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.