Archive for June, 2010

Album of the Month – ‘The ArchAndroid’

Posted in Music Reviews on 2010/06/17 by sturgeonmusic

I was introduced to this artist by a friend, a guy whose usually great at giving me new interesting artists to look at, or the complete opposite. He didn’t this time around either, he showed me an album which literally blew my mind for originality and sound, something which brings back the routes of Soul/Pop and combines them with modernistic ideas.

Janelle Monae is somewhat unknown within the mainstream of todays music and I have to say I’m shocked, her voice has the power and clarity to rival some of the most popular around. Its hard to summaries and compare to others, as her vocal style really is a fresh approach to the genres this album features.

The album follows the concept of a fictional tale of an messianic android, a tale which Monae has been working on throughout her career. As an all rounder, the album primarily focuses on Soul and Jazz elements, however there are dozens of links to others. Dealing with issues of love, anger, mysticism and self realization, all through the eyes of an android.

Interesting concept? Certainly sounds it…. And it seems to work with the various styles an song structures that Monae chooses to write with, you can sense her determination to display her vast knowledge of music and the working of her own voice.

Stand-out tracks –

Dance or die (feat. Saul Williams)

Oh, Maker

Come Alive (The War of the Roses)

Tightrope (feat. Big Boi)

I’ll be honest, it isn’t the most listened to album on my list this month, but I didn’t award it the album of the month for its play count. I gave it this title because of the creativity, novel ideas and general feel of the album. Its loaded with grooves, smooth/ambient sections and great vocal harmony. Certainly a new soul voice at its best!

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Periphery!

Posted in Music Reviews on 2010/06/03 by sturgeonmusic

Few metal bands today focus on creating a new and fresh sound, or mix of genres – it’s easier to repeat sounds that have been made before to become a quick success.

Slightly opinionated? I agree, but to a level it is true. But when a band aims to create a new and individual sound, they really stick out from the crowd. Periphery have done such a thing, and have made an easily accessible form of the worlds heaviest type of guitar, the new ‘sub-genre’ of djent.

Their debut self-titled album was released on 20th April, however I have unfortunately only just got my hands on it. Right now, its only available as an iTunes exclusive download, but the album is available to preview on Spotify. Djent and other such areas of Metal are often quite a niche market, however I really do believe this band make it incredibly easy to listen to and thus, accessible to a wider audience.

Key Tracks –

Letter Experiment

Jetpack Was Yes

Icarus Lives

Totla Mad

Whilst those stand out tracks featured above are my personal favorites, the whole album features different sounds that most people can relate to musically. The band have strong Dn’B influences as well, so several songs feature drum breaks and ambient tracks. Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t another Enter Shikari style entry, this band are mixing sounds that some people would think cannot be done.

A fresh experience then, something new for your ears. I’d say give it a go, even if the heavy aspects of djent do not float your boat then there will probably be something for you in the more ambient and slow tempo tracks. An amazing singing voice, great sounding bass, three guitarists and brutally technical drumming, all the ingredients for a powerful force.