Don’t hold your breath.
Caspian – Waking Season (2012)
Ironically, I fell asleep to Waking Season. Twice. This album came in the form of a recommendation from a friend who invited me to concert. It’s actually a really peculiar album that blends vocal effects and electronic instruments into their post-rock style to create great atmosphere for each of the tracks on this album. Songs move from serene to fierce so smoothly you don’t notice it happen until you’re already engrossed in it – before you know it, they’re tapering off into a beautiful cadence. Every song on the album moves like that, always building and progressing naturally to a climax, making every single song feel complete. Being a post-rock album, the majority of the album is instrumental and vocals are used strictly enhance the music. Halls of the Summer is the standout song for me; a little more straight forward than the other songs, moving quickly with the percussion driving it forward, sounding really big, yet contained, never getting out of control.
Bomb tracks: Porcellous, Halls of the Summer, Hickory 54
Carly Rae Jepsen – E.mo.tion (2015)
Sometimes you just really need something cheap to fill you up. You know it isn’t good for you, but it hits the spot and makes you feel just a little bit happy. I’m happy to say that the majority of this album isn’t nearly as infectious or annoying as Call Me Maybe, with the small exception of a song that I really, really, really, really, really, really like. For the most part, it’s a solid, simple pop album, making no breaks for dance numbers. Carly Rae Jepsen doesn’t have the range of some other pop singers, nor does she really experiment with the music all that much, in fact, there’s really nothing particularly special about this album. It’s just fun, enjoyable, and probably forgettable. One song that really caught my ear though is Black Heart which sounds like it was ripped from a Jakalope album; cool synth keyboards and drums, breathy vocals, and a groovy bass line. She even kind of sounds like Katie B, it was a little confusing.
Bomb tracks: Run Away With Me, Making the Most of the Night, Black Heart
Papa Roach – F.E.A.R. (2015)
I’d like to say this was a guilty pleasure, the same way mixing gravy and ketchup on my fries is a guilty pleasure. But I would be lying, because the latter is food divinity and this album is like Cheez Whiz from the 70’s that was opened, resealed and opened again in 2015 – and fear is how we approached opening it. I was really hoping that F.E.A.R stood for First Encounter Assault Recon and that this album was inspired by one of the best games ever made, but no. It stands for Face Everything And Rise, or at least that’s what the opening track makes me assume. I’m not even going to bother to go through the work of confirming this, because the album isn’t worth it. Googling when Cheez Whiz was created was more worthwhile to make sure it existed in the 70’s. The album has cheesy lyrics, which you can determine simply from titles of songs like Broken As Me, Love Me Till It Hurts, and Never Have To Say Goodbye. The album isn’t *completely* terrible; there are some cool guitar riffs, even on the songs listed above, but adding pitch correction, synths, and the expert white rapping on Gravity is what we really love about Papa Roach. Glad they packed that in here.
Bomb tracks (only because I have to): Face Everything and Rise, Falling Apart, Fear Hate Love
Ryan’s Rockin’: September Spotify Playlist
… And just because I made the playlist but never wrote the piece, here’s the August Spotify Playlist featuring the latest from Breaking Benjamin, Death From Above 1979, and Alien Ant Farm. And it’s a damn shame I didn’t write the associated blog because every one of those albums is good.