Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Won't Devendra Be?

It's been a while since my first post. My apologies!!! This post will be for Devendra Banhart's latest album What Will We Be. I have to say that when I first heard this album I was bored, however I think that is because I was driving from Toledo to Cincinnati which is always boring. But the other day I listened to the album again and once it was over I was rather.....intrigued.

The opening track "Can't Help But Smiling" is an inviting song to the rest of the album with its "poppy" sounds (for Devendra) but I found it refreshing compared to the openings of Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon or Cripple Crow which are relaxed and set a completely different tone for the albums. The next 2 songs are passionate declarations of love that not only make you feel what he is feeling but also make you want to feel love.

The first and last songs for B are far more like one song rather than 2 separate ones. They tell a story together but they are just as complete alone as when they are together. "Rats" is by far my favorite song on the album. With the seductive opening bass line to the incredulous break down into the chorus it stayed interesting musically, lyrically, and vocally which is always something you can expect from Devendra.

The end of the album is rather slow but stays interesting. "Maria Lionza" is one of the few songs in Spanish is musically a beautiful overwhelming feeling of joy. The album ends with "Foolin" which is an upbeat song which I feel provides a feeling of completion for the album. Although I did not get to experience the world from an animal's point of view as one usually gets to on Devendra albums, I'm still pleased with it and it seems as though he is growing as a musician. Overall I would definitely recommend it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Battle Studies Indeed

My first blog post ever will be to review John Mayer's latest album Battle Studies (released Nov 17, 2009). So lets start with when I heard the first single "Who Says." When I heard the first 3 seconds I thought I was listening to "Stop This Train" from his previous album Continuum, not only is the guitar in this song incredibly simple for Mr. Mayer but they lyrics are also very simplistic (and shallow). "I don't remember you looking any better, but then again I don't remember you." "Who says I can't get stoned...who says I can't fake love for an hour or so." It's like he's saying "It's ok that I party and sleep around in the Hollywood spotlight because I wrote a soft acoustic song about it!" I can't say I was excited to hear the rest of the album after hearing this song.

But of course being the loyal Mayer fan I am I purchased the album on iTunes the day it came out. 1st track: "Heartbreak Warfare" My first thought was that it sounded a little "poppy" for his recent stuff since he's successfully established himself as a great blues guitarist. The lyrics are definitely better than his single but overall the song bores me.

His duet with Taylor Swift "Half of my Heart" not surprisingly sounds country, however Taylor isn't heard much throughout the song. My opinion, if you're going to duet with someone as huge as she is right now go all out with it, don't just leave her in the chorus harmonizing. "Assassin" musically I find this song interesting. lyrically not so much. It sounds like he got stoned and wrote a song about the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith. "Crossroads" is a step forward for the album, it sounds more blusey than anything else however it is a very short song, and I felt like I had been deprived when it was over.

Overall I was disappointed by the album, I feel like it was a step back musically and lyrically. Since I first listened to it it has grown on me a bit, I only listen to it as background music though, it doesn't inspire me or make me want more. If anything I wanted less Battle Studies and more Continuum.