THE GOSSIP – MUSIC FOR MEN
Now this is a tricky one! You would’ve, by now, either seen or heard this album’s first single, Heavy Cross. What starts off as a soothing guitar-riffy ballad quickly fires up a few gears into a pumping rock anthem. Lead singer Beth Ditto looks like a glammed-up, gold-bedazzled Adele (sans pavement-chasings). The song had “hit” written all over it and, staying true to the band’s lesbi-gay roots, the video premiered on perezhilton.com. The album Music For Men is probably as ironic as you can get with both Ditto and drummer, ‘Hannah Billie’ being out and proud lesbians – but who cares, right? This album rocks. In fact, it bloody boulders!
Heavy Cross is one of the harder songs, but there literally is a track for everyone on this, their fourth album. Pop Goes The World is an electro-tribal-seventies-funk number and 2012 feels like Placebo got stuck in a lift with The Pigeon Detectives and, to kill time, wrote a wee ditty. Whatever their influences – and, trust me, these range from pop, to funk, to soul, to rock, to glam to punk and back again – the music is tight and slick with Ditto’s vocals soaring high above it all.
VARIOUS – THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON OMPS
Ah Twilight. Last month’s Vanity Fair had star Robert Pattinson on the cover with the question, “Can 100 Million Screaming Twilight Fans Be Wrong?” Well I guess not – but I (sadly?) am not one of them. My boyfriend has a theory that the vampire legend was born out of gay-lore. Think about it: hot men; only come out at night; hide in shadows; suck on people’s necks, etc… Not a bad theory when you consider movies like Interview with the Vampire and of course the obsessively watchable True Blood. In my mind, that is how vampires should be – hot, steamy and deadly. Not overly made-up, brimming with teenage angst and torn between eternal life and everlasting love. I saw the first Twilight film and to be honest I felt more like a teenage girl then when I (accidently) watched Hanna Montana!
But to the soundtrack of this latest instalment (lock up your daughters there are two more movies in the pipeline). Taking a quick look at the back cover, you’ll find an awesomely eclectic group of artists ranging from Death Cab for Cutie, to Thom Yorke (of Radiohead), The Killers, Muse and Editors. Need I say more! With this group of talent, you certainly can’t go wrong with this release and if pseudo-existential pop-rock is your bag, then this is definitely for you. So, whether it’s as an accompaniment to the movie or just as a stand-alone purchase, this one belongs in the collection. Just because the bands and the songs are so damn cool.
DEAD BY SUNRISE – OUT OF ASHES
I love Linkin Park! From their eye-popping music videos and the controlled-screaming of Chester Bennington to the awesome Grammy-winning collaboration with Jay-Z, they are definitely one for the ‘Desert Island Discs’ collection. Seeing as the lead-vocalist on this release is our man Chester, it was with much excitement that I popped in this CD. Dead by Sunrise actually started to form in 2005 while Bennington was writing songs for Linkin Park’s album Minutes to Midnight. Some of the songs sounded really good, but weren’t stylistically right for Linkin Park. These were much darker and moodier than anything he had written for the band, so he filed them for a rainy day – which happened to be in 2009.
As for the band’s name, it came from his excessive partying and destructive lifestyle where it sometimes felt, according to Bennington, “like you weren’t sure if you were going to make it to the next day”. Even the album’s name came from moving away from that dark, hedonistic place. Obviously, Bennington’s voice is so distinctive you could be forgiven for thinking this is a new Linkin Park offering. But that is where the similarity ends. This is radio-friendly rock at its best. The first single, Let Down, is already getting heaps of airplay and is currently looping itself into a frenzy on my ‘On-The-Go’ mix on my iPod. Then there are real rock numbers like, Crawl Back In and My Suffering and great 80-esque rock ballads like Too Late, Into You and In The Darkness. A fantastic first effort that will appeal to those who like their pop on the rocky side.
PARAMORE – BRAND NEW EYES
I feel about Paramore the same way I feel about the Spice Girls; wouldn’t say that I liked them necessarily, but occasionally really enjoy the music. Paramore’s second album spawned three hits, That’s What You Get, Misery Business and Decode (the last one being the lead single from the first Twilight movie soundtrack). The songs flung the band into the stratosphere and super-stardom. Two years later, they are back with their third studio album, Brand New Eyes.
Now, not being a self-professed Paramore fan, it would be unfair for me to say it sounds like more of the same but, to the untrained ear (like mine), it kind of does. Not that it’s a bad thing. The single Brick By Boring Brick is definitely a goodie which will have you moshing in your car or lounge in no time. The rest are pretty standard numbers with the other outstanding track being the acoustic Misguided Ghosts where you really hear and feel the emotion behind lead singer Hayley William’s voice. Paramore describe their music as “emo without being whiny, or bratty”. So if you fall into that category, consider the purchase of Brand New Eyes.
VARIOUS – BUMP 25 (3 CDS)
Christmas comes but once a year and so do mega-club anthem CDs. From all over the world we’re bombarded with selections and collections of the year’s hottest hits. Most of them seem to be copies of each other and it’s rare to find one that truly is not only representative of the year that was, but organises it in a way to suit any festive season party. Bump is one of those. Now in its 25th edition, Bump never fails to hit it right on the money. As a DJ myself, I am always loathe to be subjected to mixed compilation CDs – but for this one I made an exception.
A three-disc set, Bump 25 honestly has something for everyone – from remixes of Idols finalist Agnes’ Release Me and a cover of the Black Eyed Peas’ floor-filler I Gotta Feeling to ATB’s Behind – the