‘Coup D’etat’ no revolution
G-Dragon’s second studio album “Coup D’etat” is chock-full of colorful songs and features big-name artists, but are the songs really “revolutionary?”
Title track “Coup D-etat,” is actually one of the weakest songs on the album. Featuring Diplo and Baauer, the same beat and melody plays throughout the whole song, making it repetitious and boring.
“Niliria,” featuring Missy Elliot, has a unique sound consisting of an interesting mix of traditional Korean sounds and modern hip-hop. Surprisingly, G-Dragon isn’t overpowered by Missy Elliot’s rapping, his higher-pitched vocals meshing well with her strong voice.
“GO” has a strong, dubstep-tinged beat and bass line, and is definitely catchy enough to be played in the clubs. “Shake the World” has a quirky, irregular beat and is one of the more interesting creations on the album. “Crooked” and “Runaway” have a distinct pop sound, showing that G-Dragon is capable of crossing genres.
“I Love It,” featuring Zion.T and Boys Noize, is a Michael Jackson-esque number, complete with high falsetto voice and light beat.
Overall, the album is not necessarily revolutionary in sound and lyrics, but the songs are an interesting mix of genres that are edgy enough to distinguish it from the stereotypical bubblegum pop that dominates the Korean mainstream.
By Cha Yo-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org
)Slight songs mar Neko Case‘s latest
“The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You”
Neko Case has a neat name, a terrific Twitter account and a brazen, brassy alto. She could sing about kale and make it sound good.
But when it comes to songwriting, Case’s ambition exceeds her reach, and her magnificent voice can‘t save the forgettable batch of tunes on “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.” Slight melodies, clunky chord changes and imponderable lyrics leave a listener with little to latch onto. It’s as if the composer is chasing so many ideas she can‘t separate the good ones from the rest.
Case’s voice deserves better, but it occasionally rises above the muddle. A sassy delivery enlivens the feminist anthem “Man” and the sax-propelled “Bracing for Sunday” benefits from a hooky chorus. The final tune, “Ragtime,” is built on a simple rhythmic riff that provides a welcome jolt because of what‘s come before.
The clearest message is delivered on Nico’s “Afraid.” When Neko covers Nico, Case shows how she can shine singing a delicate ballad -- and material written by others. (AP)The 1975 mix it up on debut album
The 1975‘s self-titled debut is a mixed bag. Jumping from guitar-heavy indie hits to disco funk dance-floor tracks, the boys from Northern England say the varied sound of the album is down to their “lack of identity.”
That lack of identity allows a rawness to emerge, both in lyrics and music. However, despite the variation on the album, the indie pop tracks are the ones that work the best.
“Chocolate” is the perfect concoction, opening with an infectious riff, and it almost doesn’t matter that the only word in the song you can decipher is “chocolate.” “The City” plays off the strength of singer Matty Healy’s voice coupled with a pounding drum beat and a repetitive chorus.
The album is co-produced by Mike Crossey, who has worked with The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys, and though The 1975’s lyrics don’t match the lyrical prowess of Alex Turner, at times they are as playful and sarcastic. In the synth-filled “Girls” they jibe: “I like your face despite your nose, seventeen and a half years old.” (AP)