Noise 101: CD Reviews for Dec. 1
Give Till It’s Gone
I’m not going to lie. I hated this album at first.
I couldn’t understand what it was about or why someone would record such silly songs. And then, the disc looped back to the beginning and I saw it in a new light.
Suddenly, the first song “Don’t Give Up On Me Now” made complete sense, and even more surprisingly, the song got stuck in my head. The Ben Harper I had remembered had been resurrected. Give Till It’s Gone is one of those albums that has no meaning until you listen to it in its entirety. Even the first single off the record “Rock N’ Roll is Free” feels more heartfelt on a second listen.
It’s the perfect studying music for final exams, with deep, quieter songs for concentration points and uplifting beats to power you through.
— Laura Lushington
Arts & Crafts
With Los Campesinos!’s fourth full-length release in four years, Hello Sadness shows the band hasn’t needed all that much time to mature together. This band really got its start through the Internet and proceeded to garner enough attention to tour worldwide.
On Hello Sadness, all of the same familiar hooks are in place. Lead singer Gareth Campesinos still wails in his dry sing-speak, with lyrics that sound more like LiveJournal entries than anything else.
Definitely considered to be a break-up album, Hello Sadness goes through all the highs and lows of any meaningful breakup. Kicking off with the peppy, but catchy single “By Your Hand,” this hits all the emotional notes with the absolute low being “To Tundra.”
As the band progresses from a lighthearted shout-along band into one filled to the core with feelings that are almost too personal for pop music, Los Campesinos! continues to put out album after album of worthwhile music.
— Nathan Ross
Coldplay’s latest offering, Mylo Xyloto, really breaks no barriers. Overall, the album is what you would expect from Coldplay —heavy keyboards, extended openings and lyrics such as “I’d rather be a comma, than a full stop.”
Of the album’s 14 tracks, only three really stand out, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (the first single), “Paradise” and “Princess of China.” Teardrop is especially catchy, right from the opening keyboards and will no doubt be a popular sing-along during live shows. “Paradise” takes you inside the mind of a young girl as she dreams about what the world could be, and not one of failed expectations.
The album’s problem is sound, or more specifically, with the direction the band takes with their sound. While Coldplay will never be categorized as rock music, Mylo Xyloto actually verges on being more for the pop-radio crowd and less friendly to those who have followed the band since their first album, Parachutes (2000).
— Blaine Meller