Against me!

 

Against Me!

Originally focusing on hard rock , Against Me! seemed to be just another band but in 2007 Against Me! came out with a new sound that changed the way people looked at the group. It seemed like every song they made up until the album New Wave was either immature, in a way, or just sounded the same. New Wave is a mixture of rock and alternate rock that separated this album from the rest. Their most famous song from the album is called Thresh Unreal.  This song has a fast paced beat with a very catchy chorus. This is my favorite song from the album by far.

new_wave_365

 

New Wave was released in 2007 and showed a different sound that Against Me! had changed to. It also showed that the band was becoming much more mature with their music. The first three albums were very rough and very similar in sound. I think this why this album is called New NewI believe that the album cover of the New Wave displays the change from an immature punk rock band to a very mature and very put together rock n’ roll band.The album cover is a very simple painting of a panther symbolizing the founder, lead singer songwriter,  and guitarist, Thomas James Gabel. The very talented musician revealed his Gender Dysphoria when on a tour in 2012. Gabel decided to completely change his name to Laura Jane Grace. Ever since his first album with Against Me! Gabel had been making slight references to gender dysphoria. It started to progress stronger and stronger as the band continued throughout the years. I think that New Wave was the start of the gender dysphoria taking hold. Gabel started to make even greater references to the issue, for example in the song The Ocean  he talks about how if he was a girl he would be named Laura and would grow up in her mother’s footsteps.

… If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman. My mother once told me she would have named me Laura. I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her. One day I’d find an honest man to make my husband…

 The bands next album, White Crosses, was Against Me!’s most famous success.  This was the bands last album under the subsidiary of Warner Music Group, Sire do to the Gabel straying off and renting rooms at motels dressed as a woman to write an entirely separate album secluded from the band. Here is when the band decided to break ties with Sire and support Gabel’s transition. Tom finally came out after being influenced by a fan who was in the same predicament, while on tour. Against Me! continued touring and making albums under a different record label known as Total Treble Music. This is the record label that Gabel founded. The first album that they released under Total Treble Music was called Transgender Dysphoria Blues. This album is about a transgender prostitute. Thomas Gabel changed his name to Laura Grace around this time.


 

With the support of her band members Laura Grace continues to make music with Against Me! as a transgender band.

The track listing for New Wave include:

  1. New Wave
  2. Up the Cuts
  3. Thresh Unreal
  4. White People For Peace
  5. Stop!
  6. Born on the FM Waves of the Heart
  7. Piss and Vinegar
  8. American’s Abroad
  9. Animal
  10. The Ocean

White Crosses

 

After New Wave, Against Me! followed with the album called White Crosses. This album varies between a softer side of rock and a more Rock n’ Roll sound. Starting with the song White Crosses Against Me! introduces the Rock n’ Roll sound of the album. This sound continues up until the third song, Because of Shame, here is when the Against Me! introduces piano and builds the song into much friendlier sound. Moving further on in the album, the band slows the beat down with the song Suffocation. Still keeping the rock momentum, they change gears into a much softer rock. These four songs alone display how Against Me! Has matured in through their music. This was also the last album before Gabel changed his name to Laura Grace.

White Crosses Against Me

The white crosses album cover displays a picture of a woman woman with a blanket of some sort covering her head. This could represent Grace as she faces the gender transition. She is still a man and knows it but wants to be a woman. The woman is Gabel’s face on Grace’s body after the transition. This album cover doesn’t really have anything to do with the music I think it is just a symbol telling the listener that Gabel wants to be a woman and is beliefs and emotions are at their strongest.

 

 

Track list for White Crosses include:

  1. White Crosses
  2. I was a teenage anarchist
  3. because of the shame
  4. The Western World
  5. Strip Mall Parking Lots
  6. High Pressure Low
  7. Hot Shots
  8. Spanish Moss
  9. Rapid Decompression
  10. Soul Surrender
  11. Lehigh Acres
  12. David Johansen’s Soul
  13. One by One
  14. Bitter Divisions

 

 

Fun.

 Fun.

Aim And Ignite

Nate Ruess, Previously known from the band Format, joined up with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff to create their new project as the well known band, Fun.  Ruess holds true with the name of the band do to the very different and interesting sounds that Fun. creates. Their first album, Aim and Ignite, shows the true meaning of the band’s name… fun. The first few songs, for example, are very different in comparison to any other song of their genre. Fun. plays around with the tempo from song to song. they even change up the rhythm of the song tempos within the song. The first song on the album is called Be Calm. Nate Reuss plays with the tempo as the song goes on as well as the changing the mood of the song. You could be listening to song very easy going soft tone and with in a second the the tempo gets faster and the mood changes into a hard rock song. This is just one example of Fun.’s different musical styles. The second song on the album is called Benson Hedges. This song has a fast paced rock song mixed with a very catchy chorus riff in addition to a electronic beat. The third song is similarly as exciting. Although Reuss sings about his different relationships he talks about them with an interesting beat.

You could say that the album cover of Aim and Ignite is displayed perfectly in the music. When looking at the cover from left to right, there is a soldier from the civil war and pointing the gun to the right as a peacock sits on the tip of the gun. The name of the album is all about the soldier pointing his weapon. The fact that he is from the Civil War symbolizes the time when you had to manually add the gun powder and when fired you could visually see the gunpowder being ignited as the gun is fired. That is where the name Aim and ignite comes from. along with the imagery the album cover the order of the songs really reflect the image. The first song would be all the way on the left and the last song all the way on the right. Be Calm is fast past song song with a new twist on the music which would represent the conflicting images of the flowers and the soldier. Be Calm, Benson Hedges, and all the pretty Girls fully visualize the fact that there is a rock song side by side with many different color flowers, which represent all the different sounds in the three songs. Moving to the gun in the middle which could represent the harmless object that once filled with gunpowder behind the musket’s lead bullet turns into a deadly weapon. The simply built weapon could represent the songs before they become the crazy untraditional music. For example, the song Take Your Time starts out soft with harmonized singing as it slowing and gradually builds into a fast passed song. The climax of the song could represent the soldier putting the gunpowder into the his weapon to slowly building up to the burst and ignition of the gunpowder. When finally shot the after the intensity of aiming and pulling the trigger, the song bursts into a fast passed song while the musket ball flies towards the enemy target while it very slowly loses speed. Half way through the song the instruments stop once again and the band members harmonize starting the process over again up until the end of the song as Jack Antonoff, the lead guitarist loses control with his guitar solo. The finally object on the cover displayed on the far right side is a peacock. This bird could represent the slowly more peaceful side of the album. The peacock, which is know for its incredibly beautiful colors on the feathers, has not yet revealed its true beauty as it sits perched on the tip of the gun. This could represent the change in the music throughout all the songs up until this point. The fact that the wingspan has not been opened yet could represent that the listener is kept in curiosity and interest for what Fun. will through at him/her next. Unfortunately the song ends on the softest song on the entire album, Walking the Dog II. After this song Fun. opens the peacock’s beauty and with a curveball in the last three song, Take Your Time (Acoustic), Walking the Dog (RAC Mix), and All the Pretty Girls (RAC Mix).

My Favorite song is Take Your Time (Acoustic)

 

Aim-and-Ignite-fun-band

The Songs from the Album:

  1. Be Calm
  2. Benson Hedges
  3. All the Pretty Girls
  4. I wanna Be the One
  5. At Least Im Not As Sad (As I Used to Be)
  6. Light a Roman Candle with Me
  7. Walking the Dog
  8. Barlights
  9. The Gambler
  10. Take Your Time (Coming Home)
  11. Stitch Me Up
  12. Walking the Dog II
  13. Take Your Time (Acoustic)
  14. Walking the Dog (RAC Mix)
  15. All The Pretty Girls (RAC Mix)

 

The Killers

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The killers, as gruesome and disturbing as their name sounds is in my opinion one of the greater bands of our century. You could argued that they are a band that is electronic, alternative rock that stays up with the change in musical taste.

Their first album is called Hot Fuss which was released in 2004. Hot Fuss had a number of great songs that made The Killers famous and very well known. we all remember those days that the song Mr. Brightside was way over played almost to the point that you could hear on one radio station and try to escape to another but it would be playing there too. The Killer’s second biggest hit off Hot Fuzz is Somebody Told Me. The Killers were the biggest for the beginning of the decade. Their second full album that they released came out in 2006. Sam’s Town is gives you rock and the foundation in there their musical genre. Sam’s Town is full of rock, a little bit of techno, a pinch of electronic, and a whole lot of alternative music whether it is alternative rock or or just all around alternative. Either way, the Killers have really shown what they are capable of. after about a year they released their third album, Sawdust. Even though there is a total of 13 songs between Hot Fuzz and Sam’s Town, the Killers had a as many as 17 songs that they did not add to either album. If you think about it the name Sawdust is a perfect title due to the fact that the songs could be viewed as “sawdust” from the albums that came before it.

Mr. Brightside

The two albums that I am going to focus on are their most recent ones, Battle Born and Day and Age. Day and Age was released on November 24th, 2008. Their single they released from that album was Human. The song featured a more techno side of The Killers as well as their alternative rock. The album is fast paced and is full of surprises. what really stands out is the albums artwork.

Day-and-Age

Human

The list of songs:

  1. Losing Touch
  2. Human
  3. Spaceman
  4. Joyride
  5. A Dustland Fairytale (my favorite song from this album)
  6. This is Your Life
  7. I Can’t Stay
  8. Neon Tiger
  9. The World the We Live In
  10. Goodnight, Travel Well


A Dustland Fairytale

Day and Age clashes a mix of warm and cool colors in a collage of circles. If you want to actually see what the picture is you have to a step back and look at the entire image. What is shown in the image above could be taken as many different things one being a fire burning into the night sky in the Las Vegas sky. The many songs in the album create the feeling of warmth and summertime feeling while the lyrics and rhythms of every song in the album send shivers down your spine giving you the cool sensation of the a catchy new beat. In their attempt to bring back the “’80′s” with the different songs such as Neon Tiger and… well… all of the songs. Brandon Flowers, the lead vocalist, as well as the rest of them focused on a more techno sound to their songs similar to the ’80′s. For example, Neon Tiger was focusing on a sound similar to David Bowie. This is just one example of their wide variety of music. 

They start of with the song Losing Touch. This songs gives an uplifting feeling from which you want the rest of the album to sound like. The second song is a curveball. The table is turned from a rocky feeling over to a techno- alternative rock. Human was hit single from Day and Age can could possible be one of the best songs by the Killers. Next is there second biggest hit. Spaceman lives up to its name by a long shot. This song is separate from the rest because it describes how this album is different from the three albums that came before it. even just these three songs could explain why the Killers chose to make this cover. you could argue that Spaceman is the area in the distance above the band’s name. The area just below the sky where the name is, just below the moon could be the visual for the song Losing Touch and the warmer colors at the bottom of the considered Human. On the other hand you have to listen to the entire album really understand why the killer’s chose, one-a mosaic and two-the contrast of warm and cool colors. The Killer’s did a great job choosing this album cover for their album Day and Age because it give the album a much more modern look. similarly with their last album, Battle Born.

Battle Born was released September 18th, 2012. The album was an add on and a transformation of Day and Age. the single for the album is called  Runaways. Battle Born is a very different sound from Day and Age and even further away from Sam’s Town and Hot Fuss. Battle Born is like a roller coaster of different sounds it’s like a party in your ears and ever sound you could think of is invited… well I am exaggerating just a little bit, but I think you get my point when I say that the Killer’s have really hit the nail on the head when it comes to finding their musical sounds. The album starts off with flesh and bone, not to get it confused with a previous track released on Sam’s Town called Bones. the song starts off with two single notes played back and forth on a synthesizer it eventually builds into more notes on a different sounding synthesizer until Brandon Flowers starts his singing then it slows down then picks back into the chorus. this is the entire progress for the entire song with song changes in the verse sound. the next song is the perfectly structured single, Runaways. starting of with piano Flowers starts his chorus singing about the build up of a relationship. This is what the entire song is about, him and this girl. If you analyze the song in-depth the song is actual similar to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run with a modern twist to it. Without any doubt this song will send shivers down your spine. following Runaways is The Way It Its. As your blood rushes through your veins this song calms you done a bit, but not enough where you will end up falling asleep, that is what the next song is for. It could be considered a lullaby still keeping a semi-fast paced. this entire album is basically a diary/ story of a man and his loved one. The entire album could be related to their album cover. Truthfully I think that the cover is mainly based around the song Runaways.

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The Album cover portrays a mustang running head-on into a mustang. What I think this represents is the relationship Brandon Flowers describes in Runaways. The car represents the relationship and the mustang represents the fierce, and dangerous road ahead. Choice of color is very important in this album because it displays the speed at which they could be traveling into this beast. The sky is all different shades of tan and gray showing what kind of storm they be either facing of getting away from. The entire album is a much different sound from Day and Age. Album could also be the throw back into the past days when rock was the newest and best thing. With the little twist of techno and electronics The Killers were able to create an album that proved they could do any genre at the same time of staying in their realm of alternative-electric.

The Songs from this album are:

  1. Flesh and Bone
  2. Runaways
  3. The Way It Was
  4. Here With Me
  5. A Matter of Time
  6. Deadlines and Commitments
  7. Miss Atomic Bomb
  8. The Rising Tide
  9. From Here On Out
  10. Be Still
  11. Battle Born
  12. Carry Me Home
  13. Flesh and Bone (Flesh and Bone (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
  14. Prize Fight

 

 

 

 

The Naked and Famous

The Naked and Famous

The_Naked_and_Famous

Passive me, Aggressive you

The Naked and Famous released the album “Passive Me, Aggressive You” on September 6, 2010. As their debut album, the band set the bar very high for future albums. Passive Me, Aggressive you is an album with very different sounds within their songs ranging from a more techno sound all the way to rock. The album cover shows a psychedelic sphere in front of a summit of a mountain behind it. If closely examined, the sphere looks like a marble that has been photographed and given a transparent kind of imagery to it. you could actually say the music they produce could be represented in the artwork for album cover. You could be listening to something that has more of a rocky type of melody and in-vision mountain. For example, the first song, All of this, starts of with a deep based drum beat and continues into a rocky type guitar riff. In the middle part of the song and more towards the end you start to get the techno type of electro rock and start to see why the album cover has a multi-colored sphere in front of the mountains. The third and forth songs, have a type of softer more relaxed feeling. The Source is an interlude to the song The Sun. The interlude is a piano riff about 50 seconds long and has a very mellow feeling to it. As it progresses into The Sun the keyboard stays at a very low key as the drums come in. If you listen to the lyrics of the song you could get an idea of an elapse of the feeling you get as your psychedelic “high” starts to wear away. Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers, the two head vocalists, duo as the song picks up half way through as they sing The Sun;

The Source 

The Sun

“Here it comes The unavoidable sun weighs my head, And what the hell have I done, And you know,
I don’t remember a thing
I don’t remember
A thing…”

I think that this song is the best representation of what the album cover shows. With an underlying rock beat, Xayalith and Powers sing about how they can’t remeber what they have done while they see the crazy colors that surround them bythe sphere.

The Naked and Famous had three or four hit songs from this album which gave them their name in the music world. All of This, Punching in a Dream, Young Blood, and No Way, and Girls Like You, all share the qualities of the underlying rock beat with a layer of electronic/techno on top. All and all this album set the bar very high for the New Zealand band for their newest album to meet.

The Songs from the album include:

 

  1. Punching in a Dream
  2. Frayed
  3. The Source
  4. The Sun
  5. Eyes
  6. Young Blood
  7. No Way
  8. Spanked
  9. Jilted Love
  10. A Wolf in Geek’s Clothes
  11. The Ends
  12. Girls Like You
  13. Machinery

In Rolling Waves

The Naked and Famous released their second album on September 16, 2013. In Rolling Waves was to meet an expectation that was set by their first album, Passive Me, Aggressive You. To many, this album was a bit of a disappointment do to the fact that they are trying to make an album that sounds more concert friendly and organic rather party style. It is irrational to say that the album disappointing because this is the young band’s second album. they are still trying out new sounds but staying in the electronic arena for those music lovers who were afraid The Naked and Famous were never gonna make an album that meets the greatness of Passive Me, Aggressive You.

The Naked and Famous’ second album features more of an acoustic sound in some of their songs as well along with their natural electronic sound. This will allow the band to perform with a more pure sound. In Rolling Waves has a black and white image of a flower on front. The abnormal thing about this flower is that is breaking apart almost as if the types of the flowers were cut off but are still floating around the center of the flower. You could actually look at the center of the flower as a base speaker and the outsides are vibrating like the speaker was blasting with the base to the max. The song Rolling Waves displays this idea very clearly.

I listened to the album while righting this post and realized that I could actually see why people were actually disappointed. Half of the album is slow and easy which is very very different to their first album released. As I continued listening, around the sixth song the tempo picked up to their normal pace like their first album.

All of the songs in the album In Rolling Waves share the same formula, partial electronic with a hint of rock and all of it has a very deep base that could be blasted. That is what I think The Naked and Famous  were trying to show through their album, blast your base and the flower will vibrate like the speaker of a stereo.

I personally like the different sound of this album. It may be a much different sound then the first album but I think if you keep an open mine as you put the base as well as the volume all the way up you will experience what the band really were getting at with the new organic sound represented through the flower and same old techno-base with the broken-up pedals that surround the flower.

In Rolling Waves

The songs from the album are:

  1. A Stillness
  2. Hearts Like Ours
  3. Waltz
  4. Rolling Waves
  5. The Mess
  6. Grow Old
  7. Golden Girl
  8. I Kill Giants
  9. Want Me Want
  10. We Are Leaving
  11. To Move With Purpose
  12. A Small Reunion