A Music Review of “Strip Me” by Natasha Bedingfield

Strip Me by Natasha Bedingfield

Epic/Phonogenic Records

I will have to admit, while Natasha Bedingfield had great success with her last album and single “Pocketful of Sunshine”, I had a hard time getting into her. I had heard the song several times, but it never really hooked me or stood out. It wasn’t really until I picked up Nicki Minaj’s debut album, which she had a song with Natasha on it “Last Chance” that I really realized the amazing voice and talent that Natasha had.

I was at the CD store this weekend and decided to give Natasha’s latest release Strip Me a whirl. I figured that though I love Nicki Minaj, the song with Natasha is by far my favorite, and since I loved that song so much I may be missing out on Natasha’s own music.

I put the CD into my car and immediately I was really diggin it. Not only are the melodies very catchy and have a great hook but her lyrical writing is great and has a good positive message which makes you not only feel good, but also remember it. I have to say I was immediatley blown away, and found myself leaving the CD in my car for a few days on repeat because I couldn’t stop listening to it.

Songs like Weightless, Touch, No Mozart, and Strip Me really hit you hard. I think its the perfect mix of emotion, realistic topics, and a catchy hook that really make the songs so powerful and stand out. While Natasha may not have the most unique voice in the world, she defintely has a talent which can’t be ignored.

I ended up being so pleased that I purchased the album, and went back and bought her last album as well. It hasnt hit me as hard as this one did, but it may very well grow on me. All I know is if Natasha keeps on doing what she is, she will continue to grow in the music industry with her catchy and honest music.

If you are looking for a great CD to feel good too and reflect on your own life, I highly recommend Strip Me by Natasha Bedingfield.

I give it 4.5 out of  5 Stars….

-Warren

A Music Review of “A Thousand Suns” by Linkin Park…

A Thousand Suns by Linkin Park

Warner Bros Records 2010

After three years and following the success of their album “Minutes to Midnight,” Linkin Park is back with probably their greatest effort to date, A Thousand Suns.

In the CD booklet for the album the band talks about the time spent making the album, all of the trials and tribulations that occurred within the process, and how they deciphered whether to take the creative leap and release an album that they really wanted to do, although may not come quite as expected from their fans or the media.

While I am definitely a fan of the bands music, I am not a die-hard like some. I really enjoy all of their work they have done, and especially the last album “Minutes to Midnight.” I was especially eager to hear this album because it was creating quite the buzz around the release and I was curious to hear myself what they came up with this time around.

The album consisting of 15 tracks, starting out with two tracks being of instrumental nature. Right away I said to myself, “This is a little different for them”. Track three “Burning in the Skies” starts things off well and almost takes you back to where they have left off with Midnight. The great thing is the overall balance of this record. They have some great songs like “Robot Boy”, “Wisdom Justice And Love”, and “The Messenger” which reflect a softer and more emotional side of the band; whereas songs such as “Empty Spaces”, “When They Come For Me”, and “Waiting For The End”, which are geared more to the Linkin Park we are used too. 

“The Messenger” without a doubt has to be their finest moment on the release for me. When an artist can do a simple song with just vocals and acoustic guitar, and have it stand out as strong as it does, that says a lot about not only the song, but the talent of the artist as well.

I for one am glad that Linkin Park, though perhaps having their doubts, released this album. It reflects a whole new creative element of the band, and shows one that sometimes taking a creative risk can be a good thing. For me this album really isn’t that much of a departure for the band, but more of a great continuation of their work from the last album. Perhaps some of their die-hard fans will like it, and perhaps some not, but with any artist, they all grow and change throughout the years and people either like the change or don’t care for it.
I think within the last album, and this one also, the band has continued to grow musically and obtain a larger and more diverse following than they did in the past, and that is definitely not a bad thing at all.

I give the guys great kudos on this release and am glad I went out and picked it up right away.

I give it THREE and a HALF Stars out of FIVE!!

-Warren

A Music Review of “Hurley” by Weezer…

Hurley by Weezer

Epitaph Records

“If  you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as I walk away.” Who can forget the memorable line from the first single off their debut album in 1994; both witty and catchy, and not your typical song lyric.

I have been a  fan of Weezer since their debut release in 1994. I have always enjoyed their blend of rock and pop, their catchy melodies and fun lyrics. They are one of those bands, where you hear the songs, and years later they are still a lot of fun and make you feel good when you hear them. The band has done a good job with delivering the same fun and catchy songs for over a 15 year period, which in itself is impressive.

Less than a year after their last release of “Raditude” the band is back with another album Hurley. The cover is nothing more than a picture of Jorge Garcia aka “Hurley” from the show “Lost”. A definite twist for the band which normally has a picture of the band on the cover, including a bright color background. For me the cover art represents the album well, as being a little different or off. The songs on the album just are not very catchy or memorable, and definitely lack a spark that their older material has. I had read that the band was trying to get back to the basics with this album, and trying to go for the sound of the debut release and “Pinkerton”. While it seems like the sound is similar to their older material, the songs on this effort definitely lack the strength that they have always had in their music.

Their first single for the album “Memories” is a fun song which recalls living in the days of the 90’s. It is somewhat catchy and has a definite older Weezer vibe to it. Other songs such as “Trainwrecks”, “Hang On”, and “Smart Girls”, somewhat have the same quality but again the spark is missing from this new material. The album comes in a standard and deluxe version. The deluxe includes four extra tracks including a cover of “Viva La Vida.” While the extra four tracks are not bad, I don’t know that it is worth spending the extra few bucks for them.

This release is also the first album on Epitaph, their new label, after parting ways with DGC, which the band has been with since the beginning of their career. I am not sure if this has something to do with the change in their style or not, but I am sure it plays some part.

Unfortunately I have to say that this is probably going to be my least favorite release from the band. It just doesn’t do a whole lot for me for several reasons. The songs are not very catchy, the melodies very basic and somewhat boring, and lyrical content is not as good as we have previously seen from Rivers and crew. I was a big fan of their last release “Raditude” for fact that they had the same catchy and fun songs we are used to from the band, but also changed things up by adding some new styles to their music in some of the songs.

I will be very curious to see how this album does compared to their most recent efforts. Perhaps it will grow on me the more I listen to it, but so far a not very strong release in my opinion. I will also be curious to hear what other fans think of the new album, and the press as well.

Sorry Weezer, but I am going to have to give it 2 out of 5 Stars.

-Warren