Posts Tagged ‘Singing’


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…)


When I first heard Hurt’s Wonderful Life, I thought it was a song that the radio station had dug up from the late 80s and were bombarding us with because it was featured in some sort of movie or TV show. Then after some research, it turned out that it was only the band’s second single and was only released to the stations in August, and was met by much success in Europe mostly and I am not surprised.

This past year, I’ve only heard one other band that was successful at integrating synths in their music, and that was Hot Chip on their album One Life Stand but the newcomers Hurts will give the other band a run for their money in the next few years if they continue to do what they did with this song.

Basically, the song is about a man who is about to jump off a bridge until he meets Suzie who re-instigates hope in the man’s heart and falls in love with him along the way. The chorus is basically the very simple but also highly important message that Suzie tells the man:

Don’t let go

Never Give up

It’s such a wonderful life (more…)


Single Cover

In 2005, Australian songstress Delta Goodrem paired with former Westlife member Brian McFadden to release Almost Here, a sort-of-ballad, that managed to do considerably well in the countries where it was released. The song, however,

would only mark the start of Goodrem and McFadden’s professional and personal (the two are engaged to be married) collaboration. After writing Together We Are One, a song Goodrem performed at the Opening Ceremony of the  Commonwealth Games in 2006, they went on to write several songs for Goodrem’s third album Delta. 

Now in 2010, McFadden has released his third solo album, entitled Wall of Soundz, a distinctly electro-pop offering that diverts from what he’s been known to offer. Despite that, the third single,  from the album, Mistakes featuring his leading lady, should not be missed. (more…)


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…)


Freddie Mercury in New Haven, CT at a WPLR Sho...

Freddie Mercury

I’ll admit, it took me quite a while to get into Queen‘s music, even though “We Will Rock You” has been on my iPod for God knows how long. This summer, I’ve finally taken a liking to their music and for this post, I’ve chosen to share their 1981 hit song, Under Pressure.

You may recognize its bassline from a popular  90’s (though not as classic) song by the name of Ice, Ice, Baby (yes that one), but other than that, the two songs have nothing in common.

Under Pressure features David Bowie on vocals, marking his first ever collaboration, and his presence on the track can be really heard because of the way his vocals contrast with Freddie Mercury‘s high pitched and ever-so distinct sound.

A timeless track indeed, you can’t help but sing along to the opening verses (and basically, that’s what got the song stuck in my head) and the rest of the song’s lyrics are equally as striking.

It may not be Bohemian Rhapsody but Under Pressure should be given the attention it deserves as some new fans rarely pay attention to it, unless they’re like me, and have read about the controversy over the bassline that I mentioned above.

I’ll let you be the judge of things, because like always, here’s the video (sans Bowie, because that’s the clearest version I could find)


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…)


Backstreet Boys being their awesome selves.

Backstreet Boys after becoming a quartet

I’ve been partial to the music of the Backstreet Boys ever since I was around 8 years old, and their album Millennium was on top of the charts everywhere. I have fond memories of attempting to do the choreography of Larger Than Life and Everybody without much success.

Eleven years later, I’m still listening to their music even though they’re well past their heyday. The Boys have grown up, gotten married, their dance moves are a bit rusty, lost one member, and generally (and sadly) failed to duplicate the success they had in the 90s. What they do have however, is a fanbase that refuses to admit all of the above, therefore they are still on the scene.

In October 2009, they presented the world with This Is Us, their 7th worldwide studio album, and their second without member Kevin Richardson. They called it a return to form, I called it an attempt to be current in a market that is ever so changing. And that’s coming from a true and tired fan. Even though I’ve played the tracks over and over, there isn’t anything remarkable about this effort, so you won’t appreciate it unless you are a fan of the boys. (more…)