75 items found for ""
- Barber Westchester Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Dylan Kanner | SuperfanNews
Barber Westchester Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Dylan Kanner Chris Peters 28 Jan 2022 Most of us have a favourite artist or at least favourite genre that we cuddle up to like a comfort blanket whenever we need music in our lives. A smaller portion of us listen to a wide variety of genres and are those annoying people who answer the question ‘what type of music do you like’ with ‘a bit of everything’. Even fewer of us have a soundtrack to our entire day encompassing everything from modern classical to doom metal and feel not so quietly confident that ‘we know music’. Well even that group are going to listen to Dylan Kanner’s soundtrack to the independent feature film Barber Westchester and know they have not heard anything like this before. The Barber Westchester Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is no less than 74 tracks of minimalist, experimental electronica by Californian singer-songwriter Dylan Kanner. The record is in many, if not all, ways a film score rather than a soundtrack in the modern sense. You will find almost every sound bite used in the movie represented here. Everything from the 10 second Barber's Arm Get's Flushed Down the Toilet to the 3 and a half minute folk pop number For You (Barber Westchester Version). Kanner draws us in to the musical madness with a surprisingly catchy and uplifting opener. Look Around (At the World Around You) has bouncy keys and sharp drums contrasting against Kanner's monotone vocals to make a fun, enticing introduction to the record. The biggest criticism of this opening track is that it ends just as we start singing along to the ascending chorus of Look Around. This could easily have been a minute longer to make it a legitimate song and it wouldn't feel like he only recorded exactly what was necessary for the opening credits. Fortunately the flavour of Look Around carries over to a handful of other tracks scattered across this record. In Professor Lemmings's Song Kanner channels a grade school Lou Reed over a funky keyboard and kick drum. For You (Barber Westchester Version) employs acoustic guitar, varied percussion and adventurous backing vocals and really succeeds in making an interesting, 60's inspired pop song that we really should have more of. The albums closing track, Promised Land, also benefits from childlike and fun backing vocals against a grand finale composition of organ sounds, saxophone and guitar solos and a running commentary from Kanner. Between these cheeky sing a long numbers however are endless short snippets of music that, out of context from the movie, do very little for the listener and don't make a great deal of sense. Some of these 10 or 20 second pieces are little more than a sound effect or a short keyboard progression. Some tracks, such as Email from NASA, show real promise that they could have been developed in to something we want to listen to more than once but for whatever reason the decision was made to not develop these further. This soundtrack oozes with potential that is completely lost in an ocean of poor decisions. I don't understand who Kanners target audience is for this record. There are songs here but they are so spread out and tangled up in confusion that most listeners will not find them. My advice would have been to take the handful of good songs and release it as a soundtrack EP or develop a handful of the better shorter tracks and make a 10 track album. I'm not sure even fans of the motion picture are going to want to listen to this record away from their screens. Take a listen yourself and let me know what you think. Chris Peters
- Bubblegum by Elle Lexxa | SuperfanNews
Bubblegum by Elle Lexxa Chris Peters 11 Feb 2022 If you want a crash course in how the music industry is changing dig in to Elle Lexxa. This is an artist whose rise and success has been, to date and will continue to be, heavily if not primarily defined by their Instagram and Tik Tok following. Initially recognised for her fashion and jewelry focused social media presence Lexxa has, this week, released her debut EP, Bubblegum. What does a self proclaimed '18th C Hot Girl' actually sound like? From the outset Bubblegum struggles to make a specific impact. Opening track Vacancy opens with a funky bass riff that continues through most of the song but before long becomes lost in a confusion of manic high hat, synth strings and ambiguous vocal samples. During the second verse the strings come in for a sharp little fill that doesn't seem to go anywhere but that's soon forgotten when Lexxa starts to rap. You heard me correctly. Pink Walls has a catchier structure, if we turn a blind eye to the spoken word portions, but production isn't sure what it wants to be. Electronic vocal filters are placed alongside baroque influenced keyboard melodies. The snare has a very unique quality in that I can still hear it assaulting my eardrums 20 minutes after the song has finished. By Liquorice it has become apparent that the reason this record isn't breaking any boundaries is because Lexxa isn't trying to break any boundaries. The whole production sounds as though it was a project to fill time between breakfast and lunch. The definition between various parts of the compositions are vague which, for a pop song especially, affects it's longevity. None of the choruses are defined enough to be memorable and the same criticism could be made of many of the verses. The EP closes with Obsessed which is backed by an arrogant rendition of In The Hall Of The Mountain King. The exact interpretation changes throughout as does the filter on the keys but we do get a grand organ piece mid way through to emphasise the intended gothic nature of the song. Everything comes to an end as the tempo drops the vocal samples are stretched out and we are given a bit of time to gather our things so we can get on with our lives. Elle Lexxa's Bubblegum is at best a half hearted effort to try and become a popstar. The vocals do not flow easily and the lyrics are forgettable. There is a strong suggestion that a different producer was used for each track but they all walked out mid way through leaving an incongruous and unfinished collection of work. If pop music is Lexxa's passion she should spend 15 times as long on her next release and try to inject some soul in to it. Take a listen and let me know if I'm wrong. Chris Peters
- There Is Nothing Left To Lose by Foo Fighters | SuperfanNews
There Is Nothing Left To Lose by Foo Fighters Chris Peters 6 Apr 2022 November 2nd 1999 – 2 months before the millennium bug is set to completely decimate the developed world and 12 years until the Mayan calendar ends and destroys what the bug left behind. We all need something to pick us up and get us through this final stretch and as luck would have it Foo Fighters rose to the challenge and have put out their third studio album There is Nothing Left To Lose. Three albums in and three line ups, with the latest change being the addition of 27 year old Taylor Hawkins on drums. Is this the final ingredient needed to turn Foo Fighters in to a permanent fixture in the Rock big leagues for decades to come? Or will Foo Fighters forever be known as a three album side project of Nirvanas drummer Dave Grohl? Hawkins or not, there is no missing the drums on this record from the outset. Stacked Actors opens with a thunderous, pounding heart beat incredibly reminiscent of Grohl’s own style begging the question of whether he took the reigns on this one. The entire opening track has a much grungier and overall heavier sound than much of the previous two records. This doesn’t necessarily continue throughout but it does work as an impressive introduction to let us know Foo Fighters are in the room. The sequencing and flow from track to track is really very impressive on There is Nothing Left To Lose and the movement from Stacked Actors to Breakout is brilliantly defined by the short vocal introduction of that second track. It is then the drums, again, that mark the breakdown like a punch to the chest before the first chorus. The heavier guitar sound here contrasts nicely against Grohl’s relatively clean vocals delivering what is essentially incredibly catchy pop rock melodies. The album ebbs and flows in all the right places through Learn To Fly, an uplifting (no pun intended) rock ballad to Gimme Stitches with its infectious riffs. A good place to hop off is Aurora that is so sleepy and other worldly yet equally powerful with an unexpected rhythm and stunning guitar tone. One of the most original tunes by Foo Fighters to date. Ain’t It The life harkens back to the experimental days of The Colour And The Shape with a more lounge act feel to it but in the most positive way. On the whole the second half of the record does tend to give off a gentler, more soothing vibe that is thoroughly welcomed. The album closes with M.I.A that takes that previous sentiment and ramps it up to 11 with its reverbed chords and distant vocals. Even the mellower songs though still have a very noticeable focus on the drums which may be the result of a massively accomplished drummer as their frontman. This gives the Foo’s a very characteristic sound culminated by clean and prominent, hard hitting drum parts closely followed by Grohl’s vocal approach which has wonderful variety and exudes great control at both ends of his spectrum. There Is Nothing Left To Lose is, in my opinion, a cover to cover classic. Grohl has been both finding his sound with his first two records as well as refining his song writing and this record showcases his accomplishments in those two fields. Every track here is built on such a strong and memorable melody you will be humming them for days after hearing. The song structures are close to perfection for mass appeal and radio play. Grohl knows what he is doing and he is doing it well. The drums are faultless, the guitar has developed a truly recognisable sound and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
- Gone To Color by Gone To Color | SuperfanNews
Gone To Color by Gone To Color Chris Peters 15 Oct 2021 You could write all the Atlanta and Washington based electronic rock duos I know on the back of a stamp but that ends today! After a drawn out introduction comprised of no less than 6 tasters released over the last year Gone to Color have today released their self titled debut album. If you have paid any kind of attention to these guys over the last year then the main thing you are going to notice about this release is the disappointing number of titles written on the back. Sadly we only have two new tracks and less than 35 minutes of music. If you were content enough with those 6 releases then this record serves a purpose but if you were in any way hopeful for new material then you're going to be disappointed. What Gone to Color seem to focus on is providing a musical backdrop to showcase a parade of unique vocals. This record boasts an interesting mix of features including Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, Martina Topley-Bird and Carson Cox of Merchandise. This variety really necessitates thought through sequencing and that may have missed the mark. The albums opener The 606 is not exactly a fanfare. The snare tries desperately to raise the temperature in the second half but overall it leaves me wanting. The musical composition doesn't match the structure of Jessie Steins dreamy vocal performance that deserves a more structured platter to be presented on. I would have preferred something punchier to open up with and there are choices on this album that would have been much more comfortable in that position. Illusions feat. Ade Blackburn wastes no time with drawn out introductions. Ten seconds in we have layers of electronic ambiguity washing behind Blackburn's purposeful but tired voice. This should have sat up front. Gone To Color tend to produce fairly stripped back and understated pieces that work with a vocal composition but risk sounding incomplete without. The one instrumental on the record, Redok, is however, surprisingly enjoyable. Darkly atmospheric and with a clear direction that some of the other tracks lack, Redok makes me wonder if Gone to Color are at times relying on vocals too heavily rather than working with them. I would gladly listen to more instrumental work and feel this may be an avenue they are greatly underestimating. If you are looking for a catchy hook, repetitive bass lines or a pick me up then this album is not for you. Beneath the layers and in the cracks, however, there is some good work in there that perhaps just needs to be better presented. I'll keep an eye out for any future works without the word 'featuring' but for now this is being re-sleeved. The album is out now so please take a listen and let me know what you think. Chris Peters
- Behave Myself by She Drew The Gun | SuperfanNews
Behave Myself by She Drew The Gun Chris Peters 8 Oct 2021 Whenever I complain that there are too many nouns out there (which is more often than you would think) I get told I'm an idiot. But did we really need a genre called Psych-Pop? I have no problem with referring to some pop as psychedelic. You can adjective until the cows come home but I don't think we needed a new label. That said it seems like a good place to put Louisa Roach's band She Drew The Gun until the people at Collins start taking my complaints seriously. Wirral four piece She Drew The Gun have been no stranger to the studio with countless singles and an EP dating back to 2013, however today they released just their third studio album Behave Myself. Repetitive synth effects deep in the mix keep us chugging along through this album under a foreground of sharp drum beats and vocal effects. The echoey guitars give an occasional surf rock feel although the synth does a good job of scaring that off whenever it gets too prominent. The main act here though is Roach's voice which darts between monotonic spoken word and delicately sung dreamy hooks. Songs like Something For The Pain and Co-op that are melodic throughout leave, me at least, wanting more. Although beautiful, Roach's voice has a slight note of indifference that suggests she could quite happily roll over and continue sleeping at any point. Her spoken word in some of the earlier tracks on the album and particularly Class War make the listener feel they are here to learn something and remind us of the obvious punk influences at play here. Unlike some of those influences however I can comfortably listen to Behave Myself cover to cover without the lyrical content bogging me down too much despite the effort made. I like the subtle, politically driven, punk energy this album offers and the times when Roach treats us to her singing voice is where I am most happy. The album has a surprisingly clean sound which is really well achieved through directed and defined instrumentation which I really like. Behave Myself is out now so please take a listen and let me know your thoughts. Chris Peters
- Your Light by cxlt. | SuperfanNews
Your Light by cxlt. Chris Peters 3 Dec 2021 It's sad to see that the lowly vowel is getting bullied out of language these days. I can handle a Weeknd or even a Chvrches at a push. But try getting your smart speaker to play cxlt.. It won't. It doesn't have a clue what you're talking about. At best you might get Ian Astbury shouting back at you. In 2021 you'd think the smart speaker is a consideration for musicians when picking a name. Or even some consistency in how people are going to refer to you. Apparently not for this young Dutch producer who insists on a full stop at the end of his randomly selected letters. Thanks. Cxlt.'s latest album, Your Light, is his third this year, amazingly. Nothing about this record however suggests impatience or fast living. From the moment you pick it up, before pressing play, the title and stunning cover art start to strip away the stress and burdens of everyday life. The title track that opens the record has a muted, gentle drum beat floating on top of an ambient river of sound accented by subtle piano and the occasional ambiguous vocal sample. You'll do well to not fall in to a blissful waking sleep listening to this. The production style and general themes of the music are consistent throughout all tracks which really seems necessary for any of this to work so he has taken the right approach there. You will find gentle variations in the drum beats of some tracks but never to a point that it will break your meditative state. The piano tones are a familiar friend that guide you through the record but the accompanying ingredients do differ enough to give many of the tunes their own individuality. Are We Still Dreaming features what could be interpreted as digital whale sound during its midway bridge and the catalog of effects travel across the stereo range to help build on the already rich atmosphere. Reflection In The Water is backed by the ghost of a children's music box which, when the beat kicks in, sounds as though it is dropped in to an ocean possibly not of this earth. The biggest criticism of this record is that every track ends too soon. Although it is marketed as an album we are only given eight tracks totaling twenty one minutes of music. Barely enough for a relaxing bath. Cxlt.'s releases to date all seem to be very thematic so it would be good to have a little more content in each so we can stay in those worlds a little longer. If we can all get comfortable with pronouncing Mr. Cxlt.'s name then there's a big future for this guy. Your Light will sink you so far in to your mattress you'll barely be able to get out. Cxlt. has created a 3 dimensional artwork with this release with perfectly selected track names, title and cover art to compliment a beautiful selection of music. Please take a listen on Spotify or via the link below and let me know your thoughts. Chris Peters
- Halloqveen by Qveen Herby | SuperfanNews
Halloqveen by Qveen Herby Chris Peters 22 Oct 2021 How long did it take me to realise the V in Qveen Herby is pronounced as a U? Too long. Was I therefore also pronouncing the name of her latest EP, Halloqveen, like a moron? Indeed I was. Let's see if I can claw back any of the credibility lost with the rest of the review. Qveen Herby, if you didn't already know, is not a queen like Latifah. Nor is she a queen like Victoria. She's somewhere in between sitting with a hardback in the window of an artisan coffee shop. That said, as a rapper, she is actually significantly better than you expect her to be. Halloqveen opens with a tolling bell and a suitably spooky melody. Obitchuary? Abracadabra? Bats in the Belfry? Are we looking at a Halloween themed record? Unfortunately, I think that was the intention here but it has been poorly executed. Some of the lyrical content of the tracks could have been mapped out better to maintain that concept and the production doesn't do enough to play on the theme. A criticism of the subject matter in relation to the theme, however, is not a slur on Herbys actual lyricism. She is clever with her words and has a refreshing flow that feels positively 2003 before trap seeped its way in to mainstream hip hop. I assume Missy Elliot's This Is Not A Test has been stuck in the Herby household's stereo for a number of years. Love Me and Bats In The Belfry prove she knows how to write a good hook and throughout the album Herby cleverly maintains rhyme patterns within tracks which is greatly appreciated. Thanks to this and a defined song structure we move through the EP smoothly and organically but never losing where we are. If anything about Qveen Herby's rap game gets a little trying it's her lazy overuse of the word Bitch but since overall she is being creative and adventurous with her writing I will let this slide. The beat production on this EP is where things fall apart a little. The whole experience is very surface level and lacks depth, not only to carry the theme but also to provide a justified backdrop for the Qveen's rapping. There are some good ideas dotted throughout like the intro to Obitchuary which sets the record off with some promise. Other areas though like the off key siren behind Prada Or Nada or anything in the penultimate track Violence feel under worked and like something off a pre career demo. On the whole this is a smart, fun record with enough lyrical character to allow us to easily forgive any lackluster production. The theme is loose but it doesn't matter. The rhymes are good and the hooks are catchy and what more do you want from a 7 track EP. It's out now so please take a listen and let me know what you think. Chris Peters
- The Space by Somali Yacht Club | SuperfanNews
The Space by Somali Yacht Club Chris Peters 22 Apr 2022 There was a time not so long ago that a declaration of my love for shoegaze would draw blank looks and perhaps the odd smirk from a Millenial who had never heard the bizarre term before. It seems however that in recent years the underground resurgence in this, originally early nineties, movement has been floating to the surface through the increased popularity of independent online publishing platforms like Bandcamp. For although shoegaze is perhaps not always the most commercially sensible direction for a band to take there has always been a love for the genre bubbling under and the changing commercial landscape of music has provided a platform for it and other more niche varieties to flourish globally. This week's slew of new releases has brought with it the third studio effort from Ukraine's Somali Yacht Club. The Space comes four years after 2018's The Sea and at a time when the Ukrainian music scene is probably not flourishing. Despite this, the trio from Lviv have put together a solid 45 minutes of thought provoking, atmospheric, studies in sound that paint stunning landscapes in your mind as you listen. Although the density of the guitars and the choices of vocal treatment undeniably point at a shoegaze influence the pace of the album and the compositional techniques employed are more from the post rock domain. Tracks range from 4 to 12 minutes and have irregular structures giving them a feeling of a short story rather than a song. The album opens powerful, heavy and slow with Silver. About as gentle a tune as you can play with that much distortion. The vocal melody is a little predictable but I can forgive that on an album that is so heavily focused on the instrumentation and composition. The voice itself however is beautifully fluid like a layer of watercolour washed over the canvas of music. The albums second single, Pulsar, sets a slightly faster tempo with its opening riff. The lead guitar repeats an echoey motif over increasingly apprehensive drums that eventually build the tune in to its first explosion of noise. There are then several distinct portions of the track characterised by differing guitar techniques ranging from sparing single notes left to ring out over the backing drums to thick and heavy distortion pumping out a relentless marching rhythm. A running theme in this bands style is the contrast between quiet gentle lowlands and powerful noise filled peaks. In Echo Of Direction the lighter portions are so sparing they almost open up in to a complete void at times if it weren't for the subtle electrical hum hiding in the background. As is expected the following sections than drench everything in layers of effects and drawn out distant vocals. The Space closes with the epic Momentum that cannot be described in a few short sentences so you must go and listen. Just know that there will be highs and lows and a whole range of atmospheres and scenes set throughout its 12 and a half minutes. If you want an album that is going to transform the world around you in to something entirely different then The Space is definately worth a listen. Somali Yacht Club have proved with this record that they are masters of setting mood and shaping environments with their interesting and engaging compositions and creative soundplay. This record addresses my love for guitar soaked shoegaze but it uses this style as a tool amongst many. Listeners will find psychedelia, metal guitars and post rock as well as other subtleties and nuances to be discovered deep in the musical journeys. Take a listen to The Space and let me know if you agree with my praise.
- Gate of Kluna by Kuunatic | SuperfanNews
Gate of Kluna by Kuunatic Chris Peters 5 Nov 2021 You might want to be lying down before we get started on this one! We're about to take a journey through space and time to a distant planet called Kuurandia. That's the premise behind Japanese progressive tribal band Kuunatic's debut record Gate of Kluna. This is more than simply a concept album, however, this is a band built around the fantasy that they are musicians on another planet creating music within an alien culture. We begin our journey to understanding Kuurandia with the albums opening track Dewbow. Keys that are reminiscent of a solitary Koto string play out a lonely riff that immediately transports you to the dusty outcrop depicted in the albums cover art. The drums enter with a dazy trance inducing beat backed up by a fuzzy bass line. The chanting vocals bring with them a temporary increase in tempo but, unexpectedly, no further depth to the music. Dewbow is undeniably successful at setting the scene and painting a picture of the world this record exists in but it does ocassionally lack variety in its composition. I would love to hear higher peaks and lower troughs and unfortunately I think this is a criticism that could apply across most of the album and may keep certain listeners away. The two part Desert Empress introduces a subtle psychadelic angle and ramps up the 'alien world' flavour with the choice of keyboard effects. The vocals in the first half suggest a punk influence whereas the quieter second half is cleaner and rides a clear melody in the delivery as well as the backing music. This is probably as close as we come to Earth on the whole record but don't worry, we are still a long way from home. There is a strong undercurrent of traditional Japanese music on Gate of Kluna. Titian is described by the band as a harvest celebration and although that may carry, the celebration is far easier to imagine in the square of an ancient Japanese village than a distant planet. Here as much as anywhere, multi instrumentalist and vocalist, Fumie Kikuchi is an ever changing keyboard chameleon with an orchestra beneath her fingers. Elsewhere on the record Kikuchi even pulls out a Kagura flute to further cement that Japanese traditional influence that Kuurandia is unable to shake. Para Bennya, the closing track of the album, is a haunting tribal chant backed by an inspired array of percussion. This builds slowly from a starting point of handclaps to an audial feast of djembe, cymbals and bells that could be the soundtrack to a dark ceremony from a forgotten culture. Four minutes in the entire mood changes and after a confusing and disorienting second half of off beat chanting, repetitive flute riffs and a steadily increasing tempo, Para Bennya ends it all suddenly leaving us a little bewildered. Gate of Kluna, if you hadn't yet gathered, is not an album for everyone. Kuunatic are primarily going to speak to those musical adventurers who are always looking for something different or have an ear for World music. I do think however that their mix of Eastern and Western sounds is at a ratio that may help ease newcomers into more diverse genres and particularly into Japanese traditional music of which there are buckets full of influence here. I, for one, think this is a phenomenonal debut from a truly unique group who seem to be laying their own path and walking it proudly. I'm excited to see what else they put out in the coming years and hope they can one day find their way back to their home planet. Chris Peters
- Against The World by Hanson | SuperfanNews
Against The World by Hanson Chris Peters 10 Dec 2021 When I saw there was a new record from the long haired, baby faced Hanson boys I should be forgiven for thinking this was their first studio excursion since the late nineties. Everyone I have spoken to since discovering this record has been on the same page as me so imagine my surprise when I discovered they actually never entirely disappeared. Not only that, they have had eight albums in the top 40 of the US Billboard 200 since 1997. Where have I been? The answer to that is 'in the UK' where the MMMbop boys had the Peter Pan treatment and live in everyones minds as a late nineties pre-teen cake party soundtrack. Against The World sits right on the border of acceptability at just 27 minutes of music despite the band website referring to it as an album. It also features a massive Zero previously unreleased tracks which is an interesting move. If you have followed Hanson this year then you will have already heard all seven tracks as they were released as consecutive monthly singles. With all that said the opening track, Annalie, is surprising likeable. A fast paced folk rock tune with characteristic harmonies and playful guitar. I've tried to avoid saying it is reminiscent of Paul Simon since that's how the band have described it, but it's awfully reminiscent of Paul Simon. No two places on this record sound the same though and Paul's influence ends there. From Annalie we drop in to a hard rock anthem lick and opening bars from the eighties rock textbook with Don't Ever Change. The clean harmonised vocals seem out of place and the stadium chants and guitar solo are all a little too derivative. Its clear Hanson are trying to showcase their versatility with this release by including a wide range of styles and genres. Unfortunately what this has resulted in is Hanson karaoke. It's well performed karaoke for sure but there's not a great deal there of their own personality. The third track on the album, Only Love, starts out with an uncanny Eddie Vedder impression and builds in to an overall underwhelming attempt at a call to rise up and change the world. Hanson picture their audience all chanting along whilst clapping their hands enthusiastically above their heads when in reality we are all trying to guess what band they will be emulating in the next track. The dramatic acapella harmonies at the end do nothing to save the song. Title track Against The World thinks far too highly of itself. A power pop rock tune with influences from all across the industry. Bon Jovi may have got this tune to work 20 years ago but this cheaper version lacks soul and originality. There's no denying the catchy hook and simple melody though which, whether we like it or not, will get firmly lodged in our heads and this will be enough for many listeners. To close the record Hanson pull out the group hand claps against marching drums to introduce another powerful anthem, Fearless. A pre chorus backed only by strings and another arrogant but memorable hook. There seems to be a formula behind all the fancy dress that this band can simply apply to whichever style they feel like playing. That aspect is admittedly impressive but in a school talent show sense. Against The World is an odd release from my perspective and I only hope there was a deeper meaning to all this that I simply haven't understood. Theres not a great deal to fault in the production and I think for the most part the boys have shown they have a pretty decent standard of songwriting ability. There are even songs in here that I like. The biggest problem is that the record as a whole has no identity. The songs are often performed so on brand they become parody and since they can't shake their trademark harmonies the vocals often feel pasted on. Maybe this project was not meant to be viewed alone but alongside their decades long career as a display of where they have come and what they can do. That wouldn't make me listen to the record any more than I have but at least it would give it a purpose which is exactly the thing I am struggling to understand. Take a listen to this album and feel free to let me know what you think. Chris Peters
- Mixtures by Xenura | SuperfanNews
Mixtures by Xenura Dess A 27 Jun 2022 I don't know anything by Xenura prior to this weeks new release, Mixtures. All I know is I discovered this EP a few days ago and now I am stuck in a digital coma that I don't want to wake from. The opening track Oracle sounds like the disappointed sigh of the singularity after the universe implodes in on itself. There is a sadness in the digital tones and sparing bells that occasionally ring out to break you from your trance. Eyes of Bismuth features a fuzzy and disjointed bass line vibrating over a fluid ocean of what was once bell song. The first set of vocals have the feel of being sung in to an empty void. The loneliness, ironically, seems to somehow be emphasised by the subtle off beat layering of her voice and the final words echoing out in to the barren nothingness takes with it all hope. The second voice is more imposing and is coming through a wall of digital mesh. It speaks of the fourth dimension which is all very well but it really does nothing to alleviate my fear of the impending doom. Fortunately Lazuli picks up the pace with a far less ambient piece featuring club beats and breaks. The track builds up and eventually breaks down in to a smart, experimental drum and bass piece with arrogant little robotic glitches fighting over your attention from one ear to the other. Reside is a short palate cleanser of electronic waves to flow over your body and wash away all the energy provided by the previous track. The handful of notes played by the piano were so carefully chosen to provide just the perfect amount of worry and melancholy. The introduction of Within Tears comes in so smoothly from the death rattle of Reside and although it begins with quite a sharp, punchy riff, that does eventually meld in to the background ocean of synth and digital ambiguity. That synthetic wave of strings lifts you up towards the end of the track and has the listener floating through the rain in a dystopian urban jungle. I don't know if I am making it clear enough but this record is incredibly evocative and atmospheric! We are still out in the rain for I Know which is built upon a foundation of bells and Eastern strings. This definitely sounds more 'of this world' than some of the other numbers but the effects are cleverly selected to stay in theme with the rest of EP as much as possible. The repeated line 'I know' is delivered with a sad acceptance and the vocalist is definitely being oppressed by the guitars and effects in the foreground that occasionally part for him then push him back down with their own phrases and expressions. We then pass the event horizon with The One. There is no attempt with this short track to sound like any familiar part of our universe. It is almost a warning of the cataclysmic end which is to come. The final track on the record, Electric Beauty, begins with an ominous crushing that sounds like all existence is being slowly compressed. Then, surprisingly, gentle strings in the background chime in like distant angels that seamlessly evolve into a digital murmur then stop dead for a speed of light breakdown in to an energetic, tunnel vision, techno tune. There are so many distinct sections in this final saga ranging from upbeat electronic sound play, ominous angel song ringing out during a break in the music, grand build ups and faux endings. It truly is a thing of Electric Beauty. With all that said I will now go and sit in silence to think long and hard about our existence and what it all means. Maybe I will sleep or maybe I will never sleep again. Who knows. Be strong.
- Garth Brooks by Garth Brooks | SuperfanNews
Garth Brooks by Garth Brooks Anthony Fajardo 25 Jul 2022 Growing up in the 80s, I mostly listened to pop music day and night. My childhood was defined by names like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Aerosmith - anything they played on pop radio. As the 90s rolled in, I found myself interested in a genre I'd never thought I'd enjoy, Country music. With that I would discover one of the greatest country artists in music history, Garth Brooks. His passion and dedication he put not only into his songs, but his live performances was truly a spectacle for the ages. While he has many memorable hits, I often wondered how good his albums really were. That's why I'm going to review them all from the beginning, and we start with his self titled debut album from 1989, Garth Brooks. This album does have three of his hit songs and we will get to them in due time, but what I like to do if possible is go song by song, front to back, and see how they hold up overall. We kick it off with one of my favorite songs that never made radio waves in Not Counting You. It's a nicely medium paced sad song about a guy trying to get past a heartache. It also has a great honky-tonk dance sound with the fiddles and the guitar that makes it a fun song and a good start to the album. Next up is I Had A Good Thing Going. It's one of those classic stlye country songs that you would hear a lot of in the 80s and 90s country catalog. Nothing too special but still a great song. We then get to the first hit song from Garth Brooks, If Tomorrow Never Comes. This is one of the reasons why I'm a big fan of Garth. The lyrics are simple but very powerful. Basically the song ponders the idea "If tomorrow never comes, did you do all you could to let the loved ones in your life know how you really feel.." It's definitely a wonderful song and it really makes you think. Every Time That It Rains is next and it's a cute little story about one magical night at a roadside cafe. He sings about how being stuck inside an airport on a flight delay due to rain reminds him of that one night and we actually get closure to the story as he adds that the lady he made that memory with that one night decides just to be friends and that whatever happened that night was no longer there. We then get another good story song with Alabama Clay. This song is about a farmer's son who grew tired of the farm as a kid, grew up and went to live in the city to be in charge of a factory. He then sees an old photo and decides to move back to the farm to carry on the family legacy. Another good story and another good song. Halfway done and this album sounds pretty dang good. Now it's time for the second of the three hit songs, Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old). Although this song is an homage to the life of a truck driver and the life he leads, I also consider this the middle aged anthem because I seem to say that almost all the time. Nonetheless another classic song that never gets old. Next up we go back to the great storytelling with the song Cowboy Bill. This song is about a weathered old cowboy and the many tales he would tell the children about his life on the trails. The parents saw him as just some crazy old man, but to the kids he was a hero. Another amazing story with a bittersweet ending that will leave you happy and sad at the same time.. We follow that song with a nice country bluesy/swingy song called Nobody Gets Off In This Town. It's pretty much a fun song about a boring one horse town that's so bland, nobody wants to live there. When your high school colors are brown, yeah that's probably a pretty boring town. Fun song. We then get I Know One, a song about a guy so caught up in a lady, he's willing to be the fool to come back to her after all the bad. Not a bad song. It pretty much keeps with the themes of the album about that fool in love. And now, to finish up the album, Garth Brooks' mega hit and probably the biggest song he's ever recorded, The Dance.. If you've ever seen the music video to this song, you know it had several different meanings. That beautiful piano solo to start the song. The powerful lyrics sung with nothing more than a guitar as a melody. The emotion he gives out about loss, reflecting on all the memories you had with that loved one that's no longer there, the disbelief that's it all over but knowing that "I could've missed the pain, but I would have to miss the dance." Truly a remarkable song and a great end to his debut album. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy this album a lot. The big three hits were a great addition and spread out perfectly throughout the album. His story songs were great and I always say if you can close your eyes and visualize the lyrics being sung, it is a great song. There really were no bad songs on here, there were a few okay songs but at least they had good melodies. Overall I give this album 9/10. This was the first time I listened to this album in full, but if this was the first I heard from him back then, then I would have been sold on him as a superstar. Thankfully he went on to be a mega star both in country and pop music so I look forward to the next installment. Thank you for reading the first of many reviews as I look back at every Garth Brooks album ever.. I look foward to reviewing these any many more to come down the road.