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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Music Reviews

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs…Show Your Bones…Best Track: “”Gold Lion””…Sounds Like: The White Stripes…9/10

    When you’ve built a name playing a particular sound, breaking the trend can either be an act of genius or a slap in the face.

    For the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it’s a slap of genius. (Or an act in the face?) While the new album may not be quite what most fans expected or even hoped for, it’s bridging new territory and making the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a better rock band.

    On Show Your Bones, the band moves from New York art punk scene saviors to more artful and mature international superstars. The brash and off-the-cuff sound may be lessened, but sophistication takes its place.

    Singer Karen O’s voice retains its powerful clanging screech and octave-jumping ease, but this time the guitars and drums are there to back it up. Instead of the sophomoric and unpolished three-chord melodies that made the band sound down to earth and punk, tighter guitar rhythms and piercing drum beats pluck the record.

    The result is a sort of hybrid between the earlier version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs we’re used to and a new, theatrical, clangy fierceness like that of the White Stripes.

    The song “”Phenomena”” explains what the rest of the record is about. While the chorus is taken from an old LL Cool J song, it’s textured with the trademark walloping guitars and bass and echoing lyrics that make this record so special.

    “”You’re something like a phenomena/something like an astronoma/now roll kid, knock your body off!”” Karen O belts out like a poisonous temptress.

    While the new record may be tougher than anything previously recorded, it is most reminiscent of the standout ballad from Fever to Tell. Like “”Maps,”” it conjures up a feeling from somewhere inside, and simulates it in every way possible. It makes it become real.

    There are few missteps on Show Your Bones. Every note, from the slap of a bass to a twinkling of a triangle in the background, is calculated to convey a musical emotion. While many people may say that’s bad punk rock, I say it’s good musicianship.

    Andi Berlin

    Ben Harper…Both Sides of the Gun…8/10

    There is much more to Ben Harper than his well-known single “”Steal my Kisses,”” and he proves it in Both Sides of the Gun, with his mix of pop, rock and jazz. Harper shows his versatility of sound in this two-disc album. The first disc is anything but upbeat, featuring mundane yet likable songs such as “”Picture in a Frame.”” As much as the first disc highlights Harper’s wallowing, the second disc has much more energy. A few of the songs are a bit honky-tonk, especially “”Get it Like You Like it,”” but the second disc is the Harper that most are used to. Harper shows his soulful side in the track “”Both Sides of the Gun,”” reminiscent of Bob Marley and Bob Dylan.

    Both Sides of the Gun is a real winner for Harper fans, but even those not exposed to his music could find this new album enjoyable.

    Amy Wieseneck

    E-40…My Ghetto Report Card…5/10

    E-40’s My Ghetto Report Card is good for introducing ghost-riding the whip and the whole “”Hyphy”” thing to the general populace – it’s catchy enough for the mainstream scene.

    However, like most other Top-40 rap records, saying that it gets repetitive seems a bit inconsequential.

    Lil Jon, T-Pain, Juelz Santana and Mike Jones all guest star, but I couldn’t decipher the differences in their cameos.

    For the casual E-40 fan, it might not be worth it to go further than hearing “”Tell Me When to Go”” on Hot 98.3 30 times a day.

    Cassie Tomlin

    Edwin McCain…Lost In America…1/10

    It’s no wonder Edwin McCain’s new album is called Lost in America. McCain’s musical talent is the main thing lost in this album. The easy-listening acoustic rock album is just plain boring, mostly because the melodies are repetitive track after track with no hope of retaining the listener’s attention. Lost in America genuinely attempts to mimic McCain’s 1998 hit “”I’ll Be,”” which is popular as a karaoke song but lacks the spark needed to make this album successful.

    The lyrics are there, but it does not have the musical excitement needed to grab listeners’ attention like in “”Losing Tonight,”” where McCain’s dry vocals drag on painfully to his predictable lyrics.

    It looks like McCain will be looking for a “”crying shoulder”” for himself these days.

    Katy Graham

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