The old, the new and the out of this world
“Messages”/EMI Records Ltd.
How do you keep the flames of radio legends burning? Well, in the Internet age, even the gods of sound need to be seen, not just heard. And so, in 2008, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys released Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s 20-track CD, plus the bonus 31-track DVD, chronicling in fascinating sounds and sights the band’s 30-year saga.
The unique brand of New Wave music by these experimental artists from Wirral Peninsula, near Liverpool, should bring in a wave of Tron-like nostalgia for those who grew up with the band. And as evidenced by OMD’s Manila concert last March 12, Pinoys still know their “Enola Gay,” “If You Leave,” “Dreaming,” “Secret” and “Messages” by heart.
This double-disc set should be a keeper, and perhaps a fitting take-off to acquaint fans with the duo’s newest album, “History of Modern.” For the young-uns—stop, look and listen. This is where your own avant-garde bands such as The Killers and Death Cab for Cutie got their “Electricity.”
Maybe the “Parental Advisory” label has something to do with it, but there’s no doubt this Trinidad-and-Tobago-born rapper/singer-songwriter’s starship is on hyper-speed to the nearest, brightest musical supernova. Her second album has now sold over a million copies worldwide, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Fans of Nicki have always known there was something different about her. Now Nicki shows they were right, pulling out the stops, and her verbal inhibitions, in showcasing that she’s not only a bad (bleep) rapper and singer. She can also collaborate with almost anyone, including Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown and David Guetta.
She’s a maniacal mutha provoking the ’hood to a hip-hop battle (“Come on a Cone,” “Stupid Hoe”), then induce a club into trance with “Starships” and “Pound the Alarm.”
Nicki stamped her signature British cockney rap style in the now-legendary “Super Bass.” Here, she continues that groundbreaking tradition, mouthing off some more throaty tricks, throughout all 22 tracks.
It’s equally interesting to listen to the CD of a young, bilingual hip-hop, R&B and pop artist (Korean and American in this instance) and learn about the back story of its production—especially when the artist is as involved in social media (Twitter) as Jay Park.
For a debut full-length studio album, he has done exceptionally well in both the US Billboard World Albums and South Korean Album charts (peaking at No. 4 and No. 1, respectively).
What may have actually birthed this album, the digital hit “Girlfriend,” has the “flava” of Far East Movement’s “Rocketeer,” while “Know Your Name” takes on an entirely different Euro-dance rhythm.
And though he may have struck a pop hit in “I Love You,” Jay implies in his intro, “New Breed,” that he’s dead-serious in migrating from eyecandy K-Pop to rough-and-tumble American hip-hop, as punctuated by the last track, “Clap.”
In the meantime, though, enjoy the DVD for some slick choreography and video work.