricate pieces on Worlds, “Flicker" was created by stringing together clips of the phrase 私はちょうAnnotateど何が重要か見つけようとしている。(watashi wa choudo nani ga juuyou ka mitsukeyou toshite iru) For all of us not fluent in Japanese, we get a little more knowledge about the tracks meaning when you find out that it means “I’m trying to find just what’s really important to me.”  After that, the song is clearly about Porter’s struggle to reignite hi passion for music after the EDM market left him bored.  Luckily for us though, the best thing about music is that the listener can interpret the song how they choose.  In this instance, many can see this overly video-game-inspired song as being about their personal life, about what they’re looking for, about something promising to them. 


  1. Fresh Static Snow - Easily the most in-your-face song so far, “Fresh Static Snow" gives ff an almost Skrillex vibe (even with my disposition towards the aforementioned DJ, I mean that as a good thing.)  With this track, Porter explores a more hardcore form of dubstep, giving off a more serious vibe.  Alone with the rest of the hook, the production almost solidifies the statement "we’d melt this curse away" as THE heartfelt expression of love.  It’s a clear song about longing for someone to notice their existence, to realize they care, and that, together, they could rid their worlds of sadness.
  2. Polygon Dust - If you were looking for a ballad on this record, this might be the cosest thing to it.  Defined as a finite chain of straight lines, Porter uses the symbol of a polygon to make it a metaphor for someone’s relationship.  Perfectly reflected in the song, we see that Porter imagined the pairing as something doomed from the start; something good, but not everlasting.  With the lyrics I see this as a pot-love song where one uses intoxication as an escape from the pain.  It’s sad, but refreshing to see somebody sing about the unhealthy way to deal with a breakup. 
  3. Hear The Bells" - If you’re listening to the album in order then maybe you caught onto the end of the previous song, which gave off a sort of bell-like echo.  Obviously intentional, this song poses the question “can’t you hear the bells?" and exudes a hpeful vibe about the good times ahead.  Another distinct difference that sets this song apart from the others is the almost anthemic tone of the vocals.  With Imaginary Cities as the guest here, they entice the listener to chant aloen with the chorus.  I can only envision belting out the lyrics with my friends in the car; what a perfect time that would be.  
  4. Natural Light - I can’t help but feel like the bell theme continues into this third track as well.  Another brilliantly titled song, “Natural Light" screams sunshine and blissfulness.  Using the allusion of the sun, Porter uses this lifeless, vocal-less track to showcase his ability to paint a picture with his music.  Like I said, there aren’t any true vocals on this one, just a synthpop/dubstep combination that almost leaves the listener in imbo between the two.  Nonetheless, it’s beautifully produced, it will leave you with an airy, spaced feeling, and might have you leave you understanding of what this Porter Robinson is really about.  
  5. Lionhearted" - Probably my favorite track on the record, “Lionhearted" is about just what you’d expect, overcoming a struggle by being brave enough to face it.  Honestly it’s the only track on the record to compete with "Sad Machine’s" ability to get you moving.  It’s gotta be a crowd favorite at his concerts, it’s energy is perfect for getting everyone wild-up.  There isn’t anything intricate about the lyrics to this one, it’s all pretty self-explanatory, but the production is a little more elaborate than his other songs.  As stated before, Porter Robinson makes every drop heartfelt, making this track feel powerful and confident; it has the ability to make the listener feel alive.

 

  1. Sea Of Voices - I honestly don’t have a lot to say about this track other than it’s a very solemn, laid back work of art.  The title really describes it well because the production makes it sound as if you’re exploring the deep blue as “in a perfect world" is muffled from below.  It’s not an exaggeration when I say that the final lyrics to this song are my favorite on the LP: "We’ll see creation come undone // these bones that bound us will be gone // we’ll stir our spirits til we’re one // then soft as shadows we’ll become.
  2. Fellow Feeling - I really didn’t expect this next track because it’s individuality is so significant from the start.  By using live instruments, Porter lets the audience know that he’s not only a top-rated DJ, but he’s classically trained as well.  Like something out of Final Fantasy (a video game) the violins will engross you in their beautiful melody all while distracting you from the fact that this is normally a synthpop album.  I can guarantee you’ll be totally unprepared for when the bassline kicks in and Porter brings back his natural sound.  While the elegant music continues, the vocals start and you’ll realize that they’re probably the most intricate so far.  As the girl’s voice begins to dwindle, we hear her utter the phrase “hear what I hear." Immediately the mood changes, the breakdown kicks in, and Porter unfolds every inch of how the girl is feeling.  What I mean by that is when the song began, the classical music presented a joyous mood and after the girl welcomed us into her world, she also lead us into her twisted nightmare.  Haunting, rough beats, the music skipping; it all showed the pain and agony that the girl experiences in her mind.  When the was over, I truly began to realize that the heartbreak she was enduring had pushed her o the edge. 
  3. Goodbye To A World - I’m gonna be really short about this final song.  All around, it’s the most phenomenal ending to a record I’ve ever heard.  Vocaloid is back and almost sings the album off as the world comes to an end.  What’s brilliant about it is that Porter really does use this song to end the “world” he has created through the record.  I felt the emotion as Vocaloid began to break up and when it essentially flat-lined it felt like I just read the last line of an extremely sad book. 

I’m absolutely in love with this synthpop masterpiece of an album.  From start to finish Porter took us through a story about an emotionally unstable girl’s post-relationship and ended the novel as amazing as it started.  He is truly the best artist for getting his audience sucked into his story that you’re almost wanting to know “what happens next?” after each song.  It’s a fantastic debut and an exceptional story. 

★★★★★★★★★★ | 10/10

Standout Tracks: ”Sad Machine,” “Polygon Dust,” & “Goodbye To A World

Fall Out Boy, sixth studio announcement!

Fall Out Boy revealed today that they will be releasing “Centuries,” their new single, sometime in September.  Along with that, the band’s sixth studio album could come as early as the end of this year!

Four-piece rock band, Fall Out Boy are set to release a brand new track, “Centuries” which will be the first official single from their forthcoming sixth studio album, currently untitled but due to release either later this year or early 2015 via Island Records.

Fall Out Boy released their last studio album, “Save Rock and Roll” on April 12th, 2013 and released each of the tracks visuals in order to make up the movie “The Young Blood Chronicles”which released in full in 2014.

Centuries” is set to release in September, 2014 and the official music video for the track was filmed this week, a casting call was seen to note that it was looking for people who could portray Romans and were of an age between 25-30.

Source

Prince Announces Art Official Age!

Another total surprise announcement came today when Prince revealed that he will be releasing his thirty-third studio album, Art Official Age, on September 30th!

  1. ART OFFICIAL CAGE
  2. CLOUDS
  3. BREAKDOWN
  4. THE GOLD STANDARD
  5. U KNOW Prince
  6. BREAKFAST CAN WAIT
  7. THIS COULD BE US
  8. WHAT IT FEELS LIKE
  9. affirmation I & II
  10. WAY BACK HOME
  11. FUNKNROLL
  12. TIME
  13. affirmation III

Can’t wait to see how it turns out! The first two singles, ”CLOUDS" and "BREAKDOWN" are available on iTunes now!

 

Eminem announce’s 9th LP!

Today, Eminem announced that his next album, Shady XV, is going to be released on November 28th, black Friday.  

Shady XV will mark 15 year’s since Eminem released his Slim Shady LP back in February of 1999. 

Listen to the first single, “Guts Over Fear,” right now, here.  It features guest vocals from the extremely talented,Sia. 

Kimbra - The Golden Echo - Album Review

Release Date: August 19, 2014

If it wasn’t for the 2012 summer smash, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” by indie-pop artist, Gotye, then you might not know who the artist is that I’m writing about.  Kimbra released her debut record, Vows, in the midst of an indie artist blowout, hoping to score a freethrow with her bluesy-alternative-pop sound.  Sadly for her, it seems like nobody outside of Australia or New Zealand has heard the record; the best bop to come from her debut was “Settle Down,” an almost quartet track about wanting to spend her life with someone.  On Kimbra’s sphomore effort, The Golden Echo, she explores a more laid back 80’s hip-hop era. Beautifully titled, the record reflects an elegantly established metaphor about opposite sides of emotions; happiness vs. sadness, anger vs. peacefullness, love vs. heartbreak.  Just as echos change shape and form as they bounce off surfaces, Kimbra uses the LP to showcase her ability to grow as an all around artist.  From the bass driven “90’s Music" to the Prince/MJ inspired "Madhouse,” the formation of the album twists itself up more and more into the analogy about Kimbra’s compelling emotional disconnect.  One thing from Kimbra’s feature on Gotye’s track that might have hindered her was that it didn’t really give her the opportunity to show her true vocal strength.  Given full range on the record, Kimbra really shines in her ability to shatter glass with her voice while still being able to keep the tracks catchy and interesting.  Tapping into the “summer jams” skillset, she veared a slight left and created her own almost hip-hop/jazz record, making for an almost perfect sunrise to sunset masterpiece.  I went into the record with no expectations, I’ve wanted to like Kimbra for so long, I wasn’t prepared for this record’s immense gravitational pull.  I can’t really say anything bad about the record, it’s exceptional artistic allure is enough to make anyone a Kimbra fan.  Kimbra, congrats on your leap forward, you’ve certainly caught my attention. 

✩ | 9/10

Standout Tracks:90’s Music," "Goldmine,” & “Madhouse

Jesse McCartney - In Technicolor - Album Review

Release Date: July 22, 2014

It seems like 2014 is gonna be labeled as “the year of comebacks.” With so much buzz going on around superstars like Sia and Sam Smith, these throwback artists seem to be getting looked over.  One gem in particular is Jesse McCartney’s 4th studio album, In Technicolor. (We are not including his unreleased album, Have It All, which leaked a few years back; we don’t talk about that trainwreck.) In Technicolor is indeed a solid comback record; it’s essentially the love child of Justin’s 20/20 Experience and Pharrell’s Girl.  If I didn’t describe the record perfectly in the last sentence, maybe you’ll just need to hear it to understand.  Jesse really brought his A game to the table with this record; trakcs like “Back Together," "Checkmate,” and the drawnback piano ballad “The Other Guy," are some of the best male pop songs released this year.  In my experience, records normally go boring after the first half of the record is through.  With Technicolor , it’s a decent album all around (save for “Punch Drunk Recreation”) it just doesn’t have the “spark” it needs to earn Jesse a #1.  Is it an honest pop record?  Yes.  Will it bring Jesse back in the spotlight?  Sadly, no. 

✩ | 7/10

Standout Tracks: ”Back Together,” “Checkmate," & "The Other Guy