This week was almost a disaster, musically speaking, but there were some teeny bright spots.
So in cases like this when I have very little to say and you don’t want to read, I’m returning to my old custom rating system. That is, a more qualitative value than quantitative number.
Please let me know if this week yielded anything better:
Karmin - Pulses
Rating: Like riding a wooden rollercoaster
If you block out pop culture and the force-feeding from the music industry, Karmin can be an enjoyable listen. But I can see how you could despise them.
Their chaotic sing-song girl rap is more digestible than Nicki Minaj (whom I have completely forgotten about), but rickety enough to give you motion sickness. Songs such as “Acapella” are a wild ride and they remind me of my first time I was on a wooden rollercoaster: I thought I was going to die, but man was it exhilarating.
I hope that the entity of Karmin is authentic and not just not another product from BIG MUSIC. I’m still healing from the last batch of letdowns. I do not know Karmin’s story and I think that’s for the best.
Memphis May Fire - Unconditional
Rating: Tolerable rage
You can’t survive on death metal screams alone, which keeps bands like Memphis May Fire, Sick Puppies and Issues interesting. Mix in quality vocals and instrumental textures, and the next wave of hard rock doesn’t look so disastrous.
Content wise, we don’t extend far beyond inner struggle and outward aggression. But it sounds cool and somewhat more melodic than their last album, though not radically different. “Possibilities” and “Speechless” are standouts.
The Colourist - The Colourist
Rating: Alt. pop by the books
I was hoping this would be the saving grace of the week, but it didn’t have enough spark. It wasn’t bad, but it deserves a few more listens before it gets a proper assessment.
Without even researching, I can tell you that this band is from California. The Colourist gleam with that kind of brightness and this is a great album to celebrate the coming of springtime.
For comparison, these guys (and gal) fall in the same realm as Passion Pit, Grouplove or Youngblood Hawke. I feel like the alternative pop phase has run its course, but that may be premature.
Updated Best of 2014 playlist:
Once again, that Lykke Li song is worth mentioning. When “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone” hits the 2:55 mark, I’m convinced the odd spacing was a result of her crumbling to tears mid-recording. It’s magical.