Good Track: Trevor Hall – Lime Tree

19 08 2012

I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately. It’s very relaxing.





New Song: Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (w/ Download link)

9 01 2012

 

In the wake of The Lumineers song Ho Hey, comes another upbeat anthem called Little Talks by Of Monsters And Men. The band is from Iceland and has just recently released an EP on itunes titled Into The Woods. The band says they are working on re-releasing their debut album My Head Is An Animal some time this year. If you dig around enough, I’m sure you can find the current release of the album somewhere on the web.

Itunes Link To EP: Into The Woods

Follow the band:
Facebook
Twitter

Download MP3: Little Talks





The Lumineers Ho Hey (Download Link)

21 12 2011

This is a great little song by an up-and-coming band called the Lumineers. The video is sure to make you want to grab a pint and stomp your feet. Apparently the song was featured in a show called The Hart Of Dixie (I’m getting this info from my sister, I promise I don’t watch the show). According to the Lumineers website their full length debut album will be out in March of 2012. In the meantime they have an EP available on iTunes and they just recently recorded some tunes over at Daytrotter.

Link to EP: iTunes
Link to the Daytrotter Sessions

To download Ho Hey click the arrow on the righthand side of the player below:

While I do love Ho Hey, I must say that I’ve grown to like another song from their Daytrotter Sessions a little bit more. The song is called Slow It Down and you can check it out below:





Jack’s Mannequin: People & Things (w/Bonus Tracks Download)

15 12 2011

Track Listing:

1 Release Me
2 My Racing Thoughts
3 Television
4 Amy, I
5 Hey Hey Hey (We’re All Gonna Die)
6 People, Running
7 Amelia Jean
8 Platform Fire
9 Hostage
10 Restless Dream
11 Casting Lines

Bonus Songs:

12 No Man Is An Island
13 Ten Days Gone
14 Dancing With A Gun
15 Broken Bird
16 Out Of It (Passenger Demonstration Tape)
17 Locked Doors (Transit Demonstration Tape)
18 Keep Rising (Passenger Demonstration Tape)

Link to purchase: iTunes
Link to purchase: Amazon
Bonus Tracks Download (Mediafire): http://www.mediafire.com/?4vrcbzyno0fxv89

Review

Lead singer, Andrew McMahon, delivers yet another very solid release with People & Things. The first song and single off the album, My Racing Thoughts, kick-starts People & Things into high gear. The energy of the album continues to mount with a seemingly Billy Joel inspired piano anthem called Release Me. From there, McMahon confesses his inability to sleep without the tv on in Television. A feeling that I know all too well.

Amy, I is a fitting soundtrack for this time of year. With lyrics like:

Snow on the ground in Tennessee
North came South at the tops of the trees
Another long winter trying to fight this freeze
Waiting but the cold’s got a hold on me
Hold on me
Hold on to me

This is a bit of a departure from what we’re used to hearing from the Southern California native. The stand out track on the album for me would have to be Hostage. The song follows in the footsteps of power-pop classic JM tracks like The Resolution and I’m Ready. Perhaps the most heartfelt track on People & Things comes in the form of a bonus song called No Man Is An Island. This is a simple piano ballad that features some of McMahon’s most honest and endearing lyrics to date.

This album has definitely grown on me in the time since its October release. While People & Things isn’t on the same level as Everything In Transit, it’s definitely a step up from their 08 release The Glass Passenger. All-in-all when you add in the 7 bonus songs JM fans will find a lot to be thankful for this year.

Rating Out Of 5:





Radical Something – We Are Radical

27 09 2011

 

 

Rating: 4 out of 5
Tracklist

1. Long Hair Don’t Care
2. Escape
3. Looking For Love
4. Be Easy ft. Kinetics
5. Puppy Love
6. Radio
7. Give Me A Sign
8. No Lovin
9. Gonna Be Good
10. Come With Me
11. California
12. Freedom
13. Hey Babe
14. We Are Radical
15. Be Easy (Acoustic)

Link to Purchase: iTunes
Direct Download: Here
Twitter: @weareradical 

I’m really glad these guys were able to put out an album and they managed to do it in just 4 months. Radical Something is a group comprised of some laid back rhymes from  alternative hip hop artist Loggy, smooth guitar laden production from DJ Big Red, and sweet soulful choruses from Josh Cocktail. The trio has managed to bottle up the essence of California and put it into song. Songs like Escape, Be Easy, and Long Hair Don’t Care make you want to trade in your Honda Accord for a convertible.

Here’s an acoustic version of Come With Me to give you an idea of what these guys are all about.

You can’t help but be in a good mood listening to We Are Nothing. From beginning to end this album has the vibe of a summer breeze and palm trees. Loggy, DJ Big Red and Josh Cocktail come together to create a fresh sound and if they keep making music like this their future will be as bright as the California sunshine they sing about.

Stream the album below:





The Horrible Crowes – Elsie Review (w/ Bonus Track DL)

6 09 2011


Tracklist:

1) Last Rites
2) Sugar
3) Behold The Hurricane
4) I Witnessed a Crime
5) Go Tell Everybody
6) Cherry Blossoms
7) Ladykiller
8 ) Crush
9) Mary Ann
10) Black Betty and the Moon
11) Blood Loss
12) I Believe Jesus Brought Us Together
13) Joey (Bonus Track)(Concrete Blonde Cover) DL Link: 
http://hulkshare.com/8cw2ap9tfpum

Link to purchase: iTunes
Link to purchase: Physical Copy

Photo Courtesy of Danny Clinch


The Horrible Crowes is a band formed by Brian Fallon, the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem, and his guitar tech Ian Perkins. This is a side project to keep Fallon occupied in the meantime before the fourth Gaslight record slated for release next year.

Fallon’s quest to the darker side of soul must have stirred up some old demons because Elsie is a haunting masterpiece. Admittedly I am a huge fan of all Fallon’s work so this review will be a little biased. While it’s easy to draw some similarities between this album and a Gaslight record, the new moniker gives Fallon the ability to experiment a little bit with some different sounds.

Last Rites opens the album like the soundtrack to a funeral and is followed beautifully by Sugar, a somber tale of lost love. The first two tracks really set the tone for the rest of the record as it becomes apparent that the lyrics are a bit more personal than Fallon’s previous work.

In a recent Alternative Press interview regarding Elsie Brian said of the songwriting “it’s like every breakup you’ve ever had, where you lose your mind. I wrote about a time in my life that I went through when I was younger. I really needed to get this out—and it was such a weird time, I couldn’t write about it through punk rock. I just couldn’t do it; it was too weird. When I was about 18 or 19, I literally went insane. I was an insane person. I just lost touch with reality. That stuff has always been kicking around in the back of my brain. I just called it up. I sat down at the table and had coffee with that guy, and I haven’t done that in 10 years. And we wrote a record.

The tempo of the album picks up on the third track and single Behold The Hurricane (the chilling video for which is featured above).  While lyrics like “I walk around these empty rooms. We once moved like the morning. Silhouettes they haunt this house like a memory haunts me now as if it were a dream.” are tough to swallow, there is a sense of hope in the music. I Witnessed A Crime is certainly a departure from anything Gaslights ever done, supported by a slide guitar and an organ this song has a uniquely entertaining sound to it.

The darker side of soul is in full effect on songs like Go Tell Everybody and Mary Ann. The chorus of the later plays like a gospel “Mary Ann, you don’t have to worry like themMary Ann, Jesus gonna be here soonPut your tiny hands inside my hand andOne more time for me, Mary Ann

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching part of the album comes on the song Cherry Blossoms when Fallon’s whisper turns to a heartfelt cry “See all I can do is think about you, And miss all your kisses like the spring, But if I had a sign, That one, day you’d be mine again, oh no, If I could hold you right then, As the chill in this season sputtered and spit and died with…” His delivery is so sincere that you can hear the anguish in his voice.

LadyKiller is a song that will sort of put you in a melodic trance. It starts out with some laughter and voices that create the atmosphere of a conversation being had at a social gathering. Fallon’s lyrical ability really shines on Black Betty & The Moon. With lines like “And I’ve been dreaming of poisonings from the venom of my enemies. Clever as the viper, dear, but gentle as a stampede of stones.” his metaphors create such vivid imagery.

While each song on the album is unique in its own right, the record is really meant to be played as a cohesive collection of music one song flowing into the next. This album is cold and dark and accompanies the onset of the Fall quite well. As Brian said “These songs are very dark; they’re like hymns for lonely people, it’s really a trip through a breakdown and that dissent into madness and hopefully redemption.” After listening to Elsie this statement certainly holds true.

Rating: 5/5

Here’s a download link to the bonus track Joey: 

http://hulkshare.com/8cw2ap9tfpum






Nikki Jean Pennies In A Jar (2011) Review

8 08 2011

Nikki Jean Pennies In A Jar

Released on July 12, 2011
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Tracklist:

1. How To Unring a Bell (written by Thom Bell & Nikki Jean)
2. Steel & Feathers (Don’t Ever) (written by Bob Dylan & Nikki Jean)
3. La Di Da Di Da (written by Luigi Creatore & Nikki Jean)
4. My Love (written by Lamont Dozier & Nikki Jean)
5. Pennies In a Jar (written by Burt Bacharach & Nikki Jean)
6. What’s a Girl Supposed to Do? (written by Jeff Barry & Nikki Jean)
7. Rockaway (written by Carole King & Nikki Jean)
8. Million Star Motel (ft. Lupe Fiasco x Black Thought) (written by Bobby Braddock & Nikki Jean)
9. Patty Crash (written by Paul Williams & Nikki Jean)
10. China (written by Jimmy Webb & Nikki Jean)
11. Mercy Of Love (written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Nikki Jean)
12. Sex, Lies & Sunshine (written by Carly Simon & Nikki Jean)

The album can purchased here: iTunes or Amazon

You might remember Nikki Jean from her work with Lupe Fiasco on the track Hip Hop Saved My Life.
I had an opportunity to see Nikki Jean open for Mayer Hawthorne last year in Boston and I instantly became a fan. The girl has something special for sure. That’s why I’m so glad she finally got a chance to actually release this album after being dropped from Columbia Records last year.

Aside from being incredibly talented herself, Nikki Jean had an unheard of amount of star power to help on this album. The stars include such greats as Carole King, Bob Dylan, Burt Bacharach, Black Thought, Lupe Fiasco, and Carly Simon.

Track By Track Review:

How To Unring A Bell – This is a nice way to open up the album. This song has a very cool sound to it without a lot of different sounds and Nikki’s chorus just sort of floats over the music flawlessly.

Steel And Feathers (Don’t Ever) – This song has a slower more folk sound to it. Not surprisingly this is the song Bob Dylan cowrote.

La Di Da Di Da – This is a great feel good song for the summer. The chorus just gets caught in your head.

My Love – This is a nice upbeat finger snapping track. The music definitely fits Nikki’s style very well and the result is a great song.

Pennies In A Jar – The song has an interesting sound to it. It almost sounds like it belongs in a musical.

Whats A Girl Supposed To Do – This is definitely one of the finer tracks on the album. I heard Nikki sing this live and you could tell it was a song she was very proud of.

Rockaway – Carole King’s help on this track is apparent right off the bat. You can almost imagine Carole King singing this song back in the day.

Million Star Motel (Feat Lupe Fiasco & Black Thought) – Having Lupe Fiasco on this album was a no brainer and Black Thought was just an added bonus. All three perform very nicely together.

Patty Crash – This is the type of song that sets Nikki apart from most of the other stuff coming out these days. Musically its a fun song, I think I even heard a Tuba in there.

China – A slower song with a unique sound and concept to it.

Mercy Of Love – Another slower song with a beautifully written chorus. This is one of my favorite songs on the album.

Sex, Lies and Sunshine – A great way to end the album on a high note.

This album has a real classic feel to it while remaining refreshingly new. I would definitely recommend checking out Pennies in a Jar. Nikki Jean’s a great artist with a lot of talent and a bright future.

Side note:

I was a little bummed the song Faithful didn’t make the album because I think it’s one of her best. Nikki told me via twitter that the song wasn’t eligible because it wasn’t a cowrite. Anyways here’s the song for anyone whose interested.








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