CD reviews (March – April 2011)
L.A. Youth writers recommend CDs by My Chemical Romance, Metric and Adele.
Reviewed by Heather Vaughan, 14, South Pasadena HS
My Chemical Romance’s album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, is full of energizing, upbeat songs that are made to dance and sing along to, with lyrics that can make even the most timid teenager feel rebellious.
The first song, “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na),” is exactly what it sounds like: a high-adrenaline anthem with daring lyrics and the vibe of a loud rock concert. Lyrics like “Love, gimme love, gimme love, I don’t need it/ But I’ll take what I want from your heart and I’ll keep it” give the song its edge.
“Sing” has the most inspirational lyrics: “For every time that they want to count you out/ Use your voice every single time you open up your mouth.” The song is about standing up for yourself and what you believe in. This song is not only catchy, but it also makes me feel optimistic and confident.
The album also has slower tracks, including another of my favorites, “Summertime,” a ballad about a summer love. The final track, “Vampire Money,” is wild and fun as it praises rebellion, fame, money, and above all, partying. I like the variety of songs because it gives the album depth.
Although I wasn’t a fan of My Chemical Romance before, listening to Danger Days encouraged me to listen to an earlier album, The Black Parade. It is less upbeat and I didn’t like it as much. But even if you haven’t liked My Chemical Romance in the past, Danger Days is worth a listen. I recommend this album 100 percent.
Reviewed by Lilian Vasquez, 14, Middle College HS
“What it is and where it stops nobody knows/ You gave me a life I never chose.” These are some of the awesome lyrics in a song called “Blindness” by indie rock band Metric. The lyrics talk about how life has its surprises. I can relate to this because it’s true—some things in life just happen and I have to deal with it. On the band’s latest album, Fantasies, lead singer Emily Haines has a soft voice that is accompanied by drums, guitar and bass. Once I listened to the album I was addicted to the band and couldn’t stop listening for three weeks.
If I had to choose a favorite song I would go with “Help I’m Alive.” The beat of the drums is repetitive in the beginning. Then about halfway into the song, the guitar gets faster and Haines’ voice has a higher pitch, giving it a more cheerful sound. When I’m feeling down or happy I have this song to turn to because the lyrics are a bit sad but the beat is happier so it works for both feelings.
When I feel like I need a little inspiration or I’m having a bad day I play “Twilight Galaxy.” The steady beat of the drums sounds like clapping hands and a heartbeat blended into one amazing sound. The lyrics are even more mesmerizing, “Did I ask you for attention when affection is what I need.” I can relate—sometimes instead of someone listening to me, I need a hug. Haines’ soothing voice calms me down. It’s a lullaby to my soul.
I also like “Sick Muse” and “Front Row,” which have this bittersweet feeling to them.
Fantasies is simply wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who is into rock or opened-minded about trying new music.
Reviewed by Christian Santiago, 17, University HS
I really liked Adele’s first album because it wasn’t like any other music I’ve heard on the radio. It was very retro-jazz and blues influenced. I couldn’t believe the strength in her voice and how powerful it sounded because at the time she was only 19. I wasn’t sure whether she could outdo herself on her second album but this album, called 21, is great.
Her new album is about her struggling to get over a guy she fell in love with. The first track, “Rolling In The Deep,” has loud drums, piano and guitar. Adele expresses her heartbreak without holding back. I get goosebumps when she screams, “We could have had it all.” I feel like she’s helpless, she can’t help but think they could have stayed together.
“Set Fire To The Rain” is my favorite song because it’s more upbeat. This song is about her feeling comfortable with the person she was with, and then as the relationship goes on she finds out things about him that she didn’t like. I like how her voice gets raspy in the chorus because she’s not trying to sound pretty, but sound real.
I like the way the album ends, with “Someone Like You.” It’s a good way to end because she comes to realize that there is nothing she can do to get him back and they should both move on. “Never mind, I’ll find someone like you/ I wish nothing but the best for you, too.” It’s slower than the other songs, and the most honest. It’s just her voice and the piano.
Anyone who likes great music should listen to Adele and hear her perspective on love. Her songs are real and relatable, and her voice completes them.