Boys Republic lose ‘Identity’
Boys Republic made a much-anticipated debut in June with its promising first digital single “Party Rock.” The boy band showed talent and differentiated themselves from the droves of pop stars that seem to debut by the dozen.
However, the freshness they showed on their single was nowhere to be found on their new album, “Identity,” which is lacking both in content and style.
There is a hint of a spark with opening track “I’m Ready,” a dubstep number with relatively good, layered harmonization, but the song is definitely not a show-stopper. Expectations start to plummet with the track “You Are Special To Me.” The song begins with a guitar solo, but instead of an edgy rock sound, a generic pop track ensues.
“What Up” is another disappointment and lacks body, with its pseudo-hip-hop vibe and lackluster vocals as well as awkward rapping.
“L.I.U.” is a cheerful, light track with a retro feel. It’s one of the more ear-friendly songs on the album, albeit not attention-grabbing.
Boys Republic will have to step up their game for their next album, if there is going to be another one.
By Cha Yo-rim (email@example.com
)Hymns populate posthumous Jones album
The first release of George Jones music following his death in April features the legendary singer on a collection of traditional hymns.
Across 12 recordings, Jones performs classics such as “Peace In The Valley,” “The Old Rugged Cross” and the title song with solemn reverence, using subtle shifts in volume and phrasing to draw deep emotions from these often-performed standards. Each song features moments that prove why Jones was an unparalleled vocalist.
Sherrill also shows why he was such a great studio match for Jones. Whether it‘s the quiet piano-and-bass opening of “In The Garden,” or how the harmony voices and steel guitar play off Jones in ”Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” Sherrill’s arrangements add depth to the singer‘s distinctive interpretations.
Many of these tracks were available for a limited time as “The Gospel Collection,” which went out of print in 2006. An unreleased track comes from 1994, with Jones warming up for a recording session by singing “Great Judgment Warning” with producer Brian Ahern on acoustic guitar and Marty Stuart on mandolin, with guest vocalists Jessi Colter, Waylon Jennings, Ricky Skaggs, Connie Smith and Travis Tritt. (AP)Kenny Rogers takes chances on new album
“You Can’t Make Old Friends”
Kenny Rogers enters his 75th year with an album that blends the familiar with the challenging, seeking new hits and pursuing new ideas even as he enters the Country Music Hall of Fame this fall.
His age occasionally shows in the raggedness at the edges of his vocal tone. But Rogers always made the huskiness of his voice work for him, and that holds true through most of these 11 new songs. Impressively, he hits high, forceful notes when required, matching longtime duet partner Dolly Parton on the soaring passages of the wistfully sentimental title tune, which would have fit on any of his solo albums from decades past.
On the progressive side, Rogers tackles the struggles of a Mexican immigrant on the Spanish-tinged ballad “Dreams Of The San Joaquin;” a jaunty Gulf Coast dance tune on “Don‘t Leave Me in the Night Time,” featuring accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco; and a complex narrative about fighting darkness in the modern world on “Turn This World Around,” a duet with young singer-songwriter Eric Paslay. (AP)