CD reviews (November – December 2011)
Our teen staff says to check out The Strokes, Britney Spears and Owl City.
Reviewed by Amy Fan
17, Temple City HS
After listening to The Strokes’ latest album Angles for a few minutes, I felt like jumping on my bed and air-guitaring. The entire CD is fueled with feel-good lyrics and high-energy guitar riffs. When lead singer Julian Casablancas extends his notes, I feel like I’m being spun around in a circle, while the beats of the drum are bouncing me up and down.
My favorite song is “Under Cover of Darkness,” with its addicting chorus and great guitar solo. “We got the right to live, fight to use it/ Got everything but you can just choose it/ I won’t just be a puppet on a string.” I love how the catchy beat mixes with the bittersweet lyrics. I can imagine it being played as a finale at a school dance.
Like with most indie bands I’ve listened to, some of the songs have lyrics that leave me wondering what they’re talking about. “Waves turn to grey/ Life in the shade/ A violent cloud/ and that’s on USA,” is one confusing line from “Machu Picchu.” I’m not sure what the song’s about, but I like it too much to care. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, this CD is filled with catchy melodies.
I learned about The Strokes when my two indie-rock-fan friends started going crazy about this album. I’m surprised that the band was every bit as good as they said. They might laugh at me now for doubting them, but I’m just glad that I have more good songs in my music library.
Reviewed by Sarah Barnes
14, New Village Charter HS
My favorite song on the album is the title track “Circus.” She sings the verse slower and the chorus fast and as someone who likes to perform I can relate to this song. Britney sings, “There’s only two types of people in the world/ The ones that entertain and the ones that observe.” I don’t necessarily agree with that line, but if I had to choose I’d rather be the one who entertains.
“Womanizer” is a great dance song. The beats are what you expect from dance music. This is a perfect song for a school dance because everybody could dance to it.
The album isn’t all dance songs though. The song “My Baby” is softer and slower and was written for one of her sons. Her voice sounds like an angel when she sings, “Tiny hands, yes that’s you/ And all you show, it’s simply true.” These lyrics don’t relate to my life because I’m not a mom, but I like the music.
The slower song “Blur” was the worst. This song really is a blur. The music and her deeper voice didn’t seem to go together. And the beat of the drums is repetitive in the beginning.
Even though Circus is from 2008, it still has a modern sound and I would recommend this CD if you’re into pop music or great dance songs.
Reviewed by Tyler Bradshaw
15, Redondo Union HS
I first listened to Owl City because a girl I liked was obsessed with Owl City, which is the artist Adam Young. When we talked I didn’t like her anymore. Instead, I fell in love with Owl City. The songs on his latest album, All Things Bright and Beautiful, put me in a good mood.
“Alligator Sky” featuring rapper Shawn Chrystopher is a great mix with Owl City’s electronic sound. The song has fun lyrics like “Where was I when the rockets came to life/ And carried you away into the alligator sky?”
At first I thought “Kamikaze” had confusing lyrics like “Oh comet come down/ Kamikaze over me.” But after I looked up the word “kamikaze” I understood it. A kamikaze is a Japanese suicide pilot. The song reminds me of how silly Owl City is. He says, “Oh comet, come down” in the annoyed voice of a parent yelling up at their kid who is dangling from a tree.
“Deer In The Headlights” is my favorite song on the album. He sings, “Tell me again was it love at first sight/ When I walked by and you caught my eye/ Didn’t you know love could shine this bright/ Well smile because you’re the deer in the headlights,” which means that the girl he’s talking about is his target. The line, “And all I did was say hello/ Her pepper spray made it rather hard/ For me to walk her home” left me turning red from laughter. The song is easy to relate to because everyone has met that person you instantly fall in love with but they don’t even think of you.
This is the best album I’ve listened to in a while. Every song shows insight into the bright and beautiful things in life.