Showing posts with label album review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label album review. Show all posts

Wednesday 19 April 2017

[Review] Ruby Friedman Orchestra - Gem

Post by: Montrez Rambo

I don't know what it is about Ruby Friedman that made me fall in love with her upon discovery but I can't leave this woman alone. So, when I found out she was releasing her first full-length album at the end of 2016, I waited with so much anticipation.

Saturday 27 September 2014

[Album Review] Kylie + Garibay - "Sleepwalker" EP

Kylie Minogue's last album, Kiss Me Once, didn't exactly set the world alight with its over-produced brand of pop. Though I enjoyed the LP- not as much as her previous releases, mind- something just didn't ring true with its direction or sound. It was as if the album was missing its heart, being a music by numbers creation, rather than a labor of love.

However, Kylie seems to have overcome this with her new EP, Sleepwalker.

Teaming up with music producer Garibay- who has worked with Lady Gaga and Britney Spears- the duo have crafted four tracks that sound so much more "Kylie" than anything found on Kiss Me Once.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

[Album Review] Ariana Grande "Yours Truly"

Guest Reviewer: Brian Helms
Ariana Grande’s first musical project has finally come to its release date, and boy does she show a love of R&B with it. With the singles preceding the release of Yours Truly came a lot of comparisons to the young talent's favourite songbird, Mrs. Mariah Carey. With good reason too, as the young songstress can definitely sing. However, does the rest of the album continue to warrant these comparisons, or do we finally hear more of the artist’s individuality coming to the fore?

Friday 23 August 2013

[Album Review] Charlotte Church Continues To Amaze With Ep "Three"

To those hoping to hear more from Charlotte Church's  mezzo, you need look no further than her newly released EP, Three. In fact you won't have to wait longer than the coda of first track-the stunning Sparrow- to witness the Diva deftly using its operatic weight against a cacophony of dissonant guitars. It's an apt introduction to this collection of seven songs, which are darker in tone and more experimental with the vocals.

Friday 16 November 2012

[Album Review] Christina Aguilera "Lotus"

Christina Aguilera returns to the world of music with her seventh studio album, Lotus. After the commercial failure of last album Bionic it was always going to be a more "mainstream" sounding album that followed, for no artist can sustain multiple flops, no matter how big they are. However, even I was taken aback at how unimaginative and derivative the club inspired songs of Lotus turned out to be. Thankfully the few ballads on the album at least keep Christina's knack for inspired slow numbers intact.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

[Album Review] Leona Lewis "Glassheart"

X-Factor winner Leona Lewis' third album, Glassheart, has been a long time coming. Originally scheduled for a 2011 release, already two years after her second album Echo, it was pushed back when its lead single Collide received a less than stellar reception from fans and music buyers alike.

To tide us over while Glassheart was being retooled there was the (pretty great) Hurt EP. But seeing as it consisted entirely of cover songs, it only added fuel to the "we want new music" fire.

Still, this week sees its release and I have my copy! But the question is: was Glassheart worth the wait? Well, if you love ballads, then yes. If you wanted something a little different from the Bleeding Love songstress, then not so much.

Below is my track by track review of the album.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

[Review] Charlotte Church: "ONE" EP

music album cover

As far as I can work out, Charlotte Church has decided to make music her own way. Those that follow these things will know that she has recently been quietly touring small venues across the country and as far as I can work out surprising many people with her latest change in direction. According to her fan newsletter she is planning to release 5 EPs over the coming year and the first one (titled 'O N E') came out this week via iTunes. I have no idea whether she will be releasing a hard copy too. Here's what I thought:

Saturday 19 May 2012

Grimes "Visions" [Album Review]

Visions single handedly stopped me topping myself after hearing Tulisa had hit the top spot last week with her awful debut single,We Are Young. Despite having never heard of Grimes before, Visions is actually the 24 year old Canadians third album, so it seems like I'm late to the party.

Grimes is that special kind of Diva, one whose creativity can almost literally be felt oozing out of the speakers. It was just what I needed to wash away the apathy and "woe-is-me" feelings I was starting to get from the overexposure of certain Divas and trends in current popular music.

It is almost unbelievable to me that this was not only recorded in 3 weeks, but was entirely written and produced by the musician in her apartment.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Guest Review: Marina and the Diamonds "Electra Heart"

It must be difficult for any artist to release their sophomore album knowing that it could make or break the career that they have so viciously fought for, but I think that Marina Lambrini Diamandis, or as she's better known Marina and the Diamonds, has succeeded where others have failed with second album, Electra Heart. Not only does she deliver the goods, but she brings them with personality, conviction and a genuine sense of tongue-in-cheek fun.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Album Review: Madonna "MDNA" Terrible, Bad or Just Average? I'm Not Even Sure!

Going solely on my first listen of Madonna's twelfth studio album, MDNA, this was how I was going to open the subsequent review:

I'm going to dust off a word to describe Madonna's new album, MDNA, that by its very usage, in the 21st century, will probably make it applicable to me, but it’s so apt that I don't really have a choice. Simply put, MDNA is kinda "Naff".

However subsequent listens have warmed me to it, but not in a way that I feel entirely comfortable with the set. There is still a gnawing sensation that something isn't right with it, but I can't seem to put my finger on it. The reason I include this is because it doesn't feel like the book is fully shut on this review, but for it to be timely it has to be published now. Further listens to the album, or opinions from you guys, may have me reconsidering my thoughts on it and if that happens they will be placed right at the bottom, and the rest of the review will be unaltered. Anyway, let me take my meds and get on with the real review


Monday 30 January 2012

Album Review: Lana Del Rey Triumphs on Debut Album "Born To Die"

Its finally here: self confessed, studio singer and last years biggest musical Internet sensation, Lana Del Rey’s debut album, Born to Die, hit the shelves today. With a debut single as good as the bitter sweet love song Video Games was, it was always going to be an uphill battle trying to create a collection of songs that would not immediately shrivel into nothingness when placed on the same CD as it. But by heck, did setting the bar high from the get go produce a brilliant debut album.

It should be noted though, if you haven't liked Lana's voice, or any of the songs you've heard thus far from her, than this album is not going to convince you otherwise of her talent.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Album review: Rihanna "Rated R"+ "Loud" = "Talk that Talk"

I wasn't really that a big of a fan of Rihanna's last album Loud. Loved some of the singles like Only Girl (In the world) and S and M, as well as the sexy album cut Skin, but for me it had it's fingers in too many musical pies to really be considered an album of real merit. Well, Rihanna seems to have learnt her lesson in that year away from the studio, and has returned more focused and confident on Talk that Talk.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Nicola Roberts Bests Other Girls Aloud Member's music with the release of "Cinderella's Eyes"

Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts released her unashamedly 80's inspired debut album Cinderella's Eye on the 23rd of September. Being the quietest, and youngest, member of the girl group it was always a mystery what direction the singer would take if she decided to release any solo material at all. Honestly, I wasn't holding my breath for music and had assumed that her fashionista ways would taker her down the Victoria Beckham route into that world. But what do I know, and the release of her first single Beat Of My Drum-see end of post- took me totally by surprise with the left field sound she went for. That was the exciting moment that I sat up and took an interest, realising that Nicola Robert's may just be about to deliver something special on her debut album.

Saturday 7 May 2011

Album Review - Cat Power "The Greatest" - Guest Blogger

Having access to a record store owner that listens to all the CD's he orders is a rarity these days, and Cat Power The Greatest was one of the albums that he recommended. She was playing on the stores music system at the time, and I couldn't help but be mesmerized by her husky alto voice. Released in 2006, it received critical acclaim with Rolling Stones Magazine rating it as one of their albums of 2006.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Album review : Katy B "On a mission"

After building hype the last few months with a number of quality single releases- namely Lights on, Katy On a Mission and Perfect stranger- Peckham born Katy B finally releases her first album On a mission. The question is can the rest of the album cuts match the high standard of excellent singles that proceeded it?

Saturday 12 March 2011

Review: Britney Spears "Femme Fatale"

Unfortunately for Britney Spears her new album Femme Fatale has leaked prior to it's March 25th release date and via Youtube and Soundcloud I have had a chance to hear the album in its entirety. But after this early preview will I still be buying the album come release day?

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Christina Aguilera and Cher: Burlesque soundtrack review

 burlesque christina Aguilera review
Christina Aguilera's CD art :Burlesque
I’m a little in love with Christina Aguilera at the moment. Not only has Bionic had resurgence in my affection, but Christina's- it’s actually a soundtrack which also features Cher- new release, Burlesque is pretty darn good. If you initially fell in love with Christina because of the Back to Basics album, you’ll fall in love with her all over again when you hear this.

burlesque Christina aguilera
Christina and her Burlesque troupe.
Song run down

The Etta James song Something's Got a Hold On Mefits Christina voice perfectly as its a style of music that actually utilises and benefits from her grunts and growls, as well as its rough texture. Having all the tools already in her arsenal its not surprising she gives a convincing delivery that effortlessly channels Etta James' sass, passion and fire.

On the flip side the Mae West song Guy what takes his time, as well as But I Am a Good Girl, have Christina toning it all down. Instead, relying on her charm and a softer, sweeter voice to communicate the song. The result is two saucy and teasing tracks that scream Burlesque.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Album review: Rihanna "Loud" (Bad)

Rihanna’s new album Loud is an eclectic mix of music; unfortunately its eclectic in a bad way. With so many competing styles crammed on to this one CD it unfortunately ends up being incredibly incoherent and distracting to a listener. There are good songs to be found too, but let's just say they are few and far between.

Loud swings from the extremes of the intentionally drunk/unintentionally terrible sounding Cheers to the piano ballad Fading so clumsily it painful. Not content with the throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks style of song choice, the producers have Rihanna playing acting and imitating popular singers of the moment to try and second guess a hit song. The acoustic guitar, adult contemporary California King Bed is a song that you'd expect Taylor Swift to be singing, with the difference being she would have arranged and written it better. Whereas Raining Men will have Beyonce stans, who are usually Rihanna haters, going crazy as is it mimics Diva so unashamedly that its just embarrassing it got onto the album.

Its not all bad though, and where Rihanna really shines is where she sticks to music that doesn't try too hard  and instead embraces the fun, carefree spirit that the 21 year old seems to exude on songs like Only Girl and S and M.

Conclusion: Extremely disappointed. Who's that Chick-which is strangely omitted- and Only Girl had me so excited about this album, but its lack of focus and its desperation for hit singles was a total turn off.

Skip: Cheers (Drink To That), California King Bed, Raining Men (feat. Nicki Minaj)

Download: S and M, Only Girl (In The World), Skin

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Mariah Carey - "Merry Christmas II You" review.

merry christmas ii you alternative cover
Mariah Careys' Merry Christmas ii you

Mariah Carey's second Christmas album Merry Christmas II You has been released, but can it match the  runaway success of her first, Merry Christmas to you. Being a bit of an old Scrooge, it doesn't look good for the album even before its had a listen but this collection, minus Oh Santa and Auld Lang Syne (which is a terrible 90's club throwback), sound so evocative of the Christmas of yesteryear -think Bing Crosby and Dean Martin- that they even melted  my cold heart.
The Stand-out song has to be  "Come All Ye Faithful-Hallelujah" which is a duet between Mariah Carey and her opera-singer mother, Patricia Carey.To hear Patricia's thick, steadfast, soprano being danced around by Mariah's nimble melisma  is a wonder to the ears and the meeting of the classical style of singing with its contemporary counterpart is a Christmas present come early.

Mariah's voice is in fine form, and in similar strength and texture to the late 90's. The most noticeable improvements will be apparent to any fan in  the quality and amount of vocal runs Mariah Conducts, and the use of  a solid vibrato on many of the belted notes (something which has been sorely missing since her Emancipation).The vocal quality is so improved from her last album, Memoires of an Imperfect Geisha that one has to wonder if any studio trickery has gone into the vocals on the album. I suppose we shall know soon enough when it comes to the live renditions of the songs during the promotion period.

Whatever the case, this is a solid Christmas album that, although may not be able to reproduce another classic single like All I want for Christmas,  is certainly a more enjoyable and classy listen as a whole than her previous effort.

Download: Come All Ye Faithful-Hallelujah, The First Noel-Born is the King Interlude,  Christmas Time is in Air Again
Avoid: Auld Lang Syne
Summary: The voice has returned, a Christmas miracle perhaps? Must have Christmas album.


Merry Christmas II You  vocal range : Bb2- Bb6 (4 octaves)

Low Register: Bb2, C#3, E3, F3, F#3
Upper Chest Register: Bb4, B4, C5, C#5, D5, Eb5, E5, F5, F#5, G5,G#5  
Head Voice Register: G5, C#5, A5, Bb5, B5, C6, C#6, D6 ,E6  
Whistle Register: Eb6, E6, F6, F#6, G6, G#6,Bb6  
Sustained Notes (Seconds): 9, 13,14

Tuesday 10 November 2009

REVIEW: Mariah Carey "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel"

memoires Mariah
Mariah Carey : Memories of An Imperfect Angel

Listening to Mariah Carey's latest album, Memoires of an imperfect Angel, makes a previously unnoticed rut the 5 octave singer has been stuck in since the Buttefly album become shockingly apparent all of a sudden.

Here we have an album that doesn’t have Mariah trying to stay relevant, or safe, by chasing current pop trends and singers or rehashing #1s from her last album. Instead, Memoirs offers a riskier album with a Mariah who is funny (Up Out My Face) sassy (Betcha Gon Know, Standing O), and clever ( H.A.T.E.U, Up Out My Face).