Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Emarosa - Emarosa

Emarosa's self-titled sophomore album release is a slightly mellower affair than previous efforts - 2008's Relativity and 2007's This is Your Way Out - and that's apparent from the outset. A Toast to the Future Kids! is a slow builder, but has a catchy chorus that soon brings up the pace.

Although die-hard fans might not welcome this fact, there's actually a decent amount of hummable music on this album. Entire songs you could sing in the shower, or in the car, without losing your voice. Whether that's a good or bad thing will depend on why you listen to Emarosa - for the raw, screaming, rock or for the subtler points?

Either way, fans should be able to find at least something to enjoy. Newcomers, expect to hear a lot of racing guitar, fast-paced drums with plenty of cymbal crashes, and abruptly ending tracks.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed

Miley Cyrus is back with Can't Be Tamed - and I guess whether you like this album or not depends on whether you like Miley. Personally, I think the combination of pop, rock and country that Miley delivers works pretty well. It's not a sure bet, but it's a reasonably safe one.

The problem with Can't Be Tamed is that she's building on a changing reputation - so much of Miley's music at the moment seems to be about breaking away from the Disney image and building a new rock chick persona. She needs to be careful that those aims don't become the dominant force in deciding which records she puts out.

On Can't Be Tamed though, it's hard to tell what forces really are at work. There's not a great deal that sounds like country music, and not a lot that really counts as rock either. I suppose the genre you'd have to assign this one to is pop. There are pop ballads, upbeat pop, but it's all... poppy. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. I guess I'm just looking for another anthemic track like The Climb.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Chap - Well Done Europe

Well Done Europe is the fourth album from London-and-Berlin-based prog-pop surrealists The Chap. Carrying on from where they left off on 2008's Mega Breakfast, Well Done Europe is another collection of pop oddities and electro weirdness, all overlaid with The Chap's trademark stilted half-sung half-spoken vocals.

There is no time for the uninitiated to acclimatise here, as we leap staight in to opening track 'We'll See to Your Breakdown' with its sparse beat backing track carrying the deadpan chorus "You will never have a job / You will never have lunch in this town again / We’ll see to that ‘cos we hate you".

But fear not, 'Even Your Friend' next up is an upbeat poppy number, which is about as accessible as the band ever get. And the single 'We Work in Bars' carries on the summertime vibe. If The Chap could put out an album of these, coherent, short, punchy indie-pop songs there's no knowing what they might have achieved now in terms of commercial success.