Starpulse.com

CD Reviews

Review: Wiz Khalifa Brings More Of The Same On ‘Blacc Hollywood’

August 20th, 2014 9:21am EDT
Wiz Khalifa, 'Blacc Hollywood'
If nothing else comes across on a Wiz Khalifa album, the MC’s love of weed does. It seems as if no Wiz song is a go without a reference to smoking. While the honesty is appreciated, it is often overplayed, growing tiresome album in and album out. On third album of note, Blacc Hollywood, weed definitely remains part of Wiz. His shallowness as an MC as well, dominates his latest album. Ultimately, Wiz Khalifa is who he is, and nothing more.

“Hope” opens Blacc Hollywood, featuring up and coming artist Ty Dolla $ign. Chevy Woods provides a lengthy intro before Wiz ever spits one bar. Ulti...
READ MORE

Review: The Gaslight Anthem Show Consistency On ‘Get Hurt’

August 18th, 2014 1:29pm EDT
Review: The Gaslight Anthem Show Consistency On ‘Get Hurt’
After a two-year hiatus, rock band The Gaslight Anthem return with their fifth studio album, Get Hurt. Get Hurt follows a high watermark for the band, led by vocalist and guitarist Brian Fallon. 2012 effort Handwritten easily ranked among the best rock albums that year. Get Hurt maintains consistency and enjoyability, regardless if it trumps Handwritten or not.

“Stay Vicious” opens Get Hurt in excitedly. The riffs come ‘right at your face,’ while Fallon delivers the lyrics in gritty, emotional fashion. Interesting about “Stay Vicious” is the chorus pulls back, while the verses are...
READ MORE

Review: Porter Robinson Captivates On Electronic Album ‘Worlds’

August 13th, 2014 11:31am EDT
Porter Robinson - Worlds
It could be argued that the ‘drop’ is the most anticipated moment in electronic music. In EDM, there are some ‘benchmarks’ that the music itself generally tends to meet. One of the criticisms of electronic music is that it can be somewhat predictable, despite the rich palette of synths available. Porter Robinson seeks to give electronic music something of a different look on his debut album, Worlds.

Unlike so many of his colleagues, Robinson seems to give more thought to melody, shaping, and contrast. Sure, there are some of the expected ‘benchmarks’ throughout Worlds, but it is the...
READ MORE

Review: The Vamps Aim to Breakthrough Stateside on 'Somebody To You' EP

August 11th, 2014 3:10pm EDT
Review: The Vamps Aim to Breakthrough Stateside on 'Somebody To
Remember that time that Diddy said something to the effect that 'Bad Boy(s) don’t stop?' Well, in the case of the latest pop-band signing, YouTube don’t stop. British band The Vamps are the latest new discovery via the supremely popular video site and like their colleagues, The Vamps release the ‘EP’ before dropping their ‘full length’ debut stateside.

You can’t knock the business though the final product has is ups and its downs.

“Somebody To You” opens the EP exceptionally, setting the tone for the effort and gaining the attention of the listener. It doesn’t hurt to have one ...
READ MORE

Review: Spoon's 'They Want My Soul' Is A Tour De Force

August 6th, 2014 1:00pm EDT
Review: Spoon's 'They Want My Soul' Is A Tour De Force
It rarely never hurts when your band gets is described as a ‘critical darling.’ For Austin, Texas indie-rock band Spoon, they exemplify the critical darling label. For years, Spoon has shown masterful consistency, delivering notable alt-classics such as “I Turn My Camera On” and “The Underdog.” On They Want My Soul, the band’s first new album in four years, Spoon continues to live up to its ‘darling’ title.

First and foremost, Spoon never misses a beat on They Want My Soul – it is a tour de force by all means. Opener and promo single “Rent I Pay” sets the tone from the jump with its ...
READ MORE

Review: 5 Seconds of Summer Have a Knack for Catchy Choruses

July 26th, 2014 8:00am EDT
Review: 5 Seconds of Summer Have a Knack for Catchy Choruses
“You look so perfect standing there / in my American Apparel underwear / and I know now, that I’m so down.” Catchy! Australian teen band 5 Seconds of Summer master the art of the catchy chorus throughout their full-length, self-titled debut album. After previewing this knack on EP She Looks So Perfect, yet another young band – aimed at teens and younger – looks to dominate not only Summer, but pop itself.

5 Second of Summer don’t ‘slay’ overall as much as their choruses do, but they don’t fail either. The first couple of songs from 5 Seconds of Summer are actually pretty good (that tra...
READ MORE

Review: 'Nobody's Smiling' Is Common's Best Album In Years

July 23rd, 2014 8:51am EDT
Review: 'Nobody's Smiling' Is Common's Best Album In Years
Cutting straight to the chase, Common, one of the Midwest’s preeminent MCs, delivers his best album in years with Nobody’s Smiling. Standing only 10 tracks deep (13 on the deluxe version), Common has delivered nothing short of a moody, meaningful tour de force that should get every rapper on his toes. Featuring exceptional production from NO I.D. and a couple of solid collaborations, Nobody’s Smiling has the goods to erase frowns of which it references.

“The Neighborhood,” featuring Lil Herb and Cocaine 80s, kicks off Nobody’s Smiling mysteriously and moody. James Fauntleroy’s voic...
READ MORE

Music Review: Weird Al's 'Mandatory Fun' Is A Blast

July 21st, 2014 11:20am EDT
Music Review: Weird Al's 'Mandatory Fun' Is A Blast
When Weird Al Yankovic says that the ‘fun’ must be ‘mandatory’ on his latest album, he doesn’t lie. Mandatory Fun is exactly what it says it is – while and after listening, you must have fun! The parody king definitely delivers the goods across 12 tracks. There’s no ‘fails’ to be found, but some songs ring ‘golden’ from the jump.

“Handy” is a brilliant way to kick things off, with Yankovic parodying #1 hit “Fancy” (Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX). Among the most memorable lines include “I got 99 problems but a switch ain’t one” (verse two) and “Yeah check my big staple gun, my socke...
READ MORE

CD Review: Concord America - "Suns Out Guns Out" (Post-Echo)

July 20th, 2014 5:34pm EDT
CD Review: Concord America - "Suns Out Guns Out" (Post-Echo)
Part Weezer, part Black Keys, but all cool would be an astute way to describe Concord America’s Suns Out Guns Out EP. Another way to describe this album is, well, just plain cool. While Suns Out Guns Out on the whole is an explosion of fuzzed out quirky indie rock – mind the latter - rock (the monstrous riffs of “Vanilla Bastard” are not to be missed, “Crown Vic” is sheer garage inspired madness). “So Gay” is the purest of diamonds in the rough; a hit single lying in wait that could impact at radio tomorrow if given the chance, and the fun doesn’t stop there on Suns Out Guns Out. There’s al...
READ MORE

CD Review: I Can See Mountains - "Gone Beachy"

July 20th, 2014 4:54pm EDT
CD Review: I Can See Mountains - "Gone Beachy"
As fate may have it, rumors of the demise of Buffalo’s quirky powerpop merchants I Can See Mountains have been greatly exaggerated. After playing what many thought to be their farewell show last December, band members Matt Cox and Kevin Hoffman have emerged from the depths with a new EP in Gone Beachy, a three song release that heaps loads of sunshine upon listeners. From the massive opening riff of “My Aquatic,” which features the infectious wordplay and idiosyncratic songwriting that made the band a fan favorite in the first place and the bouncy call-and-response of the Blink-182-esque “S...
READ MORE