Posts from October 2012

Taylor Swift RED REVIEW

Taylor Swift


Big Machine

Wolfpack it's been out for a little bit now did you go pick it up?

Taylor Swift right out fo the gate, makes it plain and simple that her fourth album, "Red," will be labeled by no format or style.  Her talents lean POP but she says Country is her home for life!

Most of the people in "The Industry" still classify her as country, she comes out of the box here with a full-on rocker, "State of Grace," whose huge pounding drums and Edge (BONO and U2)-like guitars recall vintage U2 from a long long time ago!  I wonder what was playing in her I-pod that inspired that? Seriously I dig that tune. The title track quickly follows, and it's a pop-rock tour de force, with a 'gigantasic' chorus, monster vocals and one of her catchiest melodies ever.

Two songs in, and Swift jumps into some kind of metamorphosis into an all-purpose pop titan that is nearly or quite possibly already complete. Almost like she has 20 plus years in the format.  Did that make any sense, just seems to me that she is much more comfortable in that Pop, Country groove.

She won't be 23 until December, but there aren't too many songwriters currently operating that are this accomplished and gifted.  Now if you bought the I-tunes version of RED you will notice in the DIGITAL booklet that she has help writing most if not all songs, but its impressive that her name is listed first! In fact, her songwriting to me seems to be the main reason she cuts so effortlessly across genres - her songs are so perfectly constructed that her style that she sings them matters little to me again that's just my thoughts crashing out onto the screen that your reading right now. :)

But moving through the album she glides effortlessly from those arena-friendly opening tracks to shouty, Katy Perry-type thumping pop on "I Knew You Were Trouble" and the delightful confection "22," and quieter confessional singer-songwriter drama on "All Too Well" and "I Almost Do." In all honestly I have not seen many country females in this business do that so easily.

Not everything works. Her duet with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, "The Last Time," drowns in a sea of instrumental slush and strange but possible forced giant emotional gestures. "Everything Has Changed," the album's other duet, features up-and-coming British songwriter Ed Sheeran, and I really liked how she made that track work.  She almost took the backseat on this one and allowed Ed to carry the track.

We are more than HALFWAY done!

The monster hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is pitch perfect Swift, with its stomping chorus, touches of humor and massive relationship woes. It's real fun from start to finish, and very easy to listen to the obvious melodramatic ruminations such as "Sad Beautiful Tragic."

Thankfully, she also drops the whispered style on "Stay Stay Stay," a very very soft tune with an irresistible melody and a light touch that Swift should use more. "That's so fun," she giggles at its conclusion, and she's right. I found myself really turning up the headphones to catch everything she was doing on this track.  How could you not like a girl that yells "That was fun" after she sings.

With the exception of occasional banjo riffs, no in your facecountry instrumentation appears on "Red" until fiddle, steel guitar and banjo crop up on "Begin Again," the big and full ballad of hope that closes the album. Swift has jumped headlong into the pop-rock world times ten on these 16 tracks, and for the most part, she emerges in the zone and ontop of her game.

If you can, pick up the expanded edition available through Target. It has three extra songs, plus three acoustic/demo versions of "Red" tracks. The excellent "Girl at Home" could easily have fit on the album proper, and the demo version of the title track, "Red," has an energy and joy that rivals the full-blown album version.

 (4) Comments


Jason Aldean doesn’t seem to be missing anything in his music career. Each of his first four CD’s have made the top 10 on the country music album charts, with two peaking at #1. What does this real mean to you and I, he is making a S&^%$ TON OF MONEY because people love his music!  His last ten single releases have reached either #1 or #2 on the U.S. country singles chart. The latest #1, ‘Take A Little Ride’ comes off his 5th CD, ‘Night Train’, so one can only expect that Aldean’s success and accolades will continue to mount.  Again this is a lot of industry MUMBO JUMBO outlining the fact he is very popular!

‘Night Train’ is an album that Jason Aldean takes pride in for at least a couple of reasons. First, it’s his band you’re hearing on this CD. Not studio musicians, but the guys who he trusts to play the 30,000 seat stadiums night after night.  This is something that I like because toi me when you go see someone live you want it to sound like the CD right?  This is something his accomplishes with this new ALBUM! Second, Aldean had this album finished, but wasn’t hearing what he wanted with the finished product. So he went back into the studio, cut about four new songs, and reworked ‘Night Train’ until he was completely satisfied with the whole record. You have to give him credit for putting forth the extra effort.

‘This Nothin’ Town’, ‘When She Says Baby’, and Feel That Again’ are the first three songs on ‘Night Train’, and all three will fit perfectly on country radio, and in the top 5 of the country charts. ‘Take A Little Ride’ is already a proven HIT. ‘Talk’ is another big hit waiting to be released, again this is me talking here but I think it will do well on the radio and your Ipod! :)

The cool part of Aldean’s new CD is clearly ‘The Only Way I Know’, featuring Luke Bryan and Eric Church. It’s a great song that will likely be nominated for a CMA for ‘Musical Event of the Year’ next year. All three of these guys, Luke, Eric and Jason, show off the fact that they know how to have a good time. And you can hear the excitiment in all of thier voices in this track!  Thats a huge bonus!

Fans of his music you and I – and there are plenty fans out there – should take to ‘Night Train’ rather easily. Since Jason proved to the world that he’s got great vocal skills on the ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’ duet with Kelly Clarkson, he has gradually come out of his shell and shown he is a talented singer. I think he shows a little more of that off on ‘Night Train’.

If you’re Jason Aldean, there are two ways to look at your music. The first is, with all you’ve accomplished, you’ve earned creative license and can push the limits of your music. The second approach is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With ‘Night Train’, it appears Jason has chosen the latter. The songs are familiar, the subject matter is true to form, and there’s no mistaking this album for anything but a Jason Aldean album.

He’s right. There’s no reason to change up a formula that has created such a huge following, won awards, and packed stadiums for more than five straight years.

Here’s the video for the first single off ‘Night Train’, ‘Take a Little Ride’:

 (4) Comments

The Happiest Drummer On Earth

I like my job. I work with some great people, have a good time, get to meet some terrific artists and do some things I would never have the chance to do otherwise. Now I’ve been to a number of concerts, many of which had amazing solos performed by the drummers. They are very talented people, but this drummer is something quite out of the ordinary.

I do believe this man has a love for his job that none of us could even begin to understand. He is enthusiastic and happy beyond belief. The audience is drawn to his enthusiasm too. Watch as they begin to take pictures of him, taking focus off of the beautiful singer.

If only we could all be this happy to go to work everyday!

 (4) Comments

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