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Foals' albums of the past allowed listeners to connect to its themes, especially in Total Life Forever, but with a direction change in their 4th album, What Went Down, and a heavier edge to their indie/prog rock sound, they've taken a safer route in their musical journey so far.
Just like My Number in Holy Fire, good individual performances are displayed here with the opening 2 tracks, What Went Down and Mountain At My Gates, both of which feature lush guitar lines and frontman Yannis Philippakis' immense vocals.
The new sounds that Foals have immersed into themselves are somewhat heavier with the early 2000's-ish garage rocker in Snake Oil, and even extends to the outlying regions of the controversial genre that is pop, found here and there in the somewhat Bastille-sounding (including Yannis' similar vocals to Dan Smith here) track, Albatross.
Fun Fact: The chorus of Bastille's "Weight Of Living, Pt I" starts of with the lyrics, Your albatross, let it go
What Went Down is all in all a record that keeps you thinking of Foals' next move. It's a decent, yet safe record that keeps the current fans perplexed and interested, but sadly may not grab the attention of new ones.
Track Gems: What Went Down, Lonely Hunter, Birch Tree, London Thunder
Aussie pop sensation Troye Sivan has been on a rapid rise among teenage stars, and his 4th EP, Wild, sends waves of electropop expertise and relatable lyric themes in a way that shows how much he's matured from his beginnings.
Given his hit song Happy Little Pill already garnered many fans before Wild, Troye gives us more of the same electropop vibes with new experimentation and seriousness in his lyrics.
Sophisticated lines appear in the opening title track Wild, which sets the tone for the EP, as well as in the slightly Ed Sheeran-esque Ease.
Something to take note of is the use of synthesized percussion (something in the style of BASTILLE or CHVRCHES) in most of the songs here, most notably in The Quiet, a slow-tempo breakup tune.
If Troye's popularity from YouTubing or acting isn't enough for his fanbase to grow, Wild is a solid 6-song EP that will bring his name in the music scene to more fans of the dream/electropop genre(s) and also contribute to his rapid rise.
Track Gems: Ease, Wild, Fools
Album Review: The Strypes Impress With A 2nd Album "Little Victories" That Is Sure To Leave You Wanting MoreBy Michael Sep 17, 2015
What makes this band so impressive that even legends like Elton John and Noel Gallagher have rated them highly, is that these kids are all below the age of the 20, and they have their second album already, Little Victories, an indie rock step away from the old rock 'n' roll style from their debut.
Being an energetic album full of catchy hooks and pretty expertly-crafted guitar lines and progressions, it's a solid record. It's listenable and enjoyable, don't get me wrong. But the downside to all of this: The Strypes don't have an original sound.
The first band that comes to your mind when you hear The Strypes has to be Arctic Monkeys, who are a clear influence on the band. Eighty-Four sounds like young Arctic Monkeys, while the opening single Get Into It shares similarity with the modern, douche-ey Monkeys.
If you think lead vocalist Ross Farrelly singing in the laid-back style of Alex Turner doesn't sell you on my earlier point, just look at his fringe and shades. If old and current Alex Turner morphed into one, it would be Ross Farrelly.
And it's not just the Monkeys, Best Man sounds like an early song from The Fratellis and (I Wanna Be Your) Everyday's intro guitar line sounds too much like the classic Stairway To Heaven, and the chorus definitely has Oasis influence on it. (No wonder Mr. Gallagher loves this group)
But one good thing I have to point out is the lyric writing. Oh the lyric writing, especially in the previously-mentioned song Everyday and the standout track Queen Of The Half Crown displays linguistic skills impressive for their age group, being one of the few indie rock gems (below this article) in the album. Status Update is such a clever sequel to their earlier single, What A Shame. Kudos.
What this young group needs now, and immediately, is an identity. A sound that is refreshing and original, that will propel them to further acclaim and stardom. Little Victories is a slow step in that direction, but a step forward nonetheless, and remember, they're just 17-19 years old. They've got plenty of time.
Track Gems: Queen Of The Half Crown, A Good Night's Sleep And A Cab Fare Home, Cruel Brunette, Three Streets And A Village Green, Scumbag City
Album Review: 5 Seconds of Summer Gives Us A Little Treat Before 'Sounds Good Feels Good' With ‘She’s Kinda Hot' EP!By Teejay Sep 12, 2015
Preceding the release of 5 Seconds of Summer’s latest record, Sounds Good Feels Good, a slightly laidback EP emerges as a treat for eager fans patiently waiting for the new album.
The four-track EP is not far from the typical punk rock sound the band is trying to achieve, despite the mocks they’ve been receiving from self-proclaimed “real punk rockers.” Just let them do their thing, okay?!
An alternate version of what seems like a fun jamming session of She’s Kinda Hot opens up the EP. Though not particularly praised by many because of its quite peculiar intro and faster tempo, I guess it still does deserve a bit of spotlight.
On the other hand, Broken Pieces and Over and Out seem to just fill the empty spaces in the EP.
Lost In Reality turns romantic frustrations into expressive verses blended in trippy chord progressions. Probably the best track in this release, it captures everyone’s attention with the hook, “Hey hey Hailey, won’t you save me?” which leaves us all wondering....
Assuming that these songs are the ones that didn’t make the cut (on Sounds Good Feels Good, that is), we didn’t really expect them to be exceptional. But fans do recognize the band’s progress both lyrically and rhythmically, so what’s left to do now is wait for October 23rd when the album comes out!
Listen to Lost In Reality here!
Photo Credit: Hi or Hey/Capitol Records, Popsugar
Yet another Mac DeMarco album is out (it's actually a mini-LP with 8 songs), and after unorthodoxly creative previous albums, Another One brings a simpler sound with more personal lyrics to keep listeners intrigued.
This goofy Canadian singer-songwriter retains the chill vibe on his earlier work with laid-back guitar lines in the daydreamy opener The Way You'd Love Her and breezy keyboard playing in the title track. No Other Heart combines these soothing tonal aspects to great effect.
Mr. DeMarco sings more about love songs here with the vaporwave/RnB-flavored A Heart Like Hers and the folk pop tune I've Been Waiting For Her. He adds more romance to his repertoire here and even gets real close towards listeners, providing his home address (real) at the end of the simple-sounding final track, My House By The Water.
Not one to shy away from standing out in his produced material, Mac DeMarco gets up-close and personal here on Another One, keeping his signature sound and adding a hint of keyboard patches, and a dash of intimacy in his unique writing.
Track Gems: Just To Put Me Down, The Way You'd Love Her, Without Me