CD reviews (October 2010 issue)
Reviewed by Caitlin Bryan
18, Valley Alternative Magnet School (2010 graduate)
I became a fan of Adam Lambert during American Idol, when he finished as runner-up in 2009, and anxiously waited for his debut album. I loved his voice and how every song he picked on Idol he made his own.
The songs on For Your Entertainment are amazing and fun to dance to. Most of them are pop with rock mixed in. The first song on the album, “Music Again,” is one of my favorites and always has me dancing and singing this one part: “Look in my eyes, baby eyes/ Oh, you make me want to listen to music again/ Yeah you make me wanna listen to music again.”
I also fell in love with “Fever” and “Sleepwalker.” The song “Fever” is about being with the person you want and making them yours. “Sleepwalker” is one of the slow, sad songs on the album, but has a powerful meaning. It’s about losing someone you care about, and always being reminded that the person is gone. I like listening to this song because it is heartfelt and sincere.
Another thing I like about Lambert is that he doesn’t hide that he is gay. I like that he is out, because his personality is flamboyant and it’s reflected in some of his songs. Like the song “For Your Entertainment,” which has bold lyrics: “I bet you thought that I was soft and sweet/ You thought an angel swept you off your feet/ But I’m about to turn up the heat/ I’m here for your entertainment.”
I recommend this album to anyone who is open to a different style of pop rock.
Reviewed by Dana Green
16, North Hollywood HS Zoo Magnet
Mike Stroud and Evan Mast are the masterminds behind the electronic rock band Ratatat, whose fourth album, LP4, is amazing. It was a surprise to hear orchestra sounds blended with their familiar combination of guitars, bass guitars and synthesizers.
The opening song, “Bilar,” is an epic beginning to the album. It starts off with droning guitars and seconds later abruptly changes into a complex song with unusual synthesized sounds. The track ends with a mysterious voice speaking in German. The lyrics translate to “A romance … All of the friends waited on top of me. This here is the best friend. A black …” There is no reason why the quote is there, but it adds to the strange feeling of the song. “Bilar” sounds like nothing Ratatat has done before because the band experiments with dubstep beats that emphasize bass. “Bilar” prepares listeners for the crazy world they step into while listening to this album.
Another amazing track is “Drugs.” The song starts off with pleasant piano and orchestra sounds. Moments before getting boring, it explodes into the familiar synthesized beats.
The only disappointment on LP4 is “We Can’t Be Stopped.” It is a depressing orchestra overture with repeating piano notes. While listening to it, you expect it to blow up into a wild rollercoaster ride, but it never does. From beginning to end, the track never goes anywhere.
The album is perfect for any mood. If I want to listen to rock, electronic, house or new wave, LP4 can deliver. My love for Ratatat grew after hearing this album.
Reviewed by Patricia Chavarria, 19
On her new album, A Year Without Rain, Disney star Selena Gomez combines dance and pop and delivers 10 high-energy songs.
Just because Gomez’s music is intended mostly for tweens doesn’t necessarily mean other people won’t enjoy it. Whether you’re in love or you’re sick of love, Gomez has a song for you and she’ll make it seem like you’re not the only one with problems.
“Off the Chain” is a dance song about finding your true love. “A thousand church bells ringing/ I can hear the angels singing/ When you call my name/ Your love is off the chain.” It works as a love song because when I hear this song it makes me feel warm and fuzzy, as if I had found my true love. It’s definitely my favorite and I can’t help putting it on repeat on my iPod.
“Rock God” sounds more like rock. Some people might think this song written by Katy Perry is too mature for Gomez, but I think it’s a great break from all of her innocent love songs. “Preacher man walked into the club and he said, hey girl/ Can’t you walk and not stray?/ Father, I’m torn and I’m selling my soul to the rhythm, the beat and the bass” are just some of the captivating lyrics that I love.
I love how each song is different. Some like “Round & Round” have a pop vibe, others like “Sick of You” sound techno and some are mellow, like “A Year Without Rain.” Regardless of your age, this CD is for everyone.