The return of the boy band has been a long time coming. The Jonas Brothers look surprisingly clairvoyant and avant-garde, what with their quick rise and fall between 2006 and 2008. Justin Bieber followed soon after, and, now, the British are coming. Or they already came.
Many reviews of Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” have been released already, and they seem to focus on whether or not she’s a true indie songstress or a just label-created pop product. I, however, think she can be a fusion of the two, as not all pop has to be dance-y Britney beats and ballads. Lana Del Rey’s brand of pop instead recalls earlier times.
TV on the Radio’s newest studio release “Nine Types of Light” is so excellent an album that anyone who is remotely interested in contemporary music should listen to it. Coming from a person who found “Dear Science,” the band’s critically acclaimed 2008 studio album, somewhat repetitive, the strong singles on this album came as a really pleasant surprise.
At long last, BET’s Best New Artist Nicki Minaj has released her first album. Unfortunately, on “Pink Friday” she falls short of her reputation, offering an above-average pop album that shows flashes of brilliance but is ultimately suffocated by commerciality.
If you’ve ever felt like it takes absolutely no talent to get a song on the radio these days, then you can probably imagine how little talent it takes for some nobody punk band to cover a recent pop song. Though the musical quality of pop songs can be argued, “Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 3” seems to lose everything good about them.
Local act Tight Pants Syndrome might have the cleanest pop this side of 1966. Armed with shoo-wop vocals and more hooks than a tackle box, the band is equally deft at driving indie power pop and the beachy bubblegum material that so clearly inspires the band’s members.
Upon the release of Lil Wayne’s seventh studio album, “Rebirth,” the hip-hop community once again saw a stream of criticism over a rap icon’s departure from his roots. The record—founded on rock music but laced with rap vocals—reveals a side of Wayne we have never seen before. Over the past 13 years, Weezy has made himself into one of the rap game’s leading stars.
After first listening to Dizzee Rascal (real name Dylan Mills) last March, I was immediately hooked. For those who don’t know of Mills, he is one of the stars of “grime” music. This largely underground East London genre combines dancehall with heavier-hitting rap. Think M.I.A. with more hip-hop.
The new Quietdrive CD is, like, totally amazing, ohemgee! With more serious hooks than that creepy fisherman in “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” the band thus far best known for their cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” (you can hear it in “John Tucker Must Die” and “Prom Night”) has assembled a solid lineup of pop-punk songs on “Deliverance.”
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