Author Archives: Kate
Pines, the newest offering from A Fine Frenzy, is a strange yet interesting concept album that has the earthiness of Enya and the haunting lilts of Regina Spektor, Florence + the Machine, and Imogen Heap. With a tiny dash of Sara Bareilles on top. That’s a lot of influence. But there’s a lot going on in this album. Too much, actually. It may be “the sound of growing up” as one generous reviewer said, but it’s the sound of a messy, confused, incredibly hipster high school Junior.
“Locked Out of Heaven” is the first single from Bruno Mars’ upcoming album Unorthodox Jukebox (due out December 11, 2012). Thankfully a little less emo than a lot of this crooner’s songs, “Locked Out of Heaven” opens to raw sticks and a crisp driving beat that segues into a fun, funky 70’s vibe. So interesting! I haven’t heard anything like this recently and it’s a welcome artistic twist in a season that has seen many new releases relying heavily on familiar ground.
Fresh from their decade-long stint at Island Records, Hoobastank’s Open E Entertainment release Fight or Flight showcases a slightly more toned down Hoobastank flavor. Despite some well produced tracks, this release won’t be jumping out at you from a ‘best new album’ list. In fact, I found it mostly forgettable outside of the tender ballad “Magnolia.” One thing Fight or Flight has going for it, however, is the album structure; all the songs do lyrically follow a ‘fight or flight’ pattern (slightly weighted toward emo-sounding flight, much to the surprise of no one ever).
After a six year hiatus, Smash Mouth’s brand new album Magic conjures up the best of the 90’s, back when Buffy was still new and there was a flavor of laid back grunge hanging in the air. This fun LP starts off with a retro-sounding “Live to Love Another Day” that brings to mind their single “Walkin’ on the Sun” from their inaugural 1997 Album Fush Yu Mang, remixed with a campy James Bond vibe. Possibly what one could consider the closest thing they have to a signature on the CD.