Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I See Stars - Murder Mitten Music Video

Alcohol drinkers beware: I See Stars’ music video for “Murder Mitten” will sober you up (see video below).  The Michigan boys never fail to deliver intense and engaging music videos, and this one is no exception.  They incorporate messages with these videos instead of focusing on flashy and ostentatious aesthetics, which I give them much respect for.

When I saw I See Stars on Halloween, Devin introduced “Murder Mitten” with a little bit of a personal background about him and Andrew Oliver’s mother being an alcoholic.  “Murder Mitten” focuses on the repercussions of their mother’s addiction by the interweaving of home video footage of them as kids and camera cuts of their mother drinking and losing sight of what’s important.  It’s an emotionally driven video that will leave you struck by the end.  Everything happens so fast that you barely have time to process everything.  Essentially, the video puts your life into perspective for a moment because at the end of the video, after witnessing an intense rush of emotion, Devin and Andrew leave a post-script message that inspires hope for everything we do, which is a nice ending sentiment.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Breathe Carolina - "Savages"

Breathe Carolina released their first single post-Kyle Evens leaving the group titled "Savages." I was genuinely very curious to see how David Schmitt would progress the band with a new crew behind him.

If you're looking for a song to dance to in your room while you're getting ready to go out for a night of partying, "Savages" is for you. Overall, it is a decent song with a catchy chorus, however, the track unfortunately feels empty without Kyle. The song emulates a pure electronic/dance feel to it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because everyone loves moving to pumping beats, but it's not the same Breathe Carolina I'm used to rocking out to. In comparison to past musical works, even instrumentally, "Savages" loses the rock and music breakdown vibe the band normally transcends to audiences, which is disappointing.  I can't even picture the song being performed in a concert venue setting because it sounds like another generic club song.

"Savages" can be streamed on Breathe's website and is available for purchase on iTunes.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Album Review: I See Stars - New Demons

New Demons is a treat for old and new fans alike. Old fans will love the progression and growth of the Michigan-natives delivering a promised heavier album while new fans will be delighted to discover an electrocore band with panache. They excel in combining a hardcore and electronic sound to blend well naturally, however, many of the breakdowns interwoven with dubstep sound contrived. The band is notable for their rebellious demeanor, angry at world’s authority, but tracks such as “New Demons,” “We Are Not in Kansas Anymore” and “Boris the Animal” delve into dark depths of the mind and reflect on personal feelings with honest and confrontational lyrics. 8/10

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Christina Grimmie - "Tell My Mama" Music Video

On Oct. 4, 2013, my girl, Grimms, released her debut music video for the single, "Tell My Mama," off of her recent album release With Love.  Grimmie doesn't shy away from her love of gaming and comics with the utilization of a comic book theme to unfold the video's narrative.  The video aesthetics include technicolor color schemes throughout, the speech and thought bubbles popping up, and not to mention, characters with hidden super powers.  That's probably what I loved most about the video - it's visuality.

One thing that didn't make sense to me was the lacking presence of Grimm's mama.  The video follows Grimms and the "bad boy," Luke, and their time spent together, which does make sense.  However, the song lyrics make an emphasis on her mom's opinion of the boy and ultimately Grimm's relationship with her mom, so I expected Mom to be more of a major and obstacle-driven character.

Overall, the song is super catchy and easy to sing along to.  It's upbeat tempo will make you wanna dance around and daydream about the cute guy you've got your eye on.  Take a gander at the music video!  It'll be entertaining because you're basically reading a comic book in live action!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Album Review - Travis Garland's Self-Titled Album

After two years in the making, Travis Garland released his self-titled full-length album this week.  A much anticipated album by fans – they’ve been fed small portions of it through singles and his Fashionably Late EP.  Overall, the album goes for a mature sound with a sexy and seductive theme underlying each track – the “explicit” and "Parental Advisory" tags don't lie.  Garland’s strongest suit is the collection of crooning ballads such as “Where to Land,” “Motel Pool,” and “Blue Electric Roses” showcasing his falsetto range and evoking a sense of intimacy felt between two lovers.  The tracks “Easy,” “Pulling My Hair,” and “Neighbor” delve deeper into the sexy/seductive theme with suggestive lyrics that relay feelings of fatal attraction, which make you want to dance.  Garland's sound and voice have been compared to Justin Timberlake, including claims from Entertainment Weekly, and this resemblance can be heard in “AllSheWannaDo” featuring Casey Veggies and “Homewrecker.”  Originally, Garland’s music career began in the pop realm, but I think he’s found his niche in R&B and he should stick to it.  8/10

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Selena Gomez - "Come and Get It"

Okay, I found some time to watch Selena Gomez's "Come and Get It" music video AND her live performance of it on Dancing with the Stars (video below).  Anyone who knows me knows that I have ... let's call them "issues" with Selena as a music artist.

Let's start with the music video.  Mission accomplished: Selena managed to pull off sexy without being distasteful about it.  Reminiscent of her "A Year Without Rain" music video with her long flowy dresses and dark alluring eyes, Selena plays on a dark seductive side of herself she wants to unveil to the world - a blossoming beauty emerging from her Disney cocoon.  That's all this video said to me.  Don't get me wrong, the girl is gorgeous (and I wish I could rawwk red lipstick like her) and I'm all for growing up as a maturing young woman, but that's all this video offers.

I appreciate the attempt to bring dancing into the picture with her performances as opposed to standing there doing nothing to engage with the audience, but in all the videos I've seen of her dancing (indirectly bashing the Biebs), she's a stiff dancer.

With that said, I turn my attention to the DWTS performance.  I shake my head as the music overpowered her weak vocals ... or wait, her lip-syncing performance?  I thought the AMAs performance was a lip-sync gimmick but was pleasantly surprised that she sang and danced at the same time - props - but she didn't dance as much at the DWTS performance and she still lip-synced?  Why.

Not the DWTS Performance
I like to give the benefit of the doubt and believe in the underdog to succeed, but sometimes that is hard to do.  Her songs are catchy - why else are they on the radio - but delivering satisfying performances that make me want to care about her music more...yeah, not happening anytime soon.  Although I will admit, whenever I hear "Come and Get It" on the radio, I can't help but sing along...fun fact: did you know that I do an awesome Selena Gomez singing imitation?

Friday, May 3, 2013

We Came As Romans - "King of Silence" Lyric|Music Video

This week Vans Warped Tour released Michigan-based We Came As Romans' lyric/music video for "King of Silence," the third single bonus track of the re-release of their last album, Understanding What We've Grown to Be (see video below).  No doubt Vans WT released this video in order to hype up WCAR's debut to the main stage at Warped Tour this summer - stoked!

The main thing I have to say about this video is that it sounds very similar to WCAR's last single, "Hope," which they claim is the song that embodies them and would use to introduce themselves to new fans.  Both songs have similar sounds as far as guitar chord progression and drum patterns and promote similar messages about standing up and screaming your own voice, however, I find "Hope" to be much more convincing.  It has more of an anthem kind of feel to it as opposed to "King of Silence," which embodies more of a story being told.

One thing that I really do like about "King of Silence" is the lyrics, and especially because I'm a huge sucker for metaphorical lyrics - "don't wear that crown."  I'd have to say my favorite lyric from the song is, "You can't feel on top of the world with the weight of the world on your shoulders," because it speaks to me on a personal level.  To be frank, I'm about to graduate college - a great feeling at the moment but now I have to bear the pressures of the real world and start living my life.  This is what WCAR does: they get to you at your level and speak to you; they feel with you.

So far I'm digging the new sound that WCAR is dealing up for their fans.  It's intense without being overbearing or unbearable, and you can easily rock out to it when performed live.  When you listen to their music, you can sense their drive, determination, and purpose.  The trio of new songs all evoke a sense of union, a great feeling to have with other people - uniting under the religion of music.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Demi Lovato - "Heart Attack" Music Video

I'm gonna make this short and sweet.  Just minutes ago Demi Lovato released the music video for "Heart Attack," the first single off of her self-titled album due May 14th 2013.

As much as I love Demi, this video didn't meet my expectations.  I appreciate the edginess in it, but it seemed more like random cuts of her close up.  Don't get me wrong, the girl is gorgeous but it wasn't as entertaining as her past ones have been.  If you watch or have watched it already, you might know what I'm talking about when I say, what's with the black oil?  I understand it's artsy and visually pleasurable, but I also thought that was random too.  It's a mixed feeling - I like it but at the same time I don't get it.  Maybe it's because I'm a screenwriter that I try to make a story out of everything, and I didn't see one in this video.  Take a gander and see for yourself.

But nonetheless, the song is still wonderful.  I listen to it at least once everyday.  I jam out to it in the car whenever I can.  And I still can't wait til it's available at the local karaoke bars around here.  If you haven't yet, go purchase it on iTunes and pre-order her album!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Etiquette - "Hot Tonight"

Today is an exciting day because The Etiquette is finally releasing its first single, and it's purchasable on iTunes so get to it!  Fans of Empire Holiday would probably recognize Mando Aldas and Paul Wade (pictured left and center, respectively), and they're coming back into the music scene with this project!

If you like techno dance music, you will enjoy "Hot Tonight."  It's fairly easy to picture this song being played a popular club downtown.  With sensual vocals at the verses, just imagine yourself at a club dancing real close with an attractive stranger and they whisper in your ear.  The club is packed, dark, and only illuminated with flashing colorful lights.  The lyrics even allude to that kind of atmosphere.

Something very interesting about the song would have to be the rap/breakdown at the bridge, partly because it is unexpected.  You're grooving to an electronic sound then you're hit with rap.  It's brief, but still keeps you sucked into the music.

In some aspects, the song overall reminds me of Enrique's Iglesias's more recent club sound, and that is not a bad thing - it just screams sexy.  What really has me intrigued is the way the music makes you want to dance, especially at the chorus with the pumping beat pulsating underneath the melody.  This song is made to make people dance - there's no way you can stand or sit still when listening to this song.  Got me fist pumping that's for sure.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Demi Lovato - "Heart Attack"

Demi Lovato pulled an All Time Low and released her single, "Heart Attack," a week early than originally planned (March 4th 2013).  I saw my friend, Luis, post about it and nearly died and couldn't wait to give it a listen, and I have to say, I'm digging it.

The song's lyrics speak of being afraid to fall in love, feeling insecure when attracted to someone, giving us the impulse to put up walls to protect ourselves, which is a common feeling relatable to many people.  As far as the sound goes, I went through her past albums to see if I could hear some similarities, but there isn't something that can match this single's sound.  In my opinion, the song, overall, embodies and showcases different sounds compiled into one: electronic, acoustic, and slow pop (if that makes sense).  The first few seconds kind of worried me because it seemed so random, but the rest of the song redeems itself.  I admire Demi for branching out to new types of sounds with each album, and it make me excited to hear the rest of the anticipated album.

Maybe it's the inner-Demi in me, but I'm ready to learn the lyrics and melodies so I can jam to this when it hits radio and local karaoke joints.  The melodies in "Heart Attack" are easy to learn - listening to the song several times will get you singing along.  No matter how much the music's sound changes, her vocal performance never ceases to amaze me and her fans.  Even with songs that I doubt any vocal range can be shown off in, she manages to prove me wrong.  As always, Demi continues to deliver with her amazing vocals, and that's the best part of her music.

"Heart Attack" is available on iTunes, so go get it!

Friday, January 4, 2013

We Came As Romans - "Hope"

To kick off 2013, I want to write about We Came As Romans' new song "Hope" (below), a second single to follow "Let These Words Last."

I don't think that We Came As Romans can write a song that I won't like.  For this particular song, I thoroughly enjoy Kyle's vocals cause he intensifies it by nearly going into unclean vocals.  One more vocal push going into and coming out of the chorus and he would be joining Dave.

The song's message proposes the idea of leading people through hope, and it's time to stand up and make a voice for yourself.  I love when bands make songs like this that encourage listeners to believe in themselves.

"Hope" sounds like it'd be a really good intense song to rock out to live, and I HOPE I get the chance to February 16th when they come to Austin on the Take Action Tour with The Used.  They'll definitely get the crowd going with this one.  The chorus almost acts as a unified chant, with lyrics easy to learn, and shouting them at a live show would bring the audience together.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Top 10 Songs for 2012

Hello readers!  I am alive and well.  What can I say besides sorry for the big lack of post this past semester.  It was a busy and hard one, so I've made it a new year's resolution to post regularly from now on! (:  I've lost my sense of form and structure with my writing, so bear with me with the differing writing style - that's something that I'll have to pick back up when I resume my blogging!

So here is something to sink your teeth into to make for the lost time for the last six months - it'll give you a taste for what music I was into in my absence.  This is my top ten songs list for 2012 and it's not based on hits, popularity or merit; these are the songs that I listened to a lot and/or really enjoy minus how many times I've heard them.

1.  "King For a Day" by: Pierce theVeil feat. Kellin Quinn
I seriously love listening to this song over and over.  It's the perfect combination of Pierce the Veil and Sleeping With Sirens (Quinn), and it never gets old.  I don't know what it is about the song that keeps attracting me, but I never skip it and frequently start it as my playlist when I'm doing school work or getting ready for a hot date.  For my blog, it's the most read and second most read post.  For the music world, according to Alternative Press, it's the number one collaboration song.

2.  "Your Body" (explicit) by: Christina Aguilera
I really like this version of the song, but unfortunately it’s not even a real version of it.  I say that because it’s explicit with the words “fuck your body” as opposed to “love your body” and that version isn’t even available on iTunes or her album, AND this version is in a faster temper which better matches the song in my opinion.  The clean slower version on the album and iTunes is not as exciting.

3.  "Somewhere in Neverland" by: All Time Low
This is one of my favorite songs on the Don’t Panic album.  It’s very catchy and fun to sing and dance to.  I wrote a post about it that you can read my post here.

4.  "Ballroom Murder" by: Empire Holiday
My friends never cease to amaze me with their talent.  This song is probably one of their best cause it’s upbeat and intense and you will be fist pumping to it.  Read my post here.

5.  "Glad You Came" (cover) by: We Came As Romans
When I heard this song drop from the Punk Goes Pop Vol. 5 album, I listened to it maybe ten times.  I honestly like it better than the original because it enhances The Wanted’s catchniess, and of course I always appreciate Stephen’s unclean vocals that add some intensity to the song.

6.  "Filth Friends Unite" by: I See Stars
This song, its message, and its music video all contribute to its goodness.  Read my post about it here.

7.  "Kiss You" by: One Direction
I admit, I have a soft spot for One Direction.  When all their songs were leaking out, the 30 seconds of this song instantly hooked me and I listened to those 30 seconds many many times and couldn’t wait for the album to drop.  The song is incredibly catchy and upbeat, and much like most of One Direction’s songs, it’ll make you happy no matter what.

8.  "Bangarang" by: Skrillex
I just really like this song, okay?

9.  "I Knew You Were Trouble" by: Taylor Swift
Two words: guilty pleasure.  I do not like Taylor Swift, but I cannot deny that her music is undeniably catchy.  Whenever this song comes on, I will never hesitate to turn up the volume to jam to it.  What I find troubling is that my favorite part of the song is the (failed) attempt to integrate dubstep into the song – even though it doesn’t work, I am still drawn to it for some reason.

10. "Abby Lee" by: Travis Garland
I have a soft spot for Travis as well.  His voice is amazing and sexy, and he could probably sing a song about tuna sandwiches and still make me love it.  His range always impresses me, and I hope he goes far in the music industry.  Read my track-by-track review of his Fashionably Late EP here.

Well, that’s my top ten for 2012.  Let me know what you guys think or share some songs that were on your top ten!  I promise to do my best to post regularly.  I have a growing list for “Siri’s Bands to Listen to,” and I’m excited to listen to their music and share them with you.

I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday and had a happy new year!  Let’s make it an unforgettable one!