Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny.
Danger Days: The True Lives
My Chemical Romance
One of the things that keeps a band fresh and young is its willingness to experiment. My Chemical Romance is one such band that has once again created an album that adds an important feather to their cap. Post-punk, grunge, goth, and nu-metal have all passed through the mixtures, and this time, a softer, peppier yet harder and bigger sound has emerged. What we get is a departure from the MCR sound, yet just edgy enough to keep the listener hooked. Check out ‘Bulletproof Heart’ and ‘The Only Hope For Me Is You’ among the 15 other scorching tracks.
Last years recording phenomenon is this year’s too. The album features the mandatory holiday tunes such as ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘O Come all ye faithful’ and the Irish classic ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Interestingly, some of the more unconventional selections are Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ (a beautiful rendition, actually), Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ (listen to this at sunrise), and Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’. So while this is a worthy follow up, it will be interesting to see what she does next. Till then sail with this.
Black Eyed Peas
So the funky-pop superstars return with a follow up to last years massive, The E.N.D, aptly and inanely titled... er… The Beginning. Positioned as a sequel to the previous album, this one begins with a sample from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ anthem that tries to set the floor on fire but it warms it up. I think the BEPs are going for a trilogy here, and if that is so then this is the middle section where things kind of plateau out before reaching its crescendo climax which will probably be the next album. So prepare to get funky on the dance floor.
One time world dominators and Irish heart throbs return as new-age (older) popstars with the usual peppy and happy love lyrics and sunshiny happy buzz tunes. This, incredibly being their tenth album (when did the last seven come out?) starts off with the fresh, uptempo ‘Beautiful Tonight’ and instills promise. But sadly ‘gravity’ sets in and pulls it down to the usual dull mushy balladry that all boybands have succumbed to. Fans (wherever you are) will bite the bullet and slide with this.