Lily Allen continues with ball-crushing clever lyrics on second album
It’s Not Me, It’s You
Once again, Lily Allen utilizes her sweet voice and punch you in the face lyrics to create the quick-tempo pop album It’s Not Me, It’s You. There are two elements that are thoroughly consistent throughout Allen’s newest CD; the fast-paced beat on each track and her incredibly obvious British accent. Depending on your musical tastes, both can become old quickly.
Personally, I quite enjoyed bouncing around to Allen’s catchy tunes. I especially enjoyed one song titled “Fuck You,” which sounds so disgustingly cute until you actually listen to the lyrics. If the song didn’t make me laugh, I definitely would have hit the “next” button.
While most of the songs have a harsh man-hating vibe, there are a couple tunes that slow things down and have much more lovely lyrics including “I Could Say,” and “Who’d Have Known.”
All in all, this album delivers what you’d expect from England’s beloved pop-princess; a fun mix of snappy lyrics and mind-numbingly melodies that will stay in your head for days.
Check out Lily Allen here
— Katie Turner
Sony Music Entertainment
Denver, Colorado’s The Fray are back with their follow-up to their 2005 debut album How to Save A Life. Their sophomore self-titled album is laced with the similar emotionally driven undertones that provided their meteoric rise to stardom four years ago.
Front man Isaac Slade claims that, “this is what we would have done differently from the first album if we had more time. This is where we are now and where we want to go for the rest of our career,” in the viral video for their first single “You Found Me.” The single depicts a fictional chance encounter with God while he is finishing his last cigarette. Slade asks God “Where were you when everything was falling apart?” and blames God for having “some kind of nerve.”
Slade’s vocals sound like they come from a lifetime of sensitivity and emotional torment. Imagine if a violin could sing. This second effort from the band is more on the reflective side and deviated from the piano pop sound of prior singles like 2005’s “Cable Car.”
This time around expect to hear tracks like “Never say never,” which is like a hurt man begging not to be “let go.” Grab your wine, dim the lights and embrace the hardest times in your life with this album.
Hear the Fray here
— Jordan Nakaska
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Sure punk foursome The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus spent much of their debut album Don’t You Fake It screaming their lungs out like buffoons, but hey, at least it was consistent.
Their sophomore offering Lonely Road is not.
Starting off with the obnoxiously loud track “You Better Pray,” RJA — as they’re so aptly called by their misguided followers — quickly sets out to prove they have evolved as a band. The end result is four minutes of garbage that is more reminiscent of heavy rock losers Nickelback or Theory of a Deadman than anything relevant in the alternative music genre.
I did find myself intrigued by the opening guitar riff on “Represent,” however when that is followed up with multiple offerings of chorus-heavy drivel any notion of creativity quickly vanishes.
Hear RJA here
— Jeremy Nolais
The Bird And The Bee
Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future
Holy retro Batman, I think my ears are bleeding!
This CD is far from the psychedelic days of the ’60s but still has that same old feel.
The lyrical voice displayed on this album is a cross between Feist and Mama Cass, a little bit of old school mixed in with the new. The instrumental electric craziness will want to make you turn on your lava lamp and head off into a world full of pink elephants and blue daisies. Before you get out your tie-dyed T-shirt from a box under in the basement there are a couple of songs that remind you you’re in the year 2009.
The song “Love letter to Japan” is pretty rocking; it sounds like a Japan-India hybrid of awesome. You will want to be whisked away to the shores of the Ganges River. Working hard to bring you the instrumentals is the one-man band of Greg Kurstin. He works hard to deliver a sense of amusingness to the songs and by the end of the CD pulls something out of his (you know what) to deliver magic. Out of his HAT! What were you thinking?
Hear The Birds and The Bee here
— James Paton
On first listen, Techna by Vancouver-based Christer makes you want to throw off your clothes and head to a rave, thanks to electronic sounds combined with a techno funk beat in tracks like “How Do You Like It” and “Christer is Tronic.”
The 10 tracks on the CD (two are remixes) are all a blend of poetic and sometimes downright weird lyrics. Christer has a pure voice that leaves you wishing she would sing a couple tracks without all the electro in the background.
“How Do You Like It” is the first single off the debut album. It’s been hanging out on campus and electronic radio charts for the last 10 weeks. “Cadaver” is one of the better tracks on Techna and is a surprisingly upbeat song despite the fact it’s about a dead body.
If you are a techno freak or just like to dance around your living room to some kickin’ beats, Techna is your kind of album.
— Kelsey Hipkin
3.5/ 5 stars
I had no idea what kind of music would come through the speakers of my laptop when I threw in Passenger Action’s self-titled first full-length album. The four-member band came together out of two Canadian bands, Choke and the Fullblast and spent the summer of 2008 recording the 12-song disc.
In the first 30 seconds of the opening song “Tonight We Resonate,” the slowness of the guitar and melody was pretty slow and interesting and left me wanting more. After that, it went downhill. Passenger Action sounds like ever other punk band (or tech-punk as they call themselves) that has come before them.
The good openings are again found on sounds like “Absent Minds” and “Surface Issues,” where the guitarist really showcases his work. However, the majority of the songs have the same rhythm, melody and vocal range by lead singer Shawn Moncrieff that nothing really stands out.
The saving grace for this band is their instrumental additions. Included on the disc are two solely instrumental pieces, “Night Frisbee” and “Good Ones Are Hard to Come By.” The latter has haunting string accompaniment and synthesizer that makes it sound almost haunting and relaxing. If you’re into the punk scene, this album will fit nicely into your collection. If not, I would steer clear.
— Amy Gregson