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”
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”
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)"
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"
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.
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 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.
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!
Can’t wait to see how it turns out! The first two singles, ”CLOUDS" and "BREAKDOWN" are available on iTunes now!
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.
Best Lyric Video: 5 Seconds of Summer - “Don’t Stop”
Best Female Video: Katy Perry ft. Juicy J - “Dark Horse”
Best Male Video: Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell Williams - “Sing”
Best Pop Video: Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - “Problem”
Best Hip-Hop Video: Drake ft. Majid Jordan - “Hold On (We’re Going Home)”
Best Rock Video: Lorde - “Royals”
Artist to Watch: Fifth Harmony - “Miss Movin’ On”
Video of The Year: Miley Cyrus - “Wrecking Ball”
Best Collaboration: Beyoncé ft. Jay Z - “Drunk In Love”
MTV Clubland Award: Zedd ft. Hayley Williams - “Stay the Night”
Best Video With A Social Message: Beyoncé - “Pretty Hurts”
Best Choreography: Sia - “Chandelier”
Best Cinematography: Beyoncé - “Pretty Hurts”
Best Editing: Eminem - “Rap God”
Best Direction: DJ Snake & Lil Jon - “Turn Down For What”
Best Art Direction: Arcade Fire - “Reflektor”
Best Visual Effects: OK Go - “The Writing’s On The Wall”
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Beyoncé
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”
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”