Busker Busker’s follow-up repeats winning formula
“Busker Busker 2nd Album”
Busker Busker’s 2nd album sounds a lot like their first album, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The band’s signature acoustic sound mixed with Jang Beom-jun’s smooth voice is a breath of fresh air compared to the many repetitious, electronic beat-ridden songs currently in the charts.
The album starts with a sentimental classical instrumental track, “Autumn Night,” which demonstrates the obvious theme of autumn on the album. The song includes a melancholy piano melody balanced with uplifting violin harmonies.
“Too Much Regret,” “Love is Timing,” and “Love, At First” are slower, more “chill-time” pieces that stay true to Busker Busker’s simple music style.
The rest of the songs on the nine-track album feature more up-beat melodies.
“Cool Girl” features a charming electric guitar riff, while “Your Lips,” featuring Chae Ji-yeon, has a funky bass line.
What makes Busker Busker’s songs so charming is that they take stereotypical topics, such as love, and write lyrics that actually tell a story instead of the meaningless blather so often heard in K-pop songs. The lyrics are also playfully written so they smoothly roll off the tongue. “Beautiful Age” has a slightly jazzy vibe and tells the story of young man professing his love to a friend, singing, “What about me/I don’t want to be just friends.”
By Cha Yo-rim (email@example.com
)Jimmy Webb spins another unique album
“Still Within the Sound of My Voice”
Jimmy Webb continues to recast his grand songwriting catalog on “Still Within the Sound of My Voice” through carefully produced duets with special guests, from veterans Kris Kristofferson and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson to younger singers like Rumer, the Pakistani-born Brit who contributes a lovely turn with Webb on the album’s title song.
Following the formula of 2010’s “Just Across The River,” Webb lets his songs take center stage while sharing verses with other artists. Webb has a songwriter’s voice, which isn‘t a criticism. His limited range focuses his intimate tone on the emotions of his lyrics, while providing a nice contrast to the more extravagant voices of duet partners Joe Cocker (on the great “The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress”) and Carly Simon (on the dramatic “Easy For You To Say”).
Producer Fred Molin heightens the understated passion of Webb‘s songs with tasteful yet moody arrangements. Highlights include how Wilson and Webb reinvent the war horse “MacArthur Park” and the wistful romanticism Webb and Amy Grant bring to “Adios.” Also, “Elvis And Me” features one of the last recorded appearances by vocal group the Jordanaires, following the death of leader Gordon Stoker in March.
Altogether, the collection is yet another fitting reminder of Webb’s unique place in American song. (AP)Drake a melancholy king on latest album
“Nothing Was the Same”
Drake warns us what‘s coming on his new album “Nothing Was the Same,” laying out a mission statement of sorts on sprawling opener “Tuscan Leather.”
“This is nothin’ for the radio/but they’ll still play it though/Cause it’s that new Drizzy Drake/that‘s just the way it go.”
The most anticipated rap album of the year is here and “Nothing Was the Same” is probably nothing like you expected. Drake’s third album is introspective, practically guest free and every bit as sonically brave as Kanye West‘s “Yeezus” -- though not quite so abrasively bold.
While there were introspective lyrics and moments on “Take Care,” the album was filled with songs meant to be played at top volume with the windows rolled down. The party is over now. “Nothing” is for dark rooms and headphones.
There are few hooks here, almost no choruses, not much to sing along to. The heart-on-his-sleeve rapper with a million friends and the tightest of crews seems all alone here after ridding himself of fake friends, trying to sort out why all the success, the money, the drugs and the women leave him with a hollow feeling.
So the biggest star in the rap world retreats. “I’ve been plottin’ on the low,” he sings on “Furthest Thing,” “Schemin’ on the low, the furthest thing from perfect like everybody I know.” (AP)