CD Reviews: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip & Lorde

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vii-3-ac-cd reviews- lorde pure heroin

Artist: Lorde
Album: Pure Heroine
Rating: 4/5

One of the upcoming artists of 2013, Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor), has released  her debut album Pure Heroine after the single ‘Royals’ exploded onto the charts.

The opening song of the album ‘Tennis Court’ instantly grabs your attention with its catchy beat. The following songs such as ‘400 Lux’ and ‘Ribs’ capture a similar effect to the listener. Halfway through the album, the tone becomes more sombre and refined. This is seen especially in ‘Buzzcut Season’, ‘Glory and Gore’, and ‘White Teeth Teens.’

Lorde’s musical style is vibrant and fresh without being over the top. Her voice has simplistic beauty, similar to Lana Del Rey or Eliza Doolittle. Yet, her vocals are distinctly hers.  Perhaps the only fault with Pure Heroine is the kind of lull that occurs halfway through, with somewhat more forgettable songs than the first half of the album.

Overall, Pure Heroine is a delight to listen to and Lorde has great potential to be even bigger and better than she is right now.

Final word: This Queen Bee is just getting started

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vii-3-ac-cd reviews-lady gaga

Album: ARTPOP
Artist: Lady Gaga
Rating: 4/5

ARTPOP is a title bearing much weight, but despite the lousy and numerous artistic statements, ARTPOP thankfully disregards the ‘ART’ and goes gung-ho for ‘POP’. Gaga is not holding back with each song easily mixing about two climaxes and five hooks. It’s a sonic adventure that can leave you a little exhausted. Stand out tunes are the paired back ones. ‘Gypsy’ gently balances 80s Techno with Disney Princess glamour and ‘Dope’, an emotionally revealing ballad, is something fans will skip to when they want to feel closer to their idol.

There is something deliciously self-indulgent about Gaga’s refusal to hold back and there are plenty of tricks here that pull you right in. ‘MANiCURE’ manages to smash together the best sounds of Goldfrapp while ‘Swine’ may be the most original song she’s done in years. There are plenty of the typical Gaga musical references too. Prince and Bowie both get a sonic cameo on  ‘Sexxx Dreams’ and ‘Venus’ respectively. What’s most noticeable however, is Gaga’s penchant for self-reference. Throughout ARTPOP, Gaga repeatedly dives into her own toolbox, reusing and re-appropriating the hooks and gimmicks that made her famous. G.U.Y is the closest we’ll ever get to ‘Poker Face’ again while ‘Aura’ even reuses the ‘RA RA RA’ of ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Judas’.

Final word: Just hold back your applause a little bit

Anthony Keigher

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vii-3-ac-cd reviews- katy perry

Artist: Katy Perry
Album: Prism
Rating: 3/5

In 2008 scandal danced its way up the charts, Katy Perry kissed a girl and she liked it however she showed that she wasn’t a one hit wonder with her sophomore release.  Now 29, Prism marks her maturing. The ‘handbag swinging’ classics are still there, keeping the element of fun for the ‘hunz’ there, especially with ‘Birthday’, laced with disco beats. That and synth is is all over the shop, and with the revival of 90s dance pinned on ‘Walking on Air’.

In total this is Perry’s third album, and is showing  with it she’s an adult now, and having seemingly seen it all, she’s on top. Obviously  I wouldn’t say that and not mention the lead single, ‘Roar’ which shows more than Katy’s love of ‘Survivor’. At the end of the day this album, to me at least, has been put together with elements of everything that was popular this year and Perry has definitely delivered to her audience. Except ‘International Smile’ which sounds like the theme song for a Sarah Jessica Parker film on how great she is.

Final Word: I didn’t kiss a girl but I kinda liked it

Imelda Hehir

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vii-3-ac-cd reviews- dan le sac vs scroobius pip

Artist: dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip
Album: Repent Replenish Repeat
Rating: 4/5

“I ain’t shouting at ya, I’m shouting to ya.” And so begins the opening verse of, Repent Replenish Repeat, summing up the tone of Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip’s third album as a powerful roar that hurls forth self-assertion like the cover art’s lion and bear. This first collaboration since 2010 marks a reunion perhaps intensified by the hip hop/spoken word duo’s refinement of their individual skills with solo albums. It certainly feels more focused and honed despite the occasional lack of continuity between the songs. After the industrial, bittersweet Stunner comes Nightbus Sleepers, in which the excesses and escapes of urban nightlife are compelling observed. Gold Teeth is perhaps the most accessible track of the album, with Pip’s funny, fierce lyrics targeting the shallowness of hip hop’s bling-clad knights in shining Armani against a growling dubstep backdrop. Stiff Upper Lip too feels like a development of the political aggression seen in Pip’s solo album, while Le Sac comes into his strengths of both subtlety and force with Terminal, a spoken word account of a stranger’s final hours punctuated with a soft synth ambience which never threatens to overload the fleeting yet emotional fragments of the song’s focus.

Final Word: Rrinse, Listen, Repeat

Martha Hegarthy

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