All of these albums have one thing in common. They sound like their predecessors, which is good, but they aren’t necessarily superior. On a positive note, we can think of them as extensions of the albums we already love so much! Below are a few notes and a Rdio playlist for you to get a little taste of each.
The xx is the one I was most excited about. It’s a little depressing, but good. I haven’t decided if it’s as good as the last one. All of the qualities are there, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Mellow music, thoughtful and provocative lyrics, and a hypnotic flow.
You’ve probably already heard Matchbox Twenty‘s “She’s so mean” countless times on the radio and knew this would be a throwback to the 1996 album. The collection has some variety in sound, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. One critic says, “To the band’s credit, they have tried to tweak their sound at times to sound more contemporary but there’s a feeling this is more out of necessity rather than playing to their strengths that brought them success two decades ago.” He and I both like Parade, the opener. My favorite song, The Way, is actually sung by another member of the band while Rob Thomas sings backup.
The Irish boys seem to offer more energy on this album than the last, if that’s even possible. Critics are not ready to throw their weight behind Beacon, even after Two Door Cinema Club‘s lead singer performed at The Olympics this summer. I like it for working out or background music at a party because it keeps you bouncing around the room.
Right off the bat, Imagine Dragons’ Night Vision might be my favorite of all of the new releases. The songs have variety in sound and energy; the lyrics are captivating and poetic. As one critic says, “Night Visions is packed with magnetic hooks and massive drum architectures, making for a well-muscled percussive record of hits-in-waiting.” I could listen to it cover to cover on a daily basis and look forward to it!
I don’t follow many electro-pop bands so Stars’ sound has always been unique and interesting to me. I also love Amy Millan’s voice. I read a couple articles that said The North is “lacking urgency” and has “cloudy intentions,” but, who cares? I have enjoyed it thus far. It’s another one I can just have on in the background while I work or get dressed.