Childish Gambino – Because the Internet
Los Angeles based rapper/comedian/actor Donald Glover, a.k.a Childish Gambino, whom you probably know as Troy from the hit NBC show “Community”, has just released his second studio album “Because the Internet”. Glover’s first major studio album “Camp” was riddled with an array of interesting beats and heartfelt lyrics about growing up poor and black in a white neighborhood and his rise to fame. The albums mix of emotional subdued songs such as “All the Shine” and “L.E.S”, along with intense, almost theatrical ones like “Bonfire” and “Heartbeat” gained him a pretty big fan base. While the album received mixed reviews from critics, it did fairly well commercial wise. “Because the Internet”, contains the same amount of variety song-wise. However, this time, the music is weirder, crazier, and sometimes even confusing. Glovers production is filled with intense sporadic moments of oddball humor, subtle intermissions, crazy instrumentals, and some eerie voice overs. Like a short film, Glover is able to take you into his own personal space of creative imagination.
The album begins with the song “Crawl”. The beat is full of sporadic synths and bass heavy loops. Glover raps fast and loud, over a female vocal. From the very first song, you can immediately tell that the sporadic production is a very important part of the album itself. The next song “Worldstar” begins with fast paced synth and bass drops. Towards the end the tempo slows down and a nice saxophone solo is mixed along with some hazed out synth loops. It reminds me of something from an A$AP Rocky song. The hazy production continues onto the next song “The Worst Guys” ft. Chance Tha Rapper. Glover raps some cartoony lyrics “Tia and Tamara in my bed I’m a smart guy/I ain’t fucking with you niggas like apartheid.” While Chip doesn’t come through with a verse, his additional vocals do mix well with Glovers. The production again changes towards the end of this song to a slower, guitar soaked jam session. Next comes “Telegraph Ave.” (“Oakland” by Lloyd). The song has a definite R&B influence, and it’s a great lead up to the more intense and vibrant tracks “Sweatpants” and “3005”. Glover’s flow comes through with mix of aggression and sarcastic humor on both tracks. The production on both tracks is amazing. With a great mix of tempo changes and deep bass synths, both have potential to be big radio hits.
After “3005”, the lyrics and production both slow down to a darker and realistic tone. It starts out with “The Party”, an aggressive synth fueled track with Glover rapping fast and intensely. It leads up to “No Exit”, a crazy party fueled track that makes you feel like you’re at a cocaine fueled rave inside of Glovers head. The beat is intense and colorful, and the short track afterwards “Death by Numbers” is again filled with some beautiful crooning guitars and Glovers layered out vocals. Next is “Flight of the Navigator”. The beginning of the track acts as a monologue. Glovers layered, pitched down vocals soothe over a beautiful acoustic guitar loop. It reminds me of something from Drakes “Take Care”. The soft, crooning vocals continue onto the next track “Zealots of Stockholm (free information). While the track starts off with some soft vocals, it doesn’t stay that way for long. Just like many of the other tracks, the beat changes into a dark, grimy sounding beat. Glovers quickly goes deep into a verse with some background vocals by female singer Kilo Kush. Next is the more up-tempo track “Pink Toes” featuring the up and coming female singer Jhene Aiko, who came into the forefront this year with a guest hook on Drakes third album “Nothing Was the Same”. The production on this track is a mix of psychedelic to upbeat Mo-town swagger. Aiko’s Aaliyah inspired vocals soar over the track.
Overall, I thought that “Because the Internet” brought us a much more confident Glover. The production is definitely praiseworthy, and the crazy key changes help Glover with his creative passages. I think that the lyrics on some songs tend to be bland, but then again the production makes up for it. Glover gave us a creative, weird, and overall very interesting album. I hope that on his next album, he keeps up the crazy beats, and takes even more chances creatively.
My rating: 8 out of 10
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M.I.A – “Matangi” Review
Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A, is an English-Sri Lankan rapper/singer who has been in the rap game for almost ten years. Her hit single “Paper Planes” has been featured in many hit films and it has gone on to be a hit all over the world. She has often been associated with her crazy beats and intelligent and versatile lyrics. She has released three critically and commercially successful albums, and has just released her fourth studio album entitled “Matangi”.
From the very first song, you can tell that this new album is heavy influenced by Indian sounds and instrumentation. The first song “Karmageddon” incorporates a beautiful sitar intro and some echoing vocals. It eventually leads into M.I.A rapping over a popping bass beat that makes the song a great album opener. Next comes the song “MATANGI”, an intense song that shows M.I.A at her very best. Her lyrics and rapping shine through and the hypnotic tribal beat by producer Switch makes the song even better. Next comes “Warriors”, another Indian influenced beat. The song infuses popping synth drops, and more tribal drums. In the middle of the song, the beat slows down and M.I.A’s vocals stutter over what seems to be an Indian prayer. M.I.A sounds ferocious towards the end of the song “M.I.A. mudra middle finger/Fuck ‘em other bitches that try to be my ringer.” The song is followed up with “atTENTion, which features some pitch shifting vocals over another crazy, intense beat. The synths and bass on this song are definitely dance influenced. M.I.A’s vocals go from deep to almost robotic. Next comes “Bad Girls”, the first single released from the album. Its Bollywood influenced beat along with her boastful lyrics ooze swagger.
M.I.A slows it down with the next song, “Double Bubble Trouble”, a song with a swirling bass line and some trap inspired synth drops. The chorus on this song is so catchy; it immediately makes you feel as if you’re inside the Taj Mahal raving your heart out. Afterwards come Y.A.L.A, another highlight on the album. The beat is super catchy and intense. It’s definitely another club banger. M.I.A’s rapping soars through the beat perfectly, and the crazy synth bass drop during the bridge is awesome.
Overall, I thought that M.I.A came up with a crazy original album that shows that she is definitely a frontrunner in the rap game. Every song sounds different and original, and she sounds just as good as she did on her first album. Whoever says that M.I.A lost her originality after her worldwide hit “Paper Planes” is dead wrong. On this album, she shows that she’s got so much more to prove.
My rating: 8 out 10
Arcade Fire – “Reflektor” Review
Arcade Fire has become a prime example of “from indie to riches”. The seven piece Canadian indie rock first formed in 2001 and their fourth album “Reflektor” has just been released.
Arcade Fire’s debut album “Funeral” received almost universal praise from fans and music critics. Some have even gone as far as calling it a modern indie classic, which is something that I agree with completely. The album failed to perform well commercially. However, with its mix of dark, moody and weird instrumentation, along with some deep and introspective lyrics, it gave us some classic indie anthems like the amazing “Wake Up”, and the triumphant “Rebellion (Lies)”. Their second album, “Neon Bible”, was much more commercially successful. The album again featured the mesmerizing dark and weird instrumentation. A few years later, the band released “The Suburbs”, which was commercially and critically acclaimed. It even ended up winning album of the year at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
“Reflektor” is double album that for the most part is pretty solid. You can definitely tell that the production from LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy has had a big influence on the band. The opening track, “Reflektor”, has a groovy disco inspired sound that is a first for the band. They pull it off perfectly, with a tight and energetic groove that still has a little bit of weirdness to still make it sound like an Arcade Fire song. After that is “We Exist”, my personal favorite on the album. It has a harder bass guitar and synth groove with a mix of rattling guitar. Win Butler and Regine Chassagne’s hard hitting vocals soar throughout the song and make it an epic track. After this is “Flashbulb Eyes”, another heavily inspired James Murphy track. It’s short and energetic, and it’s a perfect lead for the next track “Here Comes The Night Time”. The song has repeating crooning synth and some amazing guitar work towards the end of the track. I also love Win Butlers lyrics in this track; “If you’re looking for hell/just try looking inside” I also love the songs “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)”, “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)” and “Afterlife”. They sound a lot like something from “The Suburbs”, with mesmerizing instrumentation, good lyrics, and enough weird to make it interesting.
While a lot of tracks on this album are pretty solid, some of them I found to be a bit boring. Songs like “Normal Person”, which is supposed to have a “live audience” feel to it, doesn’t really come off as cool or different. Instead it comes off more as corny, especially with Win Butlers mumbling in the beginning. The track “Supersymmetry” as electronically complex as it sounds, should have been seven minutes shorter. I also found the repeating keyboards in “Porno” to over the top and annoying at times, even though I liked the lyrics and string section near the middle quite a bit.
While “Reflektor” is no “Funeral”, it definitely is full of variety. To me, Arcade Fire has always been masters of changing their sound on each album just enough to draw you in, but not enough to draw you away. It’s definitely not something every band can accomplish. Arcade Fire continues to impress me album after album, and “Reflektor” is definitely another accomplishment for the band.
My rating: 8 out of 10
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Katy Perry “Prism” Review
Over the last four or five years, Katy Perry has become one of the biggest pop stars. She started out as a Christian singer, only to come back with a completely new pop sound on her second album, “One of the Boys”. “One of the Boys” sold over five million copies, and it garnered some of 2008’s biggest songs. Songs such as, “Hot N Cold”, “I Kissed A Girl”, “Waking Up In Vegas” and “Ur So Gay”. Her third album, “Teenage Dream”, was one of the 2010’s biggest albums, with over six million copies sold. The album also had six multi-platinum singles, a new record for a female artist. While Katy Perry’s songs and albums have sold very well, her critical praise has been lack luster. She’s often been criticized for her lack luster lyrics and over the top production over shadowing her voice.
On her new album, “Prism”, she continues to expand on the over the top, catchy pop ballads. However, her lyrics still are not that intriguing, and the production is as glossy and cinematic as ever; with a lot of the beats dwelling more into dance and dubstep influences. The first song on the album, “Roar”, already a successful hit, is a catchy, uplifting song about overcoming obstacles. Perry’s vocals do indeed roar across the song, especially in the chorus. The third song, “Birthday” is a perfect example of how good Perry is at making catchy, fun and energetic pop songs. The next song, “Walking On Air”, sounds like something from Britney Spears album. With its exploding club orientated beat and catchy hook, it will definitely be heard all over the club. Next is “Dark Horse”, another single from the album. It’s definitely a hip hop inspired song, with a nice synth beat to go along with it. Juicy J comes along with an ok verse. Nothing special, but it will soothe over his fans. After this song is “International Smile” which is probably my favorite song on the album. It’s definitely a radio friendly song, and I really enjoy the guitar and Daft Punk inspired robotic voices towards the end. It has the potential to become a multi-platinum hit.
While a lot of the songs on this album definitely have an original, dance club vibe to them. Some are meant to be slower love songs. This can really be heard on the latter half of the album. Take the songs “Ghost” and “Love Me”. None of these songs really make Perry seem deep or intricate. But it’s ok since her up-tempo club songs are both solid and catchy. She doesn’t need to make herself something she isn’t. The overall lyricism on the slower songs, which is pretty much all about losing a love and recovering from it, comes off as bland and with little true emotion to them. In fact, the only slower song I like on here is the last song, “By the Grace of God”. It’s the only song where her vocals aren’t overshadowed by an intricate beat. Her vocals seem to be a bit more passionate and the lyrics don’t seem that fake.
Overall, Katy Perry’s has the gift of creating songs that become hugely popular. While not all of the songs are deep or emotional, she doesn’t really have to be. She has the charisma, personality, and looks to help her along the way. “Prism” will definitely be a huge success, as it fills the mold with catchy radio singles. If she continues to make catchy songs like these, (which she of course will), she won’t need to try and fill the void with boring and sappy love songs.
My rating: 6 out of 10
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Pearl Jam – “Lighting Bolt” Review
Pearl Jam, one of the biggest bands of the nineties and creators of tons of incredible rock anthems such as “Even Flow”, “Jeremy”, “Alive” and “Yellow Ledbetter, have just released there tenth studio album “Lighting Bolt”. The band has been around for over twenty years, and they’ve gone on to become masters of their profession. While known for being a part of the grunge music scene in the nineties (along with Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots), the band’s sound can be attributed as having a hard rock sound. Throughout the nineties, the band was one of the most commercially successful acts and they are still going strong with a humongous fan base supporting them.
Their new album, “Lighting Bolt”, still contains some of the amazing rock instrumentation. With Jeff Ament’s roaring bass, Mike McCready and Stone Gossard’s excellent guitar playing, Matt Cameron’s pounding drums, and of course Eddie Vedder’s rugged voice, it all makes for an interesting sound. While the new album does have some really good playing and singing, all of it starts to get boring after a while. For the first four songs on this album, you’re pretty much going to get the same kind of stuff; fast paced guitar ringed tunes with some occasional strong notes from Vedder. It’s not until the song “Lighting Bolt” where you’ll actually get something a little different. The song starts with some soft vocals from Eddie Vedder, along with some soft guitar playing in the background. It then goes down the hard rock path but it doesn’t sound as generic as the first four tracks. Next comes “Pendulum”, one of the slower songs on the album. You can really get a good listen to Vedder’s voice and lyrics. For being almost fifty, he still has some pretty strong pipes. After this song, the album goes right back into that boring, generic rock song phase where none of them have no real sense of wonder. Towards the end of the album, we do hear a little bit of a different sound. The song “Let The Records Play” has a nice country guitar twang that, surprisingly, works really well.
While I didn’t think that the album was completely boring overall, and while it will definitely keep everyone in their fan base happy, I wasn’t expecting the boring generic rock sound that you’d hear from a band like 30 Seconds To Mars from a band like Pearl Jam. While I don’t want to say that the band is losing ideas, I do think that they should try to expand their sound to make it sound at least a little different from their previous albums.
My rating: 6 out of 10
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Paul McCartney – “New” Album Review
It is pretty much impossible to fully embrace how much of impact Paul McCartney has had on the history of music. First, he was a lead member in what is probably the greatest and most influential band in music history, The Beatles. While with the band, he wrote a ton of popular and influential songs, songs such as “Hey Jude”, “Let It Be”, and “Eleanor Rigby”. After the breakup of The Beatles, he embarked on a solo career and formed a new band with this past wife Linda McCartney called Wings. While with Wings, he wrote many more incredible songs such as “Silly Love Songs”, “Band On The Run”, and “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Thirty years after the breakup of Wings, McCartney has released over twenty new albums, ranging from pop and rock music to electronica. Overall, Paul McCartney is a master at his craft, and his influence on pop and rock music today is incomprehensible.
On McCartney’s brand new album “New”, he still has the same amazing songwriting ability and persona that made him what he is today. The instrumentation on the album is amazing, with many of songs taking it back to the late Beatles guitar riffs and early Wings inspired piano and string arrangements. You will hear acoustic and country inspired songs, (“Early Days”, “Get Me Out Of Here”), string segments and synthesizers (“Queenie Eye”) and some hard hitting rock and roll power songs (“Appreciate”, “Save Us”, and “I Can Bet”.) Paul’s voice still sounds as energetic as ever, and the lyrics still have the same soulful and youthful message to them. It’s amazing how McCartney’s songwriting abilities still haven’t changed over all these years.
While this album is certainly no “Abbey Road” or “Band On The Run”, (which let’s face it, are albums that will probably never be out done), it is an album that gives us some great tracks from a Seventy One year old rock star whose influence and legacy will remain in music forever. The day Paul McCartney finally decides to retire from music will be a very sad day for many people worldwide.
My rating: 8 out of 10
Pusha T – “My Name Is My Name” Album Review
Pusha T is a rapper from Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is best known as being one half of the very influential hip hop duo Clipse. The thirty six year old has been in the rap game for well over ten years. “My Name Is My Name” is his debut full length solo release on Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D Music. While for most hardcore hip hop fans, Pusha T is best known for his work with Clipse, however, he gained a much wider audience for his work on the G.O.O.D Music compilation, “Cruel Summer”. His verses on the hit songs “Mercy” and the “I Don’t Like” remix have been praised and his career has only gotten bigger these last few years.
“My Name Is My Name” in total has twelve tracks, with nine of them having features from other artist. The album starts off with the song “King Push”. The beat is filled with a rattling snare drum fill and some sparse high pitched vocals mixed in. You can tell right away that the Pusha T’s beats are heavily influenced by Kanye West. Pusha comes off fierce on the first track “This is my time, this is my hour/This is my pain, this is my name, this is my power.” The track sets the path for the rest of the album. Next is the track “Numbers On The Boards” which also incorporates some sparse 808’s filled production. It also features a nice little DJ Premier sample. Next is “Sweet Serenade ft. Chris Brown”. Surprisingly, Chris Brown is great on this track. Pusha T’s raps are still intense and they go well with Brown’s vocals. After this is “Hold On ft. Rick Ross”, the song is filled with heavy auto tone similar to Kanye West’s “Blood On The Leaves”. Even though both Pusha T and Rick Ross come through on their verses, the auto tune is so in your face it makes it hard to really appreciate the song. After this comes my favorite track on the album, “Suicide ft. Ab Liva”. Pusha gives us some interesting word play “Holy father to em, I ain’t talking Jesus neither/Balance on the scale, I ain’t a Libra either” over a nineties style beat that incorporates some nice high hats and what sounds like some echoing moans. Ab Liva, whom I’ve never heard of until now, also comes through on the track.
After this comes the track “40 Acres” ft. The Dream. While I didn’t think Pusha’s verse was all that bad, The Dream’s vocals seemed really unnecessary and bland. I do however love the guitar licks that soar throughout the song. Another example of this is on the song “Who I Am” ft. 2 Chainz, and Big Sean. I thought that Pusha’s verse wasn’t really that interesting, and 2 Chainz didn’t really bring anything lyrically to the table. Big Sean’s over the top ego and boring wordplay ruined it for me all together. After this comes another strong track, “Nostelgia” ft. Kendrick Lamar. Pusha T and Kendrick both go all in on the track and the interesting hand percussion and guitar sample go perfect over their rapping. I hope that these two work again in the future.
Overall, I thought that Pusha T again proved that he is a versatile and skilled rapper. He pretty much comes through on all of the tracks. I think that the only thing that bothered me was the excessive amount of features. I feel like since there were so many features, Pusha T wasn’t really able to give his all on a lot of the tracks. I feel like a lot of these tracks would’ve been fine with just Pusha T rapping over them. I hope that on his next album, Pusha doesn’t include so many features so he can give even more intricate verses that we all know he can give.
My overall rating: 7 out of 10
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Miley Cyrus – Bangerz review
If you don’t know who Miley Cyrus is by now, then you must be living under a rock. The twenty year old pop artist who first gained fame from being the sweet innocent tween on the Disney television show “Hannah Montana” has been all over entertainment media. The change in the pop singers look and persona has a lot to do with the album it’s self so I will discuss that first.
About five months ago, Miley Cyrus hair went from being a long and brunette to short, blonde, and spikey. After that, she released a new single called “We Can’t Stop”. The song’s lyrics and structure was a huge change from the innocent Hannah Montana pop songs we all knew. The song was a club record, and the lyrics discussed “twerking”, partying, and the use of the drug molly. While a lot of people were taken aback by the sudden musical change, when the music video was released, Miley Cyrus somehow became the most talked about artist of the year. The video featured the young singer shaking her butt in the air, making out with mannequins in a pool, and partying, a lot of partying. For some reason, everyone thought this was the worst thing ever and that the young pop singer had taken a turn for the worse. The single would go on to become a huge hit and the video set the record for most views on YouTube in a single day. After the success of the song and video, came the singer’s performance at the 2013 VMA awards. The performance featured life sized dancing teddy bears, a lot of twerking, and Miley and Robin Thicke grinding each other. After her performance, Miley became the most talked about thing on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and pretty much everywhere else.
Miley Cyrus’s new album, “Bangerz” is completely different than anything she’s ever done. While the album is different in style and lyricism, it has some pretty strong songs. However, the album also features some very weak songs as well.
Some of the songs on this album are catchy and the beats by producer Mike Will Made It are pretty good. For example, the songs “We Can’t Stop” and “4x4 ft. Nelly” are some of the catchiest songs you’ll hear all year. “4x4” has a slight country twang mixed with a banging club beat. Nelly also comes through with a pretty interesting verse. “Wrecking Ball”, the sixth song in this album, is a tender ballad about a love gone wrong. Cyrus really portrays that she in fact does has some vocal talent. It sounds very personal even though the singer didn’t actually write the song. Another song that is really catchy is the song “#GETITRIGHT”. The beat is probably my favorite on the album; it’s fueled with an interesting whistle and a rattling guitar.
Even though some of the songs on this album are really catchy, there are also some terrible songs on here to. For example, the song “My Darlin’ ft. Future” is soaked with cringe worthy lyrics and rapper Future’s auto tune is horrendous. The lyrics on this song are so incredibly bland and ridiculous that it makes it hard to even listen to. Another song on this album that just doesn’t make any sense is the song “Love Money Party ft. Big Sean”. Miley’s vocals are so boring and sometimes it’s hard to hear her over the auto tune. She sounds like a drunken girl trying to sing karaoke. The worst thing about this track is definitely Big Sean’s appearance. He really doesn’t even try to give a good verse here, and his voice doesn’t sound good on the beat at all.
Overall, I think Miley Cyrus has definitely changed. Her music is a lot more adult themed and more catchy. However, on some of these songs, her over the top lyrics about partying make it really hard to take her seriously. In some instances it feels like Miley is doing all of these gestures and using these sometimes absurd lyrics just to gain popularity. It also says something about the face of music today. This generic, over the top beat filled music with very little lyrical emotional depth is what’s popular these days. Perhaps Miley thought that she would lose all of her popularity if she did a record filled with real lyrics and actual instrumentation. I guess that’s something that we’ll never know. I think that the Miley has the talent, and potential to do an album that actually has some sort of meaning. Hopefully, she’ll give us that on her next album.
My rating: 5 out of 10
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Banks – London EP review
I saw this new up and coming singer open up for The Weeknd this past Wednesday and I was not disappointed. She just released a new EP recently so of course I had to review it.
Jillian Banks, also known as Banks is a young singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Her first single “Warm Water” was released on her soundcloud and garnered some interesting feedback. It was eventually heard by the popular R&B singer The Weeknd, who would eventually invite her out to perform on his “The Fall” tour. “Warm Water” features some dark and crooning vocals along with an elegant piano and synth back beat. While I didn’t really care for the song at first, it eventually grew on me.
Banks new EP, “London” has four new songs and expands on the reverbed packed, hazy vocals along with some dark topics about love and loneliness. The first song “Waiting Game” starts with some layered echoes and crooning piano chords. The hook on this song is sung with a mix of Lana Del Rey’s lush inspired sincerity and a bit of Fiona Apple’s feistiness. The next song, “This Is What It Feels Like” is a faster paced song that incorporates some soft echoing vocals and a spacey synthesizer beat. “And then when you said you felt the same/You pulled away/Started acting like being with me was too hard” are lyrics that everyone has felt at some point, but with Banks they seem new and fresh.
The next song, “Bedroom Wall” takes a much slower pace than the first two. However, just because it’s slower doesn’t mean it’s any worse. “My arms are open for you look at me now/Baby if you want you got me” she sings over graceful piano chords and layered vocals. Banks vocals on this track are filled with a mix of sexual fierceness and tender sensitivity. The last song on this EP, “Change”, is filled with much more instrumentation, and the keyboards and guitars that soar throughout give it a calming vibe. Again, her vocals are great on this song, with a great mix of soft reverb filled hums and passionate roars.
Overall, I thought that for a first EP, Banks stuck with a style that fits her pretty well. I think that once Banks expands on her new formed sound and maybe adds some more instrumentation, she will surely become a force to be reckoned with.
My rating: 8 out of 10
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Lorde - “Pure Heroine” Revew
Ella Yelich-O’Connor, also known as Lorde, is a sixteen year old singer/songwriter from New Zealand who has become somewhat of an overnight sensation. The singer released her debut EP “The Love Club” in late 2012. The EP went on to go triple platinum in Australia, and gold in New Zealand. It also sold over 60,000 units in the United States with very little promotion surrounding it. Her enormous hit “Royals” has sold over a million units alone, and it has broken records on the Alternative Songs chart. With her new album “Pure Heroine”, Lorde doesn’t sound like she’s sixteen. In fact, with songs about love, and middle class struggles, she sounds like she’s a mature woman in her twenties.
“Pure Heroine” is produced by New Zealand producer Joel Little. Little uses minimal and sparse production that sort of sounds like what’s on albums by the English band The xx. The album starts off with the lyrics “Don’t you think it’s boring how people talk?” from the song “Tennis Court”. While I usually tend to agree with this statement, Lorde doesn’t bore me, instead, her soft spoken voice makes me want to listen. The song uses a simple but catchy beat that goes very well with Lorde’s voice. Next comes “400 Lux”, a song about a teenage love. It uses another simple beat that again goes well with Lorde’s soft spoken lyrics like “We’re hollow like the bottles that we drain/You drape your wrists over the steering wheel.” Next comes the song “Royals” which, is credited as being Lorde’s breaking hit. The beat is more upbeat with a simple drum machine and catchy bass line. Lorde sings of how her and her friends don’t have the luxurious things and wealth that other teenagers have around her. However, she lets us know that if she did have it, she would use it to her advantage. Next is the song “Ribs”. The song uses an angelic, club like beat that makes Lorde’s voice sound amazing. She talks about how growing old isn’t always the greatest thing, and even though she’s sixteen, she sounds like she has experience. Another stand out track from this album is the last track “A World Alone”. The song features some very pretty guitar playing alone with some occasional tribal drum loops. With lyrics like “I know we’re not everlasting/We’re a train wreck waiting to happen”, Lorde gives us a sense of truthfulness and sensibility, but also, a sense of realness.
While I thought that the album was good overall, I can’t help but feel that longing for something more. While Lorde definitely has a good voice, I feel like she may have played it a little bit too safe with the minimal production. With a good voice, and some interesting lyrics, she definitely has the potential to sing over some more interesting and complex beats. My hope for Lorde is that she will go on tour with this album and learn to develop her sound. I know that if she does this, her music career will only get better.
My rating: 7 out of 10
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- Jordan Williams