Megan Nicole ~ “Feel So Close” (cover)
Megan Nicole ~ “Feel So Close” (cover)
“Wow Daddy look at all the ravers”
The latest release by The Scissor Sisters is one that displays a diversity of styles. It is informed by both the retro and modern. There is retro disco, 80s Latin freestyle, 90s house, contemporary electro-house, 80s pure pop, Mexican ballad, late 90s pop, techno here. You can tell each song from one another. This is, sadly, not too common in popular music. And that’s a quality I like.
That said I wasn’t that excited about this album the first time I listened to it. I might have been excited about it 3-4 years ago, when I was more into campy pop. Campy pop is not a genre into right at the moment. With a second listen though, I liked it better. Most of the songs are good, although there are also very few high points. For those who like campy or retro pop, I think most will be satisfied with this album.
There were some tracks I enjoyed quite a bit. “Baby Come Home” is a pretty good opener. “Inevitable” is a well-crafted retro disco track that has a contemporary R&B edge. It is produced by Pharrell. “Only The Horses” is Calvin Harris-produced track that doesn’t sound much different than the Harris produced songs on the top 40 charts. Which is good, because is an infectious house/pop tune. “Year of Living Dangerously” sounds like late 80s pop (one of my favorite periods of music). And whoever produced it really replicated that era’s sound well. “Shady Love” features Azealia Banks. Banks is one of the hottest new artists of the year, so naturally her guest spot is excellent. “Best In Me” reminds me of late 90s pop.
A few on the songs I find annoying. “Keep Your Shoes” and “Let’s Have A Kiki” – really annoying lyrics.
(3 ½ out of 5 stars)
Azealia Banks is like Nicki Minaj meets Santigold. Her style encompasses fierce rapping, clever wordplay, and creative rhythms. The production and craft recall Santigold, while the lyrical content, delivery, and attitude recall Minaj.
Banks is one of the most hyped (maybe most hyped) new artists of 2012. And the hype came from just a few songs posted on YouTube. But it’s easy to see why. She is a skilled, versatile rapper whose music sounds original. “1991” is an EP that builds on what we’ve seen from Banks on YouTube and gives a preview of what we’ll see on her first studio album.
Personally, I enjoyed all four tracks on the album. All the songs on this album combine hardcore hip-hop with house music. “212” and “Liquorice” are previously released songs. “1991” and “Van Vogue” are new songs. “1991” and “212” are the songs I like the best.
On “1991”, we see Banks combining her fierce rapping with a retro-house music beat. “212” has house influence that is more current sounding. “212” best displays Azealia’s versatile delivery and ability to come up with shocking yet clever wordplay.
Anybody from hip-hop to indie to electronic music fans should check out Azealia Banks’ music. Looking forward to hearing her upcoming mixtape and first studio album.
Skrillex & Wolfgang Gartner ~ “The Devil’s Den”
Pitbull ~ “Back In Time”
This might be a pop song, but it’s very genre-bending: It’s got hip-hop, electro-house, classic soul, and dubstep in one song.
Before giving “Songs” a listen, I was mostly unfamiliar with Rusko’s music (besides hearing “Someone To Love” on satellite radio). I listen to EDM music, though I’m far from an expert on it. Rusko is an icon of the British dubstep scene, and I liked “Someone To Love”, so I decided to check him out further.
Although Rusko is a dubstep artist like Skrillex, the music on this album sounds very different from Skrillex. There are few heavy bass drops during this album, and it has more of a relaxed vibe. It also has a fair amount of vocals. That will disappoint some Skrillex fans, and please those who are anti-Skrillex. That is evident from the reviews on iTunes. I like Skrillex (he was the one that introduced me to dubstep), however I liked this album.
“Songs” is mish-mash of dubstep, house, reggae, garage, drum-n-bass, and R&B music. It is one of the most diverse albums I’ve ever heard. Most of the songs are mid-tempo. It has a retro vibe - the album sounds like it was recorded in 2001, not 2011. It’s as if dubstep just came out and was still underground, and garage was the big thing in Britain.
My favorite tracks on the album are “Someone To Love”, “Skanker”, “Pressure”, “Opium”, “Thunder”, “Asda Car Park”, “Whistle Crew”. “Someone To Love” combines 90s house with dubstep. “Skanker” combines dubstep and dancehall reggae. “Thunder” is pure house music. “Asda Car Park” is the heaviest song on the album, and actually not a far cry from Skrillex’s brand of dubstep. “Pressure” and “Whistle Crew” sounds like early-2000’s garage. Many of the other tracks on the album are reggae songs.
I’ll have to check out Rusko’s other stuff. Check this out if you are open minded and have broad tastes – including Skrillex fans.
(4 out of 5 stars)
Alexandra Burke ~ “Elephant”
“Party Rock Anthem” cover by Megan Nicole (ft Maddie Taylor)