Monday, January 25, 2010

Alesana - The Emptiness

Mythology of different cultures has been the inspiration for screamo band, Alesana. With past albums, "Where Myth Fades to Legend" and "On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax," the references of mythology and Greek Gods is apparent.

To be released on Jan 26, Alesana's new and perhaps most creative album gives off an ancient, yet mysterious mood.

Not only is it their best album yet with a harmonizing vocal range of clean singing and screaming, mixed with technical guitar riffs and pounding drums... it is also unique.

By reading through lyrics and looking at the sketches on Alesana's MySpace that were foreshadowing "The Emptiness," the mysterious background story seems to be about a romanticized murder of a girl named Annabel. The album reads like a book, with spoken words being recited before or after songs. I can only assume that this mysterious voice is from Annabel's lover.

Aside from the album's new and improved elements, Alesana's sound has also differed from their usual drum exploding breakdowns and intense screams. The album is more "poppy" sounding, reminding me of All Time Low A Skylit Drive, which has a more alternative rock sound rather than metalcore riffs. However, the album isn't completely "pop-rock" since the beat is mixed in with some shredding choruses. Shawn Milke's clean vocals dominate the album in harmony, making it sound melodic alongside Dennis Lee's technical screams.

Last Updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 4:56 PM

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jeffree Star, Breathe Carolina and autotune

Well I haven't been blogging as much of late. Here's some music related updates of what has been feeding my ears.. (

I have been slowly drifting away from that alternative, hard-rock sound when I discovered Breathe Carolina's new album Hello Fascination. Their electronica tune mixed with screamo sounds appealed to my ears, and I wonder why I have never listened to them before. I sure have been missing out. So what was my first impression? Well, I love it. It's something new to my ears. Upon obsessing over their new CD, I went back and listened to some of their songs from It's Classy, Not Classic such as "The Birds and the Bees" and one of their songs featuring Jeffree Star. Another point: I have also discovered Jeffree Star upon listening to Breathe Carolina. His recent album Beauty Killer just struck me with its upbeat techno tunes and Jeffree's self-confident lyrics.

Singing along to BC's "The Dressing Room" and Jeffree's "Lollipop Luxary," I notice that new music is following a sort of trend here. That techno-y electronica sounding beat is just music to our ears right? Well to me, it's sort of magical. Autotune has never sounded so good. Will a new era of music use this futuristic vibe to their advantage? The autotune should be noticeable and effective if used though, because I don't mean that robotic voice T-Pain has. Because that's just autotune gone wrong. If used properly and effectively it can create some new, very catchy and likable music. Hm, I suppose this blog went from my Breathe Carolina and Jeffree Star mini obsession to how effective autotune can be. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Warped Tour Disappointment

As summer comes to a slow end, I came to a realization as I looked back at of all the fun and exciting things I did. I attended a NeverShoutNever! show, was able to meet one of my favorite bands, A Skylit Drive, and watched a bunch of summer films. But there was something I had anxiously planned for over any summer since middle school. And that was to be able to attend a Vans Warped Tour

I have been wanting to go to one ever since middle school because that's when my 24 year-old aunt started going and telling me about it. She's been to Warped about 3 times, supporting and promoting small local bands. Anyway, the Vans Warped Tour has been going on every year since 1995. It first started out for punk rock music but now the line-up features a variety of genres. Bands have different times and stages to be playing at, and it's usually very hot and crowded. Fun. But I can't really say unless I had experienced it myself. That's right, I was never able to go before because my aunt didn't want to "drag me along" before, and my parents thought I wasn't old enough. Well this is the year of 2009, when I turned 16, and my aunt promised to take me to Warped Tour this year.

Boy, I was so excited I nearly knocked the roof of my house over. Ah, no not really. But I was happy, I've been hoping and waiting for that day to come for so long, when it was finally going to happen I was thrilled. 

Well, Warped Tour has already ended so I either went or didn't.

I didn't. 

My aunt called me last minute and said that her boyfriend was too lazy to drive up and take us to Sacramento, and so I wouldn't be going to Warped Tour this year to see all those amazing bands that I've been dying to see for a long time. I was crushed.

Speechless and silent in anger, I was disappointed yet filled with anguish. It was the biggest let-down at the time, and I happen to not take those very well. False promises aren't really my type of thing. I guess you could even say that I was a bit heartbroken.
 But in time, we human bei
ngs tend to get over lost ca
uses and broken promises. I tried to. But every-time it comes up or an unexpected reminder of the event reaches my sight, it really really hurts because I think of "oh that would've been so awesome to be able to go.." I just make it worse for myself and as I grow deeper in regret. 

Moral of the story: Don't break promises because broken promises suck. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All Time Low - "Nothing Personal"

All Time Low's new sound really is 'Nothing Personal.' Their style has changed, but not drastically, since 'So Wrong, It's Right.' No longer do they have that poppy happy feel, their sound has become more mature and the album contains deeper feelings and emotions. It's as if their hidden talent had been kept away but was finally unleashed and let out. 'Nothing Personal' conveys more of the band's developing style, and isn't always as upbeat and happy as 'Poppin' Champagne' and 'Dear Maria, Count Me In' were from the previous album. I'm not saying the album is more cutting edge and depressing. It still has that pop-rock feel throughout. It was definetly a change for the better, because I personally would get sick of their same sound, just as anyone else would. It's as if they started out with that pop-rock Boys Like Girls style, and developed into a more punk-hard rock Madina Lake sound.

Their hit singles 'Weightless' and 'Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)' have that familiar feel as the last album. Weightless seems like a song that wasn't good enough for So Wrong, It's Right and so it ended up as the single for this album. 'Damned If I Do Ya' however, at first listen I could tell All Time Low was different. The catchy drum beats with Alex Gaskarth's almost perfect voice makes the song addicting throughout.

I absolutely loved 'Break Your Little Heart.' As you can tell by the title, the song isn't very lovey-dovey. Gaskarth sings about heartbreak, instead this time, he's the one breaking them. He mocks how the girl is a drama queen and how he won't fall for any of her remorse. I found the lyrics to be rather humorous, because it made the term "heartbroken" more light and funny. At first, when he sang, "I'm gonna break your little heart/Watch you take the fall/Laughing all the way to the hospital/Cuz there's nothing surgery can do when I break your little heart in two," I thought the song was pretty cruel. Despite the fact that Gaskarth seemed heartless at first, this song was amazing and caught my attention with its' stunning guitar riffs and melodious beat. It simply made me think the message he was sending was 'nothing personal.'

'Lost in Stereo' revealed more of that Madina Lake style. This was another of my favorites. With the chorus repeating the faint echo of the words 'lost in stereo' along with Gaskarth's distinctive voice makes this song infectious. 'Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal' opens up with a familiar beat from their first album 'Put Up Or Shut Up' which was more punk than pop. This was another track that I've come to love.

A track I didn't like so much was 'Too Much.' This song was more mellow and calm than the rest, but it had 'too much' synthesis and seemed over-produced. It didn't seem like All Time Low, and I think I would've preferred it to be plain acoustic than have all of this unneeded synth. Lastly, 'Therapy' is another slow and soothing track, except it was executed way better than 'Too Much.' At first, I didn't like the song, but it really grew on me and now it is my absolute favorite off the album. I simply love the acoustic feel and it reminds me of their acoustic track 'Remembering Sunday' from 'So Wrong, It's Right.' This song really touches my heart, I love Gaskarth's voice in the chorus when he says 'give me therapy/I'm a walking travesty/but I'm smiling at everything.' It gives me chills. The beat reminds me a little of Green Day, but surely isn't a replica of any of their songs.

Overall, their album made a dramatic change, but a change for the better. I enjoyed the CD and it is my favorite from All Time Low. Like almost every band, their sound matured. We can't all be the same forever. But hey, it's 'nothing personal.'

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thumbs-Up Michy: RIP Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

It's a regular morning so far. I pour myself a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats and turn on the computer. Everything loads, and suddenly I get an instant message on AIM. "Michy, Michael Jackson's dead!!" I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it, but it was true. The King of Pop was gone. My family basically grew up with listening to Michael, his music is timeless. My 60 year old grandma loves his songs, and my 5 year old sister is always dancing whenever "Beat It" is on.

Michael Jackson is considered the King of Pop for a reason. His dance moves and singing were unique. It was evident that there could be no other person that could duplicate Michael's style. He basically opened the doors for other artists to make music. Michael started it all. Since he has passed away, it seems like the end of an era. The future of music is bright however, and many musicians should strive to follow in his footsteps. Even though Michael had to overcome many obstacles, he still came out strong. People will remember him for his classical tunes and effortlessly gifted talent.

Rest in peace.

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