Monthly Archives: March 2012

Madonna- MDNA: Has Dance Nation still got a home?

 

 

Controversial as ever with both album and track titles Madonna as usual astounds us with her lack of decorum on her newest offering, MDNA. Miss Ciconne’s first album since Hard Candyin early 2008 repeatedly displays a vulnerable side to the star that has been kept hidden for quite some time.

It’s clear for the world to see the hurt, loss and anger she felt following the breakup of her seeming less at one stage perfect marriage to Guy Richie. Her distinct pain certainly remains etched perfectly throughout MDNA. Not even the massive production and infectious beats can cover up Madonna’s regrets and vulnerability.

I’m not sure if it’s deserved although as she is the Queen of Pop I simply must give a track by track account of MDNA, here goes nothing…

Girl Gone Wild– Expected to be the follow-up to the somewhat mediocre ‘Give Me All Your Luvin.’ ‘Girl Gone Wild’ does almost the same as the latter. This track certainly bestows an appetite for something more spectacular from an artist of Madonna’s stature.

Gang Bang– Is more like an intro than a second track; whilst you remain in waiting for something exciting and new to happen, it simply fails to provide.

I’m Addicted– Not much to it, although the catchiest song so far. Whereas I can’t help but think I’ve heard ‘Addicted’ somewhere before, it still sounds fresh in its own unique manner.

Some Girls– Starts off quite sketchy, but yeah the ritenuto beats are quite effective in a song that would otherwise fall flat.

I Don’t Give A: Featuring Nicki Minaj- This one is noticeably the stand out track on the album so far. Besides the sometimes squeaky vocals the beats on this one are seriously infectious.

Turn Up the Radio– With the exception of high-pitched vocals and at times questionable lyrics, Turn Up the Radio is still an okay pop song.

Give Me All Your Lovin– Sounds like a song I’d write in my bedroom, in saying that you most certainly will not forget the hook.

B-Day Song– Sounds like a bad 80’s teen movie soundtrack; I would highly recommend skipping this one.

Superstar– A happy, upbeat pop number that doesn’t do much albeit possibly lighten your mood

I’m a Sinner– On its own merits this could be a cool little pop song but again displays a lack of freshness or originality. The central rift even sounds suspiciously like that of ‘Ray of Light’ perhaps coupled with ‘Beautiful Stranger’ which unfortunately creates a copy and paste type sentiment for ‘I’m a Sinner’.

Masterpiece– What an appropriate name for this beautiful poignant song of love and admiration. Maddy describes a persona of pure perfection whom she affiliates with none other than that of the Mona Lisa. For once the superstar opens up and lets us see her almost always dormant vulnerable side which she has kept under wraps since the days of ‘You’ll See’ and ‘Take a Bow.’

Falling Free– “I’m quite free to go,” she poignantly sings in the closing line perhaps in homage to the many years she would like to finally leave in the past. Likewise the reasoning behind this song is evidently to display Madonna’s often questionable vocal ability.

I Fucked Up– The title may suggest this track should have been a belter. You may find yourself waiting for a climax, although it never really reaches it.

Beautiful Killer– ‘Beautiful Killer’ in keeping with the theme of album accumulation again delivers yet another distinctively average pop song. We are left perplexed as Madonna exclaims, “Can’t really talk with a gun in my mouth.” Was that gun perhaps the reason MDNA fails to ever really take off?

 

Acclaimed producers and infectious beats fail dismally to cover up Madonna’s regrets and vulnerability which ooze from MDNA’s entirety.

Overkill on the dance beats and a certain lack of lyrical conviction as an entirety makes MDNA just short of a “good” pop album. The compilation does as whole though prove that dance music still has a place in modern society.

Kasabian…Best Band in the World?

Kasabian…Best Band in the World?

Kasabian, three time number one selling album indie band, previously voted by readers of Q Magazine as the Best Act in the World 2010.

But, could they possibly be in fact the best indie band in the world right now? Well according to those down at the prestigious NME’s they are The Best Band Britain; well at least that’s a nice start.

Despite winning numerous accolades Kasabian like to embrace every single one. Speaking about the award guitarist Serge Pizzorno said: “We’re not put on this planet for long, so why would you come here and not go, ‘YES! We’re the best band in Britain’, and not celebrate? It would be worthless and everyone would say, ‘Did they not realise?’ ”

Following the ceremony Tom Meighan did also display a very humble side to the bands persona dedicating the award for the second time that night to the late Davey Jones of the Monkeys. In addition he also mentioned all the other great indie bands in attendance that deserved the accolade just as much as they did.

They may perhaps be cocky to a fault, but this it seems is what makes these guys so special and at times simply quite endearing. There has not been a band since Oasis that has been as sure of themselves than Kasabian, although it is indisputably that which makes this band the performers they are. If you have the goods to back it up, and they do in drones, then why not? You only have to listen to the music to find out why.

Kasabian beat off stiff competition from Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro, Foals and surprisingly even Muse to land the prize.

According to indie website Antiquiet .com Kasabian’s growing popularity is possibly something to do with the fact that they, “Have found a way to channel everything you love about The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Radiohead while still keeping the unique sound that sets them apart from the contemporaries like Coldplay, Muse and The Killers.”

Describing themselves as ‘avant garde’ and making self comparisons to the Beatles in a recent interview may be perceived as egotistical by some, but I think the English rockers may have some point. There isn’t anyone as experimental out there at the moment as Kasabian in the indie stakes.

With a month long US tour kicking off on March 12th; free run of the European Headlining Festival spots and a new album already in the pipeline, this year is set to possibly be Kasabian’s most successful year internationally.

Are Kasabian the best band in the world? Well they’re certainly on their way and they don’t show signs of diminishing any time soon…

March Recommended

Check out March’s must see gigs, as recommended by yours truely…

Must See Gigs

The O2

Friday 2nd Florence and the Machine

Saturday 24th Drake

The Olympia

Thursday 8th  The Meteor Choice Music Prize

               
The Academy

Friday 9th Wallis Bird

Friday 16th Simian Mobile Disco

Wednesday 21st Nero

Whelans

Friday 16th Jape

Friday 23rd Storyfold

Vicar Street

Thursday 16th  Lisa Hannigan

Saturday 24th Spiritualized

…enjoy 😉

ASIWYFA

And so I watch you from afar….

Many have tried it and failed but ASIWYFA have most certainly nailed it; the instrumental rock band is what I’m talking about, Wow! Goose bumps, shivers; all the great things you come to almost only expect from a vocal band; although this time ASIWYFA do it without the singing.

Hailing from Belfast the trio are unmistakably pushing the boundaries, and in the right way. I have heard many a great thing said about their live shows but until now have yet to witness their musical genius.

The band consists of Rory Friers on guitar, Johnny Adger on bass and Chris Wee on drums.

Arriving on stage in Dublin’s RDS at an unusually early ten past five ASIWYFA met an already pumped up intimate crew of hundreds, surely not what they were used to.

Songs included fan favourites such as the infamous ‘Set guitars to kill’ and ‘S is for salamander.’ The rockers most certainly gave the crowd what they wanted and packed all their best songs into the short 20 minute set.

For one rare occasion they even displayed vocals, albeit only using the subtle, “da, da, da;” just a snippet to show what they could (if they wanted to) in fact produce vocally.

There’s a great saying, “always leave the crowd wanting more” and that without doubt is what they did.

As a previous non believer in rock music without vocals I can definitely say now that ASIWYFA have in true style single handily changed my mind that instrumental on its own can simply work.

I am first and foremost all about the vocals, well this was ALL about the ‘Music.’

Following the set Rory Friers spoke about the bands excitement to be heading off to Texas in two weeks to play the South by Southwest festival, exclaiming, “We’re lucky, we just got our visas through, woo!”

He also exclaimed how overwhelming their last experience was playing the festival back in 2010, although through that event they got a record deal with Sargent House Records.

This time the trio come equipped with an album (Gangs) which they hope will do big things over there, and according to the fans over these waters it surely will…