A Music Review of “Hands All Over” by Maroon 5…

A&M Records 2010

It seems as though Fall of 2010 is bringing a lot of new music to the masses. Many big artists have slated releases for October and November of this year. This makes avid music lovers like myself very happy.

Early November brought the release of Maroon 5’s new album Hands All Over. I have to admit that it took me a while to latch on to this band. I have always been a fan of their music when they were known as Kara’s Flowers back in the late 90’s, but I had a hard time when they changed their name to Maroon 5 and their music style changed. I however eventually realized after giving them a chance, that the majority of their songs are quite good and quite catchy. They blend a great mix of Rock, Pop, with some other styles lingering in there music such as R&B and Blues at times.
Their style change obviously was a good one for the band, as with the release of their debut album “Songs About Jane” the band grew a big fan following and very quickly made a name for themselves.

On Hands All Over the band brings us the same catchy and versatile songs that we know and love from previous efforts, but also ads a new appeal. While I am a fan of their prior two releases as well, because their style is so unique, a lot of their material tends to blend together and almost sound the same at times. On this new release though, they have kept their signature style and sound but have added an energy back into their music that perhaps was missing. Songs such as; “Misery”, “Give a Little More”, and “Stutter” have a great energy to them which almost takes me back to the days of Kara’s Flowers and the fun Power Pop appeal in their music. Whereas tracks like “I Cant Lie”, “Just a Feeling” have a very soothing and mellow vibe to them. These are great songs to turn on when you want to relax and chill out at home. In other words, when you put the entire album together, you really do have something for everybody.

As a whole I think they did a great job with this album. They reflect not only their growth as a band, but as  song writers as well. I would have to suggest the Deluxe Version of the CD which not only has some great bonus tracks, but a great cover of Alicia Keys, “If I Ain’t Got You.” The additional songs are definitely worth the extra couple of bucks.

If you are looking for a great album to turn up and have fun too, or chill out and relax with, Hands All Over by Maroon 5 is highly recommended.

I give it FOUR out of FIVE Stars!!!

-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