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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Carrie Underwood’s sophomore album will take you on a “”Carnival Ride”” of musical ups and downs. Riding high off the success of her first album, Some Hearts, Underwood manages to keep the momentum going with her follow-up.

    Carnival Ride starts off with a bang. The first track, “”I’m Flat on the Floor,”” features feisty fighting words with a bit of a rock-and-roll twist. Guitars, fiddles, banjos and drums infiltrate this emotional album, which starts on a high note but gets into heavier stuff on “”I Know You Won’t.””

    “”So Small,”” the first single off the former American Idol’s latest release, has already promised to be a radio hit. With inspirational lyrics and a full set of background instrumentals, the song preaches a message we have all heard time and time again. Yet somehow it proves to be worthy of second, third and fourth listens.

    There are a couple of throwaway tracks that deviate from Underwood’s crossover-pop-sensation formula, in a failed attempt to modernize old country twang. “”The More Boys I Meet”” harkens back to stereotypical country tunes with humble lyrics about dead dogs and cheating wives.

    Carnival Ride
    Carrie Underwood – Arista Nashville
    4 stars!

    The album ends on a fine note with “”Wheel of the World,”” a song about the constant ups and downs each day brings. Though it doesn’t feature Underwood’s most dynamic vocal performance, it has reflective undertones, reminiscent of a crazy little ride called life.

    Carissa Grubbs

    For the band’s first album in three years, The Thrills keeps its long-lost teenage freedom themes at full momentum. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, crooner Conor Deasy and his bandmates stick to bland lyrics and melodies on Teenager, their third studio album.

    Opening with “”The Midnight Choir,”” The Thrills take a step in a new direction with choppy acoustic guitars.

    Busting out the harmonica on “”I’m So Sorry,”” the band remind’s listeners of its previous album, So Much For The City, as Deasy’s voice shakily crescendos with the fluid guitars.

    “”Should’ve Known Better”” includes piano and dream-like guitars and vocals. The Thrills shine with songs like these, in which the mood is less choppy and forced. Overall, this effort sounds lazy and surprisingly drags on, even with only 11 short tracks.

    Teenager
    The Thrills – Virgin Records
    2 stars…

    Laura Hassett

    I can’t put my finger on how to describe Ween’s new album, La Cucaracha. It includes songs from nearly every genre, including reggae, punk, electronic, ska, new age, alternative, dance, piano, classic rock, Nintendo, gospel, pots and pans, and madness.

    The album opens with “”Fiesta,”” an entirely instrumental horn barrage that seems to serve as a disclaimer for the listener. The song showcases the same talent a band dedicated purely to horns would display.

    As a stark contrast to “”Fiesta,”” the song “”Lullaby”” seems to be a never-before released Elton John track and “”Shamemaker”” sounds like a nod to British punk.

    Suffice to say, every song on this album is different, fun and true to the genre it mimics. Not many will like every song on this album, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t like a couple.

    La Cucaracha
    Ween – Rounder
    3 1/2 stars

    Otto Ross

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