Deepak Chopra – A Gift of Love II

Deepak Chopra – A Gift of Love II / 2002 Rasa / 23 Tracks / /

Besides the music of The Buddhist Monks that I received a few months ago, Deepak Chopra’s “A Gift of Love” has to rank right up there in terms of the weirdness scale. This is the style of music that would be played at a number of import houses and other new-age shops, so turn away from this review if this is not something that you would like. Note here that the music present on this disc is not done by Chopra, but rather is done by Adam Plack. Continue reading “Deepak Chopra – A Gift of Love II”

Carina Round – Slow Motion Addict

Carina Round – Slow Motion Addict / 2006 Weapons of Mass Entertainment / 12 Tracks / / /

I must admit, I felt a little wary after looking at the sticker on the cover of “Slow Motion Addict”, where some yob from the NME said that “At her best she fucks up the blues like no Midlander since Led Zep”. The disc’s first track is “Stolen Car”, and I do not think that Carina Round sounds the slightest bit like something that Led Zeppelin would come out with. “Stolen Car” is something that blends equal parts Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson, and while there is a little bit more of a rock base to the pop music that Round comes out with, it does not put eir into the same sphere as a classic rock band like Led Zeppelin (and this is coming from someone that does not even like Led Zeppelin). Continue reading “Carina Round – Slow Motion Addict”

Tyrone Wells – Hold On

Tyrone Wells – Hold On / 2007 Universal Republic / 12 Tracks / /

I had absolutely no idea who Tyrone Wells was when we received the CD here at NeuFutur headquarters. Essentially, Wells gained prominence through having eir songs played on a number of shows I wouldn’t touch with a twenty foot pole. These include: One Tree Hill, Numb3rs, Meet the Barkers, and Three Moons over Milford. Essentially, what starts out “Hold On” is a track that is virtually indistinguishable from the work of a Blessid Union of Souls. In a more contemporary comparison, Wells and John Maher seem to be peas in a pod. This does not mean that ey plays a dated style of rock, but rather that what Wells does on “Hold On” is create a feel-good brand of pop rock that links together Blues Traveler, Dishwalla, and the like into a college-friendly sound. Continue reading “Tyrone Wells – Hold On”

Chasing Victory – Fiends

Chasing Victory – Fiends / 2007 Mono Vs Stereo / 10 Tracks / / /

Chasing Victory is a band that is from deep in the heart of Georgia. They’ve toured before with Project 86, August Burns Red, and The Devil Wears Prada. This means that they are a Christian hardcore band, but one would likely not hear that when the horns kick in on a track like “Wolves”. “Wolves” has hardcore elements to it, but also links together that style with more Velvet Revolver-like styles of rock and angular dance-punk. Continue reading “Chasing Victory – Fiends”

Paris Bennett – Princess P

Paris Bennett – Princess P / 2007 306 / 16 Tracks / / /

Paris Bennett was one of the stars from American Idol . Specifically (for those people that actually pay attention to it), ey was the fifth place winner in the fifth season of Idol. The introductory track to the disc, “All Hair the Princess”, is a song that reflects a gospel influence. “Ordinary Love” is a track that has Bennett take on a Beyonce type of vocal style, but the combination guitar/rock sound blended with clapping and snapping seems to provide a little too much in the way of dissention during the track. This has the negative effect of going and detracting from the vocals, distracting individuals from what should be the focal point of the track. “Dreamin’” is the next full track, and seems to blend the vocal style of an Eve and a Lauryn Hill over what is a very Spartan type of arrangement.

Theoverall sound of the track is something that reflects the gospel influence, and could conceivably be a track that charted in the early nineties. The same type of retro sound is present during “Daddy”. The slower tempo of Bennett’s vocals begin to put eir in a little bit of a rut. There are sections during this track that Bennett speeds up the vocals, but the track does not shine. I could completely see Bennett charting with “My Boyfriend’s Back”, a cover of The Angels’ 1963 hit. I could see this track given a back to back treatment with Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”, in that both attempt to approach success through a well-trodden path. “Can’t Control Myself” is another slower track but it succeeds where the other slower tracks on “Princess P” did not.

There is a compelling instrumentation that presents itself throughout the entirety of the track, making this a song that is light, airy, and ultimately something that individuals can easily sing along with. This track is the first one where I as a listener can hear the range and ability of Bennett. The harder-edged, more angry sound of “I’m So Hot” is a welcome change of pace for listeners, and shows them that Bennett is not a one-trick pony. This is a good, solid first effort. Individuals that are not fans of pop music will likely not find much that they can appreciate here, but for the Hilary Duff and J-Lo set, “Princess P” may be a necessary purchase. Give it a go.

Top Tracks: Daddy, Caught Up

Rating: 6.2/10

Tum Tum – Eat or Get Ate

Tum Tum – Eat or Get Ate / 2007 Universal / 18 Tracks / / /

One has to wonder why that a rapper named eirself after a character in the 3 Ninjas set of movies. This is the debut album by Tum Tum, and tracks here feature talents like Mannie Fresh, Trae, Jim Jones, and some up and coming rappers (Double T, Lil Ronnie, Don Dada, and Reyez). The first track is the title track, and it provides individuals with a confident and strong flow, even if there is not much in the way of a chorus hook to speak of. Continue reading “Tum Tum – Eat or Get Ate”

OST: Kyle XY

OST: Kyle XY / 2007 ABC Family / 14 Tracks /

I know that a lot of individuals are really into Kyle XY. I never got to watch the show because it didn’t seem like something that would be too terribly interesting to me, and I didn’t even have cable until last month. Regardless, the disc has a who’s who of solid indie rock, alternative rock, and emo bands. Earlimart, OAR, Mates of State, Sherwood, and Kate Voegele all represent individuals and groups that have garnered some serious media attention, the presence of these individuals only will help relative newcomers like Mariana’s Trench, Sean Hayes, In-Flight Safety, and April Matson.

The 88’s “Hide Another Mistake” blends together a sixties type of pop sound (think “Green Tamborine”) with a more current alternative rock sound (think OK Go). Despite the fact that Earlimart has likely not had much in the way of contact with The 88, their “Nevermind The Phonecalls” continues the very hip and catchy type of indie rock sound for this soundtrack. In-Flight Safety has crafted for themselves during “Surround” a sound that blends together Coldplay and U2, to the point that I really thought that the track was coming from one of those two acts. The only thing that distinguishes them from those acts is the incorporation of a little bit more electronic sound. Continuing along with the electronic influence is Irving’s “I’ll Write The Song, You Sing For Me”.

The individuals that put together this album knew exactly how to weave a narrative through distinct tracks, and it is this attention to details that makes the tracks much stronger than their constituent parts. Irving’s track is the first high point during this soundtrack. This is not to say that the rest of the tracks on this soundtrack were weak, but they did not shine nearly as brightly as the Irving song. OAR’s track breaks any rut that the disc was in, and replaces it with the same general jam band sound that they are known for. The track goes back to the indie rock meets cold, calculating synthesizer with Cimber’s “Bug Bear”. The slight breaks in the overall tone of the disc ensures that individuals will be able to stick with the disc throughout all of its’ cuts. Check out the Kyle XY CD if you want to hear some new acts, and be taken away on the current brand of indie rock that is all the rage in college circles.

Mates of State “So Many Ways”, Irving “I’ll Write The Song”

Rating: 6.8/10

Dethklok – Dethalbum

Dethklok – Dethalbum / 2007 Williams Street / 16 Tracks /

Metalocalypse is my favorite show on Adult Swim, and ranks right up there with Duckman and The Critic for being the best animated show of all time. I received the CD one day after stopping at the post office to pick up my pile of packages, and slipped it in before I went on a trip back to my parents’ house. What I heard was the best fucking metal album of all time. Literally. This is coming from someone who has listen to hundreds of different metal and hybrid types of albums. Anyways, the music that is on the “Dethalbum” blends together extended versions of tracks from the show (“Go Into The Water”, “Go Forth and Die”, “Fansong” being among those ranks) and new songs (“Better Metal Snake”, “The Lost Vikings”, “Bloodrocuted”). Continue reading “Dethklok – Dethalbum”

Scorpions – Humanity Hour 1

Scorpions – Humanity Hour 1 / 12 Tracks / / /

I was always into hair metal when I was in high school. Needless to say, I was really worried when I thought I was “playing” the new Scorpions album and heard music that resembled Oasis. Luckily, I just had the wrong disc in the player. Anyways, I really got into hair metal after picking up a greatest hits from the Scorpions. This album helped me considerably, especially when I heard a track like “Winds of Change”. If this album came out before Rush’s latest one, I would have a large amount of doubt in my mind whether the Scorps would be able to cut it. However, since Rush were able to make such a damn catchy album their last time out, I feel as if “Humanity Hour 1” could be good. The band shows that they are not necessarily stuck in the past, as “The Cross” is a track that brings the Smashing Pumpkin headmaster eirself, Billy Corgan, in.
“Hour 1” is the first track on the disc and while it still has the same general rock sound present that individuals would expect from the Scorpions, it really brings the band into a more current type of style. “Hour 1” still has the distinctive vocals that are present in all Scorpions albums, but there is an edge to the guitars and their arrangements that is much more current and up to date. Keeping old fans interested and brining in newer fans to the flock is the best step that the Scorpions can do, and that is exactly what they do with this track.
The way I see it, “Humanity Hour 1” is an “re-invention” of the band’s style, in much the same way as “Psycho Circus” did for Kiss a few years back. Where there was a current approach taken to “Hour 1”, “The Game of Life” is a track that could easily be [played alongside “The Winds of Change” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. There is a softness present to the vocals that was present in the former sound, with a set of guitars that could be mistaken for the second. However, there is again a tie to the present, in that there is a wall of sound that brings commonality between the Scorpions and the emo/hardcore bands of today. The Scorpions have been around for almost 35 years, and I have little doubt in my mind they could tack on 15 more easily. Pick this up if you like hard rock.
Top Tracks: The Game of Life, Love Is War
Rating: 7.2/10

Jimmy Eat World – “Big Casino”

Jimmy Eat World – “Big Casino” / 2007 Interscope / 1 Track / /

Jimmy Eat World has been a band that has impressed me (“Lucky Denver Mint”) and disappointed me in the past (changing “Bleed American”’s title). However, it has been a number of years since either of those events happened, so it seems like good policy to give the band another chance. There hopeful vocals that are present during the opening of “Big Casino” link themselves to a track that is not as rooted in the emo style as Jimmy Eat World once was. There seems to be a New Romantic type of synthesizer that drives the track the most; while the band does not go into a dance-punk style (like a Franz Ferdinand), one cannot deny that it sounds like Jimmy Eat World has boned up on their New Order albums since they last put out music for the masses. The track has energy, but it is muted to the degree that I believe that it will take a few listeners before individuals are truly behind the band again. I would really like to hear more tracks from “Chase This Light” before I can feel right about giving encompassing statements about Jimmy Eat World’s new approach to music. Give this track a few spins and see if “Chase This Light” may be worth a purchase.

Rating: 6.2/10