10 – The Man Who Sold The World
9 – Ashes to Ashes
8 – Starman
7 – Rebel Rebel
6 – Ziggy Stardust
When you think of King Charles you will probably think of a monarch from the 17th century and not an artists from 2012 but that is exactly who brought out an album this year.
Charles Costa, refers to himself as King Charles and even dresses like he is from the 17th century while performing so from the off you can tell this guy is very quirky and his music backs up this thought. He uses so many different genres at times that it is difficult to keep track on what he is going to do next, but one thing is certain, whatever he tries to do he usually makes it very upbeat and about love.
The theme of love runs right throughout the interesting album, ‘LoveBlood’ and is usually about attractive girls that may just be out of reach for him, but he gives a certain energy to every track that still makes it quite uplifting and even when the lyrics aren’t about positive things, he still manages to seem happy. So, if you are looking for an album that is simply fun to listen to and you can deal with the many uses of metaphors and other techniques to create imagery then this would be a perfect album for you. The album starts with, ‘LoveBlood’ which has a very summery feel to it but combines this with some heavier guitar sounds so it cannot be simply put into a specific genre. The album follows this up with, ‘Mississippi Isabel’ which is a song I would start at if you wanted to get to know a bit more about King Charles because it just shows how easily he can entice you into his lyrics and within one play you are already singing along with the chorus. There are clearly some folk influences in his work with this song and when you listen to this song and close your eyes, you could easily be somewhere hot and without a care in the world.
This album is a very bold attempt to try and blend many different genres and the song ‘Bam Bam’ is a high energy song that could have been heard in a disco back in the day and has a very party feel about it. Simply put this song just makes you want to get up and dance to it and sing along with him. But straight after this he shows yet again that he is not afraid to mix it up even more with ‘Polar Bear’ and ‘Lady Percy’ with the latter definitely having reggae and gospel influences to it. ‘Ivory Road’ is another song that caught my attention because of its acoustic sound combined with fast paced lyrics, so if you have been a fan of Ed Sheeran then I think you will like this song.
I think he is impossible to hate just because you will end up singing along to every song on the album. So, if you like catchy music with romantic lyrics and something that is just generally a bit silly then King Charles is definitely for you.
He Is We are yet another band that I have started listening to recently and can’t believe they don’t get as much recognition and success they deserve. They are a simple indie pop duo that play a lot of upbeat and heartfelt music.
Their album ‘My Forever’ showcases their talents perfectly and has a very optimistic feel to it that will bring a smile to most people’s faces. The album opens with ‘Forever and Ever’ which is filled with hopefulness and optimism and it basically conveys the mood of the whole album. The soft vocals are particularly brilliant but throughout the album the vocals don’t slip from such a high standard. The second song, featuring Aaron Gillespie, ‘All Bout Us’ is a love song that will get stuck in your head very easily and is very impressive to me because a lot of love songs in this style can be very cheesy but not this one, the light drum taps and soft guitar add to the atmosphere of the song and it is like a conversation between the two singers.
I think this is basically what He Is We are about and their infectious vocals combined with simple melodies. This may sound boring to some people but this collection of songs are so catchy and well written that it is hard not to like the songs and sing along to them and in my opinion if they can continue this good work then they will surely be a massive success eventually and even better material will come from them. ‘Everything You Do’ is one of these addictive songs but also shows a little more versatility to them but it is still very upbeat. Another song that shows everything about He Is We is, ‘Happily Ever After’ which features some great vocals that is about the uncertainty of love and a lot of people will relate to this song which starts off with a soft piano and then builds up to a quick tempo towards the end of the song.
But the two songs that really stood out for me were, ‘Kiss It All Better’ and ‘Prove You Wrong’. They are both very emotional songs and you can feel how much it means to the singer. ‘Kiss It All Better’ does something which very few artists can do, and that is make a song that has a meaningful story to it. You have to just sit down and listen to the lyrics and it paints such a good picture that you can see the story unfolding in your head, it is very engaging and that’s what makes it a good story. However, even with it being a slower song it is still very catchy and it shows off the gorgeous voice of the lead singer and how versatile her voice is. ‘Prove You Wrong’ follows up the song perfectly and continues in the same way but has a faster tempo to it. If you aren’t sure about them just give these two songs a listen and even if you don’t like them, am sure you will still appreciate them.
If you like your acoustic music or indie pop this is a must have for you because it isn’t too cheesy but doesn’t have too much of a serious feel to it.
The King Blues have released their final album ‘Long Live The Struggle’ and will be hoping that their message in this album gets heard.
Anyone that knows The King Blues knows what they are about and that is a very politically motivated band that wants to be a voice for the working class people and that is exactly what this album tries to do. They are a very underrated band and not enough people have heard their songs and I think this may be because you can’t pigeonhole them. Throughout the album you hear a range of genres and even sometimes in the same song they mix it up and use different styles which include folk, punk, rap and ska music. With their lively sounds and political lyrics it is an album you have to listen to and not something you can simply have on in the background.
The band believed this was as far as they can go and did not want to cheat the fans by making more and more albums when they knew they weren’t producing their best material. They make catchy songs and try to deliver a message in each song, the album begins with the song, ‘We Are What We Own’ which as the title suggests everyone is judged by what they own and those that have more will get the control. They also focus on the youth in particular and point out some problems in the UK, ‘ Can’t afford youth clubs but can afford to lock the youth up’ is a memorable quote as the lead singer is trying to say that boredom could be a reason for youths turning to crime and the government need to do more to help them.
There are many songs on the albums that wouldn’t look out of place in a protest as they sound like rallying calls, ‘We are the future’ builds into a rallying call, ‘Power to the People’ relies heavily on the lyrics and the drumming in the background and one of my favourite songs on the album, ‘Cant Bring Me Down’ which is a song that has quick rhyming over more of a drum and bass sound with a screaming chorus, the reason I like it is because you can feel the emotion of the song and how much it means to the lead singer and basically it is just a rant of what he feels. What makes this band so special is how quickly they can change their style, the very next song ‘Tear Us Apart’ has a reggae beat and couldn’t be any more different from the previous song.
Three songs that stick out to me are ‘Modern Life Has Let Me Down’ because the chorus is immense and very catchy, it is definitely something you can fist pump to. ‘When The Revolution Comes’ is similar in a way with its infectious upbeat rhythm combined with its darker and more angrier lyrics makes this song hit harder. Finally, the last song on the album ‘Keep The Faith’ is what The King Blues are all about and the message is to not give up. Starts off slow and soft but soon turns into a definite sing-a-long as he starts to shout louder the music builds in perfect timing and just reminds the fans how good The King Blues are.
So this is the end for The King Blues and I for one am sad about it because they gave their listeners something different and their lyrics actually had a meaning to them with important messages, I’m sure they have touched a lot of people but unfortunately not enough and it is a real shame they never made a major impact on the music charts.
Not many people will have heard of this artist but this is quite surprising as he has had a lot of praise over the years and has supported acts such as Muse, Gabriella Climi, Gym Class Heroes, Panic at The Disco, The Sunshine Underground, Reverend and the Makers and The Holloways. Which is quite an impressive list for someone that most people would ask the question who is he?
Looking at his second album, ‘Is The World Strange or Am I Strange?’ I think it answers the question why not a lot of people have heard of him and even though it is a brilliant album, the old saying comes to mind, a jack of all trades but master of none. This is one of the most versatile albums you will probably ever hear with Cosmo able to use nearly every genre from folk to rap to create a sound that is most of all just fun to listen to and will get you singing along and tapping your foot to. Some of the songs do drag slightly like ‘Sure as Hell Not Jesus’ but he has made an album exactly how he wants and hasn’t left anything out that he enjoys himself which has probably hindered his mainstream success as he hasn’t done what so many other artists have done and copied successful artists. He hasn’t had a single song chart in the UK and this is a real shame, in particular the song ‘Gay Pirates’ which should have done a lot better and gained support from famous people like Stephen Fry and John Barrowman. Yes, I know what most people will think as soon as they hear the title and that it’s just a joke but in all honesty it shows the songwriters advanced level of sophistication and how he can tell a brilliant story. You actually feel as though he is the character himself and is a very strong opening to the album that challenges the subject of forbidden love and that there is still prejudice towards the gay community in the world today.
There are enough catchy songs on the album though that if they had gained enough support would surely have got more radio time than they actually did, ‘Dave’s House’ is an example of this and even though some people will not like the song, I can guarantee that most will know the chorus after one play and will sing along to it. Other songs on the album that really impressed me were, ‘Blame It On Me’ as it has an up tempo, folk style vibe to it and is a little different. ‘Is The World Strange’ which is a slow rap with fantastic lyrics. ‘She Doesn’t Mind’ which is about a situation that nearly everyone will go through and that is trying to convince your parents that your partner is good enough for you. Finally, ‘My Day’ also impressed me as it shows his punk style and is a very funny track about our generation.
I believe a lot of people will love this album because of how experimental and completely different it is. I can’t decide how to describe it, and possibly the best words are quirky and strange. However, I also believe that the same number of people will hate this album and not see the point to it at all.
Good Charlotte have split opinion for a number of years now and have recently announced that they will be going on a tour of Australia.
So why have they split opinion so much? Well it goes back to their second album, ‘The Young and The Hopeless’ which many people described as too clichéd and too similar to a lot of other bands around at the time. Among punk rock fans they are most disliked mainly because of the singles they decided to release which were far too pop for them, in particular the song, ‘The Anthem’ which is on the edge of punk but could more easily just be described as a fast paced pop song. But in fact this song is probably one of their more popular songs with it featuring in many videogames and films. Plus, it reached number 10 in the UK so it obviously went down well. Surprisingly, all of the songs they released were in the top 40 of the UK, ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ reached number 8, ‘Girls and Boys’ came in at 6, then ‘Hold On’ and ‘The Young and Hopeless’ both reached number 34.
The problem with these singles was that they all simply just felt too mainstream for a punk band and sort of felt like Good Charlotte were a pop band hiding behind a punk image which obviously infuriated some people as they were very hyped the year this album came out and obviously a lot of people were disappointed with them. But they do have some good songs on their album and I personally really enjoy it, it focuses on a lot of topics that are clearly very meaningful to them with many of their songs focusing on two of the members of the band’s dad leaving them at a young age. ‘Story Of My Old Man’ is another song that could be described more as a fast paced pop song rather than punk but the song ‘Emotionless’ is one of the best songs on the album and catches the emotion very well. It is an acoustic song with quite depressing lyrics but somehow they make it quite uplifting.
The harmonising between the Madden brothers, Joel and Benji is definitely one of the plus points of the album but even that they occasionally overdo it. There is energy in most songs which makes the songs more likeable and you can see why they did so well in the charts because they are very accessible and anyone can listen to them really, as well as their lyrics at times being quite fun. At times they are a little too simple but the drummer Josh Freese deserves a special mention as he adds a lot to the songs and gives some of their tracks an extra edge and the beginning of ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ is fantastic because of him. Thinking about it when I was younger I really enjoyed this album but now looking back there are a lot of tracks that aren’t anywhere near as good as other punk bands and most of these unfortunately are their singles so you can see why there is a hatred for Good Charlotte as they haven’t given the whole album a chance.