A band to listen to, He is We – My Forever Review

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.

A Band to listen to Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught on Tape review

Fake Problems may not be that well known but they have released three studio albums and have a very loyal fan base.

There are many reasons why people haven’t heard a lot about them and that could be because their first two albums weren’t anywhere near mainstream and it was difficult to put them in a genre to even find them. They have been described before as an alternative country indie rock band with a punk influence, how many people would really be searching for these bands and can they even be found? Well, Fake Problems latest album, ‘Real Ghosts Caught On Tape’ is slightly more mainstream but it is still a mixture of punk folk, pop punk and country music so this is certainly where the problems lie, but if you get a chance to listen to them, I would definitely recommend them, especially on a sunny day as they have a very fun melody that makes you nod your head and tap your feet. It is a great summer album and has a retro feel to it and reminds me a lot of 60s music, in particular the song, ‘Soulless’ which has a lot of energy and a bouncy feel to it.

What sets Fake Problems apart are the lyrics to most of their songs because they are very catchy but if you actually listen to them they have quite a sad message to them, the song, ‘Songs For Teenagers’ is a perfect example of this as it is basically about nights that have been wasted and being hungover, combined with thoughts about suicide and drugs. Another praise I would make about the lyrics is that they are clearly personal to the lead singer but he makes them more than just about himself so it is not just like listening to a story of his life. The final song on the album is one of the few with a melancholy feel to it and ‘Ghost to Coast’ is a slow tempo track to finish off a fantastic album. But, going back to the beginning of the album and in ‘ADT’ it is clear that they are very good musicians with a great drummer and guitarist who play off each other and are intertwined brilliantly, ‘Complaint Dept’ and ‘Done With Fun’ also show this off. ‘ADT’ and ‘5678’ are probably the two songs that I enjoy the most because they are both very catchy tracks and simply just get you in a good mood just by listening to them.

Older fans of Fake Problems may not like this album as it is very different to their earlier entries but they must have expected it as all of their albums are quite different to each other, but if you are looking for some new music and something that isn’t as fixed to a certain style then Fake Problems are the band for you, as they do feel like a breath of fresh air when you first listen to them and they do have songs that you will replay over and over again.

 

All Girl Rock Band Cherri Bomb – This Is The End Of Control review

Cherri Bomb are an all girl rock band for America and are starting to make a name for themselves all over the world.

These teenagers have recently toured with LostProphets and have in the past been the opening act at Foo Fighters, The Smashing Pumpkins and Staind gigs so their reputation is clearly growing and they have been praised quite a lot by none other than Foo Fighters Dave Grohl. To be praised by Grohl shows they have a lot of talent and their cover of ‘The Pretender’ is one of the best I have heard and some may even argue they prefer it to the original, although I can’t imagine many will say this out loud. They have a good team around them who have helped keep them going and made sure they do what they want rather than what is required to make a mark on the charts. They are managed by Samantha Maloney who has been a part of bands such as Hole, Motley Crue and Eagles of Death Metal so she knows what it takes to be successful.

The band who are aged surprisingly between 14 and 16 have already performed at some of the best festivals around Europe including T in the Park, Oxegen, Sonisphere and Reading and Leeds. This success has all come from their debut album, ‘This is the End of Control’ which was released on May 15th 2012. It is a very impressive debut that has a lot of energy about it and you can feel their enthusiasm for what they are doing which makes you enjoy it even more. This is definitely not something you expect from girls their age as they are full of attitude and have very good hooks throughout most songs. This album will certainly bring smiles to a lot of people and they have produced some very catchy tunes. One of the best songs on the album is ‘Better This Way’ and this is because of the catchy sing a long chorus, guitar riffs and the pounding drum beat. It completely sets the pace for the whole album which is 12 songs long but only lasts around 38 minutes.

You can tell they have been greatly influenced by the Foo Fighters in particular the songs, ‘Drawing A Blank’ and ‘Paper Doll’, The intro to ‘Drawing a Blank’ wouldn’t look out of place on a Foo song and it is from the guitars that just give this album its extra edge. Possibly their greatest achievement so far is getting the song, ‘Shake The Ground’ onto the soundtrack of one of the biggest movies ever. The movie in question is ‘The Avengers’. The standout track for me though is ‘Raw. Real’ and it is because it has a very simple yet effective feel to it and is one of the reasons they have been attracting the right sort of attention over the last few months.

This is certainly not the last we have heard of Cherri Bomb and I hope they get some mainstream attention because they deserve it and will only get better and better because they are so young.

Who is Cosmo Jarvis? Is the World Strange or Am I Strange album review

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.

Arctic Monkeys have changed a lot since their debut album

Arctic Monkeys performed a Beatles classic at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in ‘Come Together’ in front of Sir Paul McCartney and this must be a massive moment for the band.

All four of their studio albums have reached number 1 in the UK

It was a very good cover of the song and nobody should be surprised that they were able to pull it off as they have showcased their talents for many years and performed a number of different songs. With their sound changing slightly throughout each album, choosing to do this song may have been challenging but achievable as they didn’t really have to change much and could do it as a straight cover. The band do seem to enjoy doing covers as they have participated in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge a few times and performed one of the more interesting covers when they decided to do Girls Aloud’s ‘Love Machine’.

They were always destined for great things but they may not have thought they would be performing in front of The Queen at such a massive event that the whole world would see. Their debut album ‘Whatever People Say I am That’s What I’m Not’ was fantastic and is still the fast selling debut album and has been hailed as a modern classic so they were always going to be successful but they achieved it in their own way. Alex Turner was clearly aware of everything that was going on around him and could fit it all into the lyrics, ranging for prostitutes in the Sheffield area in the brilliant number one single ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ to the drama and familiarity of being in a relationship in ‘Mardy Bum’. All of the lyrics seem come off as his past experiences and his thoughts and feelings which give it more depth and the storytelling more engaging. They even sing about the state of affairs in a town and how much things have changed over the years with their being more love and dedication to a local football team than anything else. One of the biggest compliments you could give the lyrics is that they paint a picture that is instantly recognisable to a lot of people in the UK, in particular the song ‘A Certain Romance’ which is slightly different to the rest as it is a slightly slower song as opposed to the guitar led, jumping around sounds of some of their other songs.

This debut album achieved number one in the UK and somewhat surprisingly number 24 on the Billboard 200 in America. It is not because of the actual music that I am surprised by this but the fact that Turner didn’t try and hide his Yorkshire accent and used some slang words in the songs that many Americans may not have understood. But, it does appeal to a wide audience with the riffs having a punk feel to them and it being placed as more of an indie sound will certainly have attracted many listeners from different genres.

This was just the beginning for the band and with their recent albums you can see how they have grown and matured more as this album does have a heavy focus on going out on a Saturday night, looking at girls, ultimately getting turned down and getting into fights while waiting for a taxi. They have made different music now but as they say themselves, ‘There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones.

The Forgotten Number One Artist- Afroman

Joseph Edgar Foreman spent three weeks at number one in 2001 with his famous song that a lot of people will remember once they hear his stage name, Afroman knocked off Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ with his single, ‘Because I got high’.

The song highlights the problems of taking cannabis in everyday life and rose to popularity after it circulated round the internet with many new admirers of the rapper. The song was later used on films such as ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’, ‘Disturbia’, ‘A Thousand Words’ and ‘The Perfect Score’ which made it even more recognisable to a wider audience. But what happened to Afroman and why do not many people remember him unless you say the title of his song?

Well the main reason is he didn’t really have much success in the UK or even in America afterwards but he still continues to write and make new music. He has released 13 albums in total with a 14th expected this year called ‘Marijuana Music’ so he has kept trying to make the breakthrough once again. Surprisingly, he also has a greatest hits album which makes me think that he does have very loyal fans but they must surely be few and far between.

However, I may be being a bit harsh as the album ‘The Good Times’ in 2001 reached number 10 in the US Billboard 200 and the song ‘Crazy Rap’ also reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart. The album was his first studio album which was composed mainly from songs off his previous independent albums. The most famous song and the number one ‘Because I got High’ was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2002.

The reason this came to my head is because I am becoming disenchanted with the music charts in the UK because it seems to be the same stuff that is getting to number one and nothing really that different seems to get the recognition it deserves. The singles chart is dominated by the same artists and the same genre of music which is now boring to me and I would love to see someone completely different take the top spot from Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Everyone knows that nine times out of 10 when they release a new song it will go straight to the top spot in the charts. Would Afroman have even got the chance to get to number one in the year 2012? I don’t think anyone would know who he was or even heard his famous song, which would have been very disappointing and shows that the music industry is much harder to break into these days than it once was.