Kanye West released an album called Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer where he teams up with big name guests on every track. We have to admit we like the first single, Mercy. 1. Sure, it’s a song about a woman who is “thirsty” for a celebrity’s penis and crawls into his limo to cheat on her boyfriend, but it’s pretty funny. Unfortunately, Mercy is the standout, and you’ve already heard it if you have a radio. “To the World” with R. Kelly is alright because Kelly can actually sing. Otherwise, there’s lots of that autotuned singing we hate. Kanye gets political (and inaccurate) in places, but no one cares. These songs are about the beat, not the arrogant, vapid lyrics.
Grizzly Bear has a new album, Shields, and while they are a good band with songs that are good to chill to, they kind of bore us. We’re not hipsters. Still, we have admit this is a musically good album, even if it’s not our taste. Ben Folds Five’s new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, is a lot more fun than its pretentious name would suggest. The mostly piano-driven songs are upbeat, quirky, and what you would expect from these guys. Fans should be pleased. There are only ten songs though, and there isn’t one that we can see getting addicted to. The biggest pop release is either The Truth of Love by Pink or Carly Rae Jepsen’s album. We’ll start with Pink’s. First off, if you want this CD, get it on amazon’s mp3 store. It’s only $5. It doesn’t have two tracks that the iTunes deluxe album does, but you’re still saving money even if you have to buy those separately. It’s a very modern, beat-driven CD. Pink knows how to make and sing hits. We like her first single, Blow Me (One Last Kiss).
We appreciated that there were some mature lyrics about love and life on here. We hate when singers grow up, get married, and get pregnant and still write songs as if none of that happened, trying to stay young no matter how dumb they look (Madonna, Christina Aguilera’s last CD). We liked the way she sounded with that dude from fun.. Too bad we didn’t love the song. Pink has a great voice, and she sounds better than ever here. It’s like her range has increased. Shockingly, we liked Slut Like You. It was hilarious and well-delivered by Pink. It wasn’t judgmental like it sounds either. We also like that the “slut” in the song was a guy. There’s a lot of variety on this CD, but nothing as good as F***in Perfect. There aren’t a lot of slow songs, which is a shame, because we love her voice on ballads.
Carly Rae Jepsen’s Kiss has a whopping 16 songs on the deluxe version, including the “song of the summer,” Call Me Maybe. Carly has one of those cutesy little voices that’s not really bad, but not that memorable either. It’s like if Taylor Swift could actually sing and wasn’t country. Oh, wait, she’s not anymore. Carly doing a duet with Justin Bieber was a stroke of genius, sure to please all their mutual fans. We feel like there would be a lot of overlap. Still, it sounds like a Colbie Callait song, but not in a good way. We’re unimpressed with the second single, This Kiss, but we kind of like Good Time. It’s a song we’ll get sick of soon, but it’s not the most annoying thing on the radio right now. The rest of the album is bubble gum, pretty, dull filler. This girl is about the singles, nothing more. This stuff is mostly annoying to us.
We forgot that Nelly Furtado was putting out a new album, but we liked a lot of the songs on Loose, so we were excited. Her new release, The Spirit Indestructible, disappointed though. On the first three tracks, Nelly sounded annoying and nasal. That’s some thin vocal delivery. It’s like a whiny 12-year-old learned how to belt. We can’t believe it’s her. Later, things improved. The CD had tons of variety. Sadly, we didn’t end up liking any of the songs. Third Day is a Christian band best known for its amazing song Show Me Your Glory. Their new single, I Need a Miracle, is no Show Me Your Glory.
The Killers FINALLY have a new album, Battle Born. Flesh and Bone is a good opener, and it’s possibly our favorite song on the CD. Runaways could have used a tighter melody. Here With Me had a good, controlled melody. We don’t like when The Killers sound like they are all over the place, because it keeps the songs from being catchy enough to remember. Some parts of the album reminded us just a little of classic rock. We liked the dramatic The Rising Tide, the value-filled Be Still, and the title track.
Overall, the album was joyful, uplifting, and well-made, containing good, thoughtful lyrics. However, a hit single like Mr. Brightside was nowhere to be found. But, then again, this band has changed a lot since then. It’s going from catchy, energetic songs about romance to soaring songs about spirituality and everyday struggle. Whether you like that is up to you.
Go Radio released a CD called Close the Distance. It’s a shame they have their lead singer because his voice is generic and sounds just like every alternative guy on the radio. Their songs aren’t bad, especially Baltimore and Collide. Matchbox Twenty released North. We didn’t like the first single, She’s So Mean. It wasn’t anything we ever wanted to hear again, and calling people mean is mean. The rest of the album is good though, if you like them. We think they’re okay. Christina Aguilera is clearly reaching for the top of the charts with her single Your Body. We think she’s belting too hard in it. She actually has a really pretty voice…not that you can tell from this song and her last album. This isn’t the kind of thing we want to hear from her. The verses are catchy. The chorus is hideous. We think she should stop trying to be number one, bringing the sex pot thing, and just make good music, like Back to Basics.
Missy Elliot also released two singles, 9th Inning and Triple Threat, both featuring Timbaland. We welcome this because Nicki Minaj needs some competition. Missy’s a pretty good female rapper. We liked all the piano and we’re glad she’s back, but we can’t say we loved either of these songs. There was too much Timbaland. Speaking of Nicki Minaj…Her new song The Boys, featuring Cassie sucks. Another woman coming onto the scene is Lindsey Stirling, a really talented violinist who makes electronic music. Her self-titled album dropped this week. That’s not our favorite genre at all, but we gave this a chance, and it’s interesting. If you love strings, you’ll like this. We prefer songs with verses, choruses, and people singing, but we wouldn’t complain if you turned this on.
So yeah. The Killers win this week. If we missed anything good, please let us know. We love music and we buy it all the time.