Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
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Artist: Florence + The Machine
Album:
Lungs
Year Released: 2009
Rating:

Florence Welsh presents a different sound and her songwriting approach is organic. Although these tracks are generally good they can't seem to break out to the next level. Vocally, she is capable and the focus of these tunes. Perhaps a bit more focus could have propelled a few of these songs into the "A" level.
Key Songs: "Dog Days Are Over", "Rabbit Heart", "Hurricane Drunk".
Artist: Florence + The Machine
Album:
Ceremonials
Year Released: 2011
Rating:

This release is a huge improvement over "The Machine's" previous one. The songwriting is much better than average. Of course, their unique sound and approach is maintained and carried over. Welsh is squarely in her singing groove throughout the entire record as these tunes are clearly built around her vocals.
Key Songs: "Shake It Out", "Never Let Me Go", "Breaking Down", "Lover To Lover", "Seven Devils".
Artist: Kelsea Ballerini
Album:
The First Time
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Ballerini unfortunately takes a huge cue from Nashville's "Bro Country" with this one. You would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between these stock, one-formula and dull tracks. Nashville has been spitting out hundreds of albums like these over the last several years. Why bother?
Key Songs: "Sirens".
Artist: Marina & The Diamonds
Album:
Froot
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

The album starts off well. But that potential fades as the record proceeds. Diamandis' interesting approach to songwriting on the first two cuts gets replicated throughout the CD.
Key Songs: "Froot", "Savages", "Immortal".
Artist: Wilco
Album:
Star Wars
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

The sound is retro. The hooks tend to struggle. The choruses and verses are on the weak side. These guys who once reached for the stars now seem to have their energy shunted to the ground on this one.
Key Songs: *None*
Artist: Luke Bryan
Album:
Kill The Lights
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

The big money-maker Bryan ups the ante with a slightly better class of songs than his previous releases. The lyrics are the same as usual. Also as usual, his vocals kill the lights. The production and mixing on the album is excellent.
Key Songs: "To The Moon And Back".
Artist: Rob Thomas
Album:
The Great Unknown
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Thomas puts in a good effort yet doesn't break any new ground. You get that expected Matchbox 20/ Thomas sound with very good mixing and production. Still, it is a listenable record.
Key Songs: "The Great Unknown", "Paper Dolls", "Pieces".
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 21
Artist: Halsey
Album:
Badlands
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

This is one of those albums that approaches pop music from a different artistic angle. Here, Ashley Frangipane aces the art yet fulls a bit short in the songwriting only because too many tracks sound alike.
Key Songs: "Hold Me Down", "Roman Holiday", "Control".
Artist: Downtown Boys
Album:
Full Communism
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

This post punk record will not put you to sleep as most tracks seem to have more beats-per minute than your cholesterol level should be. Most of the lyrics are unintelligible because shouting is the norm But this is punk. The (mostly sax) hooks are cool and original. The songs are short and the entire album is not very long.
Key Songs: "Poder Elegir", "Dancing In The Dark".
Artist: Kevin Parker
Album:
Currents
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Kevin Parker apparently jettisoned Tame Impala in order to release this solo effort. And, he is the only musician on this record. Parker gently pushed his Tame Impala sound more towards pop, slightly flavoring it with some R&B. Most of the tracks are good, less repetitive than on Tame Impala, but are still too similar.
Key Songs: "The Moment", "Yes, I'm Changing", "The Less I know The Better", "Cause ...