Friday, December 07, 2007

Music Review For The Weekend

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John Mayer - Room for Squares

Track Listing:

1. No Such Thing
2. Why Georgia
3. My Stupid Mouth
4. Your Body Is A Wonderland
5. Neon
6. City Love Mayer
7. 83
8. 3x5
9. Love Song For No One
10. Back To You
11. Great Indoors
12. Not Myself
13. St. Patrick's Day

John Mayer has a voice that captures the sultry sound of Seal and recalls the crisp rhythyms of Dave Matthews. Take a listen to this CD and you will notice the influence of many genres and musicians: jazz, blues, R&B as well as rock. Mayers muisc is mellow enough to listen to when you are working and up enough that you will find yourself dancing in your chair without realizing it.

He is a classic songwriter... in what is a nice contrast to much of the mainstream music, his lyrics are not a streaming jumble of verbiage leaving you nothing but a vague sense of frustration, but words to relate to. His songs are truly artistic and expressive, showcasing the sometimes meloncholic beauty of life. His subject matter is of a wandering soul, for whom every experience is a new one. I could have skipped "No Such Thing" because I twitch whenever I hear the words "high school" but his point is a good one- draw your own lines, there is no real world. Likewise, all his songs are effective at delivering a message. In the catchy "Why Georgia" the message is a question we all ask, Where am I going? Life, "am I living it right"? Ever say something you wish you could take back? Johns answer is "My Stupid Mouth". If you are a woman, you wish you were facing Johns singing, "Your Body Is A Wonderland" (me, personally, I'm jealous of whoever that might be). You'd swear you've had "Neon" in your collection forever, with a natural melody and an R&B/jazz feel that will have you singing along. If you can't relate to these songs, you just aren't human... "City Love" conveys the excitement of a new relationship, "83"- stolen innocence, "3x5"- a long distance relationship, "St. Patricks Day"- overrated singlehood and the dating scene. "Great Indoors" is Mayers version of yelling, 'Carpe Diem!' as well as suggesting we look inside ourselves. I did. Hearing one song, "Love Song For No One", made me buy this album... I recommend you do the same.

If you like Train, Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel, Sister Hazel or Seal, there is very good chance you will like this CD. And it will definitely leave you with a smile.

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Safri Duo - 3.5

Track Listing:

CD one
1. Rise (Leave Me Alone)
2. Ritmo De La Noche
3. All The People In The World
4. Amazonas
5. Fallin' High
6. Moonwalker
7. Marimba Dreams
8. Agogo Mosse
9. Laarbasses
10. Bombay Vice
11. Prelude
12. Knock On Wood

CD two
1. Visit From The Zoo (Safri Duo Medley)
2. Ritmo De La Noche (Extended Version)
3. Rise (Leave Me Alone) (Extended Version)
4. Rise (Leave Me Alone) (Atn Remix)
5. Rise (Leave Me Alone) (Airbase Damage Remake)
6. All The People In The World (Copenhagen Clubbers Remix)
7. All The People In The World (F & W Remix)
8. Fallin' High (Artificial Funk Remix)
9. Fallin' High (Steve Murano Remix)
10. Fallin' High (Groove Electronic Remix)

The album is a good album, but it seems like it branches into too many genres of electronica that Safri Duo have previously not dablled in AT ALL. This is in my opinion to the detriment of the album. I come from a breaks/trance/techno perspective, so the forrays into pop on this album greatly annoy me.
Here are the songs each with some thoughts:

Fallin High: Good song. Not bad.... but, it seems like it could be more. Starts out with a little vocal drum loop to start things off with, but too quickly it falls into a daft punk/fatboy slim type of loop for the melody. I find it a little bit boring for the rapid and exciting drum track that goes along with the song. 4 of 5

Moon Walker: Eh. Takes too long to get into the song. Distorted voice saying "Moon, Moon walker" covering up a lot of the interesting parts of the song. Repetitive bassish line. Kind of a laid back funk song. 2 of 5

Rise: Best song on the album from my limited experience. Starts out with a hook that screams progressive. Progressive beat with various percussion instruments hitting all over the place. Leads into a nifty strings melody line. Good stuff. Nothing that detracts from this song. Has much better flow than the other songs on the album. Starts with drums, breaks to the strings with just the kick, then adds in various bongos and bells and whistles with each journey through the string refrain. Good flow. Did I already say that? 5 of 5

All the people in the world: This would be a great song except for the lyrics. Has a breaks feel to the song. Hit on the one and then congas hitting all over the place. Really neat third beat riff feel to it. Does the two thirds beats and then flys on beat three. Really cool feel to the song. Unfortunately the vocals are a bit "peace on earth/save the world" styled. Also, the 'Safri Duo' hardly speak english so you know any overly vocal song isn't really completely their brainchild. Still the variety and style of the breaks save this song. 4 of 5

Marimba Dreams: Does what it does well. Flowing marimbas with a minimal worldish background. Doesn't really display their incredible talent on percussion instruments, but it sounds nice. 3 of 5

Amazonas: Good song. Kinda confused as to where it is headed. Starts building up some saw synths only to drop them out midway through the song to be replaced with a purely jungle beat mix. Brings them back into the song to break it down, but still a little melodically unfulfilled in the end. 4 of 5

Agogo Mosse: Starts out sooo well, but not my thing anymore. Just a cool jungle arrangement that falls back into the laid back Daft Punkish vocals. Not a bad song, I just wish I was hearing more Safri Duo, and less of this odd medly of pop electronica. 3 of 5

Laarbasses: Again. Fun instrumentation, but this time they are trying to do an RnB song. Male refrain, female verses. Hip hop, not my thing when I want to hear some awesome percussion instrumentation. Not bad, but again not what I expected. 3 of 5

Bombay Vice: This is a bit more of what you got on Safri Duo's last album with 'Snakefood'. Kind of a middle east sound that never rises much above the soundtrack for some guy charming a snake. At least, that is my opinion... A little experimentation, but nothing that stands out too much. 3 of 5

Prelude: Starts out with them hammering out some tunes alone. Falls into an industrial sound, and then goes back to the hammer keyboards and then goes into a progressive sounding bit and then leads out with just the mallet instruments again. 4 of 5

I give the album a 3 of 5. Not really impressed. I did get a lot of what I wanted in this album, but if there was more two guys from Holland on some drums, and less random electronica in the mix I would have been very pleased. As it is, it is a somewhat oddly rounded album with some value.


Cen Cen said...


looks like a nice review
* I didn't read... its too long :P *

pls don't kill me :D

Calv said...

hahaha didnt read then how u know it's a nice review?

3POINT8 said...

Haha...i didn't read the post either.. But i want to leave a comment here....

DOn't kill me too!!

Calv said...

=.= wahaha appreciate the support....but it's sad...i took so much time to think and write out wat i wrote but then ppl dun read :(

x said...

john mayer is good but i dun have all his track...

as for the sahari duo...ermmm..not into their music ler...

Calv said...

wahahaha noted. not everyone can enjoy every music wan ler. like me, i cant stand r&b and rap. hahahaha

pendekarwanitabermatapanda said...

* pats Calv on back *

Ok, I go read now.
But don't you all agree that it wud be better, if you send me their CD along, so I can listen to each track? :P

Calv said...

i posted it ady ma on the imeem. cant post all the songs la