Welcome to Kevin's Music Blog

Hello, and welcome to my music blog. Here I am going to put in my two cents on different albums. I am a selective listener by nature, so I am going to do my best to be open minded about different styles and groups, even ones I don't normally listen to. I also accept requests for artists or albums to be reviewed on my special requests blog. If you disagree with my critiques feel free to say so in a calm constructive manner. Also, I hope my views do not offend you.

Note: Any comments out right insulting an artist or comments involving any form of bigotry will be deleted.

Have a nice day and enjoy your favorite artists. Please subscribe.

Kevin Card is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Top 10 Songs of 2011

Being that this is my own personalized list, I will be spanning many genres of music, from pop music to metal. Anyways, here goes nothing:

10. "Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennet, Goon Rock" by LMFAO.

Nobody is a stranger to this song for the simple reason people either find it uplifting or incredibly amusing. Even people who hate pop music can get a smile out of this silly anthem. Indeed, for a while we all WERE shuffling everyday to this track for it's catchy and enjoyable beat.

9. "Rain Dance Maggie" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Though I called this song repetitive in my review of "I'm With You" by RHCP, the track has grown on me in the following months. Some fans really disliked this song, but I think it has a nice steady groove to it and a very fun chorus. I'm just happy to see RHCP re-united and is still making quality music.

8. "Take Care Ft. Rihanna" by Drake

Though not my favorite song by him, it is nice to hear Drake taking a break from that really weird throaty rapping he has become known for and giving us another song where he sings showing us the true talent of his vocal technique. Even Rihanna sounds different than usual not being all that throaty her self. It is also a nice break to hear a serious song aside form all of the thousands of party songs that have come out in the last three years.

7. "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars

This year's summer was incredibly long for me as I worked two jobs one being in Salem, and another in Marlboro. I stayed most of that time in Watertown which is more or less between the two. It sucks not having a car and traveling five hours on the MBTA everyday. Don't give me that "first world problems" crap because if something bothers someone then it will bother someone, regardless of how the rest of the world has starving people and how their countries don't try to help them. We need to help ourselves before we help others. At any rate, I enjoy this song because it reminds me of how I just like to have some days to do absolutely nothing, and it a much more spirited take on most Jason Mraz style songs. lol

6. "Lighters ft. Bruno Mars" by Bad Meets Evil

I am on and off fan of Eminem, so I can't comment on the depth of all of his emotional struggles. What I do know is that Bruno Mars sounds fantastic singing, Eminem is rapping from the heart telling his haters to f**k off, and Royce DA 5'9" is showing he cares about Eminem as a good friend. The song is much more melodic than a lot of other rap songs out right now and I like it for that reason. And for lack of a better term, I think it has a very beautiful sound to it.

5. "Someone Like You" by Adele

A fresh escape form all of the other break up songs ever made that say "you left me, now I hope you die." This particular song sounds best when done live, and it shows in Adele's heart filled mezzo soprano voice. It also represents moving on to more adult things like wishing you ex well 40 years later. This is a moving and refreshing piece to say the least. Also, here is my wish to hope Adele recovers from her throat surgery and starts touring soon. :)

4. "The Pride" by Five Finger Death Punch

With explosive energy and anger Modern Thrashers Five Finger Death Punch demonstrate to everyone that thrash metal is alive and well, even if it hasn't made it into the top charts for quite a while now. I think the lyrics mean someone who is willing to give their all to fight for what they believe in, particularly when things are so down with political divide in Washington and a massive recession. This song is my second favorite off of the album "American Capitalist" with "Generation Dead" being my first favorite.

3. "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele

With intense emotion and one hell of a drum beat Adele is telling her ex-lover that she doesn't need him, and it is quite empowering for anyone who has just gotten out of a bad relationship or friendship. The end is particularly powerful with a Chorus behind Adele and her backup singers. In terms of composition in pop music, this is the best song of the year. However, it does tend get tiresome after heard so many times. Overall, this track is amazing but should only be heard in small doses.

2. "Mary the Night" by Lady Gaga

The media has loved following the "controversial" figure Lady Gaga ever since she burned onto the music scene. She has had much success. Though not all feel it was deserved as she has been aggressively after Madonna's mantle of success, and the truth she HAS been copying Madonna. The thing is Madonna hasn't said anything about it and is probably just happy that her music is relevant again, even if it is through another singer. This song shows to me that Lady Gaga knows how to breath life back into a standard of early 90s dance music and songs about living the night life. Probably my favorite song by her of all the ones I've heard, mostly because it repeats a lot but not in an annoying way like "Judas" or "Bad Romance" do. the other honorable mention this year for Gaga is "The Edge of Glory" being that is another break away from her typical strange gimmicky music of "trying to make fun of the music industry."

1. "Set Fire to The Rain" by Adele

Though this song makes me sad as it reminds me of my cat Starlight that passed away untimely this year due to someone's ignorance, it remains an amazing composition for a pop song. With the piano intro, Adele's despair filled vocals, and the buildup of the bass to the full string quartet this remains a heart tugging song about anger, love, and just like the rest of the album. The best part no doubt being the climax where Adele climbs pitch up on a crescendo and then suddenly lets down on an echo. However, this song is probably one of the most underrated of the year so that is why I put it first, because I like to stand up for the musical underdog.

Some honorable mentions: "Perform This Way" by Weird Al, and "It Will Rain" by Bruno Mars. See a pattern with me and Bruno Mars here? lol Even if it was the tittle track for a HORRIBLE Twilight film, it is still an enjoyable song. Happy New Years everyone! Look out for my next post on my Tumblr tomorrow around 10am. :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Doctor Who Review "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe"

Two years after fan favorite David Tennant was changed over for the 11th Doctor Matt Smith, The seventh Doctor Who Christmas special "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe" features surprises both pleasant and unwelcome.
Though learned on my behalf through research and not having time to read the book, it is clear the writing in the Christmas special is loosely based around C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, The Which, and The Wardrobe.” As in that there are only three similarities: A snowy world in a big blue present, an early 1940s setting, and an allegory figure saving the life force of a forest in the form of widowed mother Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner). The rest remains show writer Stephen Moffat’s original writing, which may please Doctor Who fans and disappoint C.S. Lewis enthusiasts.
            Matt Smith emerges from this episode with many funny and heart-warming lines showing he has matured into the role of the 11th Doctor. What this means is simple; Matt Smith fans will remain pleased and Smith skeptics/Tennant loyalists could go either way as Smith emotes and recites his lines better than in seasons five and six. However, he is still Matt Smith and sometimes has a very wooden delivery on his acting style.
            Speaking of wood things, the main “monsters” in the special are two tree statues shaped like a king and queen. The king and queen are looking to save the forest from acid rain coming from an intergalactic mining company looking to gather the forest as a fuel source. The CGI used to animate the statues looked very convincing and was only lacking in the scene where Skinner was piloting the mining walker looking very fake due to it’s sluggish movement. The costumes look very convincing with only the misplaced Battle Star Galactica (BSG) reference of the Miners space suits looking like Cylons from the original BSG series being a bit silly.
            The final surprise came in the form of a happy ending in which Skinner was no longer a widow as she saved her husband’s plane from crashing over World War II Germany via a light provided on the space-ship she was piloting to guide his plane through the “time vortex.” The happy ending being a rare surprise as normally Moffat era Doctor Who has been ridden with tragic endings. The special ends with Smith refusing dinner with the Arwell family as a nice nod to Russell T. Davies era Doctor Who and shows Smith meeting up with his companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvil).
            Fan reception of the special has been largely positive with four out five comments and the Doctor Who fan page praising Smith and the Christmas special calling it very emotional and well written, which remains true as an episode of Doctor Who. But as a reference to C.S. Lewis leaves more to be desired as the many fiction references seem out of place and are adapted too poorly making the title of the episode misleading.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lou Reed and Metallica- Lulu

When one thinks of Lou Reed thoughts of the Velvet Underground and a huge influence on American rock music since the 1970s and when one thinks of Metallica it is either they are sell outs or legends of heavy metal. The album “Lulu” only proves one thing: Reed’s usual nonsensical lyrics do not match up with Metallica’s raw hard-edged heavy metal sound. Written as a conceptualized version of a German play by director Robert Wilson this album was approached with an open mind and high hopes that this would be a bomb to help rock the foundations of the music industry; instead it proved to be a footnote on most hardcore internet joke sites.

“Lulu” is not the worst thing that Metallica has ever helped turn out; the 2003 travesty “St. Anger” still proves to be a harder listen, since Lulu presents solid instrument playing. Where this album does come close to stinking as much is in the nonsensical lyrics written by Reed and the odd way that he sings and talks at the same time. For this reason, the majority of songs are completely boring and are painful to listen to, the worst one being “Frustration” simply for how obtuse Reed’s lyrics are. The other hair-pulling track on this album is “Cheat on Me,” mainly due to the fact that Hetfield and Reed both sound like tired old men in it.

The only partially enjoyable track is “Brandenburg Gate” for the carefree guitar playing and it being one of the few songs on the album in which Reed’s reciting can manage a good laugh. The second contender for being okay (at best) is “Pumping Blood” for the instruments changing the tone of the song at many points by changing their rhythm and melodies.

“Lulu” should only be listened too by Hardcore Lou Reed fans, those who laugh at incredibly cheesy things, or those looking to improve their general tolerance for terrible music. Otherwise this album should be avoided and maybe be buried out with the old ET Atari cartridges in the southwestern desert as it is not worth the price one pays for it at stores or the loss of faith in old teen rock music heroes caused by this utter letdown.

Rating: *

The View Unofficial Music Video-

Monday, October 31, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers- I'm With You Review

(Update)- I have added the official music video for "Monarchy of Roses"

Hello everyone, I have moved my operations back to Blogger because it is messy to have a lot of unused sites across the web that I don't have time for. Anyways, all of my critiques, requests, and blogs are now on this blog. I will also be following my schedule for the Salem State Log on the paper. Anyways, here my review for RHCP's new album:

Five years after the Red Hot Chili Peppers released “Stadium Arcadium” and two years after guitarist John Frusciante left RHCP many fans have wondered: could the band survive without Frusciante? The answer is a resounding yes. To those on Youtube who say he is "no good," Josh Klinghoffer is skilled as a rhythm guitarist who is also proficient with piano and clear high ranged backing vocals. Klinghoffer brings something new to the group that Frusciante did not.

“I’m With You” is a versatile album meant as a tribute to Autobiographer and long time friend Brendan Mullen. The album starts off very funky being reminiscent of the best disco standards of the 70s slowly becoming darker revolving around having happiness, loosing it, and then getting happy again with light hearted dance songs.

The songs that are the most memorable include “Factory of Faith” for the catchy dirty funk bass line from Flea and the repeating but enjoyable beat set by drummer Chad Smith making the song very dance worthy. “Annie Wants a Baby” is a memorable funk rock song as the bass is steady and Smith emerges as the champion on this track with very energetic drumming through out the song. “Look Around” sounds like a more modern take on the tracks from the 1991 album “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic” with classic RHCP slap bass and rock guitar riffs playing and determined vocals from singer Anthony Kiedis proving that though the band members are all nearing 50 they’ve still got it!

The blander tracks are “Rain Dance Maggie” and “Ethiopia” because they both sound repetitive and are lacking the punch and excitement of the other songs on the album. The remainder of the songs proves that Kiedis still has a healthy high range and sincere voice. Klinghoffer brings in a unique sound. While Smith and Flea prove themselves the driving force behind the group on all of the songs with their complex and noticeable playing.

“I’m With You” proves to be an interesting part of RHCPs long history where some songs act as throwbacks to their past eras while others represent a completely new direction of either lively funk music or distinctive piano ballads such as “Police Station” which proves that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have the ability to create fresh sounds and remain relevant no matter what year they release music in. *****

Raindance Maggie Official Music Video:

Monarchy of Roses Official Music Video: