Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hearts a Mess

Once again I find myself eternally grateful for having started this blog as I did, so that all of my random music and video suggestions might fall upon the ears of those who are looking for something new to listen to.

Artist: Gotye

Although I only listened to this song a couple times before I went to bed, I awoke with the chorus dancing around my brain. It's the kind of song that in its alternative nature, it's very hard to let go of. Gotye's vocals are spot-on and filled with so much emotion that they completely draw you into his song. The minimalistic instrumental backing additionally sets such a powerful mood, carrying the song through to its end, whereupon you might feel strongly inclined to hit the "repeat" button.

As regards the video itself, it's strange, but the abstract quality of the animation perfectly compliments the feel of the actual song. It's difficult to explain it, and there's certainly a good chance you won't agree with me, but either way it's an interesting video to watch that's for sure. In a way, some of the animation reminded me of the game Limbo in its silhouette-like style. 

As a bonus, it turns out this song was in the movie "The Great Gatsby," so if you are familiar with that story at all, the lyrics do take on additional layer of meaning. 

Friday, July 5, 2013


Last night I was reminded of why I created this blog in the first place. As I was looking up an album I was interested in, I stumbled across another I had never heard of before, and one listen absolutely took my breath away, pushing me to desperately want to share it with anyone who would listen.

Album: Phoenix
Artist: The Classic Crime

I know very little about The Classic Crime and their style—honestly, yesterday was the first time I'd even heard their name. However, I'd say that this album certainly leans towards the alternative side of the rock genre, with a few samples drawn from the indie and pop/punk elements. Personally, I found this album to embody a slice of everything I love about rock music. The lyrics are heartfelt and uniquely inspiring, the vocals are beautiful and easy to get lost in, and the instrumental backings set a perfect and intriguing tone for each individual track. I've been cycling through the album for a few hours now, and each time through I notice something new about every song that makes me fall more in love with the record, if that's even possible. 

Some standout tracks include;
• You and Me Both
• The Precipice
• Glass Houses
• Beautiful Darkside
• City of Orphans

Although those songs do stand out in my mind, to put it simply, I'd recommend you listen to this album in its entirety, regardless of where on the spectrum your musical tastes lie. There's so much to love about it, and the fact that it was independently released and funded through Kickstarter speaks to just how much effort and dedication The Classic Crime put into crafting it. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013


For a while, whenever I'd go without writing on this blog for a while it was because I wouldn't know what to write about. However, the reason I haven't written on here in the past number of weeks is because I simply didn't have the time or desire to do the actual writing. To remedy this, I decided to shorten up my posts, so that they're more of a quick blurb rather than a detailed review of sorts. 

Song: Showbiz
Artist: Muse

In Muse's distinct symphonic rock sound, a creatively intricate instrumentation with a strong synthesized feel builds the intensity of the track. Every note played, word sung, and drum hit has a distinct purpose which complements the song's intensity and creates powerful shifts between chaos and order. In terms of form and style, it's definitely atypical, reflecting its creators. This is not the song you would expect to consistently hear on the radio, yet it's remarkably catchy in its unique right, with an overarching motif which transcends through both the vocals and instrumentation. Although the lyrics are somewhat repetitive, they fit perfectly within the song's interesting structure.

I'd recommend listening if you enjoy Muse, alternative music in general, or just something different than the mainstream. In this age where mediocrely constructed songs are the norm, and the main emphasis is creating a radio-hit simply for the potential payout, Muse has provided a breath of fresh air through all of their music, extending back to their 1999 debut album which gave us this song. It's something strange, it's something different, it's something unique, and it's something absolutely amazing.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Song of the Lonely Mountain

For anyone who's seen The Hobbit, this is the song that was playing while the credits rolled at the end. For anyone who hasn't seen The Hobbit, don't stop reading just yet; there's a good chance you'll enjoy this song regardless!

Song: Song of the Lonely Mountain
Artist: Neil Finn

Let me elaborate on my introduction by saying that part of the reason I love this song so much is that I read and fell in love with The Hobbit growing up, and then I definitely enjoyed the movie when I saw it a few days ago. This song was specifically made for the movie and does contain references to The Hobbit, which makes it more meaningful and interesting for those who know the story. However, that does not mean that anyone who doesn't know anything about the story won't appreciate it anyways. Trust me. 

The song contains many parts from J.R.R. Tolkien's poem "Over the Misty Mountains Cold," (that may or may not be the correct title; I'm not sure) but Neil Finn did a beautiful job writing other original lyrics that subtly capture the story as well. 

The track has a very flowing, alternative feel to it. The guitar part brings in hints of some folk influences, as do the intricate percussion rhythms. String arrangements throughout aid the flow of the song, and the vocals add to that with a slightly ethereal feel at times, very muted and beautiful, complete with an intriguing backup "chant" of sorts. Overall, the song is very emotional, capturing the desperate intensity which is present in the story/movie itself. 

There are so many reasons regarding why this song is so captivating. Naturally, fans of The Hobbit will enjoy it more for knowing the story it's based upon, but even those who don't will likely still enjoy it. Although that is something I can't guarantee, this song is so beautifully crafted and performed that I think it would be hard for someone to not like it, especially if he/she has musical interests similar to mine. Seriously, give it a shot. And if you haven't already, go read the book or watch the movie. It's a fantastic story! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Stampede

I had intended to post about this video a while ago and forgot, but trust me, it's definitely worth the wait.

Song: The Stampede
Artist: Biting Elbows

This music video is a little different than your typical music video. And by a little different, I mean it's not like anything you've ever seen before. For a music video, Biting Elbows has infused a level of creativity that's not very common among the mainstream music video scene, and the result is simply amazing.

Musically, the song reminds me a lot of Thrice's early work at times, with that kind of brash punk-rock sound. However, parts of the song have a little more of an electronic, synthesized vibe, which is a very neat twist. The overall track is more based in the power of the raw instrumentation, but the vocals are still very strong and occasionally rather catchy, actually.

The video has little to do with the song. It's more like a mini-movie set to the song, but that just serves to make it more interesting. It's shot with the first-person-point-of-view angle, which gets very intense once the fighting starts. It's hard to describe what makes this video so awesome, so you'll just have to watch it and find out.

I heard about this video from elsewhere on the internet, and knew I had to share it. It's so unique, yet very well done, and I felt compelled to share it. I'd highly recommend not passing this one over, even if the song itself does not sound like it would be to your liking. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dead Man's Bones

I know it's only January, but I think I've found another album to add to my playlists for Halloween. Of course, that's not going to stop me from listening to it repeatedly the rest of the year as well.

Album: Dead Man's Bones
Artist: Dead Man's Bones

Growing up, we had a cassette tape of Walt Disney World theme-song-sing-a-longs that I used to listen to all the time. My favorite track was "Grim Grinning Ghosts," and I decided that if I ever went to Disney World, The Haunted Mansion was going to be my favorite ride. Well, when I went, that definitely held true, hands down. I enjoy the macabre, and that ride blended darker elements with a more humorous twist, making it a ride I went on a number of times without ever getting tired of it.

Dead Man's Bones is the duo Ryan Gosling (yes, the actor) and Zach Shield's indie/folk rock project. They've released one album, self-titled. Apparently, they had originally wanted to film a horror musical using the tracks from this album, but settled for just the music instead. After listening to the album, I'm still holding out hope for a horror musical, personally.

According to a commenter on iTunes, Gosling and Shield have cited their influence as The Haunted Mansion. Whether or not that's true, it definitely sounds like it is. The album definitely blends a folk-rock sound with the style of thematic music used on The Haunted Mansion. It's very hard to describe, but the result sounds like it belongs on the ride, complete with subtly creepy undertones and upbeat tempos and melodies.

As the album cover states, it features the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children's Choir. Having that unique sound as well lightened the album, and made it even more fun to listen to. Don't get me wrong, Gosling and Shield turn in impressive vocal and instrumental performances throughout, but there's something great about listening to children sing, and it adds so much to the album.

Some standout tracks include;
• Dead Man's Bones
• My Body's a Zombie for You
• Paper Ships
• Pa Pa Power
• Dead Hearts
• In the Room Where You Sleep
• Lose Your Soul

Those are the only ones I can list, because they are the only ones I've listened to so far. If you're a fan of Halloween-inspired music as I am, or are just looking for something a little different to listen to, this is the album for you. I discovered it through Ryan Gosling, as he's one of my favorite actors. Honestly, he's one of my favorite singers now too. I strongly recommend giving these guys a listen; you won't regret it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I've long enjoyed this group, and have wanted to highlight them for a while now. Today seemed like the best opportunity to do so.

Artist: Apocalyptica

Apocalyptica is a Finnish metal band, composed of three classically trained cellists and one very talented drummer. If that doesn't spell "unique" to you, I really don't know what to say.

They started out performing Metallica covers, but have grown to include elements from a wide variety of genres in their music. And although fans of rock might hesitate at the prominence of cellos and lack of vocals, there's no reason to be afraid. It's a very different sound to be sure, but it's something so different from the rest of the rock scene that it should not be overlooked. Plus, to put it simply, their music is amazing. They're all so incredibly talented individually, and thus the final product is something to take notice of for sure!

If you're still not convinced, a lot of people have heard of Apocalyptica through the numerous tracks they've done with various vocalists. I've listed a few below, and you might recognize some of these collaborators.

Some of their standout tracks include;
• Quutamo
• Path
• Inquisition Symphony
• Sad But True
• Enter Sandman
• Not Strong Enough (featuring Brent Smith)
• I Don't Care (featuring Adam Gontier)
• I'm Not Jesus (featuring Corey Taylor)
• End of Me (featuring Gavin Rossdale)

I chose to shine the spotlight on these guys today for a couple auxiliary reasons (aside from the fact that they are remarkable and deserve much more attention than they've gotten) which revolve around a couple of the musicians they've featured.

Firstly, it's Brent Smith's birthday today, so a very happy 35th to him!

And, for anyone who hasn't heard, Adam Gontier has chosen to resign from Three Days Grace. If you want to know more, the internet is at your disposal. I'm not here to rewrite what's already been said; I just wanted to highlight the career of an amazingly talented musician. Although he's chosen to explore a new chapter in his life, his music will continue to reach the ears and touch the hearts of many people around the world. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors, and thank him profusely for what he's shared with us over the past number of years!

But back to Apocalyptica, I'd strongly recommend giving them a thorough listen. If you don't, there's a very good chance that you're doing yourself a huge disservice.