Monday, October 25, 2010

Ke$ha - We R Who We R

Instead of releasing another full album, Ke$ha has decided to put out Cannibal.  Cannibal is an eight song extension to her debut record, Animal.  This may sound familiar, as Lady Gaga made the exact same move with The Fame and The Fame Monster.  While eight songs is perfectly acceptable for a full record, the industry will probably consider Cannibal an EP.

The first single from Cannibal is "We R Who We R".  Due to the recent string of teenage suicides caused by bullying, Ke$ha stated that "The songs on Cannibal were made to inspire people to ignore any hate or judgment and be themselves unapologetically".  She hoped that the new single would become an anthem in a way.  The song's lyrics are very random and have a "we don't care what you think" attitude, but the single really just winds up sounding like a party song.  There aren't any specific lyrics directed towards the situation.

"We R Who We R" starts with a light synth line just as her other hit songs did.  The single sounds like a mash-up of every successful tune she's ever had.  It isn't innovative or ground breaking, but it does sound like a club hit.

The one element that's missing from "We R Who We R" is a bridge.  Instead of a bridge, there's a small instrumental section.  It really takes away a large part the formula.  The bridge was always the most exciting part of "Your Love Is My Drug" and "TiK ToK".  The song seems incomplete without it.

In the end, "We R Who We R" will probably burn up the charts.  It's very positive and fun, even if it's overly simplified.  The single will be released to iTunes for downloading on October 26.  "We R Who We R" is crazy and care free, but what matters the most is that it's catchy... and it is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mr. Dream - Learn The Language

I've featured the Brooklyn post-punk band, Mr. Dream, several times before.  The raw sound of their No Girls Allowed EP quickly caught my attention.  The band immediately became one of my favorite new acts when I found myself listening to them on repeat.  When I received news of another single from them, I couldn't wait to see what they had done.  "Learn The Language" mostly sticks to Mr. Dream's previous sound, but there are a few noticeable changes in the formula.  They manage to mix up the sound just enough to turn a few heads.

The rough out of control vocals of "Knuckle Sandwich" are missing from this song.  Instead, "Learn The Language" has a tight melody and a big hook of, "Heaven is just a zip code".  It's a little less punk and a little more hard rock, but it's all good.

Mr. Dream is currently working on their full length album, Never Elaborate.  While there isn't a final release date for the record, we can hope that it's released soon.  You can download "Learn The Language", via Stereogum, here.  You can also check out the band's Myspace for a stream of some previous singles.  If you like punk inspired low-fi music filled with buzzing distortion, I suggest you download "Learn The Language".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Antony And The Johnsons - The Spirit Was Gone

Antony Hegarty has one of the most emotional and vulnerable voices that I've heard in a long time. It's haunting.  His vibrato is incredibly rapid, yet controlled, and his lyrics are brutally honest and personal. "The Spirit Was Gone" is a solemn song about death.  Antony sings over soft piano chords and crying strings.  The song's simplicity is what brings through the raw emotions.  He states that "It's hard to understand", almost like an innocent child asking a question  It's truly a remarkable song.

Antony And The Johnsons released their fourth full length album this week.  Swanlights contains "The Spirit Was Gone" and ten more tracks, including a duet with Björk.  You can download this single for free below.

Keep reading to watch the music video for "The Spirit Was Gone" featuring the Butoh dancer, Kazuo Ohno, who was featured on the cover of Antony And The Johnsons album, The Crying Light.

Friday, October 8, 2010

VersaEmerge - Fixed At Zero

VersaEmerge will unfortunately be compared to Paramore by most critics.  Both groups have strong female vocalists and they both play alternative rock music.  However, VersaEmerge is interesting enough to attract some well deserved attention.  Their single, "Fixed At Zero", focuses strongly on a the lead vocals.  Singer, Sierra Kusterbeck, controls the song.  It has a great melody and chorus, perfect modern rock radio material.  Check out the video for the single below...

The setting in the music video is quite similar to Flyleaf's "Fully Alive", with the dark and windy atmosphere.  It gives listeners a good taste of the band's style.  "Fixed At Zero" can be found on their debut full length album of the same name.  Check it out if you like soaring vocals, catchy guitar riffs, and an infectious chorus.  I'll definitely keep an eye on this band in the future.