Just like Cher Lloyd's album title, well, sorry I'm late. I was supposed to do the review yesterday but yet I'm actually compensating to you guys now, but hey, at least I delivered (I think). This is my review of her sophomore album, Sorry I'm Late.
Yeah, for those who haven't been around since 2012, Cher Lloyd has been somewhat down and up in her career after some late bolstering hits wavering through from a disastrous first single straight out from X-Factor (Swagger Jagger). But, does that mean that the album increases with hype and that the quality on it is at least good? That slightly adjusts to what we're talking about mostly.
On most tracks, the album is more or less a success because of the impeding structure that seems to be core to it. However, without being repetitive, although a sizable amount leads to the album sinking because of a lackluster support from the production, may well just hang it in the balance. The album is fine, though at the mediocre expense of a lot of things.
The album feels clunky, generic and feels less grounded, although it does lift off higher than Sticks + Stones after all that has been said at this point. The album is more mature content and lyric-wise, but still suffers from the jaw-breaking disappointment of the unwillingness to change and adapt rather than continue leaving at that.
I don't want to offend most fans by saying that the album isn't really all that great at this point. But, I guess I didn't have much in the wire in the first place. Let's run through the negatives that mainly surround this messy album.
The album mainly splits off from the get-go immediately. With an album title like that, the tracks could go anywhere. However, most of the formula that is used are pretty similar. M.F.P.O.T.Y. feels like another party song without much creative input and even lesser production to back it up. That more or less also clashes with Dirty Love (which also suffers at lyrical expense). Some of the tracks don't fit the bill in the way it is supposed to and don't seem to upfront about it. Most of the directions taken here are either not risky enough, or just simply safe so that the album can run its course naturally. That simply 'run-off-the-mill' type of tracks don't have as much impact as they were supposed to, making them filler tracks or non-relatable in different ways.
Next, sacrificing production for lyrics (which didn't exactly go well either) feels to be weird and fails. Just for the sake of a guitar on Bind Your Love (which is an okay track), to so-called 'up it with' synths and reverbs are simply disappointing. It's better not to even start with it when the production takes over from the chorus onwards. While it isn't a big problem, it's definitely worth nothing considering one of the better tracks titled Goodnight was a stripped down acoustic version which was simply a home-run in my opinion. This shows that most of the time Cher's vocals kind of save the album simply because it's other flaws are too visible.
I can't really complain lyrically. Cher hasn't been known for her lyrics anyway (Want U Back has simple lyrics don't matter much in between), but sacrificing some of the high notes of the album for it and still not even making up for it, it just feels shortchanged and shoe-horned so as to 'better' the track in another way. Just Be Mine and I Wish (I knew I gave it a pretty high score, but I kind of beat it down now) kind of sits comfortable in their area.
Though, I must say, that the album shines in it's hollow avenues. Tracks like Goodnight (which I have said above) and Sirens, although I don't like it too much, are probably the best tracks on the album. Obviously, topping that list would be Human. The vocals and the emotional depths bring this album from the brink of redemption. It's probably one of the better reasons to buy the album. Cher's vocals are immense throughout the album and probably helps on a whole to balance out a very cheesy and generic album. Although I do say that, some of the tracks might not deserve as much hate as others, but are still equal pairing when compared.
Favourite Tracks: Human, Goodnight
Least Favourite Tracks: M.F.P.O.T.Y., Dirty Love
I wanted to like the album and had pretty high expectations for the album. It didn't topple though, but I would still recommend the album to others. Fans of Cher will love this album to death.
I can see that while Coldplay doesn't necessarily hit the ball out of the park with Mylo Xyloto, at least they make their amends with Ghost Stories, the band's sixth studio album. However, it is surprising, but do fans want Coldplay's older sounds, or their experimental directions? And, does this album grants the reviews it's had so far (which has been mixed to positive)? It's really all hard to say at this point.
Fair enough, I get the hate train that's been knocking on Coldplay's door for almost 2 years, but when you look beyond Mylo Xyloto (overrated? More like underrated), it doesn't look as bad as it seems. Of course, there are very peculiar tracks and very underhanded lyrics that seems to be shoe-strung onto the album, it does impress production wise and something that Coldplay usually doesn't deliver on. Their production usually builds up steadily (take a look at their new singles Magic and A Sky Full of Stars) and it really surprises at how great Coldplay is at handling it. Of course, it doesn't really match up to Viva La Vida nor Rush of Blood to the Head, but it seriously doesn't deserve the hate it has been getting (the singles more than the album really).
Heck, I was genuinely afraid of their new material ever since Mylo Xyloto was put out. Midnight was quite literally intolerable for me on first listen. Chris Martins' vocoded vocals don't seem at the all interesting, and definitely feels a lot better when put side-to-side on the track-list. Their new singles really didn't awe me that much. Magic, while I personally liked, I felt it didn't really impress. It hit an exceptional high during the bridge, and within seconds, it transitions back into a beat with simplistic production. It was disappointing, but once you get over the fact of it, sometimes Magic fits the emotional vibe when you get comfortable to it. The same goes to A Sky Full of Stars, which was produced and co-written by Avicii, it was great, but not the Coldplay most people were known to. While the EDM part does feel strange and weird on a Coldplay song, rather than replacing it with the big hyperventilating drums and guitars, it wasn't necessarily all that bad.
I guess that sums up the entire album really. Most of the tracks are forgettable easily (Another's Arms, Oceans) and most of the lyrics on the album don't impress as well. Obviously, most of the tracks are really throwback to their previous albums (Parachute for instance) and for a listener who hasn't really delved back into their past, I can say that it is pretty passable. Most of the tracks on the album don't really gather up the courage to hit rock solid, and it seems that they are just picked up from leftovers. I was really confused and perplexed at how some of the material doesn't really make up half of what Coldplay was and would be. While I consider this an experimental step forward, it doesn't really prove much on it's own.
That's when you realise that maybe Ghost Stories is the full complete package for everything. It has the charged melodies, interesting lyrics, powerful Chris Martin vocals (on many occasions) and while others may feel that it may be shortchanged, I feel it is enough to warrant a place in the top 3 of my Coldplay album's list (behind Rush and Viva La Vida in my opinion). However, while I digress that for some it may not be the case, it is a comfortable album that I would recommend to anyone. However, most might not dig the sound that accompanies this album.
Favourite Tracks: Magic, A Sky Full of Stars, Ink
Least Favourite Tracks: Another's Arms, O
Is it impressive? No. Is it the same Coldplay? No. Is it better than Mylo Xyloto? Some would argue but I would say yes. All in all, there are tracks for the faithful and there are tracks for the overall populous. It's not a great album, but it's above average decent.
The Hunting Party - it's official. June 13 2014 is the date where Linkin Park releases their sixth studio album and I am hyped. Am I hyped about the singles so far? Well, they have been far and in between. This is a review of their latest single, Until It's Gone.
To be honest, the track starts out a little different from what you got to taste with Guilty All The Same. Obviously, the tracks are similar in that they are much more heavier in terms of production (Rob's drums, Chester's vocals, Brad's guitars) but this track just felt out of place. Let's go back to some of the positives I got out of this track.
First, Chester's vocals were finally back and hitting hard. It could be because Guilty All The Same needed a different type of drive, but in this single, he hammers another home-run that brings me straight back to their Hybrid Theory and Meteora days.
Secondly, the song starts out very strong. You can hear some of the synths in the forefront sort of leading the guitars on the track and they mesh well together with such ease. The drums on here are always kicking and Rob's got it all on check.
However, while I wanted this to be Linkin Park's 'next big thing', I was left disappointed and oftentimes left wondering. While I question Mike's absence (he produced the album alongside Brad, in which case legendary producer Rick Rubin has finally put his hands off the band), the song was meant to fit on a heavier scale, in which too much energy was focused into.
First, while the rock roots and the heavier instrumentals played a huge role into Linkin Park succeeding and granted a worldwide loyal fanbase, I cannot fail to contemplate that while they haven't gotten in touch with their old music in a long time, they were too eager to delve into it. Some of the production on here were simply sub-par. They were just not good enough. The mix of drums, guitars and synth after the chorus made the track felt more unfocused than it should have been.
Secondly, the lyrics suffered drastically. Not even thought-provoking at best and fails to make any impact at all. That said, lyrical repetition has always been in Linkin Park's catalog, they definitely overdid it this time in my opinion.
However, does that mean the track is not good? It's fine, but sometimes it's the kind of track that gets left out of albums because of a few things. Maybe the song was rushed because it made very little impact. Still, it's a decent track, though Guilty All The Same does edge it out on a little high.
I've always been a big fan of Linkin Park, but sometimes, you start to wonder if they still have steam left in their ever-running engine. While I anticipate The Hunting Party, I fear for the worst as well.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.