July 29, 2004
Mid-Week Music Roundup
Gear Live Music Reporter Greg Norton checks in with his Mid-Week Music Roundup. This week, Greg gives us the low down on the latest from The Roots, Taking Back Sunday, and The Killers.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY: WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
One of the slew of bands to crash on to the scene during 2002's “Year Of The Emo”, Taking Back Sunday has reemerged with a new background vocalist and a much more mature sophomore release. Lead singer Adam Lazzara sounds less frantic and the band is much tighter musically, leading to a marked improvement from their gold selling debut “Tell All Your Friends”. The highlights on the album are definitely the tracks in which the two-vocalist Emo scream is put to full use, such as “This Photograph Is Proof”, “Bonus Mosh Pt. II” and “Slowdance On The Inside”. All in all, this album is a step up for Taking Back Sunday, and therefore, an 8/10.
THE KILLERS: HOT FUSS
British music rag NME said of The Killers “A head-mashingly brilliant arsenal of tunes… Right now few bands are a safer bet than The Killers”, so it isn’t like their debut hasn’t garnered any attention. Also not hurting their cause is the heavy rotation of “Somebody Told Me”, which is a perfect mix of humorous lyrics and solid musicianship. On the rest of the tracks the voice of lead singer Brandon Flowers combined with a mix of guitar, bass, drums and synth create a very complex soundscape not often found in modern rock. The mix of tempos and such well-written lyrics are rarely found on a band’s first effort, so The Killers seemingly have a bright future. This is the best debut I have heard in a long time, and it gets a 9/10.
THE ROOTS: TRIPPING POINT
Okay, first things first, this album isn’t “Phrenology”, but that isn’t saying that “Tipping Point” isn’t a good record. The Roots have consistently raised expectations with every release, but perhaps they set the bar too high with “Phrenology”, a high point in hip-hop history. But “Tipping Point” was approached as a jam album, a feat that could only be accomplished by hip-hop’s premier band that prides themselves on playing all live instruments. The laid-back feeling is obvious on tracks like “Aaron Joint”, “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” and the exquisite “Guns Are Drawn”. But the forte of The Roots crew, the hard driving drums of ?uestlove and rapid delivery of Black Thought, come through on “Duck Down” and “Boom”. Both up-tempo songs are very good, but maybe a little too commercially ready. Overall, this isn’t The Roots best, but better than any other hip-hop out there, so it’s a 7/10.
Comments? Questions? Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Greg Norton
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