Noise 101: CD Reviews for Nov. 17
Four the Record
In her aptly named fourth record, Miranda Lambert takes her music to a new, yet powerful level.
Coming off the success of her third album, Revolution and the song “The House That Built Me,” Lambert takes a risk with Four The Record by making a more bluesy compilation. Known for her fires, guns and lyrics about cheating, lying boyfriends, Lambert does add touches of her musical signature throughout this disc.
However, a more mature side also emerges. Four The Record is exquisitely put together with hints of her former songs thrown in just when one might want to fade away. The song “Fine Tune” is a welcome change to the normal country-blues style. And of course, the album wouldn’t be complete without a duet on “Better in the Long Run” with her husband Blake Shelton, whom she married earlier this year.
— Laura Lushington
Evanescence’s latest self-titled release, their first studio album in five years, remains true to the pseudo-goth/metal sound fans have come to know them for. Songs like “Lost in Paradise,” where Lee shows off her amazing vocal range reminds listeners of her talent. As Lee sings “And as much as I’d like to feel I belong here, I’m just as scared as you,” one gets the impression she is sharing personal experiences.
Lee has an unmistakable voice, one that shows anger and angst as easily as it does heartache and passion, and it meshes well with the album’s eclectic assortment of instruments, including harps, violins, violas and cellos. It’s hard to describe why these work so well, but they do, and that is part of what makes Evanescence who they are.
In essence, this is an album only Lee and co. could make work as well as they do.
— Blaine Meller
Junk of the Heart
“Junk of the Heart (Happy)” is the opening track for the newest release by The Kooks, a popular four-piece indie/Brit-pop band from the U.K.
The Kooks get high ratings on YouTube, garnering millions of views with songs like “Naive” and “Ooh La.” They are compared to the Arctic Monkeys in popularity, with fans loving Luke Pritchard’s voice and thinking he’s a lyrical genius. With persuasive catch phrases like “…I want to make you happy” combined with the tones of their instruments, this CD is as effective as good drugs.
A long time ago, I heard a story about a sick Bon Jovi fan being healed listening to them on repeat. Maybe The Kooks are dialed into the trickster power of music. Their jangly progressions are technically outstanding and they shine at times, but the arrangements are somewhat predictable and the lyrics leave something to be desired.
Junk of the Heart may grow on you… or not.
— Aysim E.P