Musicality – Charlift, Panic! at the Disco, Elton John, Alex Newell

Chairlift
Moth
(Columbia)
This is the third album from the duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly, but it’s my first experience with them, and I’m honestly quite impressed. There are times Polachek makes her unusual voice sound like another instrument, and some of her tone changes remind me a bit of yodeling, but more restrained and robotic. It’s unusual and refreshing. The album is mostly pop, but sometimes the music sounds a bit like drifting in and out of a dream-state, especially in two of my favorites, “Ottawa to Osaka” and “Unfinished Business.” Though the songs carry that sort of ambiance, they won’t put you to sleep. Another favorite I would recommend is “Polymorphing.”
Panic! at the Disco
Death of a Bachelor
(Fueled by Ramen/DCD2)
I’m rather surprised at how much I enjoyed Death of a Bachelor, their fifth studio album. Panic! at the Disco has been a guilty pleasure of mine since their first album. I feel like they sound more and more like Fall Out Boy with every album, but it’s mostly in the choruses. Otherwise, the songs still have that classic sound, and they have some elegant moments. One example is the title song, Death of a Bachelor. Jazz horns are the way into my heart. “Crazy=Genius” is by far my favorite song on the album. It sounds like it came right out of my favorite album of theirs, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. It simply reminds me of why I like them in the first place. If you ever enjoyed them, this album will win you over again.
Elton John
Wonderful Crazy Night
(Mercury/Virgin EMI/Island)
Elton still has it. He has lost nothing and he’s maintained those songwriting skills through the decades. There is always a melody at some point in each song that feels like it’s exactly what you wanted to hear. After listening to this album, I had to go and listen to every song of his I ever loved. This was not from disappointment but out of a renewed respect and admiration of Elton John’s music. Just about every song on this CD contained all the elements of a classic Elton John song. If you never liked him, it’s somewhat doubtful that you will like this. However, Elton has so many fans and has maintained relevancy for a good reason. Even if you’re not a fan, you must admit the guy can write a good song. My favorites here are “Blue Wonderful,” “A Good Heart,” and “The Open Chord.”
Alex Newell
“This Ain’t Over” Remixes
(Atlantic)
I really enjoy Alex Newell. I was really hoping he would do something after Glee, and my wish was granted. I’m not exactly a die-hard Glee fan, but the episodes featuring Newell as Unique were some of my favorites. Newell won over judges as first runner-up in The Glee Project, where they offered him a three-episode story arc on Glee. He was later given a recurring role, then became a regular cast member. The single “This Ain’t Over” is a great club song on its own, and these remixes add new spice. Though my favorite is the original version, I’m particularly fond of the PVC remix. There is a late-night feel to it that makes me think of our very own Missie B’s in Kansas City, Mo. I can picture the sweaty bodies and spilled drinks upstairs.

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