Reviewed by Frank Gaspar
15, The School of Arts and Enterprise (Pomona)
As a fan of indie rock, I was instantly hooked on Foster the People’s song “Pumped Up Kicks.” I liked how Mark Foster used the microphone to make his voice sound like an intercom, which I had never heard in a song before. My aunt, who’s also an indie rock fan, suggested that I listen to more of their songs, and after I heard “Helena Beat,” I bought the rest of the album.
One of my favorite things about their album is that I never knew what to expect. I really like “Waste” because the tune and the lyrics help me feel relaxed, putting aside stress from school and home whenever I hear them. “I’ll help you see it through ‘cause I just really want to be with you.”
Whenever I hear “Life on the Nickel,” its catchy rhythm makes me feel like dancing. I can also relate to the lyrics because they say “I’m not quite there, but I’m close.” They tell me that it’s OK to stand out. Things like dying my hair or making creepy sketches of zombies in class while others are doodling can seem weird to everyone. But as long as they make sense to me, I don’t care what people think.
My favorite song is “Houdini.” The tune is trippy and makes me feel like I’m being hypnotized. I also really like the message in the chorus, “raise up to your ability.” It makes me feel like what I’m capable of is not what people expect, and I can surprise them. If you like music that’s unpredictable and has unique melodies, then I highly recommend Torches.
Reviewed by Ted Zhu
16, Walnut HS
Electronic music has never appealed to me. Sure, I’ve heard Skrillex on the radio and thought the music had a catchy beat, but electronic music always makes me think of eardrum-busting noise at a rave. However, when one of my friends played me a song from Deadmau5’s newest album, > album title goes here <, I surprisingly enjoyed it.
I immediately went on YouTube and listened to all 13 tracks. With a strangely named album, Joel Zimmerman (Deadmau5’s real name), opened my eyes (and ears) to another kind of music.
What impressed me most about this album is the variety. “The Veldt” is still electronic, but the song’s instrumentals create a slow, peaceful Owl City-esque feeling. “Professional Griefers” provides an alternative rock dimension to the album.
The song that surprised me the most was “Fn Pig” because it seemed to tell a story. I listen to classical music sometimes and in every piece, I hear a storyline with ups and downs. The slow, melancholy sound in the beginning of “Fn Pig” painted a calm scene and the eventual buildup to a strong beat in the second half pumped me up with its energetic vibes.
Not every song is great though. The quick tempo on “Channel 42” got me hooked … for a while. But halfway through the five-minute song, I felt like it needed something new to keep me interested.
> album title goes here < broke many stereotypes for me about electronic music. After listening to this album, I’ve since explored other artists such as Zomboy, Swedish Mafia, and Figure and enjoyed them.
Reviewed by Melissa Nuñez
17, Warren HS (Downey)
Ever since I listened to Irish band Two Door Cinema Club’s first album Tourist History, which was released in 2010, I’ve been a huge fan. I was so excited when I heard they were releasing a second album that I immediately pre-ordered it. I had high expectations after Tourist History and Beacon didn’t fail me.
“Handshake” is one of the songs I got to hear live when I went to see the band at the Wiltern last September. Even now, as soon as it starts playing I get goosebumps and feel like I’m hearing it live again. You first hear the bass, drums and guitar, then the lyrics begin, “So what became of loving man/ And what became of you? Familiar as you shook my hand/ What was it you meant to do?” The song makes me feel like I’m in a trance.
Two Door Cinema Club songs make you sing along even if you don’t mean to. “Sun” does this with its soothing tempo. The first time I heard it I started to sing along on “Though I’m far away/ I know I’ll stay I know I’ll stay/ Right there with you” because it’s catchy.
“Sleep Alone” became an instant favorite of mine. The lyrics are relatable: “He needs no army where he’s headed/ ‘cause he knows/ That they’re just ghosts/ And they can’t hurt him if he can’t see them.” It sends the message that you might think you need help but you really don’t.
I can listen to Beacon for hours and not get tired of it. That makes me love Two Door Cinema Club even more.