Finnish Symphonic Metal band Apocalyptica has let me down lately. They used to be an awesome band when they focused on their instruments and did not have vocals and drums… that set them apart and brought amazement as an ingredient to their sound. Now they sound like an average band. This album is just another light Metal record with average songs.
After a hiatus in his music career, Ludacris has returned with a strong album that features his signature sound of slow beats and faster rapping. His headphones (Soul) may not be that good, but his Rap sounds good most of the time–when edited for foul language. Some songs on this album have a ’70s vibe (is that why the cover was designed the way it was?). My favorite track is the last one, “This has been my world,” as it reflects his middle-age realization that one can’t take life and its accomplishments for granted.
Alternative rockers Fall Out Boy’s latest album brings a variety of sound that is true to Alternative Rock: heavier songs, softer ballads, use of keyboards and different beats. The impression I had while listening to this record was that one or two songs may be remembered but most of the album is forgettable. I’m not particularly fond of the vocals either. This band has been around for a while and needs to find a way to differentiate itself from the rest of the Indie Rock/Alternative Rock scene.
Canadian band Hawk Nelson sounds like a modern Indie Rock band. They are good but, as I said, they sound like a modern Indie Rock band: they sound like others do. While this would normally not be a bad thing for a Christian Rock band, I still take issue with groups that try to sound like others. The songs were OK, the musicianship was OK, but when the record was over I was left with the feeling that they could have created something much better. As it was, this was an average album.
Indie rockers The Decemberists are a band in decline. Their previous albums were pure gems of a folksy Rock that involved the listener, but their last two records have not reached their full potential. This does not mean that this was a bad album; it was actually a good one, but knowing what the band is capable of has spoiled it a bit for me. If you’re a fan, you’ll like this one no matter what as it has its good moments. But it seems like their golden era is now gone.