Monday, 4 June 2012

New Music Monday #10

1991 (EP)
by Azealia Banks

As Azealia Banks launches into the opening/title track of her debut EP, she completely, 100% establishes herself as the hottest new property in all of music. "1991 my time has come, Oh nah nah Ma, your time is done." She's got the attitude and she can talk the talk, but most importantly, she's got the talent to back it up. Producer Jef Martens lays down beats that will get you moving as Banks throws out confident, profanity laced rhymes that you can't help but love. I'd say this could have become the Timbaland/Missy team for new generation, but alas, one cannot be too hasty. Banks moves on to Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence + The Machine) for her debut LP, Broke With Expensive Taste. Comparisons to Missy Elliott are sure to arise from Banks' performance on '1991.' Obviously any young female MC will have been inspired in some way by Elliott and it's nice to see that Azealia is carrying Missy's 'She's A Bitch' torch throughout the EP. "Cause you gonna be a bitch n***a, I'ma be that bitch, what?" Heck yes! Yeah, there will be comparisons to Missy, but Azealia Banks more than stands on her own as a performing artist. She's got her own exciting style that introduces elements in an MC we've never seen before (walking the fine line between innocent and extremely vulgar), as well as honouring and developing the styles of rap and hip hop stars that have come before her. 'Van Vogue' builds on the opening number by introducing the sweet vocals (read: not rapping) that our star has housed inside her. We got to hear it before the excellent breakdown in '212' and this is just as good. It's a brief moment and we get some dog barks after it, but I'll take what I can get and hope we here more on her full-length. We then come to our bona fide super-hit of this collection. Yes, I'm talking about the aforementioned '212.' Duh. It's been slowly taking over the world since December last year and the buzz the track generated for Banks in the lead-up for this EP has been phenomenal. Truly one of, if not the best rap song of the year. Isn't it just the cutest thing when she says, "I'ma ruin you, c*nt." What's so great about Azealia Banks? Her delivery of that line right there. It's distasteful, hilarious, threatening and endearing... all rolled into one perfect package. As amazing as it is, the one fault you can put on '212' is that it's too hard an act to follow. Subsequently, 1991's final track, 'Liquorice,' doesn't have the impact it might have had if things were different. Really, it's just more of the same; acceptable yet ultimately not memorable. You know what though? It's still better than anything on Nicki Minaj's new album. There, I said it. Due to the success of '212' an EP was essential to satiate fan hunger before September's release of Broke With Expensive Taste. The move to not rush her debut is admirable and working with such a high-profile name like Epworth leads to the possibility of us hearing something groundbreaking when its finally out. 1991 stands on its own though as a fun introduction to music's next big superstar. There's a lot more to it than the brilliant '212' and it's well worth the price of admission.

Matt Bond gives the 1991 EP four Missy Elliott's out of five...

Glasshouse Living (EP)
by Molly Contogeorge

Over the past decade, Australia has built up an amazing collection of female singer-songwriters, with names like Sarah Blasko, Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke and Lisa Mitchell leading the way. I'd say it's only a matter of time before we can add Sydney's Molly Contogeorge to that incredible list. Her sophomore EP, Glasshouse Living, features four tracks that showcase one of Australia's great emerging songwriters. Contogeorge has the right kind of modern jazz/pop voice that holds your attention on each song's excellent lyrics. 'Lead on, Lead on' is a welcome introduction to Molly's style and sets her apart from the Blasko's and Higgins' of the Australian music industry. There's an infectious tune that puts Contogeorge's style in line with a more upbeat Nicole Atkins. Third track, 'Lock and Key,' is the highlight of the EP; a little darker than the other tracks and Contogeorge gets a little grungier with her vocals. Heading down a rock and roll path could be a very interesting direction for her. Closing out Glasshouse Living is the ballad 'Why?' "We ask the same questions and tell all the same lies." Beautifully written and performed by Molly, listen to 'Why?' once and you wont be forgetting it any time soon. Actually, it leaves you wanting to hear a lot more from Molly Contogeorge. Hopefully we'll be hearing her debut LP soon.

Matt Bond gives the Glasshouse Living EP four Michael Hutchence's out of five...   


Days Go By
by The Offspring
Album: Days Go By (2012)

You know when you hear a song on a commercial and it sounds kind of familiar, like something you know but just not quite right? You know when some company’s advertising budget doesn’t cover getting the original artist’s song, so they get some terrible dodgy cover of the song done for their terrible dodgy ad? Well, hi Offspring. Someone’s got a bad case of Foo envy don’t they? Except I hope Dave Grohl wouldn’t be caught dead singing those lyrics; “All your anger all your hurt doesn’t matter in the end, those days go by and we all start again”; did you write these in high school? You, Dexter Holland, singer person, I've never understood how you got that gig? I’ve heard better voices at bad karaoke, not to mention good karaoke. As for your new clip, all these layered images are just to distract from your wrinkles aren’t they? You’re almost all in your forties, how long can someone keep playing teenage style average middle of the road pop punk? Oh well, forever I guess and this song will probably be quite popular too, but as they say, there’s no accounting for taste. LMFAO have made millions of sales. 

Jo Michelmore gives the 'Days Go By' video one Chad Kroeger out of five...

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