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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Music Reviews

    Keane…Under the Iron Sea…7/10

    Keane’s first single, “”Is It Any Wonder?,”” a sci-fi sounding song similar to that of Coldplay’s X & Y album, is slightly misgiving in its up-tempo rhythm.

    The dominant theme of Under the Iron Sea is loneliness. “”When you wanna die/ When you hurt inside,”” lyrics from the song “”Nothing in My Way,”” just hit the tip of the iceberg of the haunting moody ballads.

    Keane’s specialty here seems to be playing upbeat songs about things that aren’t really upbeat at all. Highlights from the album are “”Put it Behind You”” and “”Crystal Ball.”” These songs are peppier and more optimistic, with a driving beat that keeps them from blending in, help wake up the album and keep Keane distinguished from all the rest of the piano-center bands out there.
    – Tessa Strasser

    Sonic Youth…Rather Ripped…8/10

    I was slightly taken aback when I saw the picture of Sonic Youth’s band members on the inside cover of Rather Ripped after listening to most of the album. They looked so old, in their 40s and 50s.

    Sonic Youth has quite a history. The New York City-based band formed in 1981. Rather Ripped is the band’s twenty-first album and probably one of the best.

    Even though Sonic Youth is of the baby boomer generation, the new album sounds like another indie band. And a good indie band at that.

    “”Incinerate”” is undoubtedly one of the best tracks on the album, as is “”Reena,”” which features the vocals of bassist and guitarist Kim Gordon.

    The album is not necessarily “”happy,”” and there is a mix of both dark and bright sounds. The feeling of angst persists throughout the songs, and I feel like this is the kind of music that could be featured on an episode of “”The O.C.””

    Sonic Youth should be given much credit. These baby boomers are keeping their music alive and new. They are truly authentic.
    – Amy Wieseneck

    Journey…Live in Houston 1981: Escape Tour…9/10

    It’s hard to believe that there was ever a world where teenagers flocked to stadiums to see bands like Journey. Once upon a time, long after the Beatles but before MTV, “”rock”” really did mean a group of mullet-sporting musicians striking dramatic poses and playing never-ending guitar solos.

    In a way, Journey will always be with us – after all, “”Any Way You Want It”” and “”Don’t Stop Believin'”” will never leave the radio. But when the band recorded this hour-long extravaganza in 1981, its day was already past. In the era of Prince and Madonna, Journey seemed as archaic as zoot suits and Art Deco.

    So how do they sound today, in the era of Britney Spears and the White Stripes? On the evidence of this consistently strong live album, not bad at all.

    In a music scene where mainstream rock singers either croon like second-rate Vegas acts or croak like third-rate Kurt Cobains, Steve Perry’s smooth, Sam Cooke-esque vocals seem better than ever. And where Neal Schon’s furious soloing may once have seemed symptomatic of rock’s deadly pretensions, it now seems merely eccentric.

    If I’d been around in 1981, I would have undoubtedly despised this album. But times have changed. Quite a few of today’s prissy, pristine indie acts seem downright small-time when you set them beside the likes of Journey.

    They weren’t merely good or bad; they were simultaneously awful and wonderful, at once touchingly direct and laugh-out-loud ludicrous. Can you say that about the likes of Neko Case and Bright Eyes?

    In its demented, unashamed excess, Live at Houston 1981 sums up an entire way of life that is now gone forever. We had to escape (no pun intended) the likes of Journey before we could learn to appreciate them.

    Rock will never be this gloriously ridiculous again. What can you say about a band that devotes 3 minutes and 51 seconds to a track aptly called “”Steve Smith Solo””? Smith was the drummer.
    – Justyn Dillingham

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