Friday, October 31, 2008

The Friday Thing: I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys

As usual, while watching a repeat of Later With Jools Holland, I saw this performance a became completely beside myself. This is the first Arctic Monkeys song I heard, when the video came out for the first time, so seeing this performance made me happy, I guess. This is their first television appearance/performance and possibly the best, ever. I hope you enjoy!

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A LARUM-Johnny Flynn

A Larum-
Johnny Flynn
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-4 Feathers

Upon first hearing, you’d visualize an old crooner, nearing his sixties, who’s been around, seen the world, knows a thing or two about life. Well, I guess he doesn’t have to be 59. In reality, Johnny Flynn is a 25 year old, blonde-haired, Londoner releasing his first album. With the help of band mates, The Sussex Wit, Johnny has created A Larum which has a folk/skiffle-sound with just enough originality to appeal to the young and the old. Opening with ‘The Box’, you are immediately enveloped with an old-timey folk sound that quickly welcomes a warm voice that you’ll learn to love. ‘The Wrote and the Writ’ is a pure folk song. The lone acoustic accompanied by a lone cello gives it a somber, melancholy-yet-hopeful feel. Phrases like ‘circle since been broken like the priest before me is breaking bread. I’m being asked to drink the blood of Christ, and soon all eat his flesh’ show that he is religious, but he also has a certain lyrical wit that makes him sound insightful, but not phony. ‘Tickle Me Pink’ is possibly the only song of his that would appeal to the masses. The simple bass line, playful melodies, and very dark drums really help this song stand on it’s own. The chorus ‘Pray for the people inside your head for they won’t be there when you’re dead’ will stay in your head so long that, in contrast, will still be there when your dead. ‘Brown Trout Blues’ is nothing too overwhelming special. I give him credit for creating a convincingly bluesy song. To give a good description, I can imagine him playing this next to a fireplace. Though with the use of an extreme amount of banjo, ‘Eyeless in Holloway’ really doesn’t sound like a country song. It’s gloomy feel is a nice change in the album for the fact that it doesn’t sound like it’s getting optimistic anytime soon. ‘Shore to Shore’ is a pure folk again, but it’s a little to repetitive for my liking. One thing I must add is he awkwardly says that Jesus seems like a ‘damn nice guy’. ‘Cold Bread’ sounds very sixties to me. Like if they were playing a documentary about the Vietnam protests, and they were showing various pictures and video clips of the protests, this would be the song that be playing in the background. Overall, it’s a very good song. ‘Wayne Rooney’ sounds a little fruity at first, but once his voice kicks in, you forget the fruity guitar almost instantly. It’s almost a lullaby type sound. ‘Leftovers’ sounds a tad too much like ‘Wayne Rooney’, but more upbeat. The only real problem I have with it is that the drumming is way too pop-sounding. ‘Sally’ has the integrity to be a good song, but the huge violin sound, equipped with a ton of double stops, is way too awful for me. The cello, when backing the vocals alone in the verses and the bridge, is really great: A work of genius. But the violin really annihilates the whole song. ‘Hong Kong Cemetry’: It’s not like it’s just a sad, dark song, it’s really depressing. His voice is going through a filter similar to the one used in ‘If You Were There, Beware’ by Arctic Monkeys, which gives it an eerie feel. It’s his most experimental song on the album, and I must say, it’s one of the best. ‘Tunnels’ is not too original compared to the last song, but it’s not too bad. It just doesn’t stick out. ‘All the Dogs are Lying Down’ is a nice angelic tune that turns a little more full-blooded about halfway which makes it very exciting and appealing. ‘Shore to Shore (reprise)’ closes the album very nicely. The lone organ that lasts only for about a minute really gives the album proper closure. Though many folk artists come and go and never really go very far anymore, Johnny Flynn has a certain wisdom artistic mentality that is sure to produce works that are bound to astound. With talks of his next album being very different from this one, you know he’s not the kind to repeat himself. Though there are a couple of iffy songs, the rest of them truly make up for it. If your born with a love for the wrote and the writ, you're going to ache for this record.
"I guess I started writing poetry and stuff, and then decided to set it to music."-Johnny Flynn

Video for Tickle Me Pink

Recommendations: The Wrote and The Writ, Tickle Me Pink, Cold Bread
Johnny Flynn's Official Website
Note: Sorry for the lack of reviews, as usual. I was planning to have three reviews out this week because of my one review last week, but I lied. I was only able to get two out this week. Next week, I plan to get two reviews out. One them by Oasis, but not their new one. Also, I added recommendations because all the cool music blogs do it. Tell me what you think and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Friday Thing: Shame by PJ Harvey

When I first heard this song, I was watching a Glastonbury 2004 special, and I couldn't help but think that I hope I'm like that when I'm her age. I couldn't find the exact performance, so I found it being performed on Later With Jools Holland, which was just as good. This is a great performance and, you must say, she owned the stage. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Thirteenth Step-
A Perfect Circle
Status-Out as of 2003
Label-Virgin Records
Rating-3 Feathers

After an album like Mer De Noms, A Perfect Circle was put in the perfect position to make an album that was a lot heavier, hence recruiting a larger number of Tool fans as fans of there’s instead, they went down a new, more experimental/progressive path that is Thirteenth Step. Starting with ‘The Package’, the album clearly has a different feel than it did for their debut. It almost sounds like the beginning to Our Love To Admire by Interpol. It becomes much heavier half way through which makes it feel more complete. It’s a decent lead in, but it’s not really my favourite. ‘Weak and Powerless’ is far from what the title suggests. It has a soft aura but with a heavy feel. It has a really good feel so it thoroughly helps the pacing of the album. ‘The Noose’ is such a terribly beautiful song. I mean, you think it’d be pretty vile being called ‘The Noose’ and everything, but it’s very soft and Maynard’s vocal delivery just makes it perfect. After hearing such a nice-twisted sorta song, it would make you ‘more than just a little curious’ for what’s going to happen next. ‘Blue’ is another lyrically twisted song. It seems to be about a woman sitting suffocating to death while the narrator is just staring at her. They are very clever in their writing as seen in such lines like ‘call an optimist, she’s turning blue’. Cutting to the chase, it’s a very good song. ‘Vanishing’ is a very dreamy, semi-upbeat tune, but it’s not that great. The whispering of ‘disa-ppear’ at the beginning gives it the A Perfect Circle flair that you’ve come to know. Right before your attention span disappears, ‘A Stranger’ comes in. It starts out nice, with clean guitar and pleasant strings, but it quickly turns into a drone that makes you lose consciousness of the world around you, which is never good. ‘The Outsider’ sounds a perfect cross between their new sound and their Mer De Noms sound. It has very good placing on the album for the fact that it comes in right before your about to hit your r.e.m. state. ‘Crimes’ seems like a bit of a mess. Lacking vocals and proper melody really just makes it just an unpleasant filler. ‘The Nurse Who Loved Me’ is extremely weird. It has a trippy dreamlike melody equipped with a kind of harp sound. I guarantee that at the end you’ll be thinking, did I just hear what I think I heard? ‘Pet’ is by far the heaviest song on the album, and my personal favourite. It’s a very deranged lullaby as seen through lines like ‘Lay your head down child, I won’t let the boogie man come’. Also, after ‘they don’t care about you’ he whispers ‘like I do’: It’s the creepiest thing that has ever graced my ears. To give frame of reference, it sounds similar to the tune of ‘Thinking of You’ from the debut. ‘Lullaby’ is a continuation of Pet, but so much more nightmarish. It starts with a faint whisper of ‘go back to sleep’ which quickly dissipates into a 70’s drum sound with someone imitating the main theme found in the previous. ‘Gravity’ is really not a great ending. It repeats the same thing several times and it gets pretty tired quickly. It doesn’t give you that zest for more. Overall, this album was a nice follow-up to their debut. What they managed to accomplish is creating a sound that was new and completely original. But, what they weren’t able to accomplish is creating something that leaves you wanting more and that surpasses their previous work. In general, they have the appeal of an indie band, but the sound of a metal band, so they hopefully won’t disappear any time soon.
“Because I think reading is a thinking process, and I would prefer that people feel the album first, and just let it sink in. Because you might get something out of the music that you might not get from thinking about it, and watching the words go by. I usually put the lyrics online a month or so after the release of the album, but it's better to feel them first.”-Maynard James Keenan

Live video for The Outsider

A Perfect Circle's Official Website
Note: Last week I only posted one review, so this week I'm going to try getting 3 out, this being the 1st of three. I posted a live performance of a song rather than a video because I really didn't like any of the videos made for this album, but this performance really gives you an idea for who they are. I hope you enjoy. I didn't realize how off center the picture was so ignore it. Thanks for your time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Friday Thing: Monster by The Automatic

I saw this performance on Later...With Jools Holland (shock) the other day. This song was the best of the night in that I don't really like the Dixie Chicks, The Dresden Dolls, or any of the other bands that performed. Though I usually wouldn't listen to bands like The Automatic, I caught myself singing this song the next day so I gave it another go and here we are today. I hope you enjoy!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

ROOM ON FIRE-The Strokes

Room on Fire-
The Strokes
Status-Out as of 2003
Rating-4 Feathers

With a sudden rise to fame, and a way over-hyped album as their portfolio, they’d probably try to take advantage of their new-found fame, but shockingly they didn’t. ‘Room On Fire’ does sound like The Strokes, but it seems like they’ve developed the passion/feeling that their debut was severely lacking. “Whatever Happened?” fires up the album. It reminds me of winter, like a snowy city. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. The lines ‘But no one comes in and yes you’re alone’ and ‘I’ve got you to let me down’ really do it for me. My only problem with it is that is soundsl ike it should be the ending to the album rather than the beginning. ‘Reptilia’ is the first song I ever heard by The Strokes. It’s full of hooks, very retro guitars, and vocals that already have more ‘feeling’ than any song off of Is This It. ‘Automatic Stop’ offers a much slower, calmer pace than the previous two. Though a little repetitive, it’s still very satisfying. ‘12:51’ is the perfect song for this album. It has just the right pace and it has a guitar effect that makes it innovative enough that it right sucks you in. ‘You Talk Way Too Much’ starts out pretty boring but it really wakes up when the vocals come in. It’s alright, but nothing too memorable. ‘Between Love & Hate’ is not that great. It really hate the drums, I meant it. They sound too much like a drum machine. It sounds like it could’ve easily been on their last album, which isn’t that good of a thing. ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ sounds like it could be used at the end of a movie or something. It’s just got that sort of sound and it much more entertaining than the previous song. ‘Under Control’ too sounds like it was off of Is This It, except worse, much worse. It’s the average, non-descript, monotonous sound that got tired real fast. ‘The Way it is’ has the same general gist as ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’, except it’d be when the character in the movie has a slight epiphany and acts on it. It’s a very nice song. ‘The End Has No End’ starts out loud but gets mellow quickly, but not boring. It has a nice pace and captivating vocals, especially about half way through when it sounds like he’s pouring his soul into the words. ‘I Can’t Win’ has a very retro sound. Like ‘The Way it is’ and ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’, it sounds like the end of a movie, but this is when the credits are rolling, but it’s not a stupid pop song. It’s a decent ending to a very good album. Though most people and critics may not agree, I think that this album was better and a step up from their first. They seem like they thoroughly care about the music and they don’t repeat the same riff over and over again. They’ve matured quite a bit and if they were able to top their first album, I’ve got a feeling that they’ll only get better.
“And I wish I could write a song where all the parts work. When you hear a song like that, it's like finding a new friend.”-Julian Casablancas
The Strokes Official Website
Note: Sorry for the lack of reviews, but like I said two a week and one Friday Thing from now on. Also, you may notice I don't have a video. I looked on Youtube and all the embedding was disabled for all their songs so I'm kinda peeved. To give the post a bit more life, I made the quote a different color. I hope you enjoy this review and I'll be doing an A Perfect Circle review again this week. Thank you for your comments!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Friday Thing: Baba O'riley by The Blue Man Group

The Blue Man group, as most people know, are known for their obscure performances and multi-instrumental abilities. A while ago, I saw a show of theirs entitled 'Inside the Tube' on PBS. I was absolutely estatic after this cover performance of Baba O'riley by The Who (my favourite band). What's so great about it is that they make it completely Blue Man without obliterating the song's structure. And you gotta love the Pete Townshend honoring windmills! This performance is one of the coolest things you will ever see! Enjoy!

Baba O'riley

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Favourite Worst Nightmare-
Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2007
Rating-4.5 Feathers

In the height of their success and after touring the world, Arctic Monkeys' bassist Andy Nicholson decided to leave the band due to exhaustion. Nick O’Malley, of Sheffield’s ‘The Dodgems’, became the full time bassist. Together, creating a new darker style, they wrote and recorded ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, the follow up to their debut. ‘Brianstorm’ fires up the album with a frantically heavy bassline and drum line that suck you in immediately. About a guy named Brian, who’s ‘calm, collected, and commanding’, he basically transfixes you with his appearance and mien. This song has just the same effect on you. ‘Teddy Picker’ starts with a simple but effective guitar riff. Alex Turner’s vocals are clearly going through a filter, but it makes the song that much better. With lyrics like ‘Assuming that all things are equal, who'd want to be men of the people when there's people like you?’ shows that he hasn’t lost his lyrical charm. ‘D is for Dangerous’ sounds like a weird dance tune that’s almost completely a departure from their usual style. Featuring alternating vocal duties between Matt and Alex, you learn to love it. Matt Helder’s drumming style, seen especially here, developed a funkier sorta tone than its usual heaviness. ‘Balaclava’ sounds flat out unusual. The way the vocals go and the pumping bassline, it’s one of their darker/heavier songs. Alex screams for the first time, which I thought was interesting. The ending bit with the drums and bass sound like a marching band, which I think is cool. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ is very poppy. The mixture of a twangy guitar and a guitar lick adds to the overall light feel of it. Though it’s more in tune with the basic pop song, it has an Arctic Monkeys flair to it that makes it great. ‘Only Ones Who Know’ is a break from the heavy into a more dreamlike and airy sound. With echo-y singing and words about Romeo and Juliet, it’s enough to make you go to sleep, in a sort of lullaby way. ‘Do Me Favour’ is so moving. Nick O’Malley’s bassline is dark on it’s own and Alex Turner sounds like he’s going to weep at any moment. The lyrics, seemingly, talk about a bitter break-up. The mood goes from murk to anger. With lines like ‘do me a favour, and ask if you need some help! She said, do me a favour and stop flattering yourself!’ force you to believe they are absolute genius. ‘This House is a Circus’ is less shady than the previous. The higher register vocals are very effective. With surreal experience’s happening to the narrator, he’s ‘struggling with the notion that it's life not film’. Blending with the previous song, ‘If You Were There, Beware’ is extremely creepy. It’s very bizarre sounding and the words too are strange. With powerful guitar interludes, and a flat out weird end bit where the guitar and vocals go through a weird filter, it’s enough to make you think ‘That…was…AWESOME!’. ‘The Bad Thing’ is very light and poppy compared to the previous three. I couldn’t stand it at first, to tell you the truth, but it really grew on me. It talks about a married women cheating on her husband who blames her motives on other factors: ‘She said "its the red wine this time.” But that is no excuse.’ ‘Old Yellow Bricks’ starts with a bass drum and a hard guitar riff. The way Alex sings it creates immense hooks. With Jamie Cook’s eerie guitar lick in the back, it creates an oddness in favour of the last few songs. ‘505’ is a great end to such an experimental album. Featuring Alex on synth and Rascal/Puppet Miles Kane on lead guitar, you know this is going to end the record with a bang. The call and answer between Jamie and Miles is so perfect it’s daunting. If they kept the same tone that ‘Whatever People Say I Am’ had, this work would’ve never came close to the success that they’d previously seen. With more worldly experiences and a slight change of style, they created an album completely different than their first but just as good. When you listen to this, you don’t fully realize that it’s the same loud teenagers because this album is more mature. This is our favourite worst nightmare.
“I don’t think the new stuff will shock people – I don’t think anybody expects us to do the same as the first album but with strings. That’s what bands do a lot of the time, isn’t it? We’re not old enough to do that yet!”-Alex Turner

Video for Fluorescent Adolescent

Arctic Monkeys Official Website
Note: I've come to the conclusion that I will get out at least two reviews and a Friday Thing every week. This is my last Arctic Monkey's review until their third album comes out. I hope you enjoy and thank you for the comments! Also, the formatting is all screwed up for this post and I tried a million times and it won't fix itself so sorry about that.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Black Holes and Revelations-
Status-Out as of 2006
Label-Warner Brothers
Rating-4 Feathers

Muse has made a name for themselves over the years through such albums as Origin of Symmetry or Absolution. Classified by their progessive-electronica-metal mix, they’ve developed a sort of legacy as one of the best bands Britain has to offer. With a ‘fresh’ political view point, the three have created an album called Black Holes and Revelations. ‘Take a Bow’ sets the tone for the album immediately and very directly. Though the keyboard gets a tad irritating, the speed of it helps it. The concept of anti-war/anti-establishment starts very early on with the lines ‘you bring corruption to all that you touch’ and the oh-so uplifting ‘you will burn in hell for your sins’. ‘Starlight’ starts with a very clean, very catchy piano that creates a lot kinder, more heartwarming feel. It basically screams ‘I need to be loved’ which is appropriate because it is a love song. ‘Super Massive Black Hole’ has a very different feel to it than the last. Though it doesn’t really have anything to do with super massive black holes (the black hole believed to be at the center of every galaxy), it has a very creepy sound. The combination of Matt Bellamy’s falsetto voice on top of a deranged dance beat, it makes you a bit unsettled and you wonder why they’d put this directly after ‘Starlight’. ‘Map of the Problematique’ starts with a very forceful guitar that coaxes you right in. The piano adds an epic-spacey sort of feel. If it didn’t have vocals, I could easily see this being on the Halo soundtrack. ‘Soldier’s Poem’ is the first break you get from the frantic/heavy sound. It’s quite the twisted song, let me tell you. It, on the surface, sounds like a nice soothing jazz band song that you may hear in a fancy restaurant. But then you listen to the words. With such lyrics as ‘Do you think you deserve your freedom?’ or ‘there’s no justice in the world and there never was’ in keeps it with the anti-war theme. ‘Invincible’ is also a calm song. I really don’t like it at all because everytime I hear it, I can imagine Jarvis Cocker singing it. The only good part about it, really, is the drumroll-y drumbeat, which gives it a slight Revolutionary War feel. ‘Assassin’ is also a bit of a problem. At first, it sounds like a very annoying version of ‘Take A Bow’, but it quickly takes a turn for the worse. It’s very annoying metal sound accompanied by very violent message makes this song a turn-off, and I mean, you’ll want to turn it off. ‘Exo-Politics’ is a breath of clean air after you’ve endured the last two. What one may like about it is that the chorus sounds like it could’ve been written during their Absolution days. ‘City of Delusion’ has a very Western feel. The strings and the guitar help create a sound very different than what you’ve been hearing throughout the album. In tune with ‘City of Delusion’, ‘Hoodoo’ sounds like the part of the movie where the cowboy meets his cowboy nemesis in a barren ghost town street. About two minutes in is where the suspense kicks in when the two start walking (in slow motion) towards one another. The end of the song depicts the point where the two are contemplating one another’s body language so they can figure out who’s going to make the first move. Story aside, the song is alright. Not too special, but the visual it creates was well worth it. ‘Knights of Cydonia’ is perhaps, right now I think, their most well know song in the U.S. From the first note to the last note, the epic journey never tones down. The lyrics paint a picture of a man riding into battle. The part where they chant ‘No one’s gonna take me alive!’ is probably one of the most catchy, motivational, if you will, things I’ve ever heard. It’s the perfect ending to a very interesting album. In general, the album has a very good balance of songs, each with it’s own political message. Though some songs have almost no place on the album, the lyrics stay very cohesive throughout, which makes it very effective. Their objection and opinions to what’s going on in the world makes them very appealing towards youthful audience, so clearly it is not their time to Take a Bow.
“We realised that emotion, the vibrations that you create, are as important as your technical skills. We had just discovered something: music is a matter of emotion.” -Matt Bellamy

Video for Starlight

Muse's Official Website
Note: I want to explain why my posts aren't extremely frequent. I buy all my CD's in person. I don't like to download er anything; I like the physical thing. I try to listen to a full album and write this song by song review, and to me it's worth it. I hope you enjoy this review and I plan to have reviews out by The Kings of Leon, A Perfect Circle, and Arctic Monkeys within the next week or so.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Friday Thing: Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis

I heard this song for the first time watching a 2004 edition of Glastonbury on TV. At first I though it was a cover of Imagine (the piano was a tip off), but I quickly realized it wasn't. What I loved about this is how in unison the crowd is when they sing the chorus. It's such a poignant sounding song, but the crowd is what sends shivers up your spine. Enjoy!

Don't Look Back in Anger