The rest of Dark Hearts is decidedly more wistful, as Annie reflects on lost loves, family cycles of dysfunction, and her hometown of Bergen, Norway. Annie broke out in the mid aughts with cheeky, indelible dance-pop like “Chewing Gum” and “Heartbeat,” but Dark Hearts luxuriates in an unapologetically moodier palette. Released 11 December 2012 on Atlantic (catalog no. There's no doubt, though, that he can write a pleasant tune, and sing it with sweet sincerity. Getting Into Knives does bear the distinction of being perhaps the most electric guitar-dominated Mountain Goats album to date. Two things: get as far away from the "track by track" mentality as possible, and watch your run-on sentences. This lightness is by design, as she wrote these songs while she was straining to maintain her relationship with Tucker Martine, her collaborator and then-husband. Genres: Pop. On “Charlie Brown,” which sounds like an homage to Hole and just as taxing on the lungs, Kristi spills about falling into “old habits that no one knows about.”. The sentimental “Distant Axis” finds his usually biting lyrical deadpan replaced with a certain kind of longing: “I feel like I’m as far as I can get from you,” he sleepily sings on the track. The grindcore “This Body” brings the fugly with surprising abandon, throwing hissing industrial clatter atop an admirably tuneless dirge (you hardly realize it’s a way-late bid in the chopped n’ screwed sweepstakes until the 16 RPM guest rap drops in). Before Janet struck multi-platinum with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, she briefly partnered with another famous production pair, Giorgio Moroder and Peter Bellotte. The album is an enjoyable, if predictable, outing from an effortlessly reliable songwriter. Lovelorn 1970s pop (Young Girls), Police-inspired reggae (Locked Out of Heaven), sprightly disco thumpers (Treasure): they're all in a day's work for him, and each is as unshakably catchy as the next. On the gorgeous “Vapor Trails,” she reminds us that vapor trails, like people, disappear. Everything about the song feels grand and triumphal—right down to the lyrics, in which Corgan sings, “I’m gonna fly forever/We’re gonna ride the rainbow,” as if he’s approaching the gates of rock n’ roll Valhalla. 2010’s hugely successful ‘Do-Wops And Hooligans’ was always going to take a lot to beat and Bruno gives it a healthy bash with all he’s got. The Filipino-British songwriter speaks to the challenges unique to 21st-century adolescence, a tricky period in which emotions are impersonally mediated through screens and exes are only an impulsive text away. Fueled by a tenor capable of belting Steve Perry-style high notes with both clarity and grit, his performances toggle between a midrange of soft, puppy-dog sincerity and passages that drift just enough out of his comfort zone to replicate soul-man desperation. When the songs take on added flourishes, like the lush brass arrangement that appears halfway through “Take Me Out of Town” or the string solos that punctuate key moments in “Collar of Your Shirt,” they swell organically with the rest of the arrangements. At just under 30 minutes long, the Portland-based singer-songwriter’s 11th album is more concise than it is confessional, but Veirs imbues her lyrics with vivid imagery and gentle humor that trade misery for escapism. Many of these evolutions are indebted to the far-reaching influence of members Aaron and Bryce Dessner on the stalwart indie band’s songwriting. The album distills the singer-songwriter’s work with the National down to its barest form, as it mostly revolves around an acoustic guitar or piano and Berninger’s signature vocal style. Purportedly on the verge of suicide, a desperate, perhaps somewhat deranged Corgan penned “Today,” a facetious, goodbye-cruel-world lullaby that, when draped in the band’s trademark cloak of mellow fuzz, becomes a triumphant middle finger to the crippling effects of depression.
On “End Times,” she compares her ill-fated relationship to Armageddon. ... with his soulful approach to music, Unorthodox Jukebox has songs that are just waiting to be hits. The producer samples very carefully, using a snippet of Diana Ross’s “I Thought It Took a Little Time (But Today I’m In Love)” on “Runnin,” the wisps of the vintage cut nudging each line forward. Corgan’s mother inspired plenty of animus throughout the Pumpkins’ catalogue, but none quite as conflicted and harrowing as the kind that fills the song sharing her name.
While that formula would meet with mixed success on the subsequent Adore, “Eye” remains a sublime slice of electro-goth, pairing Corgan’s understated performance with a litany of chilling instrumentation—not to mention the wonderful angularity of that crisp drumline. At their best, the band foregrounds an interplay between warmth and darkness, as on “Getting Into Knives,” in which the middle-aged Darnielle sings about taking up a new hobby over delicately strummed acoustic guitar and Jon Wurster’s hand-drummed percussion. But while nothing here is as exciting or memorable as anything the National has released in the last 15 years, Serpentine Prison is an enjoyable outing from an effortlessly reliable songwriter. You end up running out of things to say (something that happened shortly after the "Gorilla" paragraph) and end up with a top-heavy review.
A hodgepodge of musical styles, it offers the impression not of an artist heroically blurring boundaries, but of a well-schooled pop star using his gift for variety-show mimicry to conquer as many demographics as possible. I don’t know what co-producer and Janet’s then-boyfriend Jermaine Dupri thought he meant when he said he wanted 20 Y.O. But something about the National’s subtle brand of rock, lead singer Matt Berninger’s buttoned-up baritone, and the band’s sardonic lyrical ennui has prompted certain critics to label their music as “boring.”. In places on Savage Mode II, the rapper succeeds in breaking out of his typical stable of themes and narratives around gunplay, drug deals, smoking weed, and sexual trysts. It’s only when Springsteen leans on the nostalgia with explicitly backward-facing lyrics that the album gets a bit too self-aware.
No Future. Much of this can be attributed to a trio of new collaborators—including superstar-grade producers Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, and Diplo—who ornament trifles like the ‘80s funk-pop tribute “Treasure” and the Police-aping “Locked Out of Heaven” with layers of synth effects and party-ready rhythms. Try to focus on tracks that define the sound and feel of the album. No Sun bears the hallmarks of vintage Pumpkins: Bill Corgan’s melodic whine, Jimmy Chamberlin’s formidable drumming, and the intricate layers of guitar courtesy of Corgan, original guitarist James Iha, and Iha’s one-time replacement Jeff Schroeder.
His hushed final lines—“I don’t see no brightness, kinda starting to like this”—stand in contrast to the song’s acoustic lullaby quality, an understated but welcome variation of his standard form. (Atlantic) Caroline Sullivan. Throughout the album, she talks to and interacts with a rather compassionate computer DJ named Kyoko, and her voice is robotic and synthetic on tracks like “Feedback” and the Daft Punk-sampling “So Much Betta”—not necessarily such a bad thing for an artist whose vocals often consist of unintelligible murmuring. But not too unorthodox, obviously. And yet, there’s little doubt that the group is much more than some also-ran grunge outfit chasing Kurt Cobain’s shadow. While these things fade, her art doesn’t. On the melodic, misty-eyed “Worth It,” she confronts her own infidelity, unflinchingly aware of her wrongdoing but still unrepentant. Ariana Grande is clearly vying for the title of hardest-working woman in pop music. Soon after, plaintive strings emerge, setting the tone for a mournful, grandiose album that never materializes. There are many points on their 1991 debut, Gish, where the Pumpkins seem caught between their early metal influences (Black Sabbath, Judas Priest) and the art-rock band they ultimately aspired to be, but “Snail” isn’t one of them. Bruno Mars didn't become the whoppingly successful songwriter and producer he is by veering too far off the pop/R&B/hip-hop course, so his second album is the same conventional mish-mash as his 6m-selling debut. At the other end of the spectrum, the bouncy panache of “Rat Queen” hews closer to the conceptual theatricality of the band’s last few albums, yet the track comes off as little more than a B-side from the group’s 2019 rock opera In League with Dragons. Songs like the Smashing Pumpkins-esque “Sorry” convey her fragility, buttressed by symphonic string arrangements and pounding drums. There’s a carefree attitude that offsets the album’s ambitions. Label: Merge Release Date: October 23, 2020 Buy: Amazon. F or all of Bruno Mars’s attempts to brand Unorthodox Jukebox as sonically progressive, there isn’t anything remotely unorthodox about his new album. Thriller That Lacks Self-Awareness, Review: The Third Day Leans Heavily on Mystery at the Expense of Human Drama, Review: We Are Who We Are Perceptively Homes in on the Malleability of Boundaries, Interview: Garrett Bradley on Exploring Human Dimensionality in Time, Watch: Lady Gaga’s “911” Music Video Is a Surreal Death Dream, On the Rocks Trailer: A Father-Daughter Journey Through the City that Never Sleeps, Listen: Dua Lipa Elevates “Levitating” with Help from Madonna and Missy Elliott, Review: Billie Eilish’s “My Future” Is an Unexpectedly Upbeat Tribute to Isolation, Review: Solid Metal Nightmares: The Films of Shinya Tsukamoto on Arrow Blu-ray, Review: Sidney J. Furie’s The Ipcress File on KL Studio Classics Blu-ray, Blu-ray Review: Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite on the Criterion Collection, Blu-ray Review: Stephen Frears’s The Hit on the Criterion Collection, Review: Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream on Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD, In Ivo van Hove’s Hands, West Side Story’s Actors Are Mice in A Cinematic Maze, Review: Hamlet at St. Ann’s Warehouse Is a Triumph of Production Over Performance, Confessions of a Drag Legend: Charles Busch on The Confession of Lily Dare, Review: Timon of Athens Takes Arms Against the Ravages of Wealth, Under the Radar 2020: The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, Not I, & More, Bestiary Poetically Raises a Coming-of-Age Tale to the Level of Myth, Glenn Kenny’s Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas Is a Stellar Anatomy of a Film, The Appointment Is a Bitterly Comic Unburdening of a Conscience, For Stephen King, As Well As His Fans, If It Bleeds Is a Coming Home. “Enjoy” is a seamlessly smooth step groove aboard R. Kelly’s “Step in the Name of Love” boat, but its presence here only makes the likes of “Get It Out Me” and “Roll Witchu” seem all the more opportunistic. Unorthodox Jukebox, an Album by Bruno Mars. There isn’t anything remotely unorthodox about Bruno Mars’s Unorthodox Jukebox.
In this timeline, Springsteen never gravitated toward the rock n’ roll soul-circus style of the E Street Band and instead leaned hard into the “New Dylan” hype that surrounded him at the time. But while Serpentine Prison may invoke familiar accusations of dullness, it’s refreshing to hear Berninger’s disaffected songwriting style take on a more grown-up perspective. But Unorthodox Jukebox offers a bit more than clinically perfect songcraft – it also reveals Mars's bleak view of the women in his life. Which is why some of the songs on Letter to You are disappointingly mushy by comparison. He has a finesse for texture and atmosphere, employing the sound of a scratchy vinyl on “Runnin” and “Said N Done,” a static-y beat on “RIP Luv,” and the solemn piano riffs that were the driving instrument on the more minimalist Savage Mode. Recorded live in the studio, sans overdubs, over just a few days in late 2019, Letter to You has all the familiar hallmarks of the iconic E Street Band’s signature sound: Roy Bittan’s roaming piano, bombastic shout-along choruses, creaky harmonies from Patti Scialfa and Steven Van Zandt, and gut-busting sax solos (Jake Clemons fills in ably for his late uncle, Clarence). This romance isn’t found in the familiarity of a well-worn routine, but in the adrenaline rush of charged chemistry: “And I want you to know that I’m in love/But I don’t want you to feel comfortable.” Kristi’s vision of affection may be distorted by the impossible-to-replicate headiness of a first love, but it’s an enthralling representation of its ephemeral beauty. In fact, Veirs spends a fair amount of time on the album explaining herself, keeping little beneath the surface. “Forever ‘92” falls flat in its attempts to summon the spirit of the titular era, and the drifting, Sade-esque rhythm of “Stay Tomorrow” isn’t robust enough to anchor the song’s theme of “sailing away.” That’s partly why 2004’s Anniemal, with its innovative production and impeccably crafted hooks, remains such an enduring and satisfying pop debut. "Locked Out of Heaven" is an obvious pick, but I also suggest choosing a song that represents the album's worst points, as a means of providing contrast.
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