Wednesday, 14 November 2012

2011 Music Review: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

The guy who posts a review once every 6 months is writing two in one day, look at that

Yeah this was really overdue. The death of Adam Yauch in May was depressing news, especially for me as now I can't ever see the Beastie Boys live. Not only that, but we probably won't ever be getting part one of the Hot Sauce Committee. I was originally going to post a review after I heard of his death, but didn't probably due to time restraint. Well, I'm doing it now, so here we go, let's review one of my favourite music artists of the alltimes eh

After the shambles of an instrumental album that was The Mix-Up, the Beastie Boys jumped back into action with Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. In terms of sound and content, this album sounds more like a Hello Nasty Part Two. It's full of popping and driving electro beats and subject-less lyrics. The seriousness of lyrical content appears again on tracks such as Too Many Rappers, but overall this is a much more relaxed recording, as it should be. 

Unfortunately, this album has a bit of filler towards the end. Now, I know you might say that Ill Communication had filler every track (it really f*cking didn't, you're just not listening to it properly), but the filler on this album is chucked onto the end of the album, making it dim down as compared to actually propelling towards an actual ending. This is a shame, as Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is a really enjoyable recording if you discount this, but I've never enjoyed having to stop an album because it reached a point where I was getting uninterested.

Overall though, it isn't an interesting Beastie Boys album. They have better recordings in every other album, (except the Mix-Up of course. Don't listen to that.), but that said I still enjoy it. It has managed to avoid sounding too old fashioned, which, may I add, is astounding for a hip-hop group. So kudos to the Beastie Boys for recording interesting material for more than 20 years, it's something that no other hip-hop musician has been able to do so well.

Composition - Neeeeh. It is the worst composed Beastie Boys recording.

Structure - It's aite. Gets boring toward the end though.

Creativity - Hip-Hop isn't a creative genre by any means (but I would say that). Go and find out for yourself.

Lyrics - Funky motherf*cking Donkey!

RIP Adam Yauch. I will remember you for wearing clothes that didn't fit you properly and being there for me all 2012. Wait, I think I've said too much

2011 Music Review: The Whole Love

I'm going to try and squeeze as many reviews for 2011 as I can before the new year. There's still a fair few recordings that I want to write about. So the next one is The Whole Love by Wilco.

So basically, before I delve right into this, I'm no huge Wilco fan. I've never took any of their other albums seriously and still have trouble doing so. That actually goes for their songs too, I don't really know any of them. I don't know any of the band members, any fellow fans of their music, yet here I am writing a review for their album. Okay lets get started.

The Whole Love... is an album about love. A lot of love, and given the title, that's what you would expect. However, it hits the barrier between pop lyrics and an alt. rock style quite nicely. However, it is neither a pop album or an alt. rock album, it's neither too focused to be either of those. Instead it sits nicely in the good old genre of indie, but given Wilco formed around a time where alt. rock bands were flying up and down, it's very hard to give them a definite style, especially here.

The album doesn't constantly push the barriers of rock though. Most of the songs stick to one sound, with The Art of Almost being the closest to something experimental. This does not let the album down much at all, as it still bounces and has a good feel to it.

Composition - Good. Very good. There are some tracks that sound a bit off, but the general composition of the whole album leaves you very little room to nitpick.

Structure - Erm, it's alright. Wilco played it safe with the structure. But hey; safe is sound!

Creativity - I don't know. I haven't heard any other Wilco albums properly other than Wilco, The Album, so it's a little unfair to judge how creative this is compared to their other stuff. As a general rule of thumb however, I don't see acres of creativity being ploughed into this recording. It's definitely not experimental for an 8th album or whatever number it is.

Lyrics - Bland, generic, you know, the usual. I will admit that they do fit in well.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

2011 Music Review: Some Girls (Re-release)

I'm back, and, well, nobody wants to help me. Oh well. I'll just write these reports in my melancholy mood.

Next review is something that wasn't recorded anywhere near 2011. It was in fact recorded in the mid-late 70's by The Rolling Stones. The original charted pretty well in several countries and had a good reception. If you're asking "But why are you reviewing something so OLD, Sean? I thought this was a review of 2011 music, no-one cares about your old fogey granddad music" Well, I'm not reviewing the original Vinyl recording that was released in 1978, I am reviewing the amazing bonus CD that came with it in the re-release last year. Now, without further ado, I proudly present you Some Girls:

Lovely, some 70's Rock and Roll released in a generation where anything not Dubstep or violent rap is 'not cool man'. Before I go on, I should tell you that Some girls 1 is naturally mentioned a few times in this review. For those of you who haven't heard the original recording of Some Girls, here's a quick summary.
Some Girls 2... Sounds a lot like that album, unsurprisingly. There are a lot of catchy Stones hooks as you would expect, and it's very uniform and even. There aren't any immediate weak tracks other than maybe Petrol Blues, which sounds like a weirder and more boring way to finish an album than The Beatles' Her Majesty. But, that aside, there are catchy songs in Claudine and I Love You Too Much, and the surprisingly good love song in We Had It All, which actually matches the best moments of Some Girls 1 on its own. But as a whole, the lyrics on most songs just don't match the the feel of Some Girls 1, and aren't generally as good anyway (The title track is an exception to this; anything that Some Girls 2 can throw at you is immediately a nicer listen than that).

So overall, what do I think? I think this is a definite grab for Rolling Stones fans. There are some good songs on this bonus disc, and while it's not as good as what Some Girls 1 is, it definitely gets an honourable mention of having some of the Stones' most interesting songs.


Composition - As good as Some Girls 1's. In other words:

Structure - You know what, for a bonus disc of cut songs thrown together, it's actually very composed. I don't think it's fair to give a bonus disc a score on structure, but if I did it would probably be:

Creativity - Not as creative as its predecessor.

Passion - There is no passion. Well if there is, I didn't feel it. Seriously. It's pop rock at its earliest. Not to say that pop rock lacks passion, but you know.

Lyrics - Weaker than Some Girls 1 through almost every track, but it still holds itself alright.

I think I will drop passion from further reviews, as not a lot of music touches me emotionally. I'm probably just a miserable child, or maybe music doesn't touch anyone emotionally, but either way, it's pointless to include it.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A Quick Note

More reviews coming soon! Hopefully I can make this a more common pastime.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

2011 Review: Velociraptor!

I'm back guise, and I am returning with Chris on the side bench! But since he's a lazy c*nt, I'm writing the second review by myself. Following the trend of reviewing 2011 with its music, here we have Kasabian's Velociraptor!. Being the first Kasabian album I've heard, I can't compare it to the others, but that won't stop me writing a review for one of 2011's best releases.

Adding Catchiness to a contributing factor to the score, since apparently that was needed.

Kasabian went into the adventurous side of things with their 4th album, Velociraptor!. This album takes a lot of influence from the creative Alt. Rock songs of the 90's (think songs like D'You Know What I Mean? and Discothèque) and folds them into a style that has a fewer jagged edges than when compared to its influences. Velociraptor is an album that chooses to rely on catchy hooks and run-off riffs to propel itself forward, instead of deep lyrical content.

The songs on the album have their own personalities, with Switchblade Smiles straying far from its album's genre and toward a more Garage style, and La Fee Verté taking the psychedelic path of rock. Even with all this genre mashing, the album still doesn't overwhelm and keeps rocking. Velociraptor! is a good example of how to make something sound different whilst still staying relevant.


Composition - One of the most finely composed Indie Rock albums for a long time. A lot of influence could indeed be drawn from the Indie genre based off this album alone.

Structure - Structure is irrelevant to this album, as the song arrangement wouldn't make a blind spot of difference if it was changed. The songs are just that powerful and independent, while remaining relevant to each other.

Creativity - You could argue that this album isn't creative, as it does borrow a lot of influence from psychedelia and alternative music. Nevertheless, this album has its own distinctive sound.

Passion - A lack of emotion? Definitely. This album isn't there to make you weep and rejoice respectively. Not to mention the strange lyrical content which will be further discussed below.

Lyrics - Songs about breaking wrists, hunting rabbits and sleeping with policemen? What? Then again, Kasabian aren't aiming for the next Wonderwall here, really.

Catchiness - Some songs are arguably catchier than others, but the album overall does a very good job of keeping a structured sound which does keep you wanting more.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

2011 Review: The King Of Limbs

Ooh first Blog.

Ah, the 21st Century. Well known by critics and reviewers as a dramatic change in music style, and often agreed to be a bad one. The late 2000's has seen British rock music slip away from everybody's grasp, leaving behind remnants of dodgy alternative bands that can't quite create something fresh. 2011 certainly didn't bring anything new to the table, but it did have its good moments.

A common feature to be included in every album review I post will be: Composition, Structure, Creativity, Passion, and Lyrics, all rated out of 10.

The King Of Limbs by Radiohead came as a surprise to many, being released only a week prior to when it was announced. The album uses strange sounds almost completely avoided when it comes to rock music, such as natural sounds including wildlife and gusts of breeze. However this doesn't stray the album too far from it's signature Radiohead sound.

With only 8 songs, the album is slightly lacking in content, and it's questionable whether this was done to prevent the album from dragging on, which does seem to be the case. There are only a certain amount of times this album can be played before the robust sounds and instruments thrown into every song begin to make it feel like a nature walk and not an album created within a studio.

Nevertheless this is still one of the quality albums released this year. The passionate rhythm that is 'Lotus Flower' brings nostalgia to Kid A fans, and 'Codex' plays a mellowed piano to the brilliance of Thom Yorke's voice. All the album falls together into one piece in typical fashion of the band, making it very well structured and thought-out in terms of creativity.


Composition - The album has a good flow from beginning to end, and there honestly isn't any standout song. But the sounds used throughout the album do become repetitive. 7/10.

Structure - It's a Radiohead album that isn't Amnesiac (Albeit awkwardly similar). Need I say more? 9/10

Creativity - Not much creativity is used in this album when Kid A is mentioned. The album does use unique sounds and idea that Kid A doesn't however. 5/10.

Passion - It's always easy to see the passion in rock that is so alternatively influenced. For example, 'Give Up The Ghost' gives a very fascinating hollow take on forgetting a once happy past. However I didn't feel much passion toward the beginning half of The King Of Limbs. 5/10

Lyrics - Radiohead haven't been lyrically unbalanced since Pablo Honey, and still aren't here. 8/10.