Archive for the ‘Keep an Ear Out for This’ Category


Last night I was doing some studying while my friend living in Canada asks me, since he considers me a rap enthusiast, to check out this freestyle.

I’m not a big fan of Wiz Khalifa, although the tune of “Black and Yellow” is tempting, but when I heard this freestyle, it seemed pretty cool. Maybe because it’s the same music.

So, this is D-WHY, he has his own Facebook page, a Twitter handle, and his YouTube page. It’s must see/listen. He looks Middle Eastern, but I have no idea about his origins or any bio or anything since his official page doesn’t say anything (or I couldn’t see it).

Anyway, here it is:


The one thing that British popband Hurts have in common with the rest of the artists is their affinity for the unconventional, depending on how you would look at it, that is. In a time where commercial music has been reduced to the same beats repeating over and over again, lyrics are thrown together haphazardly, and crazy outfits are as much as part of the whole look, this band comes along like a breath of fresh air. They use technology to their advantage, write lyrics that resonate with the emotions, and are never caught performing without suits.

 

Theo Hutchcraft (L) and Adam Anderson (R) on album cover for "Happiness"

 

A first listen to their debut album comes off across as a product of the 80s, not present day, something that works much to their favor. It is interesting to note that both members are in their early to mid-twenties.  These unique sounds are due to the masterful arrangements of multi-instrumentalist Adam Anderson. His compositions are complemented by the voice of Theo Hutchcraft, who comes across as charismatic even if you have not seen one of Hurts’ video clips.

The album’s name and main message contrast with the band’s name, but this too is yet another forte for the duo. They are able to cover a wide scope of emotions without coming off as pretentious or as trying too hard to prove themselves from their first foray into the industry.

Not all the tracks are memorable, but the ones that do stand out are guaranteed to get stuck in the listener’s head. (more…)


Finally!

It’s been 20 days, but I had been going through a lot regarding a death in the family and getting ready to come back to AUB. So I apologize for the long absence.

But now…

I’M BACK!

A quick summary of what I was planning on blogging about but never got the chance to do so:

FIBA World Championship 2010: The semifinals took place on the day before last, with USA crushing Lithuania behind Kevin Durant’s stunning play, while Turkey beat Serbia in easily what was known as the Game of the Cup as it ended on the last few seconds. The final was played in front of a full house, but the hosts Turkey were unable to finish their amazing run in the World Cup, as they lost a well deserved decision to the U.S.A 81-64, with Kevin Durant taking over and giving back the long awaited World Cup back to the Americans, who haven’t won it since 1994.

10th Arab National Championship: After playing in multiple tournaments throughout the summer, Lebanon had to host one more, and despite the wear and tear, made an amazing run to reach the final. But it lost focus and luck at the end, and was unable to to pull it off, losing to the Egyptians in the finals seconds 60-57.

Expect a review of the new Phil Collins album “Going Back” when I get time to write one. Also, the new music video for Eminem and Lil Wayne is out, coming off Eminem’s latest album “Recovery” with the song titled “No Love”.


In an industry where success is a fleeting notion, a career spanning over forty years is a marvelous and incredulous feat, something that Germany’s own hard-rock band Scorpions can show off with much pride. Through the highs, lows, and changing times, the band has always managed to produce wisely crafted songs that are instantly classified as theme songs for generations. The group, who are best known for anthems such as “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Wind of Change,” and “Still Loving You,” return to the scene after a three year absence to deliver their final effort before retirement.

Cover of

Cover of Sting in the Tail

Entitled “Sting in the Tail,” the 17th studio album is an obvious return to what the band has come to be known for over the span of their careers and clearly honors the legacy and fan-base that Scorpions have established.

The album begins with the reflective and appropriately titled “Raised on Rock.” From the opening note, the lead guitarist hits every rock note known in history, to give off the 80s feel that fans of the genre are all too familiar with. The opening lyric “I was born in a hurricane” seemingly alludes to the band’s signature song “Rock You like a Hurricane.” With the addition of the talk-box and consecutive drum beats, the song becomes instantly catchy and starts off the farewell party with a bang.

The title track, though not as attractive as its predecessor, is given credit for the hard-rock musical arrangement that almost all rock bands of today seem to lack. The guitar solo is the best of the whole album. Thematically, the song is about a budding rock star on the road, chasing after his dream.

“Slave Me,” yet another rock song, deals with lust and the overall effect is established due to lead singer Klaus Meine’s distinct vocal and heavy accent. “Let’s Rock,” follows a similar effect.

The first power ballad is track number four, “The Good Die Young,” featuring Finnish singer Tarja Turunen on background vocals. Beginning as a slow ballad, the music slowly ascends to become a powerful rock melody that catches on immediately. The lyrics are reminiscent of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” as they deal with making the most out of life.

“No Limit” is perhaps the best hard-hitting song, musically, lyrically, and vocally. On this track, listeners are given the sense of accomplishing anything while the music is bound to make anyone get up and play air-guitar. (more…)


Needing no introduction of any sort, Bon Jovi, the band that introduced the talk box into modern music dictionaries and produced songs such as “Living on a Prayer” which have become the theme to many people’s lives, have a new album out entitled “The Circle.”

The Circle (Bon Jovi album)

Album Cover

Their eleventh studio album marks their return back to their hard-rock roots, after their previous effort “Lost Highway” was heavily influenced by country sounds. To many, it does not completely sound like Bon Jovi of yesteryear, yet after a careful listen to all the tracks, it is evident that the spark and love for music that propelled the band to stardom in the first place has remained intact, even after 25 years of being on the scene. On this album, the boys from Jersey truly come to a full-circle.

The powerful first single “We Weren’t Born to Follow” kicks off the album with an inspiring message and a heavy musical arrangement. The infusion of successive drum beats, guitar arrangements, and Jon Bonjovi’s signature vocals propel the song forward and the listener may surprisingly find himself singing along from the first time.

“When We Were Beautiful” follows, and while the listener may think the band are slowing things down a bit too early on the album, the song is a far cry from being a sappy ballad. It is a song that chronicles what the group has been through in their music careers and what they have learned from that journey. The thought-provoking lyrics are sung to one the best guitar riffs of the entire album, courtesy of Ritchie Sambora.

The rock-anthem of “The Circle” comes in the form of “Work for the Working Man” which is an attestment to the working class, a recurring theme for Bon Jovi. The chant-along style and the easy lyrics are bound to get instant attention. (more…)


Multiple Grammy winner Norah Jones is back on the scene with her latest effort “The Fall,” proving she can be successful even with a slight diversion from her typical jazz style that made her famous in the first place. Her track list offers both ends of the spectrum, going from the extremely upbeat in the beginning to completely slowing things down towards the end.

Cover of

Cover of The Fall

By doing so, Jones gives her listeners a perfect and carefully chosen final product that is certain to keep many company on long, lonely nights- or while stuck in traffic and in need of something soothing.

First single and album opener “Chasing Pirates” indicates what one can expect from the album, especially with a strong musical background and Jones’ trademark strong vocals. It is understandable though that many will not like this track, as it evokes no memory of previous hits such as “Don’t Know Why.” Strong guitar elements are dominant over the traditional piano sound that fans of Jones have been used to, yet it seems to work somehow. In fact, the guitar theme is so dominant over the entirety of the album, that this could cause a rift amongst old and new fans. (more…)


This album review was written sometime in March or February, however, this album has proven to be one of my favorites for 2010 and it’s unlike what we’ve been mostly bombarded with on the radio. I really hope you give it a listen after you read this review. Enjoy :)

British electro-rock connoisseurs Hot Chip have been leaving their distinguished mark on the music world for the past decade. It is with their new release “One Life Stand,” however, that they really cement their standing as a band that can combine the latest technologies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and melodic voices in one album. Though the use of auto-tune is greatly obvious, it serves a point here, unlike with the rest of the music being made available to the public at the moment.

Album Cover

Born out of the concept of transforming “a one night stand into a one life stand,” as vocalist Alexis Taylor has put it, the band’s fourth release dabbles with issues of commitment and long-term relationships, be it romantic or non-romantic ones. The overall theme is delivered beautifully thanks to ingenious lyric-writing and Taylor’s smooth high-pitched vocals combined with second vocalist Joe Goddard’s dreamy bass voice. The carefully tailored instrumental part, courtesy of the rest of the group, serves as a plus point for the band.
The album opens with a steady percussion beat, before Taylor begins to sing the first verse of “Thieves in the Night,” a song that deals with finding the love of a lifetime and hanging onto them, especially after the long search. The key verse in the song “happiness is what we all want” is something everyone can relate to and it is highlighted by the very upbeat background music.
Second track “Hand Me down Your Love” has a distinct jazzy feel to it with very simplistic and repetitive lyrics, making it easier for the listener to remember this when going through the record. It continues the theme that was established in its predecessor,  ensuring cohesion. (more…)