REVIEW: Pentatonix – Pentatonix.

Pentatonix is the newly released self-titled album from the a cappella super-star band. This is their first album of entirely original music (with a few cover songs chucked in as bonus tracks in order to continue their extremely successful promotional strategy of drawing listeners in with stunning versions of already popular songs). First single Can’t Sleep Love (my review of that HERE) is being promoted in an attempt to be the band’s first breakthrough mainstream single, but does the rest of the record live up to its expectations?

Na Na Na, the first song on Pentatonix’s brand new self titled album of all original songs, is a perfect introduction to the rest of what is an incredible album not just “for an a cappella group”, but an incredible album full stop. Na Na Na, the shortest song on the album, packs a neat little punch with endless energy and a sound just as full as anything a band backed by guitars, drums etc. could offer, made all the more impressive by the fact that they did it with their voices alone. Continue reading

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REVIEW: DNCE – Cake by the Ocean.

If someone had asked me before hearing this song where I thought Joe Jonas would fit best in the entertainment industry post The Jonas Brothers, my answer probably would have been that he doesn’t. With Nick Jonas out in front taking over the role of the Justin Timberlake/Robbie Williams of the group and Kevin Jonas taking up the reality show side of things, it seemed like Joe was left to pick up the scraps of what the boy band once was.

Perhaps, however, the scraps were all he needed to make something great happen. Mid-way through September 2015 Joe released a single called Cake by the Ocean with his brand new band called DNCE. The band comprises of former The Jonas Brothers drummer Jack Lawless, Semi Precious Weapons bassist Cole Whittle and guitarist JinJoo Lee.

From the glimpse into DNCE that the first single gives us, it appears as if this band is what Maroon 5 could have been doing in 2015 if they hadn’t sold their souls to the devils of generic pop. Joe Jonas in DNCE is Adam Levine, with all the groove and falsetto but with out any of Levine’s out of this world arrogance – and the music is infinitely more enjoyable as a result.

Picking up on the current funk trend that has been rippling through much of the mainstream top 40, DNCE fuses it with dance to create a modern, exciting, catchy and fresh disco sound. The name of the song alone is enough to capture anyone’s attention and apparently came from the Swedish producers of the song Mattman & Robin (along with Semi Precious Weapons’ Justin Tranter) muddling up the name for the cocktail Sex on the Beach.

The band performed the song for the first time on television on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and did a fantastic job. Joe’s vocals were for the most part on point and it’s pretty clear that he was born to be the front man in bands. DNCE is full of energy and Cake by the Ocean is a very strong starting point to launch their career as a big name in top 40 music.




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REVIEW: Ellie Goulding – Something in the Way You Move.

Something very, very weird happened while I was listening to this song – I discovered that I actually quite like it? As someone who’s never felt anything more than tolerance for Ellie’s music, I almost decided not to review “Something in the Way You Move” at all. Bashing every song she releases was starting to feel boring and unnecessary, and I was completely ready to give up completely, but I thought I should at least give it one listen.

What ended up happening is that because I was playing it from it’s single page on Spotify it started playing on repeat. I got distracted (as happens far too often) by the various distractions that Internet provides, and before I knew it I was bopping along with it and mouthing the words.

This song takes away all of the irritating repetition most of Ellie’s singles present and replaces it with a chorus that is actually pleasant to listen to. Her voice which often just sounds scratchy and annoying sounds pretty and is put to good use. It’s still not much different sonically to her previous efforts and doesn’t show the progression or point of difference she is in major need of, but for once it’s actually a solid little pop number that I might actually listen to even once I’m done reviewing it.




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REVIEW: Demi Lovato – Stone Cold.

If the songs Demi Lovato has released from her album so far have one thing going for them it is definitely in showing the variety of music that she is able to deliver. We’re now on to the third song released from Demi Lovato’s upcoming album “Confident”. First came the pop-rock glory that was the first single “Cool for the Summer” and the finger snapping Burlesque-esque title track. Stone Cold is the latest release, a promo single that does a fantastic job of showing off yet another side of Demi Lovato, a side that creeps into theatre. Continue reading

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REVIEW: Nick Jonas – Area Code.

I think we have an identity crisis on our hands. After releasing his self titled album in 2014 which was full of Justin Timberlake knock offs, and the lead single, “Levels”, from his upcoming album following the same kind of sound but with a twist of Bruno Mars, Nick has now decided he’s going to follow in the footsteps of Drake.

With the use of autotune in his newly released “Area Code”, you could not be faulted for thinking this was a shitty, bottom of the barrel track from one of Drake’s albums. Over the last few years Nick has built up this buff, sexy new image and it works for him, but he can’t carry that image off in his music quite so well. He’s attempting to come across with this emotional and moody but aloof and distant vibe that Drake has perfected, but coming from a Disney background means that this change in his sound and image comes across as pretty transparently and consciously constructed.

Maybe this new sound will be exciting and new to his younger fans that aren’t quite in Drake’s demographic, but to the average listener it is all very been there done that, and uninspired. Nick had been toeing the line between being inspired by other artists and full on copying them, but with “Area Code” he finally takes it just that little bit too far. If I ever did decide to listen to a shitty Drake song then I would do just that, there’s no point in listening to a knock off from someone hoping to profit off of someone else’s sound.

All of this and I haven’t even mentioned the boring, black and white faux hip-hop music video yet, or the shady way he released this the same day as Selena Gomez’s album.




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