The Dirty Youth - Red Light Fix (2011, UK) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: Fight, Ellen, Last Confession, Feel
If you like bands like Icon For Hire, especially their latest, self-titled album, then you'll enjoy this album. They have a fairly similar style musical, but the vocals are different, which is a plus. You might find this rock sound a bit generic, but its at least a good generic that is easily enjoyable. There's plenty of energy and feeling poured into each and every track. My only complaint is that I wish the vocals and music were balanced better. Sometimes it seems like the vocals are trying to yell over the music, but it's really just the levels being uneven. If you're looking for a decent female fronted rock band, please give these guys a chance.
AlunaGeorge - Body Music (2013, UK) Rating: 4/5
Favorite Tracks: Your Drums, Your Love, Best Be Believing, Diver, Body Music
I found this duo on a blog formerly known as The Prophet Blog and I thought it was a solo act. Upon further research, it's a duo...obviously, since I just stated that earlier. Anyway, this isn't a pure electro-pop, dance fest. This album contains a more intricate form of electronic music with beautiful, sweet vocals. There's prominent bass lines, experimental vocal effects, and a mixture of elements of pop, R&B, and ambience from track to track. No track is the same and brings something new and refreshing to the ears. The vocals and electronic effects might take some adjusting to, but eventually it sounds as close to natural as possible as you progress forward and repeat tracks.
Imagine Dragons - Night Visions (2013, USA) Rating: 2/5
Favorite Tracks: Radioactive, Tiptoe, Hear Me
Like most people, I heard "Radioactive" first and took interest in checking out the rest of their material on this album. It took me a while to actually watch the video for said song, but, on a side note, it's pretty creative. Unfortunately, "Radioactive" is the best track on the album. The tracks range from "clearly this is an indie band" or "this is some good Starbucks music" and "I see you're trying to recreate that bombastic sound of 'Radioactive' and failed" or "we're gonna borrow a few elements here and there from other bands and see what happens". It's sadly a very dull album and it was really hard getting through every track, excluding "Demons". I completely skipped that overplayed soulless track. If you want the best of the best, or in this case, the okay of the okay, just stick to my favorite tracks and move on.
T-ara - NUMBER NINE (Japanese ver.)/Kioku - Kimi ga Kureta Michishirube - X'mas Edition (2013, Japan) Rating: 3.5/5
Favorite Tracks: Yayaya, Lovey Dovey, ウェイロニ, 初めてのように
As much as I would like to talk about this track by track, it's a collection of hit songs that any T-ara fan would enjoy. All the tracks are remixed in a smooth transitional style by DJ Takao Fukushima, so it's a little hard to listen to one track without listening to the whole thing. This is quite genius actually. I don't know why they didn't do this earlier. Some of the remixes are surprisingly better or even just as good as their original counterparts. So, if you're a fan of T-ara or just need a good dance mix, check this album out!
the GazettE - Before Deformity (2013, Japan) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: INSIDE BEAST, DEVOURING ONE ANOTHER, LAST HEAVEN, LOSS
The GazettE is a band I normally would put all this time and effort into explaining what I like and dislike about each track and what it sounds like. This time around I'm just gonna save myself the trouble of trying to think of things to say about each song. The band has really become a one trick pony in my eyes, or perhaps I should say to my ears. I feel more or less the same about this album as I did the one before, I suppose. I honestly don't remember as the band's music has becoming increasingly forgettable, except a few tiny gems that make me want to backtrack, repeat, and absorb. "LAST HEAVEN" is a track that gives me that feeling, but "DEVOURING ONE ANOTHER" pumps me up in a good way too. Overall, there's really nothing different lately. Same sound, same tricks, same annoying female vocals carelessly thrown into songs here and there. I don't dislike this album, but I'm not blown away like their devoted fans. Maybe one day, the GazettE will surprise me.
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