Many artists I’ve discovered are now in heavy rotation on my iPod, but Ben’s music always seems to be getting a lot of plays from me. Rector’s songs “The Kill” and “After All” are the ones that initially got me hooked and I’ve been anticipating the release of Into The Morning for some time now.
This marks Ben Rector’s fourth official release, and my personal favorite of his so far. This album is a great piece of pop music that offers something new with each track. It also doesn’t hurt that the album is addicting right from the start. It took me a fifteen minutes to get past the first track…”The Beat” is one of the catchiest tracks on the album for sure. Great choice in song placement right there. It pulls people right in leaving them wanting more! Overall, Into The Morning is a great collection of songs. Ben gets us hooked with some great upbeat songs like “The Beat”, “Out of my Head” and “Loving You Is Easy” and keeps us hooked with a few slow tracks like “When a Heart Breaks” and “Moving Backwards”.
Rector did some great marketing leading up to the album release as well, posting video clips of the new tracks every few days. I know that got me pumped for the album, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for some full-length videos for these new songs. Ben definitely has an intriguing creative side and I’m looking forward to seeing what he has in store for us next!
Right now Ben’s out on the road with Steve Moakler and Andrew Ripp on the “Three Amigos Tour”. Check out Ben’s Myspace to see if he’s coming to a city near you. Make sure you head over to iTunes and pick up a copy for yourself!
The Chicago artist, Andrew Belle, is an exceptional young talent who had set the bar high with his debut album, All the Pretty Lights. He recently released his follow-up album, The Ladder, which does not disappoint. The collection features Belle’s charming vocals, a smooth style, and some new instrumental additions.
The Ladder is an engaging mix of guitar pop, aged sounding production and a sincere approach to songwriting. Instead of replicating his previous successes, the album improves and expands on where he left off. His voice stands front and center, but now accented by big strings and subtle banjo driven rhythms. The album opens with strong vocals and faint cloudy echoes accentuated by the surprising string details. The second song, a duet with Katie Herzig called Static Waves, is an obvious standout. The soft female vocals accentuate Andrew’s solemn tone, and allows for the two’s words to intertwine as if conversing.
The Ladder is yet another illustration of Andrew Belle’s abilities as a Singer/Songwriter. His latest release shows growth and courage to experiment. This record will hold us over till he shows us something bigger and better.
- Static Waves feat. Katie Herzig
- Don’t Blame Yourself
- The Ladder
As important as the first album may be for a band, the second album is what defines the longevity of their career. Vampire weekend dug a groove into the indie world in 2008 with their self-titled debut album. Their Paul Simon style is undeniably catchy, creating a genre of its own, deemed “Happy Music”.
The problem with amazing debut albums is trying to top the success you’ve created. Anything less is a step backwards and ultimately considered a failure. Containing singles like Oxford Comma, A-Punk and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, the band was assigned no easy task.
Personal style plays a huge factor when reviewing Contra as a whole, and more so by track. I will leave the heavy dissecting to you, the listener. Overall, this album is a success merely because Vampire Weekend refused to press Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V from their first record.
If only the album came with red velvet curtains. The opening track, Be Calm, certainly has the chops to open them. Fun’s debut album, Aim & Ignite, plays out like a broadway play with its grand presence, big instruments, and strong stage vocals. With today being the albums release date, two shows tonight in Seattle, and a tour ahead of them, Fun is ready to spread their joy.
From start to finish, the album is an audio adventure with a playful presence narrated by Nate Ruess, formally of The Format. Moving from the dramatic flair of Be Calm to the harmonious Benson Hedges, the album proclaims its style from the very start. If bigger is better, then Fun is best. Playing through this theatrical soundtrack, songs like At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be), stand out as a definite success. The song is catchy, intelligent in design, and just plain fun.
The album is a refreshing break from the sometimes glum world of Indie Music.
- At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)
- Walking The Dog
1. Be Calm
2. Benson Hedges
3. All the Pretty Girls (On a Saturday Night)
4. I Wanna Be the One (BaBaBa)
5. At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)
6. Light a Roman Candle with Me
7. Walking the Dog
9. The Gambler
10. Take Your Time (Coming Home)
Produced by: Steven McDonald
Paolo Nutini’s latest album, Sunny Side Up, is what I would imagine a pop artist would produce after waking up in Mexico with amnesia. His previous album, These Streets, was full of soft melodic love songs featuring his unique vocal styling. This album is full of horns, old school tempos, and just an apparent throwback style.
The album is a collage of Hispanic Influence, Country, Pop, Swing and Rock. Each song has a unique quality to it, which leaves the listener somewhat confused. The single, “Candy”, is actually quite infectious. Songs like “Coming Up Easy” sound like Amy Winehouse leftovers. I’m not saying I don’t love the album, but it definitely took quite a few listens. And because of the track variety, you will have your favorites and have those songs you only listen to once.
-Coming Up Easy
-Ten Out of Ten
This ominous artist certainly has what it takes. The road to musical stardom is anything but easy, yet it seems Adam Stidham is heading in the right direction. With style, press, and talent all in place, it appears only time will tell. Although still very young, at age 23, this artist’s music has a mature sound. Every song on the five track EP has undeniably professional qualities. As the mysterious melodies drive the songs, his natural voice tells the tale of paranoia, heartache, and human nature.
Although not the most popular of his songs, if gauged by MySpace plays and iTunes downloads, the standout track is definitely “We’ve Got Company”. Creating the feel of following someone and trying not to get caught, the behavior of this song stimulates somewhat sinister sentiment. The haunting vocals paint the image of obsessive suspicion and create an environment of an almost claustrophobic mind. With every play, this song only gets better.
“Something Real” is beautiful, soft, and easy to listen to. Playing on the trials and tribulations of romantic relationships and the power to persevere, it’s an easy topic to relate to. Definitely written for the ladies, but any music lover can appreciate the niceties of this song. The lyrics are charming and the song is well composed, not sure what else you can ask for. Completely radio friendly and ready to evoke emotions on the big screen, its no wonder this song is the most popular among fans.