Saturday, 20 September 2008
The album opens with the brilliantly claustrophobic "Closer", which flirts with industrial beeps and guitar effects like a poppier Nine Inch Nails song before shifting up a gear with a chunky riff in the next single "Crawl". "Use Somebody" is undoubtedly a stadium anthem for years to come with its Coldplay-esque backing vocals and bittersweet lyrics. Its a moment of sincerity from a band who often conjure imagery of girls wetter than New Orleans. Contrast that with the aggression and pride of "Be Somebody" and we have a song that hits all the right notes and succeeds at all its ambitions.
The slow pace of the album isnt a flaw. The songs dont overstay their welcome and the CD clocks in at 42mins, in fact it arguably contributes to the rich flavour of the album as a defiantly bold step from a band rocking festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. Its not perfect, there are some inevitable lulls but they dont last long.
I loved it. Sure a few more obvious "hits" would have been nice but you to admire the bravery of Kings of Leon. They dont care how the world judges them, they arent afraid to evolve their sound. It takes balls and as we all know, Kings of Leon know how to use them.
For the iPod playlist: "Closer", "Sex on Fire", "Use Somebody", "Be Somebody".
Verdict: **** (4/5)
Monday, 15 September 2008
Yoshiki (above), unveiled a few of the things planned for X fans today. TheOtherEast reports that the following announcements were made:
-The countdown live has been announced, more info coming over the next two weeks.
-World Tour dates to be announced over the next two weeks
-New BEST album will go on sale on 29th October
-The Paris live was re-confirmed.
-A Christmas LIVE concert
-X Japan song in the game Rock Band. (Likely on the Japanese port of the first Rock Band which hasn’t come out yet which would then likely come to other regions via DLC
-In 2010 a movie involving the deceased Akira Kurosawa will be released in the states with Yoshiki produced music.
-A new “intense” song by X!
-Re-confirming of the 3 Days reunion coming to DVD
-A Violet-UK release
I'll keep you updated. Thanks to TheOtherEast for the info, I swear, Lee Miller is like a gold mine of X info.
Radiohead are working on album number eight. Speaking to BBC6 Music, Colin Greenwood said: "We've finished the main bulk of it and we're off to Japan in a couple of weeks to finish it off".Guitarist Ed O'Brien added: "We're still talking about doing some stuff and we're really excited about it. First we came off tour to do some writing and we wanted to just carry on doing it because it was so brilliant".
There is a God. And he likes Radiohead.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Now we're talking. I love Kagrra, but I will also be the first to admit that sometimes their songs sound the same. Its also hard to deny that their recent albums, especially "Core", lacked the inventiveness of older albums liked "San". However, new single "Uzu" is a solid stab at mixing things up. Its a darker single for the band, and yet its still very oriental in its use of koto (played by guitarist Shin) and its Ghost in the Shell-style backing synth-choral chants.
Isshi is still an incredible vocalist with an extreme vocal range allowing him to hit high notes with his impressive falsetto and yet still deliver capable middle range verses. Lets not forget the blistering guitar solo and koto breakdown that adds a bajillion awesome points to an already awesome song.
"Hozuki" is a mellow, relaxing koto / acoustic guitar track with a soft, yet beautiful chorus that becomes an orchestral power-ballad in the last third. Its understated for the most part and a lovely addition to the Kagrra, song catalogue.
The 3rd song on the single is "Shigatsu tsuitachi", the bouncy pop number that previously appeared on "Core". It was one of the best tracks on the album and its inclusion here is to mark its use in a new tv show.
Well done Isshi & Co. Its the best Kagrra single in years.
Verdict: **** (4/5)
D are a band that despite their attempts, havent really captured the imagination the way PS Company's catalogue of bands have. A few years ago, D were my vote for big success but bands like the GazettE and D'espairsRay have stolen the spotlight. Instead, D decided to stick to their vampiric image and create music that repels as much as enthralls with its baroque composition. The new single "Yami no Kuni no Alice" is typical of D's work. Its defiantly "indies" sounding in terms of production and Asagi's vocals still sound like a poor Gackt. I wont lay into Asagi though because I actually quite like his singing. The chorus of the song is catchy and the melodic harmony of the word "Alice" is really nice. There is some chunky GazettE-esque riffing in there and structurally its all over the place, thereby never going stale. All in all a success for the relatively unsuccessful D.
The b-sides arent as good: "Hamon", "Mad Tea Party" (or "Rosarium" if you picked up the other version of the single) and a voiceless version of the A-side are very much the side-salad to the "Alice" steak. You can eat it or leave it. The chef wont care.
Verdict: *** (3/5)
Friday, 5 September 2008
Fall Out Boy have put their new single up on their website and its quite good indeed. It doesnt push the envelope too far but its a solid groover with a biting guitar. Lyrically its clever (as to be expected) and it has the typical FOB underlying sleaze factor that made previous singles so delicious too. Expect this one to get people on their feet in rock clubs everywhere.
Verdict: *** (3/5)
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
"Sex on Fire" is the first single from the new album "Only By The Night" and it proves beyond doubt that Kings of Leon are one of this decade's mega-bands. The song effortlessly carries the southern swagger and big-hearted yowling of vintage Kings but with a power that mirrors the jack-hammer these Tennessee boys are taking to the current rock scene. With a howling guitar and driving bass, the song flies through its short three and a half minute run-time while Caleb Followill delivers yet another powerhouse vocal performance. His trademark yokel-croon is more than capable of running through a myriad of emotions. Its definitely another classic track from the band and one that only heightens the anticipation for the new album and UK stadium tour.
If this is a sign of the future, then I guess we must bow down to our new masters, the Kings of Leon.
Verdict: ***** (5/5)
Monday, 1 September 2008
The band are finally visible again after a couple of years of hiding their faces. There is a LOT of slow motion but it works well with the snow-covered beauty of the landscape. The whole video has a CG-finish to its visuals but its better than the huge number of bland "performance" videos these days. Its a winner.
Verdict: **** (4/5)
Single Review of "Glass Skin" coming soon!