<< Music from around the world (part 1)

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RAMMSTEIN: Reise, Reise (Germany)

By Mindy Gee, 16, L.A.C.E.S.

Unlike most heavy metal bands, the members of the German group Rammstein use their music to communicate their political views and intelligence through eloquent lyrics, instead of focusing on making dim-witted comments about sex and drugs.

Reise, Reise, like all of the band’s albums, has witty lyrics about controversial topics woven into the music. The name of the album is a pun; Reise, Reise can be translated into both "Journey, Journey" and "Arise, Arise." The song, "Amerika," speaks of the entire world’s subconscious subservience to the United States. A translation reads: "We’re making a nice round dance … And whoever doesn’t want to dance at the end doesn’t know yet that they must … Santa Claus is coming to Africa/ and Mickey Mouse is standing in front of Paris … We’re all living in America/ Coca-Cola, sometimes war."

The generally harsh sound of the German language fits heavy metal. Because I don’t speak German, I was initially attracted only to the powerful sound of Rammstein’s music. But I later researched the lyrics, and soon realized that the songs had deeper meanings. It was a nice change from the bands I usually listen to, like Story of the Year and Rooney.

Reise, Reise sets the standard for a whole new level of metal. I highly recommend Reise, Reise. It is an exciting album filled with suspense and thrill.

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE: Electric Heavy Land (Japan)

By Joshua Sushman, 13, Palms MS

The music of Acid Mothers Temple does not require lyrics. The booming and skillful multi-instrumental power of Kawabata Makoto is a voice of its own. Makoto leads the band, which hails from Japan and is a simple set up of guitar, bass and drums, but with many different electronic sounds added in.

The album, Electric Heavyland, has three songs: "Atomic Rotary God," "Loved and Confused" and "Phantom Of Galactic Magnum." I would not suggest this album for a song in between class because most of the songs are between 10 to 20 minutes and require deep appreciation and focus.

The band’s music is filled with psychedelic qualities, such as the slow rhythm of the drums, trippy electronic sounds, etc.

I immediately got into this music; it was as if I was meditating when listening. I felt spiritual, like I was in a trance. I was also very impressed by the band’s musicianship. Makoto jams on his guitar with fast, feedback-filled solos, and all of the bands’ members are somehow able to work together while they go off into their own solos simultaneously.

If you don’t like bands that are instrumental and not the typical band you’d hear on the radio, I wouldn’t suggest Acid Mothers Temple. If you’re open to new things, and find jam and psychedelic bands interesting, this music is for you.

CAMERON CARTIO: Borderless (Iran)

By Beeta Baghoolizadeh, 17, Palos Verdes Peninsula HS

I’ve grown up listening to upbeat Persian music, and it makes up most of my iTunes library. The latest addition, Cameron Cartio’s first album Borderless, is more techno-y than most Persian music, and was an overall pleasant surprise.

Most Persian music has a flirty energy that encourages one or two people to dance in the center of a huge circle of people. Borderless doesn’t have the traditional rhythms usually heard in Persian music, so it’s better suited for the large parties consisting of huge groups of people squished on the dance floor tapping their feet and waving their arms.

Though most of the songs are sung in Farsi, the language spoken by Iranians, one song, "Roma," is sung in a language made up by Cartio.  Even before I knew he was making the language up, I thought he was singing about love. According to Cartio’s Web site, "Roma" means borderless in his language, and his singing in a non-existent language was his way of transcending national borders and sticking out among a slew of Persian singers.

I like the idea of "Roma" better than its execution. The sounds are harsh, and when the lyrics aren’t understandable, that turns me off. "Toyi Azizam" and "Henna" are much better. Cartio’s album isn’t the best representative of Persian music, but it is a great example of what can come out of going beyond the borders people set for you.