Mini Reviews: “Sound & Colour” by Alabama Shakes

When I heard Alabama Shakes would be coming  out with a new album my anticipation was high and ready for the music that was to come. As soon as I got a hold of “Sound & Colour” and hit play on the first track, dually named after the title of the album, I was blown away. I have never been taken aback and put into a wonderful musical trance. I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to this album on repeat, as it is one of the few I’m able to do so and enjoy each song as if it were the first time I was hearing it.

Unlike Alabama Shakes’ first album, “Sound & Colour” is more polished and the fluidity is apparent between the moods  and feel of each track in comparison to one another. It’s a good balance between slow sounds to upbeat and rocking tunes. While some tracks have that gritty southern feel that is well known to the band, like the song “The Greatest”, they’ve brought forth some new delights and musical changes to their sound, a sort of percussive organ smoothness, including the album’s titled song, “Sound & Colour”.

To me, it comes across as a view of each and every one of us, perhaps the thoughts and emotions racking up inside of us, waiting to burst out and be free. It grabs a hold of your heart, your inner most you and brings it forth to the movements of the sound.

As one of my top albums in my headphones, the tracks I highly recommend if not diving headfirst into the record is your style, would be “Sound & Colour”, “Don’t Wanna Fight”, “Dunes”, “Gimme All Your Love”, and “The Greatest”. But each tune has their own distinct sound and I would highly recommend giving every one a listen at least once if not more.

TRACK LIST:

  1. “Sound & Colour”
  2. “Don’t Wanna Fight”
  3. “Dunes”
  4. “Future People”
  5. “Gimme All Your Love”
  6. “This Feeling”
  7. “Guess Who”
  8. “The Greatest”
  9. “Shoegaze”
  10. “Miss You”
  11. “Gemini”

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Mini Reviews: “Hope Is Just A State Of Mind” by Little Comets

From the very beginning, Little Comets has amazed and brought musical delight to me. The first time I heard “Tricolour” off their initial album, “In Search of Elusive Little Comets”, I fell  in love 100% and all thanks to someone near and dear to me. But back to Little Comets!

Their newest album compliments the changing of the seasons into warmer and sunnier days perfectly. The fluidity of the songs is key and spot on throughout the record, filling your veins with positive vibes; making you feel buoyant with cheerful-happy-wonderfulness. While not all the songs have such an upbeat subject basis, the songs themselves, the melodies and tempo and overall structure of them create a lovely tune in your ears. From the lyrics to the notes and everything in between, it truly is a ‘gift of sound’ for you.

Very few musicians nowadays are able to create an album where every song is likeable in its own regard, but Little Comets has done it, and while I have difficulty in choosing just one favourite, some ones I suggest to listen to straight away include, “My Boy William”, “The Gift of Sound”, and “Wherewithal”. But in reality, I love the entire album, and I do suggest listening to the whole album from start to finish first because you will not be disappointed.
TRACK LIST:

  1. “My Boy William”
  2. “B & B”
  3. “The Gift of Sound”
  4. “Formula”
  5. “Little Italy”
  6. “The Daily Grind”
  7. “Salt”
  8. “Effetism”
  9. “Wherewithal”
  10. “Fundamental Little Things”
  11. “Don’t Fool Yourself”
  12. “The Blur, the Line, & the Thickest of Onions”

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Mini Reviews: “Hesitant Alien” by Gerard Way

I must admit, I’ve been a fan of Gerard Way from the My Chemical Romance days. From the first time I saw the video for “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”  on my television screen, teenage me was enthralled by the music and instantly feel in love with the sound coming from my screen and to my ears. But this isn’t a My Chemical Romance appreciation post.

For me, as soon as I heard Gerard Way was making a solo album, I knew I had to look up the songs that were posted in anticipation for the album and once again, I was hooked. Perhaps I’m biased to a point, but Way has always captured me with his vocal skills and the melodies created throughout his new album have caught my attention once again and has be bobbing along whether I’m riding the tube into the city or walking down the street.

While My Chemical Romance had a more rough edge to their music, especially in the earlier albums, Way comes forth with a new sound, infused with rock and brit undertones, as I believe was his intention. The overall aesthetic makes you feel badass and sends good vibes through and through. Some of my favourite tracks from the album include, “Action Cat”, “No Shows”, and “Millions”.

TRACK LIST:

  1. “The Bureau”
  2. “Action Cat”
  3. “No Shows”
  4. “Brother”
  5. “Millions”
  6. “Zero Zero”
  7. “Juarez”
  8.  “Drugstore Perfume”
  9. “Get The Gang Together”
  10. “How It’s Going To Be”
  11. “Maya The Psychic”

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Mini Reviews: “LoveBlood” by King Charles

It was the summer of 2012 and I was working with McMaster University’s Student Success Centre on their Welcome Week production of IRIS when I first came into contact with the musical wonder that is King Charles. During a rehearsal one day, our director and a friend of mine, put on the song “Ivory Road” for warm-up/break and I instantly fell in love. From that point, I grabbed hold of the album and I was not disappointed in the slightest by its contents.

Each song flowed into one another flawlessly, creating a perfect range of both upbeat tunes and pleasant melodies. It’s a great album for those breezy autumn days and is an ideal companion for the transitional time from those autumn days into the wintery cold that lay ahead. While I enjoy the album as a whole, my favourite songs from the record include (and are not limited to), “Ivory Road”, “Lady Percy”, and “Mississippi Isabel”.

TRACK LIST:

  1. “LoveBlood”
  2. “Mississippi Isabel”
  3. “Bam Bam”
  4. “Love Lust”
  5. “Polar Bear”
  6. “Lady Percy”
  7. “Ivory Road”
  8. “The Brightest Lights (feat. Mumford and Sons)”
  9. “Beating Hearts”
  10. “Coco Chitty”
  11. “Wilde Love”

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Mini Reviews: “Volume 3” by She & Him

The fourth record from the dynamic duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward brings forth their original sound and bonds perfectly with the incoming warmer weather of this once dreary Canadian landscape. The songs range in emotion and tempo, creating a fluid movement from one to another and an overall splendour of sound. The cover itself instills thoughts of warmer, dreamier weather and what the coming months entail.

With this record, She & Him have continued with a respective balance between both upbeat tracks and slower movements. While not all the songs may grab you at first listen, some will always be there when you need a slower, melowy-er track for those late nights or early mornings. Some of my favourites include: “Baby” and “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”.

TRACK LIST:

  1. “I’ve Got Your Number, Son”
  2. “Never Wanted Your Love”
  3. “Baby”
  4. “I Could’ve Been Your Girl”
  5. “Turn To White”
  6. “Somebody Sweet To Talk To”
  7. “Something’s Haunting You”
  8. “Together”
  9. “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me”
  10. “Snow Queen”
  11. “Sunday Girl”
  12. “London”
  13. “Shadow Of Love”
  14. “Reprise (I Could’ve Been Your Girl)”

Give a quick listen HERE on NPR Music at http://www.npr.org.

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