Friday, November 29, 2013

Five Song Friday - November 29th

I know it was yesterday, but happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a fantastic day of family, food, and good company. I am thankful for a great many things, but I will say that I am thankful for the people who take the time to read my blog. It really means a lot to me, because I greatly enjoy writing about the music I love, and it's fantastic that people enjoy reading about it. Thank you all for the year of blogging so far, and here's to hopefully many more!

So, for this week, it's not really thanksgiving themed, (unless you, like me, are grateful that A Day To Remember finally released their new album on iTunes and Spotify, which in that case it is very thankful for that), but it has some new music I've been listening to, and I'm always thankful for the new tunes I find every day.

  1. Violence (Enough Is Enough) - A Day To Remember
    This song actually leaked quite a while ago, but I have been really excited for the rest of the album because of it. It's got screams, breakdowns, blistering drums and riffs, and the intensity we've all come to expect from A Day To Remember. It's not even the heaviest song on the album, but I think it has a great balance of clean and unclean vocals. It also has a melancholy tone to it, despite the fast pace and gritty nature. I also especially love the breakdown/bridge, which not only changes up the pace, but gets even darker and just simply makes you want to head bang along with the beat because it's just that good. Definitely one of my favorite tracks off the album. 5/5
  2. Minnie - Sleigh Bells
    I've slowly been acquiring the latest album from Sleigh Bells, and this is the next track that I've gotten myself. I really like this one, because it has some great contrast in sounds and styles. The signature guitar starts off the song, roaring in to be joined by a hard-hitting beat. Alexis Krauss has such a striking voice, being able to soar miles high and come down with a low and serious rapping voice. The chorus is fantastic, with the change in tempo and the explosive nature. It can almost come off as hallow at times because of the very small instrumentation, but I think it is very oriented towards their first album, which is what got me hooked on them in the first place. I highly recommend this song if you like groups like Metric, Silversun Pickups, and Death Cab For Cutie. 5/5
  3. Life @ 11 - A Day To Remember
    This is another favorite off of Common Courtesy, thanks to it's great balance of heavy and pop-punk influence. This song reminds me a lot of "Better Off This Way", which is an absolute favorite from the group, and probably why I like this song so much. It is upbeat and fast, but rides a tone of almost sorrow throughout the song. The whole song is really great, but I personally like the bridge the best, which feels a lot bigger than the rest of the song, and has an awesome lead-in. Even though it has a lack of guttural screams, it retains the heaviness within the instrumental, and that's one of the key ingredients in A Day To Remember's success. 5/5
  4. Ho Ho Hopefully - The Maine
    I had to do it. It's after Thanksgiving, and that means Christmas time is here! This is one of my personal favorite Christmas tunes, and it's only been around a few years. The Maine is a stellar band, and this EP was a fantastic set of originals and a cover. This is a more traditional sounding song, and also a very beautiful song. The acoustic guitar is light and pleasant, the vocals are amazing as always, and the synth provides a bit of depth to help create a relaxing, sleigh bell filled listening experience. 5/5
  5. I'm Already Gone - A Day To Remember
    Now, as much as I love A Day To Remember when they get dark and gritty, they also do more acoustic stuff that is incredible. Their new album had multiple tracks like this, which made me very happy, and this track is one of my favorites off the CD. The arrangement of the song was very well done, with the vocals switching between single and gang-style, which I'm always a fan of, and acoustic guitar accented by some clean electric guitar lines. It sounds very pretty, but again has a bit of sad undertones. A Day To Remember does the sound of sadness well, which is not a bad thing at all. This song does not come off as very sad and depressing, however, and makes for a great listen when relaxing. 5/5

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Song Friday - November 22nd

Friday Friday Friday. Another week has gone, and the music never stops. Check out the tunes I've been listening to, and see what you like.

  1. Break The Same - MuteMath
     I've been listening to this album a lot these past few weeks, and this song in particular is one of my favorites. It has energy and picks up the intensity, but still has moments of serenity and beauty. It also is an upbeat nature, and doesn't come off as dark in the slightest. I really enjoy the vocals; they're one of my favorite parts of the songs from MuteMath. They're ethereal, and float over the track effortlessly. If you like groups like The Almost, Anberlin, or Switchfoot, then you'll enjoy this song. 5/5
  2. Stockholm Syndrome - Blink-182
    This was another song by Blink-182 that I had the honor of seeing it played live, and it was a blast. This song is an explosion of energy from beginning to end, but has a darker feel to it, which is found throughout the album. Travis Barker pounds away at the drums while Tom and Mark constantly go back and forth on trading off vocals, constantly changing the feel of the song and keeping the listener engaged. One of my favorites from the album, easily. 5/5
  3. Can't Stop - OneRepublic
    This song has been on my Five Song Friday series a couple of times, but there's a reason for that. It has a hip-hop influence, especially in the beat, but feels sorrowful when the vocals and synth lines come together. It has an edge of desperation, with Ryan Tedder's vocals starting with confusion, but quickly slipping into melancholy. If you haven't heard this song, or anything else from OneRepublic's latest album, I highly recommend it. 5/5
  4. The Light Behind Your Eyes - My Chemical Romance
    I've also mentioned this song before in previous posts, and it's because of the incredibly beauty contained within the song. It builds spectacularly, but is incredibly delicate up until that point. The string lines, the piano, the acoustic guitar, it's all arranged in a fantastic way. Gerard Way's vocals are the star of the song, with an incredibly contrast between the tenderness in the beginning, and complete anguish by the end. It is one of the best songs My Chemical Romance has ever done, and one of my favorite songs easily. 5/5
  5. Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution - AC/DC
    I don't know why I've been listening to this song as much, but I have been completely hooked. This song is a classic, and has a good amount of grit while just rocking out, plain and simple. AC/DC has a lot of great songs, but I feel that this one is underrated compared to "Hells Bells" and "Back in Black". It isn't in your face, but a good song to kick back and have a good time with. I love blasting this song, and it's great to just sing along with. 5/5

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PTX, Vol. 2 - Pentatonix

Pentatonix is on fire. They have taken the music scene by storm, and are winning fans over with every cover and video they do. Their tours are fantastic, their videos are humorous and quirky, and they are lovable, down to earth people.

That was even before their latest release.

PTX, Vol. 2 is a not only a fantastic album, but leaps and bounds ahead of their first release. It has covers and originals like the first, but the quality and arraigning of these ones reveal the ever increasing skill and talent of the group. It opens with the upbeat cover of "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, which is able to showcase each member's talents and strengths, yet able to reveal how in-sync they are with each other. From the Mitch's soaring runs, to Avi's wobbles and bass lines, Kevin's insane beatboxing, and Scott and Kirste's blending and harmonizations, Pentatonix is able to explode out of the box with this cover. After that, it's a smooth transition into the first original on the album, "Natural Disaster", which is lead by Scott, whose power-backed vocals help carry the momentum of the previous track, as well as the clapping track and the gang vocals that explode out on occasion. The chorus is huge, with all of the elements I mentioned coming out even more. My favorite part of this song has to be right after the second chorus, where the beat drops into a half time, and it take on a breakdown feel, accentuated by Avi's insane wobble sounds and Kevin's epic beatboxing.

The next original, "Love Again", is an adventuring into a new genre for Pentatonix; EDM and dance. They've covered dance-oriented songs before, but they've never tried to write one of their own. While this may sound like an odd combo, Pentatonix tackled this challenge and blew it out of the water. Mitch took lead on the vocals this time, which was due to his fascination and familiarity with EDM music, and he is right on point, providing soaring falsetto runs that would fit perfectly on an instrumentally engineered EDM song. The highlight of the song, however, is Avi's incredible bass lines. He gets incredibly low, providing satisfying bass that would be worthy of being blasted in a night club. The harmonization on this track is fantastic as well, with Kirste and Scott blending effortlessly to provide the backing vocals. The overall feel of the song is a bit darker than Pentatonix's norm, and not in a depressing or angry manner. It comes off as more intense, and therefore takes on a darker tone. Most of the others are not like this, however; a great example would be "Hey Momma/Hit The Road Jack", which is part original and part cover. The verses are all original work from PTX, but the chorus is sampled from another song. I love the intro of this song, with Kirste coming in with an almost seductive whisper, and the song exploding into motion with Scott taking back the reins. The song has a bouncy, energetic feel, thanks to the fast pace, the bright vocals and harmonies, and punctual beatboxing. My favorite part is the breakdown/bridge, which is where Scott shines on vocals, with a little bit of a scream in his voice that adds to the building of the moment. I also love the old school feel the song has; it comes off as something out of the 50's with a modern twist.

Not everything on the album is loud and upbeat, however. Songs like "Valentine" and "Run To You" show off the softer side of Pentatonix. "Valentine" is a cover that, like its title would suggest, is a cute and catchy tune about love and romance. It is a very pretty sounding song, with soft vocals, and very few notes and beats that are hard hitting or sharp. The intro is my favorite part, with the vocals all coming at different moments and creating this back and forth nature that has a bell-like nature. It is a shorter tune, but is a solid arrangement and is great for romantic mixes for that special someone. "Run To You" is an original, and is definitely the best song Pentatonix has ever done. It is completely a cappella, with Kevin, their beatboxer, even contributing vocals. It is, without a doubt, completely and utterly beautiful. There is no other word better to describe it. It has such longing, such raw emotion that bursts through in glorious and heart-melting harmonies. Avi provides epic lows, Mitch and Kirste give incredible highs, and it all comes together to captivate the listener. The best part is the bridge, where the intensity picks up, and Mitch soars even higher and Avi comes up higher than normal, and they're both backed by the others building the majesty with their harmonies. It honestly makes me think of heaven, and just the overwhelming sense it will have. This song is solid gold, and will forever be one of my favorite songs by the group.

Despite their brilliance with "Run To You" and "Natural Disaster", they don't just shine on their originals. "Daft Punk" and "Save The World/Don't You Worry" further reveal their arranging talents, which have gotten even better as they've progressed. "Save The World/Don't You Worry" is a mashup of the two songs by Swedish House Mafia, and show their increased influence from the rising dance and electronic movement. It switches between the two songs, sampling and mixing chorus and verses from both songs to create, in my opinion, a better and more creative song than the originals ever achieved. The upbeat and intense feel of the dance songs works perfectly for them, especially at the very end when they switch into a breakdown that includes some insane wobble sounds that would fill a stadium filled to the brim with fans. "Daft Punk", however, might just eclipse that song. Seamlessly blending together 4 different Daft Punk songs, Pentatonix shines with a dazzling light. From Technologic to One More Time to Get Lucky to Digital Love, Pentatonix brings together all of these songs and shows their talent in an explosive manner. The harmonies, the remix effects, the way they make their voices sound electronic, its incredible. They are each showcased in different sections, but they all come together as one collective group. That is what makes them fantastic, is their ability to let each other shine, but not take over and make it about themselves. This song was a perfect end to the album (discounting "Save The World/Don't You Worry" because it's a bonus track).

I was incredibly impressed with this album. It showed the huge leap in talent and skill that they've had since their last album, and how much potential they have to continue to wow their fans and bring in more. 5/5

Can't Hold Us - 3:18 (5/5)
Natural Disaster - 3:31 (5/5)
Love Again - 3:19 (5/5)*
Valentine - 2:37 (4/5)
Hey Momma/Hit The Road Jack - 3:01 (5/5)
I Need Your Love - 2:52 (4/5)
Run To You - 4:26 (5/5)*
Daft Punk - 4:09 (5/5)*
Save The World/Don't You Worry - 3:48 (5/5)*

(* indicates recommended songs)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five Song Friday - November 15th

Busy weeks keep coming, but I keep finding time for music (otherwise, I might go crazy). This week, I had the huge honor of being able to see Blink-182 play their self-titled record for it's 10 year anniversary, and had an absolute blast at the show, (so be on the lookout for a review of it sometime next week). So I've been listening to their stuff a lot, so look for that as well as some other tunes for this week's installment!

  1. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows - Brand New
    I've heard about Brand New before, but never listened to their music until one of my friends gave me an album. This song is one that stuck out for me, and I've been listening to a lot more this past week. I really like the chorus, specifically the instrumental and the way it becomes so much bigger than expected. The guitar line soaring up and down, the gritty distortion, and the crashing drums are all accentuated by the vocals, which have a raw feel to them. The whole album has this not-so-polished sound, which is something you don't hear too often nowadays, and so this song has a great depth to it. I can easily see why this is one of their biggest hits, and look forward to exploring their music even more. 5/5
  2. Always - Blink-182
    This song has always been one of my personal favorites from Blink-182. It has this aggressive, intense nature, yet feels very vulnerable and almost romantic. The song is upbeat, but is prevented from becoming poppy due to the darker undertones, both instrumentally and lyrically. I absolutely love the chorus, which varies between romance and passion, love and lust. This song is easy to lose yourself in, as is much of Blink's music, and it will always be one of my favorites (see what I did there? I'm so clever). 
  3. I Miss You - Blink-182
    Another one of my favorites by Blink, and another that shows off their emotional and mature side. I love being able to jump around and jam out to their stuff, but songs like this are perfect for late night talks, thoughts when you can't sleep, and working in the night. The vocal interplay between Tom and Mark is fantastic in this song, with each bringing their own strengths to the table. Mark is more held back and contemplative, while Tom is raw and passionate, creating some fantastic contrast. The acoustic guitar in this song is such a relaxing sound, as well as the string line that repeats throughout the song. It's definitely one of their best songs, and I was so thankful to get to see them play it. 5/5
  4. Stare At The Sun - Mutemath
    Mutemath was a band that I had previously heard of and had a song by, but was given this album by the same friend who gave me Brand New. Out of the album, this was easily one of my favorites. It's slower, but it has a dark, entrancing sound that keeps drawing me back to it. It has an eerie feel to it, and I haven't really heard anything like it before. The ending is one of by favorite parts, when it cuts to just the drums and vocals, which continue the eerie feel and close out the song in a seemingly sudden manner. Easily one of the best songs on the album. 5/5
  5. Chaos - Mutemath
    This is my favorite song off the album, hands down. It's edgy and fast-paced, getting the blood pumping while you listen. The vocals on this track are fantastic, ranging from polished and smooth sounding to gritty and raw. The instrumental contributes a lot to the darker nature as well, with the drums keeping the pace up as they pound away and the guitars switching from echoing lines to gritty chords. My favorite part is the background vocals that float around during the song, and come through strong at the end, giving the song an ethereal feel that is fantastic. This song is worth checking out if you have't listened before. 5/5

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five Song Friday - November 8th

This week has a bit of a theme to it...*cough cough PENTATONIX cough cough*. Anyways, it was a long week for me personally, but some great music regardless. Check out the songs I've been listening to nonstop, and see what you enjoy.

  1. Daft Punk - Pentatonix
    I absolutely love Pentatonix. They're innovative, talented, crazy creative, and sound fantastic. This song exemplifies their talents spectacularly, with harmonies out of this world, solos showcasing everyone's voices, rumbling bass, and awesome beat-boxing. Not to mention the arraignment of 4 Daft Punk songs all into 4 minutes is insane. It is one of their finest songs to date, and truly reveals their skills so far, and the potential they have to become even better. This song is easily one of my favorites from the new album, and a true joy to listen to. And the music video is killer. Definitely worth checking out. 5/5
  2. Lies Greed Misery (Dirtyphonics Remix) - Linkin Park
    This remix is a combination of grity dance vibes and hip-hop swagger. It is intense, it is booming, and it gets the blood pumping. It builds from the hip-hop beat into a driving drums and bass feel, and it's awesome, the contrasts. I especially love the drop after the second build, with the double time feel; it gets me excited every time I listen. This song adds a lot of intensity that wasn't so present in the original, and makes it great to listen to every time. 5/5
  3. Love Again - Pentatonix
    Another one of my favorites, "Love Again" is an original song by the geniuses in Pentatonix. It embodies the spirit of dance and EDM music today, which seems very out of place in terms of a capella. However, this turned out to be one of the best songs on the album. Mitch leads the vocals on this song, which makes sense because, according to a video the group posted, he is very heavy into the dance and EDM scene, and so he had the best idea of what this song should sound like. I personally love the drop the best, when Avi lays down this incredibly sick-sounding bass-wobble growling that sounds like something you'd hear in an EDM song. They created some noises that I didn't think were possible for just the voices, and I was very impressed by this song. 5/5
  4. Down - Blink-182
    Now, this song will seem random in the mix, but I will have the privilege of seeing Blink-182 perform their Untitled album from start to finish this coming Monday, and this is one of the songs from said album. It also happens to be one of my favorites by the group, and possibly one of my favorite songs of all time. The emotion, the energy, the rawness of this song connects with me. I have listened to this song many times while I felt like my world was broken, or falling apart, and it has helped every single time. This song, and many others on the album, have been instrumental in my teenage years and getting me through rough times, and I am beyond thrilled to be able to hear it live by one of my favorite groups this next week. 5/5
  5. Run To You - Pentatonix
    I didn't know what to expect when Pentatonix said that they would have a ballad on the new album, but the result was more beautiful than I had ever imagined. It is honestly one of the most majestic and incredible pieces I have ever heard, and I cannot get enough of it. It's an original, which astounds me that they could write something this amazing, and it also has no beat-boxing, which is unheard of for the group. It rises beyond anything else they've ever done, and embodies an epic feel that cannot be met by instruments. The entire song is fantastic, but I am in love with the build. It just erupts with raw emotion and a force that gives me chills when I listen, which is unusual for me. It is beautiful; there is no other word that can describe it adequately. If you check out any song this week, please listen to this one. I beg you to. It is amazing. 5/5

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Recharged - Linkin Park

The excitement I'm currently experiencing is pretty fantastic; getting to review new Linkin Park, remix album or not, is something I've been looking forward to since I started my blog. While it isn't a studio album, which hopefully there will be one next year, it still includes a brand new song, and a slew of fantastic remixes from their last studio album, Living Things. This is the second remix album they've done, with Reanimation in 2002 containing remixes of songs from their first album, Hybrid Theory.

All of the songs but "A Light That Never Comes" are remixes, and so I thought to talk about the original song first before getting into the others. This song has a big dance vibe, due mainly to the collaboration with Steve Aoki, who is a rising DJ. While some fans may complain about the band "going mainstream", remember that this song, and the entire album, is geared towards remixes, which nowadays are mainly dance and EDM oriented. A driving beat really pushes this song, overlaid with some gritty and smooth synths, Mike's raps, and Chester's vocals. It also stays away from the more expected dubstep sounds, and sticks to a club anthem type of vibe. This may sound weird for Linkin Park, but they are always dying to try out new and exciting sounds, and incorporate them into their repertoire. This song does not mean that they are going to become a dance/EDM group, but that it might show up within their ever evolving sound.

Now, the remixes. There's a wide variety of sounds within the songs, and it makes for some great contrasts as you listen through the album. There's a few guest spots from some great rappers, such as Pusha T, Bun B, Cody B. Ware, and Ryu, some of whom I've heard before and some I haven't. They all had good features on their respective songs, and brought a hip-hop element to a dance heavy crowd. "I'll Be Gone (Vice Remix)" was a great example of this, taking a rock-based song and giving it a some serious rap vibes. It worked fantastically, with not only Pusha T providing some great rhymes, but Mike writing a new rap for the song as well, which came off as hard and aggressive, something he does very well. The booming kick drum and the tight-hitting drums helped to complete the hip-hop orientation. "Roads Untraveled (Rad Omen Remix)" did this partially, keeping the more emotional drive that the original version contained, but adding some dance and hip-hop vibes to create an entirely new feel for  the song, especially in the chorus, where Chester's vocals are interwoven with huge hitting sounds and thumping drums. Bun B, a rapper I had never heard of before, fit perfectly on the track, throwing lines down as the song shifted into a true hip-hop nature. The crowning jewel of the songs with guest artists, however, has to go to the "Skin To Bone (Nick Catchdubs Remix)" which takes one of the most different sounding songs on the original album and turning it into a fast-hitting, insanely catchy track that incorporates some wobbly synths and electronic distortion. The raps are the centerpiece of the song, starting with Cody B. Ware's opening rhymes, building in intensity with Ryu's, and ending with another new set of rhymes from Mike. I've heard Ryu before from Fort Minor, and Mike's rap further revealed his mastery over words and his ability to come up with fantastic lines.

While these songs were heavy on the hip-hop, most of the others leaned more towards the dance and dubstep areas. "Lost In The Echo (Killsonik Remix)", for example, throws in some epic and grinding dubstep wobbles that make me excited every time I listen. The drop is so in your face and unexpected, and I absolutely love it. It's a great fit, and matches the intensity of the original song. The beauty is that it repeats the drop again in the song, letting the listener enjoy the awesomeness of it again. This and the "Until It Breaks (Datsik Remix)" are really the only two that venture into dubstep, with the later not nearly as obviously wobble oriented as the former. The wobbles in "Until It Breaks" are not so in your face, but still add to the intensity of the song. Another song that delves into dubstep influences is the "Lies Greed Misery (Dirtyphonics Remix)", which gets gritty, loud, and picks up the pace. It has some fantastic moments, especially during the second drop, where the beat switches to half time but the synths continue at the same rate, creating a syncopation that gets me every single time; I can't get enough of it. Chester's screams also are incorporated very well into this remix, fitting the face-melting vibe given off by the monstrous synths.

Dubstep does not dominate, however; the dancing vibes are prominent throughout the album. Songs like "Burn It Down (Tom Swoon Remix)", "Powerless (Enferno Remix)", and "I'll Be Gone (Schoolboy Remix)" all could be played at clubs and raves and fit right in."Burn It Down" had a dance/pop feel to begin with, the the transition to dance was no big surprise. It works really well, with the existing synth lines making great hooks, and Chester's vocals working perfectly with the mood. "Powerless" was a surprising twist, going from a more somber and moody tune to an upbeat and almost cheery song. The high-soaring synths, steady beats, and driving nature turned this song into a huge and epic sounding song. "I'll Be Gone" was remixed again, but this time with a dance flare. The pulsing beat and distorted synths give it a lighter feel, but it is still able to retain a bit of darkness that the original contained. Now, while these remixes were well done, I personally felt that they were a bit lackluster. They were't bad, but I preferred some of the other remixes on the album.

As I mentioned earlier, Mike contributed a few new raps for some of the songs; that wasn't all he did for the album thought. He also remixed two songs himself, being "Castle Of Glass" and "Victimized". Both were very different songs to begin with, and became even more different after being remixed. "Castle Of Glass" took on a dance vibe, with a lot more synths and electronic drums leading the way. The song ebbs and flows, with moments of pausing and moments of building into epic, pulsating sounds. "Victimized", on the other hand, became even more intense than the original, thanks to huge, booming beats and an even faster tempo. There is an immense presence of sounds on this song, creating an in your face feel.  Chester's screams from the original song integrates very well with this mix of sounds as well, feeding the intensity even more.

Lastly, there's two more remixes that were, interesting, to say the least. One of them, "Until It Breaks (Money Mark Headphone Remix)", was a collection of weird and odd sounds that worked much better than I would have thought. It goes from moments of heavy electronic influence to a classic rock sound, to even a western sound that works, surprisingly. It wasn't my favorite track, but makes for an interesting listening experience for sure. The last song on the album is "A Light That Never Comes (Rick Rubin Reboot)", which just didn't do it for me. It comepletely changes from the original, taking on a tribal beat in the beginning that is mixed with a little bass guitar and some piano chords. It doesn't have the same intensity that the original had, and I think that is where it lost it for me. It wasn't bad, but just not the best.

All in all, I was very excited for this album, and was not disappointed. There was a lot of really well done remixes, and gave fans something to listen to while they wait for the next studio album. 4.5/5

A Light That Never Comes (feat Steve Aoki) - 3:49 (5/5)
Castle Of Glass (Mike Shinoda Remix) - 6:20 (5/5)
Lost In The Echo (Killsonik Remix) - 5:09 (5/5)
Victimized (Mike Shinoda Remix)  - 3:00 (5/5)
I'll Be Gone (Vice Remix) [feat. Pusha T] - 4:01 (5/5)
Lies Greed Misery (Dirtyphonics Remix) - 4:51 (5/5)
Roads Untraveled (Rad Omen Remix) [feat Bun B] - 5:28 (5/5)
Powerless (Enferno Remix) - 6:08 (4/5)
Burn It Down (Tom Swoon Remix) - 4:46 (4/5)
Until It Breaks (Datsik Remix) - 6:01 (4/5)
Skin To Bone (Nick Catchdubs Remix) [feat. Cody B. Ware & Ryu] -3:54 (5/5)
I'll Be Gone (Schoolboy Remix) - 6:12 (4/5)
Until It Breaks (Money Mark Headphone Remix) - 4:30 (4/5)
A Light That Never Comes (Rick Rubin Reboot) - 4:40 (4/5)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Song Friday - November 1st

This week has been exciting in music, thanks to a new (sorta) release from Linkin Park, which is my favorite band. So look for a few songs from them, another new release, and some of that pop-punk kick I've been on recently...

  1. Pawner/Killin It - Polar Bear Club
    This is technically two separate songs, but they flow together so well that I had to include both. These guys are a pop-punk group, but not as intense and fast-paced as other groups. These two songs especially exemplify this, with "Pawner" being a more extended intro that builds gradually into "Killin It". Both have a similar feel and sound, but they also have their differences, creating a great listening experience when played together. "Pawner" feels more drawn out, while "Killin It" has more grit and packs a bigger punch. I really enjoy this group, as they offer a different sort of sound within the pop-punk family tree. 5/5 
  2. Lost In The Echo (Killsonik Remix) - Linkin Park
    The original version of this song was one of my favorites off of the album, embodying the true nature of Linkin Park while embracing new and exciting sounds. It was also one of the more intense songs, and this remix brings that intensity to an entirely new level. Now, some people are going to complain about the presence of dubstep, but I think it fits the feel of this song perfectly. Also, it's a REMIX album. Remixes nowadays are usually dance/dubstep oriented, and so this is expected. But the drop that Killsonik adds is insane; I was caught off guard when I first listened, and have been listening again and again because it's simply so good. This is definitely one of my favorites off of Recharged, the new remix album from the band, and I am excited for the next studio album they put out. 5/5
  3. Skin To Bone (Nick Catchdubs Remix) [feat. Cody B. Ware & Ryu] - Linkin Park
    Now, this song was an unexpected addition to the remix album, but was easily one of my favorites. The reworking to make it a hip-hop oriented song, and the addition of rappers made it a completely different song. It's much more intense than the original, and gets the listener pumped. Having Ryu as a guest rapper was a pleasant surprise as well, since he was such a big part of Fort Minor, and his hinting at another album from Mike Shinoda's side project makes me very excited and hopeful. I also very much enjoyed Mike's new rap on the song, which continues to reveal his lyrical mastery and aggressive rapping nature. 5/5
  4. Late Nights In My Car - Real Friends
    I am completely hooked on these boys. They have such a raw and honest sound, it's addicting and refreshing. They aren't looking for a polished and primed sound, but just making music that they love and that is true to them. It makes for awesome songs, like this song. It has angst, heartbreak, and self-evaluation. Line's like "If you never break, you'll never know how to put yourself back together" stick in the listeners minds as clever and impressive. I keep delving more and more into this group and love every bit of it. 5/5
  5. It's About Time - Young The Giant
    This song is aptly titled. Being over 3 years since their last album, Young The Giant made a solid impression on fans when they first debuted. Now, they've announced their signing to Fueled By Ramen and their sophomore album coming out early next year. While it's a bit odd that they're signing with this particular label, I'm just glad that they're putting out new music. If this lead single is any indication of the direction of their upcoming album, then I'm very excited. It retains their essence, but displays it in a new package. With a bit more edge and a lot of energy, it reveals a maturing since the last record. Their vocalist, Sameer Gadhia, has a very unique voice, and is one of my favorite aspects of the group. With a driving sound and great energy, this song brings the band back into the spotlight, and excitement to fans who have been waiting. 5/5