Dance tunes, romantic strife
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A&M/MCA Music Philippines
Thank the African race for inventing the blues, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, soul, funk and disco—from which the Caucasian hipster band Maroon 5 molds its sound, especially on this 2012 album.
There is a pervasive dance beat in most of the 12 tracks, while the lyrical contents depict lovers’ unresolved conflicts. The opener, “One More Night,” has a bright, reggae-infused mood, even as it tackles the dilemma of dealing with a love-hate romance.
It is followed by the lead single, “Payphone,” whose 1970s disco-era tempo serves as backdrop to exasperation following failure to reconnect with an ex.
There are songs that revel in funk—a style that Maroon 5 loves to soak up in.
The six bonus cuts include another version of last year’s big hit, “Moves Like Jagger,” which put the band back on the charts; a blues rendition of Prince’s “Kiss”; and two more alternate mixes of “Payphone.”
Surely the fans are in for a hip-shaking night when Maroon 5 returns to the Big Dome on Sept. 18. Pocholo Concepcion
“Good By Sunday”
Twelve years and five albums later, alternative-pop band 6cyclemind adapts a new sound on this 11-track CD, the name of which was taken from the only English song in the album.
But what a difference years of churning out LSS-worthy anthems such as “Kasalanan” and “Sige” make. The band shakes off the departure of lead vocalist Ney Dimaculangan, and puts erstwhile drummer and backup vocalist Tutti Caringal front and center. With Raimund Marasigan collaborating on a few tracks, “Good By Sunday” is infused with a more mature sound.
“Basta Ako” opens the album in an upbeat mood, sustained by “Bola” (Marasigan’s signature arrangement, reminiscent of Sandwich’s “Betamax,” is evident). The introspective track “Good By Sunday” slows things down, before picking up again on “Kontra Bida.”
This album reveals a renewed 6cyclemind, opening up the band, and its fan base, to a wider musical horizon. Aries B. Espinosa, contributor
“Master of Imperfection”
The voice of Fra Lippo Lippi is back as a solo recording artist on an album which, he says, helped him confront a lingering depression.
Per Sorensen sings, plays drums, percussion and guitar to music he wrote in collaboration with fellow Norwegian Kari Iveland’s lyrics. The result equals some of the most achingly beautiful songs about introspection (“Loneliness”), vulnerability (“Will I Recognize”), acceptance of faults (“The Truth Behind Our Lies”), reaching out (“Tell Me Once,” “The Waiting Game,” “It Could Be Nice”) and atonement (“I Hurt You”).
For fans who long for the good old days, there are two reworked tracks from Fra Lippo Lippi days, “Beauty and Madness” and “Later.”
But Sorensen’s cover of “Fire and Rain” is more disturbing and emphatic than the original version—like he really identified with the songwriter, James Taylor, who had also plunged into depression. Pocholo Concepcion
“Oceania” presents 13 of the 24-year-old alternative rock band’s 44-song project, “Teargarden By Kaleidyscope,” and is the first album since 2007’s “Zeitgeist.” Despite frontman Billy Corgan’s verbal aggression towards another allegedly “pompous, pretentious” alternative band, the Pumpkins reveals its soft side here (“Pinwheels” and the title track). “One Diamond, One Heart” is electro-synth heavy, but the mushy melody may find not a few adherents.
Though this album retains the musical style that has defined the sound of the Pumpkins through over two decades, it also pulls off some surprises with new auditory twists—signal that the band is always ready to sprinkle something new onto screaming stadium audiences.
Listen to the opener, “Quasar,” and move into a mystical world inhabited by other transcendent bands past and present. How the rest of the 31 other songs will sound in succeeding albums is anybody’s guess. Just don’t ask Radiohead. Aries B. Espinosa
You Me at Six
Virgin Records Ltd
The (slightly) angry boys from Weybridge, Surrey, are on their third album in the eight years they’ve been together—making predominantly female fans scream their lungs and pour their tears out. Showing more maturity in “Sinners Never Sleep,” the band, fronted by Josh Franceschi, still doesn’t hold back on the effing expletives (as in the destined-for-radio “Bite My Tongue”).
You Me at Six’s signature style of wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve, sing-it-as-it-is rock, without the hoary screaming, is still predominant in this 12-track CD. The best British band in the 2011 Kerrang! Awards provides the grooves (“Loverboy”) and the tempered angst (“No One Does it Better”), and shows it’s ready to tinker with new stuff in “Little Death” and “The Dilemma.”
Unlike most teenage boys whose voices transition awkwardly into adulthood, the rockers of You Me at Six seem to be aging quite nicely. The CD pack comes with a documentary DVD of “Bite My Tongue.” Take that, ya pirates! Aries B. Espinosa
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