Noise 101: CD Reviews for Feb. 2
When you have artists who’ve been playing for the past 40, 50 and even 60 years, a decade is nothing special. But, if you’ve bent and broken genres and earned yourself a passage in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most successful “virtual band” like Gorillaz, 10 years in the business is worth celebrating.
A track record of the project’s evolution, The Singles Collection 2001-2011 brings the best of former-Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s genre-bending genius. Starting with tracks from the debut album, following through to hip-hop laced Demon Days and the more electronic feel of Plastic Beach, Singles provides a comprehensive cross-section of the eclectic brilliance that is Gorillaz. Whether it’s the more somber trip-rock of “Tomorrow Comes Today”, the bubbly pop of “Superfast Jellyfish,” or the rap of “Clint Eastwood,” there’s no denying that Gorillaz’ greatest strength is Albarn’s incredible range and Singles captures this perfectly.
— Jack Simpson
The content on I Can’t Keep All of Our Secrets grew out of Spoon’s response to the sudden death of a close friend. Spoon belts out grief-riddled lyrics, juxtaposed with a backbeat of electro-pop music salted with the occasional cry of a guitar.
Each song is a chapter unto itself, exploring the unanswerable questions or ungraspable memories that haunt survivors of sudden death. Regret, rage, but mostly deep, deep sadness swell-up in every song, collectively creating a portrait of the artist’s grief.
Tracks like, “Ghost of a Boy” manage to capture the complexity of loss, the song actually sounds like sorrow: aching cries coupled with the strange, almost beautiful, quietness that accompanies a death. If you are looking for something with a bit more depth and weight than your average pop record, I Can’t Keep All of Our Secrets is highly recommended.
— Melissa Molloy
The Used are set to release their sixth studio album — Vulnerable — at the end of March, and so far they have remained somewhat hush-hush about the whole thing. One single, I Come Alive, has been available to the public and can be found on both iTunes and YouTube. But, if the song is any indication of what the whole album will sound like, we can expect the more melodic styles that are present in their earlier works, as opposed to the harsher and more aggressive vocal stylings that were on the last three records. The song integrates lead singer Bert McCracken’s smooth tones and the band’s signature edgy guitars with a shout out to recent musical trends, using some elements of dubstep beats sprinkled on top of the track. It’s a wonderful fusion of different sounds and the lyrics seem to mirror the theme of the album, they let us see a more vulnerable side of the band.
— Kylie Robertson