A performance at Glastonbury can be a humbling experience — even for the biggest bands. Case in point: Foo Fighters’ Saturday night headlining set and the moment when the band watched in awe as 150,000 people sang back to them in unison. “This is exactly what I fucking hoped would happen!” Dave Grohl proclaimed in…
Album : Melodrama
Artist : Lorde
Genre : Pop
Date Released : 2017
This album has a good album and listeners expect a confessional album. What else would you expect if you choose the word MELODRAMA as an album title. In her first album, Lorde delivered the goods and she was critics favorite and in this record, many are anticipating if she will deliver the much dreaded sophomore album syndrome or will listeners clamor for her third album the soonest time possible.
Watch lyric video here
This second album is perhaps a departure from her first album and is more pop. It could be attributed that she partnered with some famous names in pop genre like Tove Lo. Thus, Homemade Dynamite sounds like a re-arranged version of Tove Lo’s I Like Them Young. It is a departure as she had a piano only ballad with the song Liability. She sang about her being too much in this song, she appeared to be a Janis Joplin clone and perhaps she should do this kind of song very often to feel the void left by Ms. Joplin.
Watch “Green Light” here
In Hard Feelings, you have a song that can be mashed up to a Madonna song; Body Shop. Thus, cementing further the notion that this is indeed a pop album instead of rock or alternative rock. And Green Light¸ just prove that she can be a dance artist as well even if the song has some rock hooks. You just imagine how will the dance mix or remixed version will ignite the dancefloors. Because of Jack Antonoff involvement in this record, it became more apparent the pop DNA of this record. And finally, Supercut is the kind of record most pop girls would beg to make it their own. s
Watch “Hardfeelings/Loveless” here
She succeeded in bringing a more mainstream or pop album. Maybe, we could say that her own brand of pop record is what listeners are looking for in order to get excited with pop genre again as pop records have become more generic. With that I rate this record, 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
Album : Witness
Artist : Katy Perry
Genre : Pop
Date Released : 2017
Probably, the album title may suggest that listeners should witness a transformation in her in terms of music. Every pop girl in the world has that album that could be considered as turnaround album. Thus, Madonna (of course has several game changing albums), Beyonce has Formation, Gaga has Cheek to Cheek, Janet has Rhythm Nation and among others. Witness is Katy’s turn to sing about ideas close to her heart. If Madonna has Confessions on the Dancefloor, then this is her album that will make listeners hear her say BULLSHIT to those who affected her.
Watch live version of Swish Swish in here
Thus, she sings about not bragging about not being able to break her in Hey Hey Hey. She wants something new when you want to tell her in Dejavu. She’s wishing somebody for Karma to break on that person in Swish Swish. She’s brandishing her power and what she can do in Power. She no longer roar in Mind Maze as was already disenchanted and needed more salvation. She asked what good it will do if she juggled, struggled, and reopened the wound; and instead she want to save something as draft while taking a deep breath in Saved It As Draft.
Listen to audio version of Witness in here
Musically, the whole album is a rollercoaster of sounds. It has upbeat, middle of the road pop, and ballads. It is in the ballads that she was very effective as musically and lyrically we can say that we are witnessing indeed a new Katy Perry. In the upbeat songs, do not expect a Teenage Dream type of songs. In here, you might think that this is a Gwen Stefanni, Beyonce, and Rihanna album merged together when you talk of dance and fast songs.
On first listening, you will find the album generic. But once you are done with second serving, Bon Appetit, it is and you will crave for more listening pleasure with this album. It will grow on you. With that, I rate this record 4 stars out of 5 stars. Grab or download your copy now and cherish it.
ALBUM : TOGETHER TILL THE END
ARTIST : MONO INC
YEAR : 2017
GENRE : ROCK
The moment you hear the first few bars of the first song in this album, you already feel some problems with the record. First, musically the album is structured to make it like a Broadway album, even though the genre is rock. As a result, you have a rock album that weaves a story in each song and some of the songs connect together. However, the stories of the song could not connect with the listeners easily. Perhaps it is the preachy attitude or lyrics that are the turn off factor. Second, being a narrative album, you get to hear a story. A story it is but unfortunately, the narrative of the album is quite trite and it uses lots of tried and tried cliché. Third, the vibe of the whole album has the sound of a cheap record.
Watch “Children of the Dark” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocbLw49Or44
With these problems, it is quite surprising that it is still an engaging album. This could be attributed that to infusion of upbeat rock songs and some of the songs sound like 80’s synth-pop or 80’s rock. For a narrative album, it is also surprising to take note the lack of rock ballad in this album.
Watch “Across the Waves” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R4SFT3pbUo
It is also a good thing that the album included remix version of some of the songs and indeed the four remixed songs solidified the belief that Mono Inc is better doing at other musical genre. In fact, the remixed version sounded better than the original album version as in the case of the song “Across The Wave.” I rate this record 3 stars.
Song : Sign of The Times
Artist : Harry Styles
Date Released : April 2017
There are a lot of things that you can say about the debut song of Harry Styles. First, it can be his “Take A Bow” song, you know the kind of song that motivates people to move on. But in this song, Harry does not only encourage, he lifts people up. Second, the song is not only a fusion but a merging of styles. Perhaps, he was just being true to his name when it comes to style. Third, the song is like a male Sinead O’ Connor “Nothing Compare’s To You.” Or, you can describe the song as being sung by a male Annie Lennox. Fourth, it is a trip down to memory lane when music was all about good lyrics, hooks, and melodies.
Listen to this new song on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0GKGpObgPY.
The first song of the year candidate is already delivered. The song is indeed surprising considering his pop background with One Direction. The video is also simple but complements the sullen atmosphere the song wants to project and at the same time invigorates listeners to move on. Yes, the song is not perfect as you hear familiar refrain from different song favorite of yours but, Harry sang it in a way that he is the original singer of these familiar refrains.
I rate both the song and video of “Sign of The Times” with 5 stars.
I discovered Tommy Page in the late eighties and at that time I splurged on cassette tapes. My barometer of buying cassette tapes was either based on familiarity, popularity, and of course the attractiveness of the cover or the performer. It was on the latter part that I took a gamble with Tommy Page and I bought his first because he looked like a GQ model on the cover. I instantly like my purchase because I love his “A Zillion KIsses,” “Making My Move,” “A Shoulder To Cry On,” and “Turning Me On.” Of course, all the songs in his first album were bubblegum pop and listening to it was like a guilty pleasure.
Thus, when his second album was released, I waited for it in my favorite record bar in Zamboanga City. My anticipation started when I watched the first video of the lead single “I’ll Be Your Everything” and there was him and that New Kids On The Block Kid. He looked even better on the album cover of his second album compared with that of his first album.
It was quite sad to know that he is dead at 46 years old. As of this writing, there are only mere speculations as to the cause of his death. So, here are my favorite Tommy Page songs.
- Whenever You Close Your Eyes – it was a typical 90’s ballad but what made this song quite adorable because of Michael Bolton singing back-up in this record. Watch the official music video in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdBW3CX-7UE
2. I’ll Be Your Everything – many would asked why this song is not on top of my list. Well, there was nothing great on this song except his good looks but I kinda liked the idea then of him working with the famous boy band at that time. Watch the official music video on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTki_oqDLqk&index=1&list=RDrTki_oqDLqk
3. Wouldn’t It Be Good – a cover version of Nick Kershaw most popular song. His version was very satisfactory as it did not depart from the original version and he made it so 90’s. Listen to this song on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96nhQybNWkQ
4. You Are My Heaven – many pop stars’ discography would not be complete if they don;t have a Dianne Warren collaboration. The song is so 90’s and it made on my list as it was the vocal harmony that he made with Madonna’s back vocalist Donna de Lory. Click on this link to listen to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzbPavWBPg0
5. Only In My Imagination – this song just confirmed what I suspected during electronica days in the 90’s that Tommy Page voice would complement well in this musical genre. The mashing up with Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer” worked so well.
6. Don’t Give Up On Love – his duet with Safire was one of the most underrated pop songs of all time. Listen on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnBsNm_s81A
GOODBYE TOMMY PAGE, MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PEACE AND THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC.
ALBUM : TEN TILL MIDNIGHT
ARTIST : TOMMY PAGE
GENRE : POP
Date Released : 2010
He had quite a successful run during the late eighties with hits charting on Billboard charts such as “A Zillion Kisses,” “A Shoulder To Cry On,” “I’ll Be Your Everything,” and Turn On The Radio. However, he was more successful behind the scenes as he became one of the most successful recording artists who excelled as record executive. But, despite his stint behind the record, he was able to release few albums intended maybe to satisfy his loyal fans.
Reminisce his early hit with “I’ll Be Your Everything” a live performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l49AwDb4twk.
In this album, you have a compilation of older songs and new songs. Some of the news songs in this album can be considered as rejects from his previous albums. The musical vibe of this album is like crossing musical genre’s. Part of the whole album sound like 80’s pop and some songs sound like a chill out or EDM music.
Listen to “Only My Imagination” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0es9JIwmc.
Best tracks to listen aside from “A Shoulder To Cry On,” are “Dream Come True (a heavy and pulsating tune,)” Kissing In The Rain (which is like a Gazebo song,) “Only My Imagination (which borrows some refrain from Duran Duran’s Say A Prayer,)”and “Right On Track (which is EDM version of Breakfast Club ditty.)”
Watch fan made video of “Right On Track.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhn3tK7lIo8.
I say the album is really good for his loyal fans, but for other musical fans, they opt to listen only to the recommended tracks and will not bother to listen to the whole album. Thus, I rate this record 2.5 stars.
1 stars = Ignore it
2 stars = risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it