Some Lessons Learned
(Sony Music Entertainment)
I have respect for Kristin Chenoweth’s attempt at country music, but she should probably consider going back to what she knows works for her. She may enjoy country, but her voice is better suited for pop. Her voice is still pleasant on this CD, but it seems a little out of place. The lyrics to the first track show that she is trying to leave her mark and do something a little different. Most of the CD sounds like an interesting attempt at writing a Broadway country-musical. Even though this may not be the bull’s-eye of her career, not every song is a bust. Some of the better ones are those that have a slower and more thoughtful tone, like the song “Change.”
(will.i.am/Cherry Tree/Interscope Records)
Natalia Kills’ full-length debut album is pure dance-pop genius. Fans of the genre won’t be disappointed with this rising artist. Her voice is reminiscent of Rihanna’s, and her catchy style can be compared to that of Lady Gaga’s first album, The Fame. Kills takes us on a tour of a world filled with intense jealousy, love and pain. Contrary to many of the lyrics, which take on a dark tone, Kills’ vocals are uplifting and assured. The album is well-produced, which is no surprise because Kills collaborates with producers who have worked with Kanye West, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Even will.i.am is featured on the lighthearted track “Free.” Kills is setting herself up for greatness.
Do It In the AM
Frankmuzik sings in the same style that Enrique Iglesias sings now. The very enjoyable lyrics can be compared to Lady Gaga’s in tone. They are intelligent, yet simple and witty. At times, Frankmusik makes me think of Adam Lambert, although they are almost nothing alike. Frankmuzik isn’t as epic-sounding as Lambert, but his songs are still very danceable. Some of these songs have very simple lyrics, while others tell more complicated stories of love lost, found and lost again. Two notable tracks here are “Running” and “Blame it On Me.”
Liz Primo may seem like just another post-Britney attempt at making hit dance songs. However, Primo’s first attempt is a good one. Despite her Britney-like style, what differentiates Primo is her inclusion of more of the electro-dance genre called house music. You would be just as likely to hear her music at a sweaty nightclub as you would on a pop radio station. She is pop, but she also has the ability to thrive underground. It will be exciting to watch this artist make a name for herself. With that said, if you are going to listen to Liz Primo, prepare to step onto the floor – prepare to dance.
Every once in a while, a CD comes along that completely changes the mood. One Eskimo is a melodic, soulful, alternative and jazz-tinted mix of feelings and notes. Just about every song on the self-titled debut CD would fit nicely in a movie. The heavy down tempos and simple melodies make each song easy on the ears. The vocals are wide-ranging and provide a nice breath of fresh air from song to song because the vocals fit the mood of each one. At times, it is hard to believe every song is by the same band. For instance, the song “Simple Day” is pop reggae, “UFO” sounds like the theme song to one of those forensic crime investigation dramas, and “Chosen One” belongs on a James Blunt album. The glue that ties the album together is the slight jazz edge to just about every song, made by adding a saxophone or trumpet. A great addition to a night sipping pumpkin beer on the front porch with friends, One Eskimo deserves a chance.
Oh Land is one of those artists that you listen to while sitting on a big comfortable couch reading the newspaper or while cleaning the kitchen and drinking a glass of red wine. Similar to Lily Allen, these songs create a positive mood. It’s hard not to squeeze out a smile halfway through the album. Some of the songs can make you peaceful and at ease with all worldly troubles, or they can make you jump up and do a little dance. Perhaps what sets this artist apart from similar artists is the use of her voice to help add meaning to the songs and act as a crucial instrument. At times, she doesn’t need words to make a point. There are even moments on the album when it seems like Oh Land just found myriad pleasant sounds and tried to make a song out of them. Composing a song this way is doubtful, but it sounds fantastic. Oh Land isn’t your everyday, surface-talented artist. This one is deep and hard to forget.