Posts Tagged ‘Pop’

crow soundtrackI honestly believe that if you were to ask me what were some of the greatest movie soundtracks of the 1990’s, one of them would definitely be the original soundtrack to the 1994 film The Crow. The Crow was a film that starred the late Brandon Lee that was based off of a comic book created by James O’Barr about a man who comes back from the grave thanks to a crow to have vengeance against those who killed him and his fiance. The soundtrack featured some of the best 90’s alternative acts like The Cure, The Jesus and The Mary Chain along with some really awesome up and comers in the Industrial rock scene like Machines Of Loving Grace, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult, and the Nine Inch Nails. The soundtrack also featured some bands that were either already on the rise like Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, or about to make a huge splash like Rage Against The Machine . It was definitely the album that made a splash on us because it made the film come to life and helped bring out the raw emotions of the characters. It did well on the charts as it peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and it has been certified platinum three times.

crowost1. Burn by The Cure- This is my favorite song on the whole album that made me fall in love with Simon Gallup and his bass playing abilities as he drives the song forward while Robert Smith does his best invoking the spirit of the Crow in his lyrics. 5/5

2. Golgotha Tenement Blues by Machines Of Loving Grace- Machines bring the industrial rock sexiness with this blues tinged goth classic. Golgotha is the place that Jesus was crucified so the track could be their way of saying that this is where Eric Draven was “crucified” if you want to use those terms. It’s an awesome track. 5/5

3. Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots- This is a classic STP track, but it’s not the original track intended for the soundtrack. Apparently, they had written one song called Only Dying, but management thought it wasn’t a good idea to release since the death of Brandon Lee had happened. This was definitely a great substitute as this is an STP classic. 5/5

4. Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails- Trent Reznor went all out with this cover of Joy Division’s Dead Souls which is amazing. This is a very haunting track lyrically and Trent does a great job adding his flair to it while trying to remain true. 5/5

5. Darkness by Rage Against The Machine- A very young Rage brings this track to you with all the in your face, boombastic sound that we are used to while Zach De La Rocha spits that gospel. Zach is talking mostly about how AIDS was an epidemic in Africa and America was barely doing anything about it. 5/5

6. Color Me Once by Violent Femmes- Life can be cruel and tough and that is the message that legendary folk rock act Violent Femmes brings to you on the soundtrack. The track features a very cool bluesy guitar solo that is a true highlight. 4.5/5

7. Ghostrider by The Rollins Band- Henry Rollins reverting back to his punk roots as he covers Suicide’s Ghostrider for the soundtrack. This was always a surprise track for me because the music is just infectious with those big bass riffs. 5/5

BSO_El_Cuervo_(The_Crow)--CD8. Milktoast by Helmet- this is an alternate version of the band’s track Milquetoast where this one was mixed by Butch Vig as it features a distorted outro and some feedback loops that weren’t there before. This track also features some bad ass bass playing by Henry Bogdan. 5/5

9. The Badge by Pantera- Any soundtrack that features the late and great Dimebag Darrell is a winner in my book. This is Pantera’s cover of Poison Idea’s The Badge. It’s heavy and fast and it showcases some of Phil’s other influences. 5/5

10. Slip Slide Melting by For Love Not Lisa- I had never heard of this group, but the song has quite the kick to it cause the track drives. 4.5/5

11. After The Flash by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult- an industrial banger that is bound to get the inner goth out of you with it’s Ministry/Electric Hellfire Club like industrial dance beats. This track kicks ass and you can’t help but groove to it. 5/5

12. Snakedriver by The Jesus and The Mary Chain- an alternative rock track that is a little different than the rest of the songs on here and it’s a good change as the singer talks about how life can be just as we thought it would be. 4.5/5

13. Time Baby III by Medicine- I think this is a very underappreciated song on the soundtrack because her voice is hypnotic. The band makes a cameo in the film playing the club. 5/5

14. It Can’t Rain All The Time by Jane Siberry- This is the actual version of the track that Eric Draven’s band’s song that appears on the soundtrack. The track is about no matter how tough or bad things get, it can’t be that bad all the time. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of the greatest soundtracks of it’s time and it will live on in the hearts of all those that loved the film and soundtrack. My favorite tracks on the record are Burn by The Cure and Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails. My least favorite track is probably Color Me Once by Violent Femmes. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

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linkinOne of the saddest moments of 2017 was the fact that we not only lost Chris Cornell, but that a short time later we also lost Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. I can remember as a member of Massasoit Community College’s radio station, we were invited to a record release party for Hybrid Theory and at that time I had no idea how huge this band would become. After six amazing studio albums, I wondered what else could this band possibly do and the album One More Light was the answer as it was voted Album Of The Year by you the fans at this years Monster Entertainment Awards. The final lineup on the record was Chester (Vocals), Mike Shinoda (Vocals, Programming, Keyboards), Brad Delson (Guitars), Phoenix (Bass), Joe Hahn (Programming), and Rob Bourdon (Drums). The album was produced by Brad Delson and Mike Shinoda and it was released on May 19, 2017 via Warner Brothers. The album did so well that peaked at number one in 7 different countries while also peaking in the top 5 in 7 different countries. In the year end album charts it finished at number 90 on the US Billboard top 200 too. The album was recorded very differently than usual as they recorded vocals first and then built the music around it. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Shinoda described the record saying, “In terms of the style of the record, it’s one of the most diverse stylistically, there’s more genres mashed into this album than anything we’ve ever put out. You don’t hear a lot of super heavy guitars. There isn’t any screaming on the record. To some extent it is a very polished record. Stylistically we wanted to blend all of the sound and genres together in a way you can’t tell them apart.”

linkin 21. Nobody Can Save Me– The track that kicks off this musical experiment with some electronic elements mixed in with some guitars and I feel this is a very personal song from Chester. It’s like he’s saying that no matter what you tell him, he doesn’t feel he can be saved. 4/5

2. Good Goodbye– The second track that follows the more hip hop element of the band mixed with the guitars and such. The song features Pusha T and Stormzy providing their own verses along with Shinoda who raps the first verse. I feel like this is a track where the band is saying if you’re not with us then goodbye to you. 5/5

3. Talking To Myself– One of my favorite tracks on the album that has more of a rock/pop sound that Chester is talking about a relationship that just isn’t going anywhere. 5/5

4. Battle Symphony– Another amazing song on the album where Chester is telling you that no matter hate is thrown at him, he will always have his guard up, but he’s also pleading to the fans not to give up on him either. 5/5

5. Invisible– One of the tracks that features singing from Shinoda and I was impressed with it. It’s one of those tracks that if something bad happened to you that you no longer have to worry because he is going to be there for you now because he’s not afraid to speak up anymore. 5/5

linkin 36. Heavy– A track that truly took a lot of criticism upon it’s release for being a slow burn pop song, but it’s honestly a great track featuring Kiiara on vocals as well. It’s a very deep track that kind of pinpoints Chester’s depression because the song is a metaphor for when it rains it pours kind of attitude. 5/5

7. Sorry For Now– This is the other track on the album that features Shinoda singing the vocals in a track that is about someone who knows that he messed up because maybe he wasn’t there for the person and he understands that they are mad, but he saying I will try next time. The track in parts has an almost dubstep feel to it. 4.5/5

8. Halfway Right-The song is kind of retrospective lyrically because it’s Chester looking back at how he may have handled things wrong back in the day, but he finally realizes that now. 5/5

9. One More Light-A very personal and amazing track that deal with the idea of loss and how some take it for granted. Another example of how brilliant Chester really was and this is a track to help you with loss. 5/5

10. Sharp Edges– The last track on the album that has a little bit of a folk feel to it ina  track that is all about how you should listen to your elders because they now a thing or two about life, but sometimes you do need to live a little too. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Listening to this album, you realize how brilliant this band is and even though Chester is gone, we have a catalog to remember his brilliance. I think the direction change was ballsy, but I think it paid off in the long run because they’ve always done what they’ve wanted to do. I love every track on this album, but my favorite songs are Invisible and Talking To Myself. This time I am not picking a least favorite track so I am going to go ahead and give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

One of my favorite non metal related acts has always been New Wave kings Duran Duran. Duran Duran wrote a lot of catchy songs that you couldn’t help, but love and so did so many other bands as well. We have seen covers of Duran Duran tracks from the likes of the Deftones, My Darkest Days, Reel Big Fish, Red, and today’s band Eagles Of Death Metal. In 2015, the band covered the song for their fourth studio album Zipper Down. However, the song became popular right after the attacks that happened at a club the band was performing at in Paris. Duran Duran agreed to donate all of the royalties from the track to charity. Fans in England tried to get the song to climb to number one on the UK charts right after the attack to show solidarity and compassion. The cover of the track itself is a very interesting one as Eagles take the track and they make it their own adding a desert rock vibe to it which is super cool as they made the track their own. Jesse Hughes vocals on the track are very incredible as well as he stayed true to the original while adding his own flare to it. Check out the track below:

thehaxanspartymonsterscdI am always on an endless search to bring new and exciting albums to you guys that I am also discovering at the same time as well. I do this especially when I cover Halloween/horror/Goth themed music for the Album Of The week posts when October rolls around. This past Friday The 13TH, one of those opportunities came knocking on my door when I was presented with a group that features a member of Rob Zombie’s band and New Year’s Day. The group I am talking about is a Goth Pop duo by the name of The Haxans (named after the 1922 silent horror film) which features Matt Montgomery a.k.a. Piggy D (Vocals & Guitar) and Ashley Costello (Vocals) of New Year’s Day. The name of the album is Party Monsters and here is Matt talking about it, “This record is a party for everyone else like us. The cover, the songtitles, the energy and the colors of this record are going to pull together an amazing cross section of people. It’s just everything we like and celebrate every day, but amped up to eleven! It’s got a kids-jumping-on-the-bed-while-the-parents-are-out-of-the-room feeling to it to me, which is kind of what this record was for us.” I’m not 100% positive on who else performed on the record, but I believe Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Ex-Rob Zombie) may have helped in some way.

lights out1. Lights Out– A very cool Goth Pop song that has a little of The Munsters flavor to it combined with the Zombie feel. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and it seems like it’s all about the fun starting when the lights go out. 5/5

2. Young Blood– A cool track that starts off rocking before it mellows out with only bass and drums during the verses before turning it up to 11 again. 4.5/5

3. Dirty Magic– A cool track off the album that has a little bit of that electronic club feel to it along with the rock. Ashley proves in this track that she is a frontwoman as she sings about how she can’t believe that she fell for someone so it must have been dirty magic. 5/5

4. Black Cat Bone– This is a cool track that has a more rock version of a Shania Twain/Robert Palmer track. This is a track that Matt and Ash sing together on the track. Costello talked about the track saying, ” In voodoo culture, wearing a black cats bone would ward off unwanted romantic gestures. Something to think about.” 5/5

5. Party Time– More of a horror like track than what we previous heard as it almost has a Zombie feel in a track that is about a bunch of kids who are on the brink of death in the name of partying. Cool guitar solo from Matt on this track for sure. 4.5/5

6. Chains– A cool more mellow and eerie track from the duo that Costello told Alternative Press, “The song ‘Chains’ is the first song that we recorded together and it has such a groovy vibe. The lyrics are about someone who is like a ghost in your life. Someone that just won’t go away. This song is the direct message to them.” 4.5/5

7. Witch Wave– Definitely a electro-pop track with Ash’s vocals having a hip hop feel to it about a girl who feels betrayed so she’s out for revenge. 4/5

haxans8. I Think Of Demons– A very different track with some keys in it, but a very much a pop track in this track that is a duet between the two again which is a sympathy track for demons cause who else thinks for them? 4/5

9. Professional Weirdo– This is a song that is sung int he same style of another that I can’t think of right now. It runs on the idea of teenage angst where the narrator is mad at the world that they don’t fit in. 4/5

10. Slick Black Coffin– More of that electro goth pop fun that is actually a great signature sound for the band. The track has that feel of if Lady Gaga decided to be more hard rock. 5/5

11. Boo– A very cool b-horror themed intro along with the Zombie-esque rock before it mellows out for the verses. The track seems to be about a ghost who loves scaring people. 5/5

12- Vampira– The band’s cover of the famous Misfits track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I honestly think that these guys could have a future if they decide to do any more music. Most of the album goes from sounding like a female fronted Zombie band to a Lady Gaga gone horror rock/pop style. Ashley is an amazing vocalist whose style fits the music perfectly. I am a huge fan of the record and I hope to hear more from them in the future. Check it out for yourselves, I am giving the record 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

george-michael-faith-b-25-02-2015I am probably going to get a lot of crap for this, but too be perfectly honest I don’t care. I will be honest that it wasn’t my intention to have this week’s album as not only the album of the week, but also the 200TH album ever reviewed by myself. 2016 has definitely been one of the worst years for music, sports, and various other celebrity deaths that I can remember as it has claimed some legends. This past Christmas, it was revealed that legendary British Pop singer George Michael had passed away from heart failure. So to honor the death of one of my favorite voices in Pop history, I have decided to cover his first solo record Faith as not only the album of the week, but also as the 200TH album ever. After disbanding his band Wham! the year before, George released his first ever solo album Faith on October 30, 1987. It would go on to be one of his most successful albums ever as it sold well over 25 million albums to date which means it overly surpassed Diamond status. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and it produced six top five singles. George was also the first Caucasian artist to ever go number one on the R&B/Hip Hop charts with the three of the six singles.

george_michael_-_faith-back1. Faith– This is probably one of the most famous George Michael solo tracks with it’s rockabilly/Bo Diddley like guitar tracks as well as it’s  memorable lyrics. 5/5

2. Father Figure– A truly amazing track with it’s gospel like influences in a track that talks about power that a father figure has over someone. 5/5

3. I Want Your Sex (Parts I and II)– A funk style track that is divided into two parts on the original pressing of the album with the third part released later on. A lot of similarities between this and Prince is evident in the music. I think you can guess what the lyrics are about. 5/5

4. One More Try– A soulful track that explores a man who is afraid to enter a relationship due to the fact that he has been hurt so many times only to fall to temptation by the end of the track. 5/5

5. Hard Day– a dance track that sees the man struggling with a relationship where he’s just like love me already. 4.5/5

faith-promo-cd-blue_5006. Hand To Mouth– A very politcally charged track about immigrants getting denied access to the American dream during the Reagan years. 5/5

7. Look at Your Hands– A sax driven track that sounds like your typical 80’s song (which sounds a little outdated). 4/5

8. Monkey– Another dance like track that was a huge hit in the US in a track that is about getting rid of the proverbial monkey off your back. 4.5/5

9. Kissing A Fool– a Jazz like ballad that centers around George Michael’s fears of dating someone due to the baggage his life comes with. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– George was an amazing talent whose voice could resemble the greatness of Freddie Mercury at times. Some versions of the album featured the bonus tracks of a remix of Hard Day and the last part of I Want Your Sex. He proved with the album that he was an amazing songwriter and it showed on this. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade. R.I.P. George Michael (1963-2016)

1280x1280For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to cover a band that I always liked ever since they first came out in 2000. This is one of those posts that I don’t care what the popular opinion is because I have always thought that Good Charlotte has kicked ass and they especially kick ass live. Seeing them at Lupos in Providence, RI this past week inspired me to revisit some of those records I loved and The Young And The Hopeless is one of those records I loved. The band was made up of Joel Madden (Lead Vocals), Benji Madden (Lead Guitar), Billy Martin (Rhythm Guitar), Paul Thomas (Bass), and the album featured Josh Freese on drums. The album was released on October 1, 2002 and to a lot of critical acclaim as it helped launch the band forward on to the pop charts. The band always wanted to write a record that would launch them into stardom and Benj once said, “Joel and I always wanted to be in a big band. We never set out to be the cool, underground band that the elite listened to: we wanted to play shows all around the world, to anyone who would hear us. Nothing about that record was pre-meditated, we were just having fun, and trying to do the best we could to achieve that goal.” The album would peak at number seven on the Billboard Top charts and it would go three times platinum selling three million copies producing four singles.

gc-copy1. A New Beginning– a cool intro track that starts up the album. 4/5

2. The Anthem– One of my favorite songs on the album and it was a track that was originally written for a soundtrack, but when completed it was rejected. The track is a great anthem for people to stand up for themselves and not listen to what others think. 5/5

3. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous– a pop punk track that was social commentary on how celebrities got away with murder basically. 5/5

4. Wondering– a cool track that is a little more rock and mellow than previous tracks with that cool bass line during the verses in a track that is about wondering if you’ll find that person you can confide in. 4/5

5. The Story of My Old Man– an in your face punk song about absentee fathers that are never there for their kids. 4/5

6. Girls & Boys– Another favorite of mine on the album that starts off mellow before it launches right into that singable chorus about guys who do whatever it takes to get girls to like them. 5/5

7. My Bloody Valentine– an interesting track that describes a guy who kills some girls love so that she can love him because he’ll do anything for her. 4/5

8. Hold On– This may be my favorite track on the album that just hits a chord with anyone in my opinion that may deal with depression. Remember people, Suicide is not the option. 5/5

9. Riot Girl– a track that is literally about how punk chicks are better than girls like Britney Spears, etc. 4/5

10. Say Anything– a real mellow track with a cool bass line whose lyrics deal with relationships. 4/5

11. The Day That I Die– a cool track that starts with Cash Dogg barking before the song kicks in about a guy who enjoys the day he dies like it really was. This is a track that Benji sings lead vocals on. 4/5

12. The Young & the Hopeless– a driving riff starts the song before it kicks into overdrive about having to deal with people who hate on you constantly because you may not fit the mold. Benji sings the second verse on the track. 5/5

13. Emotionless– an acoustic track that is the band writing to their dad who walked out on them. 4/5

14. Movin’ On– The last track on the album that is a pretty epic closer for the song as it has that rock vibe to begin before it breaks into a punk song. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– The album absolutely kicks ass and it embodied the spirit of the band. If you ever get a chance to see them live, you have to do it because they rock. Every track on the album is enjoyable to listen to. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

There was one thing that was for certain when it came to that decadent decade known as the 1980’s and that was that there were films that came with iconic tracks. Another statement that was true, if John Hughes’s name was attached to the film somehow, then it meant that iconic music would be on it for sure. That was definitely the case with today’s Soundtrack Saturday track Holiday Road by Fleetwood Mac guitar man Lindsey Buckingham. The track was written and featured for one of the most iconic 80’s comedies in National Lampoon’s Vacation. The film starred Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a man determined on giving his family the vacation of a lifetime by bringing them on a road trip to Wally World. Every time you hear the song, you can’t help but immediately think of the film and how much fun the film was because it kicked off the opening titles of the film. A very iconic track which Lindsey Buckingham played every instrument on the track. Check the extended version below: