Archive for the ‘ Review ’ Category

A New Way to Live Forever “Monument” Review

From the southeastern coast, alternative pop-rock group A New Way To Live Forever blend nostalgia with modern tones in their third release, Monument.

This EP starts off with Fall or Fallow,” which carries a feel-good, carefree warmth, immediately exhibiting their musical capabilities. My personal favorite is their third track,“Not This Time,” which demonstrates their musical talents and the complexity of their song writing. I Saw Stars” will take you in a more mellow, emotional direction before ending with the uplifting, final track, “Leave It All Behind.”

The overall feel on this release is upbeat and catchy with the use of different styles of guitar playing, bass and drums, and skilled vocals that are sure to leave you hooked! Definitely for fans of Muse, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters. 

4.5/5

Monument Track List:

  1. Fall or Follow
  2. Dream Away
  3. Not This Time
  4. I Saw Stars
  5. Leave it all Behind

http://anewwaytoliveforever.net/
https://www.facebook.com/ANewWayToLiveForever

 

Color IMD Impress with Debut Album

COLOR IS MY DRUG.
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Once the dust has settled from the stampede of fans, racing for pole position at the front of the stage, the boys emerge dazzling us with their sounds of the summer and young love, projecting a musical visual of care free summer days in the sun, laced with music that paints that very picture. Almost falling into the Summer Rap category, if there is such a thing, Color is my drug certainly come close.
But it’s not all sweetness and light as there is another layer portrayed by the band, creating a double edged sword, with a more street angle on things, giving us something very different, as it resets your thought processes into a very different frame of mind.
Not letting Autism get in their way, the boys have just buried themselves into their music, giving it all they have got, as you will find in this amazing album “Under the Influence” (Take Daily) . Oozing with life experiences and telling you the way it is, Color IMD deliver a very action packed and lively performance at every gig as is evident with every crowds response Live and what you will find engrained into every CD you buy.
Formed in 2011 in Dallas, Texas this dynamic duo consisting of Aaron Fitch, and Regan McConnell have certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons, creating a style that’s multi genre orientated, as they blend electro rock with hip hop, in a pop country beat style, yet still falling into the category of “Hook Filled Electro Rock”. Both sharing the role on guitar and vocals the boys have been likened to the style of M.S.I.’s: Jimmy Euringer, and Queen’s: Freddie Mercury for Aaron and The Rolling Stones’: Mick Jagger, and The Doors’: Jim Morrison for Regan. With this in place and a very bright future ahead of them, we are all going to be privileged to some very dynamic shows in years to come.
At this very early point in their career and lives for that matter, Aaron and Regan have already pricked up the ears of Rock Superstar Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and turned the heads of many an accomplished musician such as Aerosmith’s touring keyboardist Russ Irwin.
Color IMD are making all the right choices and all the right noises in the market place as they plan to release a single entitled “Autism Sings” with a portion of the profits going to Autism awareness charities. This song will be about their personal experiences with the condition to help more people understand.
What has been displayed here in this band and this album is simple for everyone to understand, and that is Autism is not a condition ……….
it’s a talent in itself.
Well done boys , long may you reign.
My Score …… 7/10
My Suggestion ……
If ever there were two tracks to tempt the listener into buying this album, they would be …… “Beautiful You” and “Be my Money”.

Ian Davies Music Journalist and Director of Core Global Media
Core Global Media Ltd
Core Live

Links ……
https://www.facebook.com/color.s.personal?fref=photo

Ian Davis Reviews “In The Movies”, a Poem From Ryan Sagert’s Upcoming Book of Poetry.

In the Movies
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This very contemporary piece reflects the work of a great observationalist as they take you through the realms of their mind with bullet pointed views of what they see. As if only viewing this subject though a window and only getting half the story, they fall prey to the term. “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, to coin a phrase. Having said that, the simplicity of this piece, with its subtle humor makes for a good read, touching on the reminiscent, as we can all reflect on a friend with traits of a similar nature.

The subject in question here seems to be one who loves a personal spotlight and could even be one with Bi Polar, constantly seeking attention and recognition.
Having said that we can all fall in to this category when passionate about something in our lives.

With this said, this is a truly well written piece telling the tale of an individual with stars in their eyes.

\\

Ian Davies
Author of classical and contemporary poetry
http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-0300311049/Inspirations.aspx

IN DYNAMICS REVIEW

In Dynamics

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IN DYNAMICS ? They most certainly are, and going from strength to strength from previous projects, these guys are unstoppable .
Their approach to their music is fast paced and punchy and certainly keeps you on your toes.

After watching the video to ‘STAY’, i was immediately convinced that these guys will go far in this industry as their imagination and ingenuity shone through in every part of the song, and there it was right in front of my eyes.
The video is very cleverly done, and was painstakingly filmed and directed by the extremely talented Bertie Wrench after coming up with this amazing concept. Once recorded it was then played backwards for our enjoyment, leaving the lads the hard task of having to learn and lip sync everything backwards in real time and although done before, this only shows me the passion and dedication these guys have for their craft.
The track itself boasts an energy that’s second to none that not only would pull a crowd but would certainly keep any audience glued to the stage and increase their fan base.

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The track Oceans although a more down tempo piece is beautifully crafted and has a clever play on words throughout and very parabolic in nature and creative. It sets a mood that certainly makes you think.

Alive: certainly lives up to its name from start to finish as its energy courses through your veins giving you hit after hit of the adrenalin it produces.

She Radiates: to me is the track that really demonstrates this new dynamic sound that gave birth to the name In Dynamics as it produces that vibe throughout the song leaving any LIVE audience thrown against a wall punching the air for more.

Through Strength And Craft: is a song with attitude and an energy that leaves you breathless trying keeping up with the pace and a must see first hand on stage as you ride their tidal wave of sound .

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I have said it before and I will proudly say it again as nothing has changed, these guys have a truly amazing full house of vocals and harmonies to die for, it takes the band to dizzy heights in the listening experience and to see these guys LIVE is a MUST especially when you see the power house that is Jack Wrench in the engine room at the back pounding those skins with the solid bass techniques of brother Will Wrench complimenting to the full. Take that along with the amazing lead guitar and vocals of Beau Boulden, this all forms a really tight package that takes it all to another level.

Over all, this is an album so well put together its at risk of busting apart at the seems with the enthusiasm and energy that went in to it.
Each and every song is well set out at and truly beautifully crafted.
The end result is something to be proud of both from the artist and the fans buying it.

So go on , give it a try , you’ll be silly not to .
In Dynamics are here to stay and there will be plenty more where this came from .

SOLO SOUND SCORE……10/10

SOLO SOUND SUGGESTION
If ever there was a song to tempt
the listener into buying this album
it would be ‘Stay’

5

Ian Davies
SOLO SOUND PRODUCTIONS

THE COLLECTOR REVIEW

THE COLLECTOR

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Bringing music back to its origin to a more simplistic flow is the order of the day with the members of this band .
If you were to buy any of their material you will find yourself whisked away to a sea of tranquillity, yet left in a very thoughtful frame of mind with a collection of beautifully crafted material to stir the very soul.

The Collector was originally a project and the brainchild of Simon King , pictured above left, who set up the band purely to get his music played and an album of songs recorded. This was all born through the frustration he had with past bands and with recordings that never really ended up how he originally perceived them . So Simon bought a small digital studio and some mics and set about creating what was going to be a truly amazing album. Now with the reins held tightly in his hands, Simon took a leap of faith, and in 2008 started to build his team with local musicians he knew that were of the same mind set, and most importantly reading off the same page.

By 2009 after allot of hard work they had completed the album aptly titled ‘The Be All And End All’ but sadly by this time it seemed it was not enough for some members of the band and slowly they all started to drift into other projects. Simon managed to pull together a few acoustic gigs to at least air the songs bringing in the help of his original double bassist Gary Holder and Simon Mole. This was a good move as it started the creative juices flowing and got Simon thinking of the possibilities of writing completely new material and performing them acoustically as what they had just done ticked all the boxes.

By 2010 Simon grabbed the bull by the horns and with fire still in his belly the band almost completely re-formed with the help of local musicians Leah Miller, Matt Andrews with Gary Holder and Graham Noon from the previous album available when needed for live performances.
And boy what a team he has picked as the talent was close at hand but with an end result that’s simply perfect, giving him the cream of the crop that’s top of their class.

The angelic tones of Leah Miller are capable of moving a mountain with just a whisper as she leaves you breathless in wonder at this beautiful voice almost Celtic in nature.
She has vocal abilities capable of reaching out and holding you in the palm of her hand in every breath leaving you centred and intoxicated.
Leah has been singing since the tender age of 11 when she bought her first guitar and started writing her own songs. It wasn’t until she was 15 that Leah set foot on stage and has since performed with such local bands as Eight Dirty Pages and Dogs In Space. With Jeff Buckley, Imogen Heap, P.J.Harvey and Martha Wainwright as inspiration Leah is truly an asset to the band giving it the spirit it needed.

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Matt has been performing both vocally and as a guitarist for the best part of 18 years starting with his first band called Phreak in 1994 covering most of Nirvana tracks until they split in 1999. Matt didn’t do much more from there until he joined Everafta later to become Madeira Drive. He then doubled up with Classix all of which played venues across the counties.
Inspiration comes from all angles from Simon and Garfunkel to Slayer and Sepultura and bows to such idols as Dave Grohl and Slash.
Matt is truly an accomplished musician with not only the talent to succeed but also the stamina and will power to drive this band where it wants to go with host of past experience to bring to the table. With a voice renowned to crack the sound waves wide open he also also adopts a more placid and calming vocal to grab every ones attention . A true valued member of the band .

Simon was a late starter and didn’t pick a guitar up until his mid teens and is pretty much self taught learning his chords straight from a book, and went on to play with such bands as Frantic and Spoiler . His musical influences stem from listening to The Cure, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Chameleons, New Model Army and New Order yet is influenced now by Tom McRae, Passenger and Damien Rice . But with the will to succeed Simon’s self taught qualities certainly shine through giving us a performance that’s second to none , and as the driving force in this band Simon will certainly steer this band where it needs to go and thats to the top of their Genre.

This mix of talent is is perfect in every way and a true recipe for success, creating moods to stir the very soul, making you stop and think and even take stock of your life adding comfort and thought to the listening experience that is The Collector.

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SOLO SOUND SCORE……9/10

SOLO SOUND SUGGESTION
If ever there were two songs to tempt
the listener into buying this album
it would be ”This Time” and ”The Collector”

5

Ian Davies
Music journalist
SOLO SOUND PRODUCTIONS

Bird Names Review

Bird Names

9

Psychedelic mayhem courses through the veins of this very different yet outstanding band . Their music has not only created a new sound but also a new genre to chalk up and is described as Gnarley Psychedelic Pop.

I have been trying to pin point another band or genre where this is similar , but this is where this project is clever as you cant , its original in its own right, so I am not going to compare this music with other artists as I feel it would be unfair to judge something so unique, but will leave it to you to form your own opinion.
This album along with the rest in the collection reflects the detailed and layered mind of David Lineal. This is reminiscent of the retro styles of the 60’s and 70’s giving a feel that flows to such a degree that order does not exist. But this is the clever part as this all works beautifully creating a style that is so unique its pushed the boundaries of music into another dimension .
The album “Naming Names” is as colourful as the artwork and in fact reflects every part of the album perfectly. So now its time for David and the gang to blow their own trumpet , to coin a phrase, and let the world know they have arrived.

10

There is something very childlike in the performance both vocally and musically taking you to places in your mind that you have long forgotten from childhood or even never knew existed.
If you are a first timer to Bird Names then my advice to you is to find an empty room free of visual distractions and a good pair of headphones and loose yourself for a while on what will be a journey of re-discovery.

This trio consists of David Lineal on guitar and vocals, Peter Nichols on bass and vocals and Alex Edgeworth on Drums and vocals and who’s influences consist of “ Captain Beef heart, Bob Wills, Dolly Mixture, Can , Ray price and Orange Juice”.
Based in Brattleboro Vermont David steers his musical genius to dizzy heights with a vast collection of 7 albums and although his music is totally out of my comfort zone the more I sit here trying to fathom out what to say the more I like what I hear as it most certainly grows on you as the whole album is unpredictable and possibly unappreciated by the masses so I say to you all, “give it a chance”

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“Piedmont Spring”, track one on the album is the one that should be paid attention to the most as it has a certain strange aura about it enveloping the mind taking you to strange places yet aiding your decision about this band .
If you lean more towards the commercial flow of things then I’m afraid you will be disappointed as you are not going to find it here. But to help you along the way try
“Star Light” and “ ‘Flush It”.

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Over all I am very impressed at the achievements of this band and wish them every success for the future hoping their continuous hard work brings them to a more mainstream audience.

MY SCORE……8/10

MY SUGGESTION…….
If ever there were 3 tracks to tempt
the listener into buying this album
they would be ……
“Star Light” “Flush it” and “Piedmont Spring”

5
Ian Davies
MUSIC JOURNALIST

Links….

http://birdnames.bandcamp.com/
http://birdnamesmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/birdnamesmusic
https://twitter.com/BirdNamesMusic

Alexander Review

Alexander

6

This fresh faced foursome certainly got me fooled when the curtain lifted on their performance. As soon as I pressed play I was hit with a wave of confidence that pulsed through every part of this amazing album. Every track emanates colour and passion to their craft, taking you on a journey that not only lifts the heart but resets the soul. Their music is reminiscent to care free days of ones youth if you are an older listener , as for the young , it has a certain calming influence set to tame the wildest heart.
These lads are certainly taking care of business, as what is seen in their live performance and on video is their passion and drive to succeed. Their music radiates colour in every corner of their genre creating a feeling that would lift the heaviest of hearts.

Pay close attention to “Say Hello” and “You Lost Yourself”as I feel these are the tracks that will certainly convince any new listener to the Alexander experience as both tracks take you on a melodic journey that keeps you on the edge of your seat before easing you back gently ready for another play.
These are closely followed by “A Sweet Song”, a beautifully crafted and lovingly delivered acoustic track and
“Without a Parachute” a great play on words with a powerful track to boot.

7

Hailing from Newcastle England, this talented foursome have already kicked up a storm with the release of their first single “You Lost Yourself” taken from the very same album featured here called “Say Hello” and are already on track for reaching their goal with flying colours.

The lads are influenced by “ Jimmy Eat World, Futures and Two Door Cinema club and with that in mind we can certainly look forward to more of the same in the future with energy packed albums to boot.

The line up consists of…….
Anth Snowdon – Lead Vocals / Guitar
Jamie Clark – Guitar
James Simpson – Bass
Andrew Michael – Drums

Anth certainly holds a tune beautifully with the tones that emanate from deep within as you can really feel the presence of every song as it leaves his lips, leaving the listening experience not only memorable but believable. On video this shines through as you can see it in every part of the passion he puts into his performance

8

Jamie’s guitar work throughout every song is not only well composed, but well thought out as it captures every nuance of every part of every song, giving it the spirit it greatly deserves,and adding the colour and feeling that you can tell comes from deep within.

James works his bass superbly with the drums creating a flawless marriage that would be the envy of any rhythm section.
Although playing in a more simplistic flow he creates a tight and well crafted performance giving the band the body it needs in every track.

Andrews performance on drums is just superb in every part of the word especially in “You Lost Yourself” as he powers through every song with ease along with his wing man James creating a rhythm section that’s second to none.
His fills and attention to detail certainly give the band the polish and professional touch that’s taking them forward giving them the edge that sculpts them.

In all, this band creates a very tight package of musical genius and you would be a fool to leave this one on the shelf

MY SCORE……9/10

MY SUGGESTION
If ever there were two songs to tempt
the listener into buying this album
they would be “say Hello” and “You Lost Yourself”

5

Ian Davies
MUSIC JOURNALIST

Links…….

http://www.iammightyrecord.co.uk
dave@iammightyrecords.co.uk 
facebook.com/iammightyrecords
facebook.com/followalexander

Woodrowgerber Review

Woodrowgerber

1

From the album of the same title “In The Beginning” was born, and now proudly hits the airwaves from the genius that is
“Chad Woodrowgerber”
Compared to the album this track has a rough and edgy feel to it musically, which works well with the mellow tones of the vocal line creating a perfect marriage. The use of sampling sets this track in to a league of its own and although not a track I would of generally chosen as the title track strangely this works beautifully because of this.
Although the video predominantly features all forms of boarding there seems to be no mention of this in the song. The way its portrayed visually is enough leaving you to draw your own picture in your mind . In this instance the song speaks of being tied down where the video shows the freedom that can be had.

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From the moment I first pressed play I discovered that Chad’s detailed and very complex mind is certainly reflected in his work , and work he does as his dedication to the industry is a credit to him and really shines through.
Although much of his work is down tempo and slower paced there is a hidden energy lurking deep within.
Bringing us an 80’s feel musically and a 90’s vibe lyrically Chad has certainly hit on a new element with his material giving electronica a run for its money.

3

Chad has been performing since 1988 with his first airplay at the tender age of 18 and still gets air play across the states, UK,Australia and South America. Shortly after he was picked up by a Hip Hop duo taking him on tour as their guitarist.
Here Chad was able to cut his teeth in the industry and go from strength to strength eventually guesting on a compilation album and even writing the musical score for indie films and documentaries fast tracking him to the talent he is now.

4

MY SCORE……8/10

Ian Davies
MUSIC JOURNALIST

5

Links……….


http://www.woodrowgerber.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Woodrowgerbermusic
https://twitter.com/woodrowgerber

Top 20 Albums of 2011 by Lance Waste

Lance Waste is the singer/songwriter behind Darling Waste. They released an album in 2011. That album did not make his list. You can check them out at http://www.darlingwaste.com .
———————————– 

Welcome to the last day of 2011. I was asked a couple of weeks ago to write a top 10 albums of 2011 list. I’ve never done one for a magazine before so I’ve spent the last week looking over all the albums I’ve dug this year plus researching albums I may have missed. After agonizing for a long time I realized that it’s just music, it’s fun and it’s entertaining. But more importantly, it’s SUBJECTIVE. You may hate half the bands on this list or you may love them all. You may think Radiohead’s “King of Limbs” should be number 1. Or The Foo Fighters album. I liked them both but neither made the list.  Also loved the new R.E.M. record and really loved the Panic! At The Disco Record, but…alas.. just being a “nice” record doesn’t cut it!  Here are my top 20 Albums of 2011. Enjoy!

20. Kendrick Lemar – Section .80

After his awesome mixtape O(verly) D(edicated),  being featured on the cover of XXL’s “freshmen” issue, and the news he was working with Dre, I was really excited for this album. It didnt dissapoint one bit. I love that it is an Itunes only release and Lemar chose not to work with a label.  This is Generation Y’s hip hop  album.

19. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

St. Vincent is Annie Clark of The Polyfonic Spree. I really dug 2009’s “Actor”, her work with Bon Iver and the song she did with Cleveland’s own Kid Cudi. Then I saw her on the cover of Spin Magazine and I knew 2011 would be her year.

18. Wild Flag – Wild Flag

When I first heard about this Portland based indie rock supergroup, I wasn’t expecting anything good. The all female band is made up of ex members of Sleater Kinney , Helium and The Minders.  Naturally, I thought this would be a trashy little album that would appeal to fans of  the original groups. I initially checked it out because I loved me some Sleater-Kinney back in the day and Janet Weiss went from Sleater-Kinney into some Bright Eyes/Connor O’berst projects. I was  completely shocked with how much I enjoy this record and the contrast of the two singers.

17. James Blake – James Blake

So…I got James Blake and James Blunt confused this year and spent several months avoiding this album even after everyone said it was amazing. Then I got him mixed up with the tennis player of the same name and was really confused. Finally I figured out who the fuck this dupstep producer was , took one listen, and hopped on the band wagon.  I really love this record. Its quiet and slick moments are the perfect polar balance to the heavy drops and angst of Skrillex.

16. Thrice – Major/Minor

Ok this is a weird one for me. Over the last several years, Thrice have slowly become one of my favorite bands. I’ve liked them all the way back to Artist and the Ambulance. I LOVED their last to records and was ready for this album to be my favorite album this year. I’ve always kept from fully embracing them because Dustin Kensrue, their singer/guitaris, is a born again Christian and they have a lot of Christian overtones in their songs. I have managed to look past it for the most part and really warmed up to the band. Then I read an article about Dustin and his affiliation with The Mars Hill Church and it’s controversial pastor Mark Driscoll, who says things like yoga is demonic, masturbation is a form of homosexuality and says he hates churches who view Jesus as a “limp wristed sky fairy”.

So I did put this album on my list because it is a great album. It might have been my top pick this year, but I get so fucking annoyed thinking about the bands messed up politics everytime I listen to the record that it really ruins the music for me.

15. Adele – 21

I know Adele is really famous and doesn’t really need to be on this list, and I know that she will most like win a bazillion Grammy’s for this album, but I have to include it. I really like this album, the lyrics are great, the arrangements are imaginative and lush, and her voice is raw and emotional. It’s just a superior album and with the news that Amy Winehouse will never make that follow up album I’ve been waiting for, I’m getting behind Adele 100%.

14. PJ Harvey- Let England Shake

I have loved PJ Harvey since high school. She always such an awesome sense of urgency to her music. Let England Shake is just as good as her early work. Eerie arrangements with lyrics about war and despaire. A top notch artist doing what she does best.

13. Fucked Up -David Comes To Life

This album immediately reminds me of “The Shape Of Punk To Come” by Refused. Not so much musically as ambition. Fucked Up really pushed what a punk album can be on “David Comes to Life”. The album is a concept album driven by the  story  of a man named David and a woman he loves deciding to build a bomb and blow shit up. At certain points in the album, David actually takes over the story from the singer. It’s brilliant songwriting and a peak into what punk can be when it stops worrying about being cool and focuses on the art of making music.

12. Lykke Li – Wounder Rhymes

I”m a sucker for this Swedish pop songstress’ voice. I first fell in love with her on the Keerup song “Until We Bleed” (which is still in heavy rotation at my house). Her first album,2008’s “Youth Novels” felt a little reserved and safe. But “Wounded Rhymes” is much more forceful, with songs that kind of harken back to the 60s.

I liked certain songs on this album so much, in fact, that I had to make sure I had listened to the entire album before putting it at #12. The song “Sorrow is a Blessing” has to be one of my favorite songs of 2012.

11. Kanye West and Jay-Z – Watch The Throne

I know everyone hates them right now. I know Jay pissed everyone off with the Occupy All Streets shirt that didnt give any money to the movement. I know that Kanye is a dickhead. I know they have lost touch with reality. What is not true though is that this album is a celebration of their wealth. I keep hearing that and it is not true. Sure, there are the bragging rhymes that come along with mainstream hip hop. But there are a LOT of politics on this album. There are also some smart rhymes and some AMAZING beats. The album would be my #1 if it wasn’t so hyped and they didnt make me wait months to hear it. No album could have lived up to the expectations that “Watch The Throne” had. And I love how experimental the album is. It would have been very easy for these two to put out a safe album with some club beats and some street  beats and call it a day. But this album is bold. It doesn’t always ring perfect on every song, but I applaud a producer and an MC at the top of their game being bold enough to take the chances they did. I’m looking forward to the inevitable Part Two.

10. Bayside – Killing Time

I love Bayside. I love them as a band and I love them as people. In fact, Anthony’s tweets read almost exactly like my tweets if I liked Hockey a little more than Football.

But my personal love of these guys aside, this is the best Bayside album in years. Its so damn good. I was ready to listen to it once or twice and put it on the shelf, but it has held my attention for months now. Great catchy hooks, awesome vocals and some great song structure. A real rock record for 2011.

9. Katy B – On a Mission

I promised some friends I would NOT put Katy B on my top list. Then it snuck in at 18. Then it crept up to 15. Then after searching my feelings, I put it at #9. I know it’s not a cool choice but the truth is, I LOVE this record. I probably play it more than any of the other albums on the countdown. It’s a great modern dance record. Her voice is adorable. The songs are catchy. There are some great drops in it. And the song “Katy on a Mission” has to be my favorite single of 2011. Go get it, dance and thank me later.

8. M83- Hurry Up We’re Dreaming

French musician Anthony Gonzalez, who plays as M83’s, album “Saturdays= Youth” was  my Top Pick for best album of 2008. Then they spent a couple of years opening for bands like Kings of Leon and doing sountracks for rare french movies. They finally released the follow up to “Saturdays=Youth” with the amazing “Hurry Up We’re Dreaming.”

The new album is much more epic in size and scope than the 80’s synth gloom of “Saturdays”.  It’s a double album and much more musically ambitious.

7. The Kills – Blood Pressures

We’ve mentioned The Kills here in Breaking Music Magazine a couple of times this year so it’s no surprise we like this album.  This album just rocks. Go check it out and feel good about yourself.

6. Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

There is no denying my love for Bright Eyes. They are the only band I like enough to immortalize in a tattoo on my body. “Fevers and Mirrors” and “Lifted” are still played in heavy rotation in my house.

The People’s Key is the album Connor O’Burst should have put out after his duel disc of “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning” and “Digital Ash in a Digital Urn”. Instead we got “Cassadega” , an all too safe and steril traditional country western meets folk record. The People’s Key is a true return to form, mixing Connor’s trademark folk roots, shaky voice and experimental song structures and instrumentation perfectly. Those who loves old “Fevers and Mirrors” era Bright Eyes can rejoice once again!

5. Bon Iver- Bon Iver

My friend told me he couldn’t understand why I love Bon Iver. He compared it to background music. And in that sense, it  is hard to argue. There is just something about Justin Vernon’s voice that just puts me in a different place. Its beautiful music to calm the soul. And it’s nice to hear him back doing his solo stuff after singing along with him so much on Kany West’s last album in 2010.

4. EMA- Past Life Martyred Saints

I started out not liking this album but it grew on me over the year. EMA really reminds me of what I loved about women rockers like Courtney Love and Patty Smith. Abrasive and challenging grungy pop music.

3. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

I read that The Decemberists are basically breaking up after this album. I have always loved this band and this album is no exception. It’s a little more Springstein and mainstream than previous albums. But it’s beautiful and a must listen.

2. Josh T Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen

A friend introduced me to this wonderful album by the amazingly bearded Texan. Prior to this album I had only heard Pearson on a couple songs by Bat for Lashes. This is his first studio album after soft releasing a lot of material via bootlegs and live recordings at shows.
This album got a grip on my from the very first listen. I think the average song length is in the 8 minute range. Ghostly folk music with an awesomely awful voice. Great honest songwriting and some of the best picking/fingerpicking/scratching patterns I’ve ever heard.

1. The Wonder Years- Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing

To be honest, I’m not too into the whole “new warped tour” generation of bands, so I had kind of been avoiding The Wonder Years”. They had been on Warped Tour and were touring with bands like Yellowcard, Newfound Glory and Good Charlotte. I felt it was safe to skip this band over. But then AP Magazine started their year long love fest with the band in 2010, Claiming “Suburbia” to be one of the most anticipated albums of 2011.Then I heard the album was based on the poem “America” by Allen Ginsberg and I figured I should take a look.

When I fist popped this album into my car stereo I texted my friend to tell her I found my favorite album of the year and maybe favorite new band. Then during the third song, I texted back and said “Never mind, the first song is great but the album really levels off after.” What had actually happened was the first track is one of the best slices of pop punk music I’ve heard since early Brand New.  The rest of the album is equally great. Mixing energetic music with introspective lyrics about life and culture. Just a great album all the way through.

NEW REVIEW: Superlungs – Nobody

Brand new review of Superlungs – Nobody, for your reading pleasure over on our review page! Ch-ch-check it out!