19/5/17 New Release Roundup

Singles

The Dears- 1998: This track, taken from The Dears’ upcoming album ‘Times Infinity Volume Two’ is an emotional cut; the repeated refrain ‘This Is Being Alive’ comes across as genuine, with frontman Murray Lightburn putting in a great vocal performance. 85%

Royal Blood – Hook, Line and Sinker: This is the second single to be taken from Royal Blood’s upcoming sophomore album ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ and is pretty much what you’d expect a new track from the duo to sound like. Even so, the track still has the same energy and drive and muse-esque riffs that drew fans to them in the first place, and it is brilliantly produced; the track really shows off the chemistry between Mike and Ben. 80%

Liam Payne ft. Quavo– Strip That Down: ‘Strip That Down’ is the debut single from everyone’s 5th favourite One Direction member, and it’s definitely the worst release out of the lot so far. Really unoriginal bland track with cringy lyrics. 10%  

Plan B – In The Name Of Man: Plan B returns with his first track since his ‘Ill Manors’ project, and this is a lot less ‘in your face’, sounding in line with Ben stating that there will be no rapping on his new album as it doesn’t feel natural. A well sung track with some thoughtful lyrics, but nothing too exciting 70%

Dead Sea – Lotion: Delicate swirling synths kick this track from Parisian 4 piece Dead Sea off, and the whole thing is a beautifully layered synth-pop track, with the vocals standing out while not being overproduced or too off-kilter. 80%

Selena Gomez – Bad Liar: With spoken/sung vocals and a minimalist backing track, at first this track doesn’t seem like much but after a few listens the repetitive ‘I’m trying, I’m trying’ chorus won’t leave your head, and the great, stripped-back production means there isn’t anything there to hide Selena’s vocals, which while aren’t powerful or massively dynamic, fit this track perfectly. 84%

Muse – Dig Down: Right from the start this track sounds like it belongs from Muse’s 2012 album ‘The 2nd Law’ with it’s pulsing synth and layered vocal production being similar to that of big single ‘Madness’. Good, but just sounds like Muse. 70%

Albums

Tricot – 3: This is the 3rd album from Japanese band Tricot, and is a collection of fast-paced indie rock songs Closing track ‘Melon Soda’ is an album highlight for me, with Ikkyu Nakajima’s vocals really making the track endearing and pleasant on the ears. 80%

Oumou Sangaré – Mogora: Great vocals throughout in this new album from the Grammy winning Malian songstress, with second track ‘Yere Faga’ featuring Tony Allen being an album highlight for me, showing she can still bring out tracks with engaging melodies that sound fresh at this point in her career. 89%

Pumarosa – The Witch: This is the debut album from Pumarosa and it didn’t really impress me, with opening track ‘Dragonfly’ being just dreary, and many of the tracks being really similar to each other, making the whole thing kind of forgettable. 30% 

Linkin Park – One More Light: If they were trying to make the cheesiest, most cringe-worthy album of the year so far, they succeeded, with most of the tracks sounding like Imagine Dragons crossed with the Backstreet Boys, and lots of sounds from contemporary dance music sounding shoehorned in. 8% 

 

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