Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cobra Starship feat. The Plasticines - Fool Like Me

Oh I cannot wait for 'Night Shades' - every song I hear from it just gets better and better, and Fool Like Me is no exception. The archetypal summer song, it will put you in mind of sunny beaches and cold drinks - or maybe that's just my wishful thinking. With a kind of Caribbean vibe in the melody, funky and rolling, and a cameo from the oh-so-chic Plasticines, this is a song set to be an instant hit. The vocals in this song are gorgeous from both bands, channeling the mood of the song and adding their very own twist to it. The lyrics are actually fun and sometimes funny in this song, and that only makes it more endearing - but there is a heart in it too, and that's just as important. Fool Like Me is perfect for all the summer that's left - don't let it go to waste.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Good Charlotte - Sex On The Radio

Another Monday, another week of songs - are you as excited as me? Today's song is from everyone's favourite pop-punk's Good Charlotte, and while the subject matter might be a little more grown up, the spirit behind it is forever young. Sex On The Radio is a fast paced, almost seductive tale of a short term relationship in the world of the famous. The melody is catchy and the chorus is big enough to buoy a crowded gig. There's nothing too complex in the lyrics, but there are some noteworthy moments - and really, isn't that half the fun of it? (I love to hear her scream/And when I push play she's screaming in stereo.) The vocals in this song probably have most to recommend it - but then they're always impressive. Dance and sing along - you might feel like an idiot, but this time it's worth it for the fun of it.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Queen Of Hearts - Perfect Mistake

Queen Of Hearts - Perfect Mistake by Queen Of Hearts

So it seems as though we've got a little bit of summer back, and what better way to celebrate than with the wonderful Queen of Hearts? Opening with just enough synth to get your attention, the vocals come as a pleasant surprise, gorgeous and ethereal next to the 80s pop feel of the melody. The beat is begging for some cutting edge club in the coolest part of town, the soundtrack you would want for your life - and you'll find yourself humming the riffs before long. The lyrics are the perfect accompaniment to the melody, capturing the mix of dark and light well (The night has spoken/So we go and let the darkness in.) Celebrate the sun, turn up the volume, and dance until dawn.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Lady Gaga - Bad Kids

Today I'm being a bad kid and luckily Lady Gaga has given me the soundtrack to match. Beginning with a call to arms of sorts, with heavy guitar and synth backing it brilliantly. The melody is ridiculously catchy, seguing from rock to 80s pop absolutely flawlessly. The song is just another example of how Gaga can create such a unique imprint on all of her songs, and the vocals just seem to get stronger with every new release. The lyrics to Bad Kids are superb, a real protest for those who don't quite fit the mould (I'm a twit/Degenerate/Young rebel and I'm proud of it.) So get in to the spirit of things - give life some attitude, you've got the music for it now.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Theory Of A Deadman - Bad Girlfriend

I'm back (again!) and with a song that got me through a five hour train journey. Bad Girlfriend is a kick ass tune that will have you craving darkened dance floors in no time at all. Rocking guitars, dirty vocals and lyrics that seem to have been made for the melody see this song be everything you know it could from the opening bars. There might not be the substance of some of the bands other songs, but this is fun, slick, and made to be danced to. Pretend it's the weekend and get in to that spirit now.


NOTE: Since I don't know how old any of you are, and I'm also not your parent/guardian, I can't stop you from watching this, but be warned there's some swearing and is not suitable for little kids. If you don't like the sound of it, don't watch it. :)

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Arctic Monkeys - 505


I'm on holiday the next few days, so posts will resume normally Wednesday, but while I can here's today's. From second album Favourite Worst Nightmare, the Arctic Monkeys showed that they were just as capable of wit and charm in a slow almost lament as in a fast, charming indie thrill. This is a song that manages to pack in a million different moods and emotions, yet from the guitar line to the lyrics is unmistakably an Arctic Monkeys' song. Sometimes slow and mournful, while at others punchy and full of protestations, a real surprise is that the vocals never fail to complement the song perfectly. Lyrically the song is very interesting, with the classic gems the band are so known for. The perfect compliment to my train journey, and a much needed addition to any playlist - so what are you waiting for?


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Killers - Read My Mind

If there's one thing I really believe, it's that music is the cure to many of life's ills. Today was no exception, and Read My Mind was the song that provided the basis for the come back of the year. In fact, just for today I'm asking you to do the work - just listen and let a little bit of your soul simply smile.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Vampire Weekend - A-Punk

Today's song is one with arguably the most famous guitar riff of recent times. Fans of Guitar Hero, late night clubbing, or anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last few years will recognise the song from the very beginning. With its addictive melody and punchy shouts, this is a song that just screams 'summer' at you from start to end. Characterised by the upbeat, fast paced melody and beat that will have you up on the dance floor faster than you'd ever have imagined, A-Punk is simply a delight from beginning to end. So if it's as sunny where you are as it is here, turn up the stereo and dance like a 90s kid to the wonder that is Vampire Weekend.


Monday, 25 July 2011

Patrick Stump - As Long As I Know I'm Getting Paid

To celebrate the frankly fabulous news that his debut album Soul Punk is due out on October 18th, today's song is what will keep me going until that date. As Long As I Know I'm Getting Paid is a rockin' little piece of music that will have you dancing through the summer - be it the acoustic version (above) or the synth-y glory of the EP version. The melody isn't especially complicated most of the way through, but the intricate guitar work just before the bridge is all the more impressive by comparison. However, the lyrics are perhaps the most intriguing part of the song, outwardly deceptive but with absolute gems hidden in the midst (In this life that matters that matters more than death/I follow to my dying breath). A fantastic, surreal experience that leaves you desperate for more - bring on October.


Friday, 22 July 2011

Wonderland - Not A Love Song

So it's finally almost the weekend, and time for one last song before the week is through. While it might not be the coolest thing in the world to admit, I am actually a little obsessed with this song. There's just something about a flawlessly constructed, unashamed pop song that's just irresistible, and Not A Love Song is no exception. A sweet melody is accompanied by great vocals and even better harmonies, creating a contrast between the tune and the lyrics. Speaking of the lyrics, they are a nice surprise in a world full of songs about love so cliched they'd make a teenage girl blush - Wonderland take a slightly more contemporary view (If you're looking for a girlfriend/You can start your search when you're watching me walk away.) If you're looking for a nice piece of pop to guide you into the weekend, look no further.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Cab - Bad

There seem to be so many good albums in the pipelines just now, and the Cab's second album is among that number. The first song released from it, Bad, is slightly more pop than the music on 'Whisper War,' but isn't any the worse for it. In fact, it might even be better. The piano intro segues seamlessly in to a laid back verse, with the tempo jacked up after the chorus - this is a song that seems to constantly be changing. The melody and vocals work brilliantly together, balanced so that neither overpowers the other as it could so easily. An ode to the girls who won't sit down and play perfect, Bad is a slice of up front (I want something physical/Not something invisible) pop punk that will have you wanting to be with or just be the girl they're talking about.


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

South Jordan - Fatal Flaw (acoustic)

It's grey and cold outside, so I'm warming myself by a heater with the beautiful Fatal Flaw - what a day. The acoustic version is beautifully simple, the piano providing the ideal backdrop to the soulful vocals, and it's this simplicity that allows the song to truly resonate. The rise and fall of the melody is done flawlessly, and the barely restrained power of the vocals add to the emotive nature of the song. Lyrically there is the universal story of love and loss, readily identifiable, but the opening lines have a particularly poignant feel (They told me be careful/They said weary of you/They warned persistence is the fatal flaw.) The remedy for a troubled soul or a rainy day.


Monday, 18 July 2011

The Wombats - Our Perfect Disease

After a week's absence due to a horrendous laptop issue, I'm back and (arguably) better than ever. Starting off the week is The Wombats with Our Perfect Disease. Taking things in a slightly more futuristic direction, the synth and guitars weave to create something like Muse on drugs, alternately hugging everyone in the room and hiding in a corner muttering. The whole thing has taken on an adult feel, a song to dance to yes, but there's something else there that's easy enough to see. The vocals suit this song perfectly, not too heavy but more than establishing their presence, and the lyrics have moments of absolute brilliance (We didnt say it but we never saw eye to eye/Now life is carefree and equally as boring) and a chorus that gets better every time it comes around. Like Jekyll and Hyde (referenced in the song coincidentally), this song has two sides - get familiar with them both.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Black Cards - Dr Jekyll And Mr Fame

It's finally Friday, and what better way to celebrate than with the Black Cards? (If you said Rebecca Black, then you should leave this blog right now - consider yourself warned.) Dirty glamour at its finest, with a strong beat and impossibly clever lyrics hidden behind a synth driven melody. I could say more, but Friday night is fast approaching and this song would make anyone want to dance. Obey the music...


Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Karma Heart - Another Religion

Another day, another song, and it's a beauty. The latest single from The Karma Heart embraces the rock vibe and cuts through the relentless pounding of the Top 40 - thankfully! The melody is hard hitting and addictive, with riffs running deep through the heart of the song - but perhaps the best thing about it is that the vocals are powerful enough to stand out from the melody where anything less might have got lost in the sheer volume of the song. Whether you're about to kick off a weekend at T In The Park or are wanting your own private festival on your stereo, this is the song to mark today with.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Katy McAllister - Here's To The Heartbreakers

Today's song is a gem of a find on Myspace, proving once and for all that the site isn't quite dead. Katy McAllister's Here's To The Heartbreakers is a beautiful tune, with incredibly talented vocals and a melody that just begs to be sung along with. Reminiscent of Taylor Swift for those of us who'll never see our teens again, the song is a typical adolescent love song with a more adult feel to it, appealing to everybody. The vocals are superb, drawing attention away from what is a fantastic little tune, but somehow this only enhances the song. Lyrically, there are some interesting moments (I turn your flaws into beauty/And you're seeing this as a bad thing/Are you kidding me?) but the main strength comes from the whole idea of the song. A great tune from an artist who is capable of great things - so raise a glass to the faithless.


Monday, 4 July 2011

The Valentines - Call The Police

Welcome back on this warm and sunny Monday where I am - and with a hell of a song to kick off the week. Call The Police is the kind of song you'd expect to hear behind some incredible surfing tricks in a classic American film, with fast paced riffs and its 'bop bop doo-wah's.' The melody is rife with moments that will get stuck in your head, and the lyrics are simple enough that you can (and should) be singing along in no time. The vocals work perfectly with the melody, giving a more modern, rocky edge to the lighter upbeat music - just what the song needs. By rights The Valentines should be absolutely everywhere this summer - do your bit to make it happen!


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Taking Back Sunday - Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday's self titled fifth album is a triumphant return to what the band do best - anthemic rock.

First single El Paso gave a taster of what to expect, with a killer tune and the trademark TBS swagger, and songs like Sad Savior and Call Me In The Morning take things a little slower without losing an inch of that attitude . One of my favourite things about this band is that the songs are more than skin deep, with lyrics that look pretty on paper, but with real bite in the heat of the song, and this album continues that awesome tradition.

Highlights definitely have to be This Is All Now - which showcase seductive vocals and a stadium worthy chorus - and Best Places To Be A Mom, with its guitar driven melody and headbanging potential.

Taking Back Sunday is an outstanding album in a stellar back catalogue, proving that this is still a band to be reckoned with.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Brandon Flowers - Was It Something I Said?

Today brought the first bit of sun for a while, so I thought it only appropriate to crack out a song that never fails to put a smile on my face - especially since Brandon Flowers has only just made his comeback with the awesome Killers. Was It Something I Said? is upbeat, catchy, and never quite what it appears to be on the surface. The riffs in the song are great, intricate enough to draw your attention, but not so complex that they draw away from the rest of the song, and the vocals are truly as strong as they've always been. For me, the lyrics are perhaps the most interesting element of the song, telling the story of a love in decline - beginning with an almost marriage, but ending with bad news (I heard the church bells ringing in my head and I'd take them everywhere I'd go/ Valentina met a dealer and I heard they had a baby five months ago.) This is a song that manages to be interesting both on the surface and underneath, and it's worth a listen for that reason at least.


Monday, 27 June 2011

Bastille - Icarus

icarus by BASTILLE

As promised, one of my Myspace discoveries from this morning. From the minute the track started up, it was something a little different in a genre not known for producing diverse music. Icarus has a brilliant mix of indie and electro, combining militaristic drums with delicate piano to create an effect that shouldn't work - but truly does. The chorus has the makings of a gig anthem, easily moving from tightly controlled to a kind of soaring freedom, allowed to do so mostly by the simplicity of the lyrics (Icarus is flying/Too close to the sun.) The story of Icarus is one which most have at least some familiarity with, and that gives the song a kind of affinity with the listener already. Perfectly executed, emotive, and destined for a permanent spot on my playlist, Icarus is just begging to be played.


Friday, 24 June 2011

The Young Things - All My Friends Are Junkies

Today's song is courtesy of The Young Things, who are thundering through my speakers with their retro surfer sound - albeit with a modern indie edge. From the opening guitar riffs you're instantly transported to somewhere sunny, sandy, and you can almost feel the ice cold drink in your hand. The guitar is so clever in the song, keeping it moving and changing with the lyrics to create so many different moods, while the vocals are simultaneously fitting with the era and updating the genre for the contemporary audience. The lyrics are a lighter take on the title - whether that's due to the nature of the melody or the actual content I can't be sure, but they work brilliantly. Not only that, but with a free download of the album and a 'Behind The Young Things' video here, there's no excuse for not having this band in your collection for a very long time to come!


Thursday, 23 June 2011

Ed Sheeran - A Team

Having spent the best part of yesterday and today watching the music channels, I keep coming back to this song - and rightly so. It feels like an old friend after such a short space of time, but every time I listen again I'm just blown away by it. Beautifully simple, with guitar, piano and a touch of drums, the melody seems to fuse with the vocals to create something beyond the typical acoustic genre. Melancholy yet somehow upbeat, this is a song that's full of emotion without being dragged down by it. The vocals are perfect, giving an edge to an otherwise placid song - and with the combination of that, the music, and the video, something truly unexpected emerges. Lyrically, the song continues the simple but effective theme, with short phrases telling a wider story (And they scream/The worst things in life come free to us/Cos we're just under the upperhand/And go mad for a couple of grams.) A Team is a song which is guaranteed to be around for a while to come, so let it take you somewhere great.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger

What is with this barrage of perfect summer songs lately? Not that I'm complaining, but my summer playlist is going to be 40 hours long at this rate. Moves Like Jagger, the product of another Maroon 5 collaboration, is yet another song that will have you dancing like... well, like Mick if the title is anything to go by. Punchy guitars weaved with a lovely little synth beat and a whistle that most people will spend the summer trying to copy, this is a song with one hell of a hook. The vocals work well together, although I think the song would've benefited from Christina being involved a little more - not that I don't love Adam's voice. Lyrically, it's another summer song with more hook than meaning, but that's not to say there aren't some moments to make you smile (Kiss me until you're drunk and I'll show you/All the moves like Jagger, I got moves like Jagger.) All in all, a stellar addition to the summer fold.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

All Time Low - I Feel Like Dancin'

Fist off, I adore this video, although my eyes may never forgive me for watching it. The first single from Dirty Work, this was one hell of a way to return. The melody is ridiculously catchy, working hard to earn its pop-rock genre. The vocals are great too, with the smart little asides showing a band who don't take themselves too seriously - although, if you hadn't guessed from the lyrics I guess nothing would make you understand that (Everybody getting kinda crunk/I think some dude just grabbed my junk/Now I know how Ke$ha must be feeling.) An infectious tune for the summer that will appear soon (hopefully), All Time Low are once again doing what they do best.


Monday, 20 June 2011

The Virgins - Love Is Colder Than Death

Don't let the song title fool you, this is a sultry, moody little song that will have you singing along in no time. With a smooth, surprisingly upbeat melody and vocals that have you melting in to your seat in no time, it's a song for late nights and darkened rooms - just don't give anyone a chance to ask about the fabulous soundtrack. The lyrics are probably more fitting with the tone the title sets, but even then the delivery is such that you don't notice (It's easy when it hurts so say goodbye/We'll fall in love again just give it time.) The added bonus is that this is a live version, giving a real feel for the song - so make Love Is Colder Than Death your song of the day too and pretend you're gigging on a Monday night...


Friday, 17 June 2011

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down

This song says everything I'd want to say about it - so for today I'll just let the music do the talking ;)


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Androids - Do It With Madonna

Having had a fruitful day of music listening, this still has to be my favourite re-discovery. A piece of fun pop that does exactly what it says in the title - this is a song about the relative merits of various female singers. With the discussion of Christina, Pink, Britney and Kylie, the band conclude that they'd rather do it with Madonna - unless they can have their cake and eat it too (I wonder if I could get Kylie/To wanna do it with Madonna.) So put the song on loud and sing along - you'll laugh out loud more than once.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Gym Class Hereos feat. Adam Levine - Stereo Heart

I do love new song days, especially when they involve a collaboration of two of my favourite artists. While these two keeping company may seem a little unlikely, it works beautifully. The melody is pure summer, guaranteed to be blaring from clubs and car stereos alike, and the lyrics (while not exactly taxing) are a great accompaniment (This melody was meant for you/Just sing along to my stereo.) I could go on for hours about the vocal aspects, but suffice to say they are of the high standard everyone's come to expect. A tune that will stick around for the summer, and in your heart for a long time after, Stereo Hearts is all you could ask for this season.


Monday, 13 June 2011

The Ettes - Dead And Gone

After a very pleasant holiday, I'm back and ready to kick some ass with today's song. Having just discovered The Ettes, I'm absolutely enthralled - their music fills a gap in my musical soul I didn't even know was there. Dead and Gone is dirty glam rock at its finest, combining hooks and thrills to make a great song. The vocals range from emotive to harsh, and the lyrics do exactly the same (And when you're gone won't drag you up/I do believe I've had enough.) The perfect song to launch the week, and with a new album in the works The Ettes are the ones to watch.


P.S - check out the album reviews I wrote for the wonderful Tantrum Magazine, who have just launched their debut issue.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Aqualung - Brighter Than Sunshine

Thought it was about time for something a little different, so I'm relaxing with some Aqualung. Brighter Than Sunshine is possibly the greatest chill out song ever, but it also has something extra about it that makes it so great to listen to. Using a mix of piano, strings and drums allows the song to move fluidly through its rises and falls, and the vocals accompany the vibe of the song perfectly. The lyrics might be simple, but they're heartfelt, and that's one of the most important aspects of the song (Let the rain fall, I don't care/I'm yours and suddenly you're mine.) Ignore the outside world, plug in your headphones, and let Aqualung take you away.


Monday, 6 June 2011

All Time Low - That Girl

Having spent most of the day listening to 'Dirty Work,' I think That Girl must be one of my favourite songs on it. Just stopping short of screaming summer, this is the perfect example of biting, clever lyrics wrapped in an infectious pop tune - what a combination! The melody is everything you could ask for, pop-punk having grown up a little but retained its hooks and fun - guitars, synth and drums as slick as you've ever heard them. The vocals are as strong in this song too, capturing the mood of both the words and the melody all at once, but the lyrics are the true focal point of the song (Now she won't buy my sex appeal/Just an east coast kid with a record deal/I play her song, she plays the field.) All in all, 'Dirty Work' is worth a listen or ten, and That Girl is on repeat for the rest of today.


Friday, 3 June 2011

Paramore - Monster

Friday has brought a little gift in the shape of new song Monster from the wonderful Paramore. Listening to it, it's evident why they're so in demand for movie soundtracks, tailoring a song to a film while keeping it strong enough to stand on its own. Monster has the requisite dark edge to it, but it retains the intangible quality that makes it uniquely Paramore. Memorable melody, the usual incredible vocals, and lyrics to make you look twice - what more could you ask from a song? A fast paced ride through the dark and the beautiful, Monster is the perfect weekend treat.


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Rihanna - Man Down

Seeing as the video hasn't been released yet, I don't have to talk about the controversy it's stirring right now - but really, when a song talks about shooting a man down, what did they expect from the video? Anyway, the song is the issue, and for me Man Down proves that Rihanna has the midas touch when it comes to music. Channeling a kind of Caribbean vibe, the song will take root inside your head and you'll find yourself humming it hours after listening - and of course, the vocals are of their usual superb quality. With the lyrics, I like that there's a story running through it, with a couple of different layers to it (I didn't mean to hurt him/Could've been somebody's son.) Take a listen, and remember what I said when you're singing it hours from now.


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Aerosmith - Dream On

I'd always loved this song, but after re-discovering it today it has to be featured. Reminding you of exactly why the 70s were one of the best musical decades, and why Aerosmith will forever be a legendary band, Dream On is a rock and roll anthem for the ages. Opening with gorgeous guitar it's immediately evident that this is a song to be experienced rather than used as background music, and once the melody opens up and the vocals crash in it's confirmed. Lyrically this song has so many interesting moments, (I know it's everybody's sin/You gotta lose to know how to win) - but that's just simply an added bonus when the rest of the song is considered. Get your nostalgia out and immerse yourself in the golden age.


Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Gossip - 2012

If you're finding it hard to get yourself amped up after a lovely bank holiday weekend - which I am - or just need that little boost on a Tuesday, this is the song for you. The Gossip's brand of guitar driven electro-pop is always willing to give you a little extra energy. 2012 has everything you'd expect - fast paced, catchy melody, lyrics sharp as knives (Tragedy brings misery/Misery loves company/And company is misleading), and the instantly recognisable vocals. While the band tend to be love or hate, this is a song that should convince at least some of the haters to reconsider - as always, open your mind and give it a shot.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Arctic Monkeys - She's Thunderstorms

Oh, thank god for the internet and its streaming albums a week early. I have been desperate to hear more from 'Suck It And See,' and I haven't been disappointed. Today's song is the opener, She's Thunderstorms, and it's quite simply great. While it's definitely a move away from the style that brought them to fame, they are yet another band whose presence is stamped all over whatever song they bring out. Starting out slow and intricate, the song does progress on to more familiar ground, but the overall relaxed feeling of the song never quite leaves. The melody and vocals are quite retro, giving an air of a band paying their dues in a smoky hall somewhere, which oddly enough makes She's Thunderstorms feel personal in the way the lyrics would have it be. A great opener from what's shaping up to be a great album - you can hear more here. It's where I'll be all day...


Friday, 27 May 2011

Royal Republic - Good To Be Bad

Stepping things up with a little alt-rock today, and my new favourites Royal Republic. With sweet little riffs and crashing drums, this song is catchy as hell - but, as usual, that's not all. There's something that invites comparisons to The Strokes in Good To Be Bad, but I can't decide if it's in the vocals or the melody. Wherever it stems from, it's clearly a good thing. The lyrics to the song are interesting too, an ode to walking on the wilder side (I do not compromise/Don't need your good advice/I'm sure I've heard it once, twice.) All in all, a great bit of alternative to get you through the day.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Thriving Ivory - Angels On The Moon

Winding down a little, this is one of my favourite songs and it seems appropriate today. Beautiful and original, Angels On The Moon is addictive. It's mournful yet hopeful, and the melody soars and falls along with the vocals, giving it a sort of dramatic flair. The vocals are haunting, providing the emotion needed to really sell the lyrics. Oh, the lyrics. They're everything you'd expect from the sound of the song, and yet manage to still be more (This is to one last day in the shadows/And to know a brother's love/This is to New York City angels/And the rivers of our blood.) Gorgeous, poignant, and full of feeling, this is a song worth sitting down and really listening to - that's what I'll be doing.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Charlie Simpson - Down, Down, Down

Shameful, shameful admission time - I love this song. Gorgeously, simply acoustic, with vocals that have definitely found their niche. It sounds a little like We Cry by The Script at first, but there's something infinitely sad and haunting about this song for the first half. Down, Down, Down speeds up in the second half, while retaining that same air - quite a feat actually. The lyrics bring the whole song together (There are too many people in this world tryin' to shout their name) and the vocals are seriously good. Put aside your prejudices and just give this song a go - I was skeptical before I listened to.

Finally, if you listen, don't like, and think I've sold out, The Guardian is streaming the new Cults' album - more on that tomorrow I think, but take a listen here.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Second albums are notoriously difficult, especially where the debut has launched your career in an almost unimaginable way. 'Born This Way' shows no signs of this though, being recognisable as Gaga while progressing in terms of music. Where some songs on 'The Fame' had all of the polish, this album has songs with soul in it. Fusing traditional American rock with an electro twist, this album fills a void no one could have been aware existed.

Opener Marry The Night is reminiscent of 90s discos, making you want to dance around in those dalmation leggings you thought were so cool, while Bad Kids is an ode to the rebellious 80s punk spirit (I’m a twit, degenerate young rebel and I’m proud of it/ Pump your fist if you would rather mess up than put up with this) while keeping the melody of a pretty, electro tune - the attitude's all in the vocals.

Personal highlights have to be the aforementioned Bad Kids, with Bloody Mary and You And I following closely behind - and Born This Way deserves a mention as the title track.

From an album that feels like a journey through the history of music, there's something for absolutely everyone. What's different about 'Born This Way' is that the tracks have been reimagined through a Lady Gaga filter - which can sometimes feel like taking an acid trip - but they are linked with the common thread of being unmistakably hers. This may be an album which will divide opinion, but it will be heard by millions of people - and rightfully so.


Saturday, 21 May 2011

Panic! At The Disco feat. Fun - C'mon

From the minute I heard this song I loved it. The melody, the story, the vocals - just everything about it has the kind of childlike charm that instantly appeals. The tune alternates from whimsical and playful to a confused melancholy, lifting it above the other songs of it's kind - though admittedly there aren't many of them. The vocals from both bands are of their usual high standard, bringing something extra to the song in that aspect as well. The lyrics to the song seem to tell an Alice In Wonderland-esque story with some interesting quirks (I am a man of many hats although I never mastered anything/ But I am ten feet tall). Listen, be young, and enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Veronicas - 4Ever

Another slightly older song, in preparation for the weekend - and The Veronicas are perfect for that. With electro-pop to make you dance, a catchy melody to make you remember it, and lyrics perfect for singing along to, 4Ever has all the hallmarks of a weekend tune. Opening with a heady guitar riff, the song launches a high octane attack on the senses - incorporating a seductive, addictive chorus. The lyrics match the chorus, with an invitation to embrace a darker side to yourself (Come on baby we ain't gonna live forever/Let me show you all the things that we could do.) Start the weekend a little early with a treat - and I'm not just talking about this song.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Suicide Sports Club - 20 Girl

One of the many reasons I love TV is because it's yet another outlet for finding incredible songs - and today's song I first heard on CSI New York. From the fantastically named 'Electric Mistress,' 20 Girl is a haunting, melancholy trip which feels tired yet restless. Mixing guitars with strings and heavy, emotive vocals gives an acoustic feel to the song, but it's not dragging by any means. The chorus hooks with the repetition, and lyrically there are some great points (It's so easy/On your own) which contrast with the mood of the song. A soothing paradox for the tired soul.


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Lissie - Cuckoo

Another tune to put you in the mood for summer - Lissie's Cuckoo is a bluesy-pop song that radiates sun and road trips. With a melody that just begs for you to clap and sing along, and strong vocals which tell more of the story than lyrics ever could, this is a song that will stand the test of time. Although the vocals tell a story, the lyrics do to, providing wonderful phrases (I fell in love with being defiant) and great refrains. Cuckoo is a song that deserves to be put on repeat with the windows down - a perfect summer festival fix wherever you want.


Monday, 16 May 2011

The Plasticines - Pas Avec Toi

French electro pop is like a glimpse into a whole new world, with the fun and effortlessly cool feeling that makes you long to be a part of it. Whatever the intangible quality of the music, The Plasticines have it in droves. Pas Avec Toi has the requisite chanting chorus, addictive riffs and a melody that makes you want to dance like crazy. The vocals are absolutely perfect with the song, giving it an added edge - the best way to make a pop song have a little bite. From 'About Love,' which is full of songs of this glorious genre, this song will signal the start of a life long love with another world - escape there now.


Friday, 13 May 2011

Fall Out Boy - From Now On, We Are Enemies

A shameful admission - despite having been a Fall Out Boy fan for many years, I have only just discovered this song. I think that's part of the problem, that I just assumed there was nothing on 'Believers Never Die' that I hadn't heard. Anyway, this is yet another amazing FOB song. Patrick will forever be in my top 5 vocalists, and the melody is instantly marked out as theirs - catchy and pop-punk with an edge. Lyrically it's wonderful - out of so many great lines it was hard to pick a favourite (I'm just the man on the balcony/ Singing "No one will ever remember me") but that's typical of this band. From Now On, We Are Enemies has made it to the top of the list today, and it'll be sticking in my head for a while - come join me.


Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Pretty Reckless - My Medicine

Sultry is the best word to describe this song - as long as you temper it with the vein of rock running through it. My Medicine is dirty glamour at its finest, delving deep into the heart of you in the best way. From the click of a lighter at the very beginning to the last syllable this song is studied arrogance and anger, making use of heavy guitar and tempting vocals in order to create the effect. The lyrics are also part of the effect, with the gorgeous refrain Somebody mixed my medicine tying the whole song together. My Medicine is a song for dark rooms and darker intentions - take a walk on the wild side tonight.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Thomas Tantrum - Hot Hot Summer

Oh, I love discovering new music, and today's song is one of the best I've heard in a while. The new single from Thomas Tantrum mixes the vocal prowess and quirky pop of Kate Nash with a more credible, slightly mystical act. The melody is gorgeous - catchy yet pretty, and mainstream without the connotations of selling out - and the mix of vocals bring everything together brilliantly, being strong enough to take on the melody and work with it. Hot Hot Summer lives up to its name as the hottest tune you'll hear this season - get it on your playlist as soon as possible...


Monday, 9 May 2011

Cobra Starship - You Make Me Feel

Perhaps one of my favourite things about Cobra Starship is that they can reinvent themselves over and over again and yet still retain this musical genius type of integrity. You Make Me Feel is grown up pop with that Peter Pan edge, it wouldn't feel out of place in a nightclub in some glamorous far flung place. There is however a vein of pure Cobra Starship running right through it, immediately identifiable, and that's what allows the song to stand out from the others of the same genre. Vocally seductive, synth beating at the heart of it, and lyrics that go deeper than you'd expect, it's a stellar tune. You Make Me Feel brings to mind the phrase electric glamour, and will be with you much longer than the hangover fro that fabulous club scene.


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Twin Atlantic - Yes, I Was Drunk

This song has been on constant repeat since I discovered it this morning, and it just embodies everything I love in a song. The recurring guitar riff is part of what makes the song, punchy and full of feeling. Yes, I Was Drunk is packed full of anger and sadness and everything in between - and the vocals reflect every tiny variation of emotion going on. The lyrics are typical of Twin Atlantic, with honesty and meaning running through the song (I hope you live for your freedom/ I hope you enjoy the lust.) Yes, I Was Drunk is the perfect song to turn up the volume and lose yourself in - I recommend doing so highly.


Friday, 6 May 2011

Mayday Parade - Black Cat

Logged in to my old Youtube account and this was the first song I came across - and it's a great one. With a brilliant story lying behind the lyrics, this has the makings of a great song before it has even begun. Yet once it starts, it's an infectious song with an alluringly edge to it, making it infinitely more interesting. The melody, the vocals and the lyrics all come together to produce the world's most realistic fairytale and what really goes on behind it (Get your hands off of my star/It's not your part but all your fault/And this jealous actress has a habit of making things sound way too tragic.) Just a delicious glimpse of pop-punk's darker side.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Lucy Hale - If That's Love

Despite being completely frustrated that there isn't a full acoustic version of this song anywhere, it has to be the song of the day. First seen on CSI: Miami - which is where the clip above is from - this is absolutely beautiful. Firstly, Lucy Hale has an amazing voice, and the acoustic version of this song just showcases it even further. There is so much emotion in such a short burst of time, and the melody is simple but effective. There is no need to hide behind layers of synth, just a memorable, haunting tune. The lyrics are also great - maybe not the deepest in the world, but they provide a solid base for the song. All in all, the only real criticism is that there is far too little of it.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Panic! At The Disco - O2 ABC Glasgow, 2/5/11

Well, having only just recovered (only exaggerating a little bit) from Monday night, it's now review time. Last time I saw Panic was 2008, and it was a very different band on stage that night - and not just physically with two new members. It was amazing to see a band come in to their own and give a fantastic show.

Opening with new single Ready To Go, the crowd immediately entered into the spirit of things, singing along and jumping around like mad. Thinking that this was already great, the atmosphere kicked up a whole new level with But It's Better If You Do. Even a technical glitch in the middle of the gig (which the band handled fantastically - something a lot of others would have found awkward) couldn't dampen the atmosphere, and led to a vocal rendition of the guitar to George Michael's Careless Whisper from the unbelievably talented Brendon Urie.

Personal highlights included Lying Is The Most Fun and Hurricane, but it was a strangely (or not so strangely) emotional Camisado that stole the show for me. With Careless Whisper, Fat Bottomed Girls and How Soon Is Now? as fabulous cover versions, this was a show to remember - and it really will be remembered as the coming of age of an incredible band.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Lightspeed Champion - Back To Black (cover)

A guilty pleasure of sorts, given that I wouldn't readily admit to having it on my ipod - and it's originally an Amy Winehouse song... Anyway, this song is a fantastic reinterpretation of it, mournful and melancholy. The melody has a kind of fragile beauty to it, much softer than the original, but the vocals still carry the emotion necessary to pull it off. The lyrics are wonderful at times (We only said goodbye with words) and in between are passable. As cover versions go, this is one of the great ones, a re-invention of a half decent tune as a gorgeous new creation. Give it a go, whatever your thoughts on the original - it'll change your mind.


Saturday, 30 April 2011

Taking Back Sunday - Best Places To Be A Mom

Taking Back Sunday - Best Places To Be A Mom by musicforrelief

Today's song is brand new, a preview of what to expect from the forthcominng Taking Back Sunday album - and what it tells you is to expect a lot. A return to form from the second it opens, it provides a cacophony of guitars, drums, and the instantly recognisable vocals. Best Places To Be A Mom is also lyrically triumphant, with some moments of brilliance (And I see you so much clearer/Through the smoke and past the mirrors.) Taking Back Sunday fans will love it, and those who are just being introduced to the band will love it too - now it's just a case of putting it on repeat until the album arrives...


Friday, 29 April 2011

Howie Day - Collide

Okay, I gave in to Royal Wedding fever at the last minute - how could I not? I did restrain myself from the obvious songs (God Save The Queen, Killer Queen... the list goes on), but I thought it was only appropriate that today's was a love song. Collide is beautiful; there's no better description for it. Beautiful melody, beautiful lyrics, beautiful vocals... it's quite simply a song for people in love. What's probably the best thing about it is that it's not some fairytale notion, it's for real people in love with the good and bad (Even the best fall down sometimes/Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.) How appropriate today. Yes, Collide is the perfect end to today.


Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Academy Is... - About A Girl

Another sunny day, another summer song - that's how this works. This is the perfect summer tune in every way possible - great melody, great vocals, and refrains that will stick in your head for life (I'm not in love/This is not your song.) From 'Fast Times At Barrington High', which is full of summer playlist songs, this is quite simply a kick ass tune from an incredible band. The lyrics are worth a look too, somewhat underlying the upbeat nature of the melody. So take yourself out into the sunshine and give it a listen.


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Placebo - Meds

Making up from the missed day with a little Placebo - an old friend. Meds, featuring the wonderful talents of Alison Mosshart, is a wonderful mix of strange and haunting. Cutting right to the bone, this song is so many different things at once it seems impossible that it should even exist. With a fast paced, addictive melody, vocals that are alternately unique and ridiculously sexy, and simple lyrics that hit you hard (Baby/Did you forget to take your meds?), Meds is utterly timeless. Let yourself go a little, and try some Placebo.


Monday, 25 April 2011

My Chemical Romance - Vampires Will Never Hurt You

Having spent the day listening to vintage My Chem in my car, it's only fitting that Vampires Will Never Hurt You is my song of the day. From 'I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love,' an album full of gems that are all too often forgotten, it has a harsher edge than the newer music. There's something wonderful about this song, affecting you in a way that music rarely does any more - but that's accompanied by killer riffs and astute lyrics. A fantastic song on an already strong album, Vampires Will Never Hurt You will be with you for a while - embrace it.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

The White Tie Affair - Scene Change

Oh, I do love a bit of the White Tie Affair. Brilliant, diverse punk-electro-pop which almost forces your finger on to the repeat button. Scene Change is the usual mix of great vocals, upbeat melodies, and seriously witty lyrics. With lines like Wear these clothes/Walk this way/Do exactly what they say/It's your life/But their way, this song is more than just a pretty face. Speaking to the rebellious side of every one of us, Scene Change is the best way to take things up a notch this Saturday night.


Friday, 22 April 2011

The Pink Spiders - Modern Swinger

There is very little better in this world than a sunny day followed by a late night Pink Spider session. Modern Swinger is retro pop at its finest, a little kickback to the days where it wasn't a dirty word. Vocals and melody intermingle perfectly, giving it hooks and riffs galore. The lyrics to this song are fantastic, definitely worth a second look (a personal highlight being My baby's pretty as a car crash/Sexy as the stinger of the hornet in your arm/Just another modern swinger. ) All in all, the recipe for the best way to start your weekend.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Spill Canvas - Bracelets

More regular readers will know that I'm a massive fan of the Spill Canvas - they consistently turn out beautiful, meaningful music, and Bracelets is no exception. The storytelling element through it is one of the most alluring features of the song (With smiles on both our faces/ We spit their faulty ammo to the ground/ And remind them once again that you can't kill heroes). The melody is equally gorgeous, switching from fast paced to slow and captivating with the greatest ease. The vocals, as always, are perfect, conveying everything the song needs to capture your heart. Bracelets is today's rightful song of the day - trust me.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat

Back to work, and it's time for a dose of the Kaiser Chiefs. While they have some rightfully famous anthems, this never made the top of the list - and I think that's just wrong. This is hallmark KC, with a great beat, weird lyrics, and choruses designed to get stuck in your brain. An outstanding track from 'Off With Their Heads' (which was unfortunately not the strongest of their albums), Never Miss A Beat is probably one of the most underrated Kaiser Chiefs songs. Get it on your current playlist now - it'll be on there for a while, believe me.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Santana (feat Everlast) - Put Your Lights On

Having first heard this song on an advert, it quickly obsessed me (speaking of which, anyone know who's version of Embrace's One Big Family is on the KFC ads? Can't find it anywhere). Put Your Lights On is 4 minutes of guitar and vocals merging to create something stunning. Santana is famous for his intricate and emotive guitar work, and the vocals are the perfect match, throaty and compelling. Lyrically, the song is simple but effective - they seem to come straight from the soul, however over dramatic that sounds (Cause there's a monster living under my bed/Whispering in my ear/There's an angel, with a hand on my head/She say I've got nothing to fear.) Listen and fall in love.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

McFly - Surfer Babe

I'm growing to love guilty pleasure Sundays, and today's song is a tune and a half. From their debut in 2004 (!), Surfer Babe is the perfect summer addition. An excellent piece of pop, with the kick back 50s sound you'd expect from a song with that title, this has a hook to rival the good old Captain. Vocally, McFly are strong, especially for a boy band (and more noticeably in their later work) and while this song isn't going to be winning any prizes for incisive, profound lyrics, it's quirky and fun - what more can you ask?


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Kids In Glass Houses - Saturday

Wow, it took me a little while to get over being re-tweeted by Alex Band - pretty much the highlight of my life so far - but now I'm back to real life. Today's song is (aptly titled) Saturday by the brilliant Kids In Glass Houses. 'Smart Casual' remains one of my favourite debut albums, and this song is just so damn catchy. It has everything you could ask for - anthemic chorus, upbeat melody, and some absolutely cracking lyrics (Show a little skin you'll make a million/Bare a little soul you'll make a million more). A great way to get your Saturday moving, you'll find yourself putting it on repeat before you know it.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Alex Band - Euphoria

Oh, time for one of my favourite vocalists ever. Alex Band, former lead singer of The Calling, is now operating as a solo artist - and I for one couldn't be happier. Euphoria is like coming home, a soaring love song that he does so very well. The melody is a mixture of acoustic guitars, strings, and drums, lending it both a softness and a power at different points. Yet it's the instantly recognisable vocals that truly make the song, bringing the same mix of techniques as the melody does, accompanied by the emotion which makes the listener truly connect to the song. This is a very welcome return from one of the most talented musicians of the age - and with Euphoria, the title tells you everything you need to know.


Monday, 11 April 2011

Pink - Mean

As female artists go, Pink really does take some beating. With 5 albums, plus a greatest hits (so far), each consistently great, she's been hard at work for the good of music. Mean is a gorgeous mix of wailing guitars, skilful piano work, and one of the world's most recognisable vocals - and as usual they combine perfectly. Not only that, but the song is lyrically strong too, telling the story of the descent from love into habit (Now do we stick together cause we're scared to be alone/I got so used to this abuse it kinda feels like home) in a way that does it justice. Mean is a shining example of what everyone has come to expect from Pink - music that does exactly what it's supposed to do, touching a chord within you.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Kate Hudson - Cinema Italiano

Today's song comes from the soundtrack of fantastic film 'Nine,' and for that reason it's a kind of guilty pleasure. Giving you everything you'd expect from a musical, and surprisingly good vocals from Kate Hudson, this is a highlight in a strong soundtrack. Rocking a sweet drum beat, trumpets, and a great storytelling element, Cinema Italiano is one of those songs that could stand strongly even without the movie association. Give your theatrical side an outing, and enjoy a great little song - or watch the film if you want to see it in context. Both are well worth it.


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Fall Out Boy - Alpha Dog

Last moment Saturday post, and it's time for a little Fall Out Boy. Now, instead of posting an old school Tell That Mick post, I've gone for Alpha Dog, simply because I've loved it since the CFOB mixtape and always wanted to hear more. The song doesn't disappoint, with clever lyrics and infinite listenability - it's FOB to its core, and that is what's most important. For a band who have always stayed true to what and who they are at the core of every piece of music they've ever made, this is a fitting song to appear on the greatest hits album. Every song is a new reason to fall in love, and this finalisation of a song which had me replaying a thirty second demo clip for weeks on end just makes me happy. Fall Out Boy were always more than just a band - accept it.


Friday, 8 April 2011

Empires - Valmont

Friday night, and it's time to forget the past week and just relax - and what better way to do so than with a little bit of Empires? Beautifully crafted to sound both languid and upbeat, Valmont can't fail to impress. An addictive melody, strong vocals, and a rather unexpected storytelling ability hidden amongst them (You told me just to breathe/But you stole my breath) are what make this song just that good, almost forcing you to put it on repeat. With seductive vocals and crooning guitars, Valmont is a song that will put that extra shake in your body as you dance; perfect for a Friday night.


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Evarose - Cough It Up

Another sunny day, another anthem for it. Cough It Up is the new single from Evarose, an explosion of punk pop. With a sometimes chaotic melody which makes anyone listening want to dance like crazy, this is perfect for partying, driving, or just rocking around your garden with your headphones. The vocals are impressive, standing out against the musical riot behind them, and lyrically there is something extremely interesting about this song, the emotion behind it being a driving force. A great accompaniment to life, Evarose will be making my stereo for a long time to come.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Pretty Reckless - Just Tonight

Fuck it, I'm not ashamed to admit I love The Pretty Reckless. All the hype that goes with it, all the posturing and hipster bullshit you can keep - but the music is fantastic. From debut album 'Light Me Up', Just Tonight is a ballad with bite. Taylor Momsen's voice is incredibly powerful, with a smoky quality which only amps up the emotion, and the alternately wailing and thrashing guitar melody really showcases it. Lyrically it's a realist love song, with love as a form of superficial comfort (Just tonight/I won't leave/And I'll lie and you'll believe), but the execution and polish is that of a band much more experienced. Just Tonight is the perfect example of why you should forget the pasts and the press, and concentrate on what matters - good music.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Queen of Hearts - Where Are You Now?

Where Are You Now? (Produced by Diamond Cut) by Queen Of Hearts

It's now time for a gorgeous slice of glamour-pop for a Monday, the only thing that can pick me up after the glorious weekend. Queen of Hearts is a personal favourite emerging artist, showing a talent for both addictive songs and vocals, and with Where Are You Now? she's just continuing her winning streak. Proving the little known fact that ballads can actually be enhanced by a dose of synth, this song is simply beautiful. The melody is made to be danced to, and the paradoxically strong yet ethereal vocals are the perfect accompaniment. With yet another skillfully crafted track under her belt, I can't wait to hear more from Queen of Hearts - and after listening to this, you won't be able to either.


Friday, 1 April 2011

Terra Naomi - Up Here

A little bit of kick-ass chill-out Saturday, the perfect accompaniment being Terra Naomi. With a voice that most female artists would kill for and a stage presence to match, this winning combination translates into amazing music. Up Here is a song that articulates how everyone feels in their strongest, truest moments (Up here I'm making you aware/That if you don't like me, well I don't care), and the simple accompaniment just emphasises the message, as well as the power in the vocals. With emotion infusing every word, this is a song for the days you're winding down, but feeling a little defiant - remember, I love you just as you are.


City Reign - Daybreak

What has made music this year so exciting for me is the influx of new, talented guitar rock bands - and I know I'm not alone. City Reign are one such band, and single Daybreak thoroughly deserves the spotlight today. With a talent for riffs to keep you hooked and some deceptively simple solos, the melody is damn near flawless. Equally so are the vocals, combining to give you an idea of what Death Cab for Cutie might have sounded like if they'd embraced Britpop. Yet there's something unique about this sound that has been missing for the music scene for too long. Bring on the new era, and bring on more from City Reign - neither can come soon enough.


Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ryan Adams - Desire

Seeing as it's sunny where I am, I thought today's song should fit that mood. Desire is fit for a summer's night, with that beautiful haunting quality that's just right. A gorgeous harmonica interlude in the middle only adds to that sense, and the way the guitar weaves in and out of the melody is just right. Ryan's vocals are, as usual, amazing, with the true blues quality bringing out the hurt and hope in the lyrics. Both sad and uplifting, this is a song you don't want to be without - not many can carry off such contrasts simultaneously. Listen and by comforted by the knowledge that his new album is out soon.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mona - Lines Are In The Sand

Bring on the new wave of guitar rock - it's been too long since the last collective intake of the style. Mona are the heralds of an era, with Kings of Leon-esque vocals and melodies but a different imprint. Making their mark everywhere they go, Lines Are In The Sand is a fantastic example of why the next few months will see them hitting the airwaves with a vengeance. Being tipped for the big time sometimes hampers a band's creativity, but Mona seem to keep producing great songs. The key to this song is how adaptable it is - be it in a dark room late at night, or a background song for working, it instantly evokes emotion within the listener. Remember the name - you're going to be hearing it, soon.


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Lostprophets - Last Summer

Oh, the days we spend trying to recreate our teens - how useful to have songs like Last Summer to help us recreate the mood. This song is perhaps the most readily relatable songs I've ever heard, with everyone able to evoke a memory, a story, even a feeling. With exactly the right balance between melody and vocals, there is a sense of longing and urgency which is conveyed at the most accessible level (Things are good like this/These are times we'll miss). Unfortunately, true anthems like this are rare these days, so take a break from searching them out and enjoy the golden days of the Lostprophets summer.


Monday, 28 March 2011

Green Day - Favourite Son

From the epic American Idiot musical, this song is a personal addiction. Favourite Son slots perfectly into the album, right where you didn't know you needed it, and is simply great. There is more than one version of this song about - the original stage version (with vocals from Joshua Henry) and the version Billie Joe did (which is the one above.) The authentic Green Day version is much less pop-y, but still retains that hook which draws you in. Lyrically, this song is fantastic, exactly in the tone and nature of the album (No one says it's fair/Turn a teenage lush to a millionaire.) Seguing effortlessly into Are We The Waiting, this song is made for the stage, and it'll be a sad day when the run of this show comes to an end. Luckily, we still have the cast recording to relive it.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

InMemory - Accents Are Overrated

Guilty pleasure this week is a relatively old song - definitely one of my early teen loves. Even now there's still something about it that makes it great to listen to. Okay, it might not have the finesse I tend to expect from my music now, but it's fast paced, catchy, and has some brilliant lines - and if you haven't guessed by now, I'm a sucker for those things. Simply beating you with drums, guitar and vocals, the song tells of a late night seduction. (My name is whatever you prefer/You said my friends call me insecure) A fun little bit of pop-rock which does exactly what it's supposed to - although you'll probably listen to it alone in your car, or with your headphones on.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Marina and the Diamonds - Oh No

Marina and the Diamonds are masters of witty, cutting lyrics in a bright pop package, and that's a huge part of the charm of debut 'The Family Jewels.' Oh No is an outstanding example of this, with a tune infectious enough to warrant a warning. Yet the lyrics are a cynical, perceptive take on modern life, epitomised in the well known line - TV taught me how to feel/Now real life has no appeal. This is the perfect song to get you ready for a Saturday night, whatever you're doing, and the rest of the album is worth a listen too. Take a look at the bright, cartoon retro-pop video, and join in the madness.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Editors - Blood

Having first seen the Editors as a support band (for Franz Ferdinand incase you were wondering), a love affair has blossomed. With incredible vocals, instantly identifiable, and melodies which are at once compelling and totally unique, the Editors are a band that slot perfectly into the gap left between mainstream and alternative. Blood, from debut album 'The Back Room', is a driven, piercing tune, with selective and precise lyrics (Blood runs through your veins/That's where our similarities end.) The Editors are masters of the minimalist approach to lyricism, yet there is so much meaning packed into their songs it is impossible not to love them. They've come along way from a support act - they should be headlining your music selection tonight.


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Panic! At The Disco - Vices and Virtues

Oh, my boys are back. Having waited a long time for 'Vices and Virtues', Panic fans have been well rewarded with the release of the album today - and with the stream from the facebook page for UK readers, where the album hasn't been released yet...

Stylistically, it's almost as if A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd. had a wilful child together - there are such strong elements of both in the melodies, and the mixture in tone of the album. The duality goes perfectly with the title, bringing to mind long summer days and sleek darkened ninghtclubs alternately. With the delicious vocals that fans have come to expect, the songs are given an added polish and element of vice. The sheer range of instruments which are brought into play in the album should definitely be noted too, impressive and beautifully used as they are.

Lyrically, much as I would like to argue otherwise, there's something missing - but there was always going to be realistically. However, there are some properly brilliant lines which should not be overlooked. Even taking single The Ballad of Mona Lisa, you have the element of storytelling which is a hallmark of P!ATD.

Put simply, Vices and Virtues is a triumph. Now comes the impatient wait for the tour... more to come in that case.

Personal highlights are Hurricane, Let's Kill Tonight, The Ballad of Mona Lisa, and of course the long awaited Nearly Witches full track.


Vices and Virtues by Panic! At The Disco, released today (22/3/11) in the USA, 28/3/11 elsewhere.

Monday, 21 March 2011

A Fine Frenzy - Almost Lover

Having discovered this song not so long ago, it's only fitting that it makes the song of the day. Beautiful, simple, and simply amazing, Almost Lover is a powerful lament. The strings and piano mix effortlessly, and are all that is needed to back such a strong vocal performance. Lyrically, this song is equally as pretty, with the chorus being especially poignant (Should have known you'd bring me heartache/Almost lovers always do.) Almost all of the best adjectives to describe this song have been used up already, so I'll end just by saying this - listen.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

3OH3 - Richman

Another guilty pleasure, albeit slightly different. 3OH!3 are a strange band, as capable of turning out great hits as bizarre, sometimes pointless songs, but this song is an inexplicable favourite. With cocky, somewhat misogynistic lyrics, and a beat it's impossible not to dance to, Richman is a mixed song. Heavy on the synth, especially in the bridge, but with a chorus that's been dancing around my mind all day, this is one song that you can love and hate simultaneously. Surely that's reason enough to give it a listen.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

Kate Nash - Mariella

Being a long time Kate Nash fan is sometimes quite difficult, as she divides opinions so absolutely. However, there's something about her music that's just so beautifully witty under a guise of 'cute and quirky.' Mariella is from debut album 'Made of Bricks', and it's a song many will listen to only to think 'yeah, that's me.' With the classic lyrics Sometimes I wish I was like Mariella/She got some pritt-stick and glued her lips together, this song is full of spirit and, at times, utter ridiculousness (see the 'never ever' riff at the end.) Don't let the beginning fool you; this is a song to dance around to. See beyond the hype - let Kate Nash into your life.


Friday, 18 March 2011

The Maine - I Wanna Love You (cover)

Yet another example of eclectic song of the day tastes, with this beautiful sunny day best accompanied by The Maine's cover of an Akon original. From the 'Punk Goes Crunk' album, this is a masterful reworking of an R&B classic. Perfect for those who like their music a little more pop-punk, but don't want to lose the underlying tone of the song. It's not groundbreaking, not the song of the century by any means - but it's catchy as hell, and perfect for those summer afternoons they promise us are coming... so give it a listen, save it to your playlist, and thank me come summer.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

blink-182 - The Rock Show

The word 'icon' is thrown around a lot (and I'm pretty guilty of this), but blink-182 taught a generation how to not give a damn and just have fun. The Rock Show is an riotous teenage anthem, with an instantly recognisable chorus and a rebellious message (Seventeen without a purpose or direction/We don't owe anyone a fucking explanation.) Blink made a career out of accessible, catchy, and long lasting punk pop - leaving fans all over waiting - somewhat impatiently - for the new album. Viva la blink!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Forgive Durden - The End and The Beginning

Something a little different is the order of the day - from concept album 'Razia's Shadow: The Musical' comes The End and The Beginning. This song forms the climax of the story, with brothers Pallis (voiced by Brendon Urie) and Adakias arguing, while Anhura (voiced by Greta Salpeter) discovers Adakias' secret. The End and The Beginning is theatrical, dramatic, and more than a little conceptually brilliant. The whole album projects a stage show into your mind, taking you through each scene in vivid detail. Dark, relentless art - if this hooks you as it did me, give the album a listen start to finish and feel like you've been to the theatre from your seat.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Gaslight Anthem - Diamond Street Church Choir

Since this week is turning out to be guitar driven classic rock themed, this is yet another new(ish) band who are turning out to be saviors of modern rock'n'roll. From second album 'American Slang' - possibly not quite a patch on the first, but still ridiculously good - this is one song that will have you singing along. With Springsteen-esque melodies, and vocals that make you wish you were out driving on a stretch of abandoned American highway, Diamond Street Church Choir is a classic in the making. Catchy as hell and with a stadium sized chorus to boot, this is the perfect slice of Americana.


Monday, 14 March 2011

The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?'

Mixing things up a little bit today is the album which has been on repeat since it arrived this morning. What Did You Expect From The Vaccines is one of those albums that can stay permanently in a CD player because you know that it has a song for any mood.

As regular readers (or people looking through the archives) may know, this blog has been a fan of The Vaccines (see SOTD post here), and this album signals the start of a long love affair. A return to the rock'n'roll era that's been sorely missed, The Vaccines fill a gaping hole in the music scene at the moment.

The album was just released today, but it's definitely a divider of opinions - give it a shot, it's worth it.

Highlights inclue Wreckin' Bar, If You Wanna, Norgaard, Family Friend, and my personal favourite, Post Break Up Sex.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Taylor Swift - Better Than Revenge

Another Sunday, another guilty pleasure - and this one's a little guiltier than most. I like Taylor Swift, okay. Her lyrics go from sweet and lovely to biting and angry, leaving you unsure sometimes if you're listening to the same artist from song to song. Better Than Revenge, from latest album 'Speak Now' is a classic example of the latter type of song. With a tune so catchy it should come with a health warning, it combines pop sensibilities with some sharp lyrical barbs. Any teenage girl in the world can find something in this song to identify with - be that a good thing or bad.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bright Eyes - Four Winds

A little piece of escapism today, with Four Winds, the first single from the great Cassadaga album. Brilliantly surreal, but with that undertone of meaning which Bright Eyes do so subtly, this song is like a one way ticket to the ends of your imagination. Channeling an almost country music vibe (but don't let that deter you), Conor Oberst's vocals contrast beautifully with the melody swirling around it. The cheery, upbeat melody renders the lyrical bleakness perfectly - there are not many occasions in life you find yourself cheerily singing along to the words She's standing in the ashes at the end of the world/Four winds blowing through her hair. Bizarre, unique, and wonderful - like every great Bright Eyes song is.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Paramore - Whoa

I've hoped for change/And it gets better every day - seeing as I managed to miss the boat with International Woman's Day yesterday, today is a veritable festival of favourite female artists. While Paramore might not be the all-female breakout band who might be a little more fitting, they are a long time favourite and Hayley Williams is a teenage icon. Whoa, from debut album 'All We Know Is Falling' is like coming home to an old friend. With deceptively simple ingredients - the guitars, the drums, the strong vocals - Paramore have made a 3 minute slice of brilliance. I could wax lyrical all day about this band, their progression from AWKIF to latest album 'Brand New Eyes,' about the energy and force of their lives shows, and about everything in between - but believe me, it's better if you discover all this for yourself.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Brandon Flowers - Playing With Fire

Now as a big Killers fan, and a big fan of Mr Flowers himself, this had to be today's track. One of the best songs from a stellar debut solo album, Playing With Fire is that rare breed of song that sounds just as good on a late night radio as driving down an empty road. With the usual gorgeous vocals, wailing guitars, and lyrics any song writer would be jealous of (This holy fountain of youth/Has been reduced to a drip), this song is simply sublime. Uplifting yet melancholy, Playing With Fire is a walking contradiction - join the paradox, embrace the cult.


Monday, 7 March 2011

Counting Crows - Anna Begins

Counting Crows have an immense back catalogue of beautiful music, making it extremely difficult to pick out just one song for today - but Anna Begins is a long time favourite. Adam Duritz has such a unique voice, making songs which would be great on their own into instant hits. This song has everything you would expect from a Counting Crows song - the vocals, the intricate guitar work, even the brilliant but obscure lyrics - but there's something extra in Anna Begins which makes it just that good. Listen and fall in love.


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Selena Gomez and the Scene - Rock God

Oh yes, you knew it was coming - a guilty pleasure Sunday special. Rock God is pop-rock at its very finest, and so damn catchy it should come with a warning. Drum beats kicking, guitar and synth pounding in your ears, and (somewhat surprisingly) strong vocals, this song does exactly what it's supposed to. A fun tune that's well worth a listen - put your preconceptions aside and give it a go. You won't regret it.


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Green Day - King For A Day

A Green Day classic for today! This song is just so brilliantly catchy, upbeat, and surreal that no one could help but smile listening to it. If you've never seen it live, you are lacking a necessary life experience - the image of Tré Cool in a wide brimmed hat and pointy bra will stay with me until I die. With the unique refrain 'King for a day/Princess by dawn,' you will never stop enjoying listening to this song. Green Day have spanned nearly every genre in their career, but the one thing that never changes is just how good they are - how many bands can say that?


Friday, 4 March 2011

Stereophonics - Maybe Tomorrow

Arguably one of the best voices in music today, Kelly Jones is on top form in this acoustic performance of classic Maybe Tomorrow. With soulful, emotive vocals that are immediately distinguishable from anything else, this song is a classic example of how the Stereophonics have lasted so long as a band. This acoustic version provides the simple backdrop that enhances rather than detracts from the song, something that many acoustic versions find difficult to achieve. Quite simply, Maybe Tomorrow is a triumph for music, whatever version you listen to.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Audition - Warm Me Up

Warm Me Up is a delicious stomping tune that strikes the difficult balance between seduction and rock perfectly. With big vocals and even bigger guitars, this is the kind of tune any band would kill to write. Telling the age old story of wanting without being able to have, The Audition maintain their ability to create the kind of song that is utterly timeless. Crank up the volume and let the dance begin - don't try and tell me you don't love it.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Taking Back Sunday - MakeDamnSure

This site really is on a teenage dreams theme these days. Anyway. MakeDamnSure (or Make Damn Sure, whichever way you like it) is that wonderful mixture of crooning and shouting that is pretty specific to Taking Back Sunday. Look out for the crashing guitars, pacing riffs, and some truly memorable lyrics (My inarticulate store bought hangover hobby kit it talks/And it says 'You are, you are so cool.') After re-discovering TBS in one of my daily track-hopping ventures, today is all about them... and there's no better place to start than with this song.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Good Charlotte - Riot Girl

Taking a trip down early teenage years today, Riot Girl has to be the song. 'The Young and the Hopeless' is quite simply a punk-pop masterpiece, allowing everyone to embrace their inner teenager since 2002. This song is a fast-paced stampede through young love, with the bridge essentially a mocking of traditional ballads. With its references allowing you to place it in history (Christina wouldn't wanna meet her/She hates you Britney so you better run for cover), it's a song that's time specific and absolutely timeless all at once. If you like this, give the album a listen -although side effects include acting like you're 15 again.