by Felicia Deinnocentiis . staff writer |
HIM . Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice
Straight from the depths of Hellsinki, Finnish Love-Metal band HIM is well known through the dark underground of the metal scene, with hits such as “Wings of a Butterfly” and “The Kiss of Dawn” to name a few. Their sound can be described as eerie, yet shredding melodic metal undertones coupling with intense, poetic lyrics that can’t be pulled off by any other frontman except Ville Valo, who’s known for his “deep, dark tone.” Their new album, Screamworks, is a bit of a curveball thrown to fans; packaged in more upbeat, pop-sounding tracks and bringing back nostalgic synthesizers here and there. “Their most recent CD has a bit of a mix of 80’s to it, which is very different from their other CD’s, and at first when I listened to it I was thinking ‘What the Hell is this?’ But then the more I listened to it, the more I came to realize that it’s still HIM, and they’re doing what they do best; predictable genre hopper,” sophomore Drea Quinones said. Though some traces of pop can be detected around, the album is definitely metal and stays true to the general HIM sound and quality. “Its like they have a new style or something. But it still has their touches to it. The lyrics and melody are still good,” sophomore Shanik Trevino said.
Recently Lady Antebellum is reigning supreme in the country domain. A mixture of quintessential country and pop, they are a hit among the younger country generation (i.e. teenagers). Their sound is sweet lyrically and melodically with surprisingly great harmonics between the guy and girl singers. They’re famously known off their first self-titled album, which went platinum, for songs “Love Don’t Live Here” and “I Run to You.” “Their songs are great,” fan Noel Rood said, “[I like] the lyrics, and everything else, the guitars, the singing, the cute boys.” Their new album, named after the album’s hit single “Need You Now” is flat out popular. The album is so hot, it has SEVEN nominations in this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards and has blessed Lady A. with a Grammy Award. The new album holds the same charm and sound that it captivated fans with. “[The albums] progressively get better. The more popular they get, the better,” Rood said.
His reputation in the eyes of the media isn’t flattering, but you have to admit, John Mayer really knows how to lay down a groove. His musical styles are eclectic, ranging from radio-pop, iconic songs like “No Such Thing” to obscure blues like “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)”. These switches only make him spontaneously creative, and it keeps his audience on the edge of their seats, anxious for his next album.
“[I like] his amazing voice, and his songs,” sophomore Robert Phillips said, “His songs aren’t so modernized. Like sometimes his songs are a little old-fashioned in a way, as far as modern songs go.” His new album, Battle Studies, is not only taking on his Blues/Jazz persona, but a twist of venturous Rock is added to the composition. Many of the songs are the familiar soft, laid-back tunes fans know. The swift, ideal Mayer acoustic is clearly noticeable. Some songs, although, go completely opposite. “One of his songs is very adventurous, the song “Assassin”. Compared from his old albums, it’s completely new,” Phillips said. And for an added bonus to the Pop crowd, the album features a duet between Mayer and Taylor Swift. In short, Battle Studies is a must-have for Mayer fans.
It’s the album to the very anticipated movie Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and it is unsurprisingly like the story…quirky and odd. On a high note, it features a gargantuan variety of contributing artists, like All Time Low, 3OH!3, Mark Hoppus, and more. Each artist brings their own creative perspective to Alice’s story, whether it be through Shinedown’s dramatic rock ballad or Franz Ferdinand’s very, very creepy rendition of the “Lobster Quadrille”. At the end of the album, the original theme to the movie, composed by musical god Danny Elfman, brings it all together. It’s an album that will be appreciated and loved by Alice fans or, just in general, by anyone who loves their radio artists.