Κυριακή, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Various Artists - The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 (OST)

Let's start with the fact that Lorde has released a second album or a new EP or something through the "The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 OST". But let's not stick to that, cause it's more ironic than realistic - she has only recorded three new songs plus one remix by her idol, Kanye Kardashian.

The second weird thing about this collection of songs has to do with the really out of the blue collaborations - Ariana Grande with Major Lazer, Charli XCX with Simon Le Bon, The Chemical Brothers with Miguel, Q-Tip with HAIM and Lorde (again, duh). So this is also a crossover project or at least an obvious effort to bridge many different music genres and generations. And that's a wrap, to the point now...

The soundtrack album for the third installment in "The Hunger Games" film series is quite good and consistent actually, despite the Lorde domination (yeap, I will never stop) and the unexpected collaborations. Grace Jones delivers a unique performance in the beautifully produced "Original beast" (I think that even without her vocals, this track still has her signature). "Lost souls" by Raury works as a smart bridge for the tracks in the second half of the album. Tinashe makes you wanna have sex in public. The Chemical Brothers make you feel haunted by the paganism of "This is not a game" (with vocals by Miguel), while Lorde is really like a ghost through the whole album. A ghost that contributes vocals and sounds even in other artists' tracks.

Lorde has been recruited to curate the album. So it's a bit honest that she has control over all the recordings in here. So she has done a very good job. So the whole "oh, Lorde again" joke is... well, a joke. Please, myself, stop teasing Lorde, for the love of Lord(e).

p.s. James Newton Howard's score not included.

AnArtCalled... 8/10

Παρασκευή, 21 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

It's been three years since we first heard of Azealia Banks and, honestly, it feels like she had gone on hiatus before she even had an album. Like M.I.A., she was a breath of fresh air in the urban and hip-hop genre, but with a sophisticated sense in her music. And then the twitter came. And her nasty mouth. And her attitude. And her unprofessionalism. Because one thing an artist has to know for sure, before he/she decides to pursue a music business career, is to be smart. And she wasn't.

Eventually, all those just postponed her album a couple of years. And - kaboom! - "Broke With Expensive Taste" has arrived! And, I have to say, it's all the things an artist like herself can provide today to the charts - electronic production, rap/sung vocals, salsa attitude. A good girl gone bad, gone good again in order to have an album, gone bad again for the recordings, gone good again so that she can promote the songs (she started with a tweet, oh well...).

Like Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, she sings. She is not as soulful as Missy and Lauryn, not as pop as Nicki, not as discreet as M.I.A. She is purely aggressive and she does her own caribbean hip-hop thing, as you can identify in the first two tracks, "Idle Delilah" and "Gimme a chance". She is rapping her heart out in the middle of the hearing ("Heavy Metal and Reflective", "Bbd", "Ice Princess") and just before it turns out to be all about hip-hop, it's all about witch hop and dance music again.

Azealia Banks is a versatile artist and she is, hypothetically, just begining to understand this. Her debut sounds like everything you would bargain for. So maybe next time she is smart enough not to waste another two or three years to release an album and thus (probably) she can be the pioneer she has always wanted to be.

p.s. "Nude Beach a Go-Go", masterpiece.

AnArtCalled... 8,5/10

Τετάρτη, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Kele - Trick

We can talk about Kele's sophomore album and confess it's a great dance effort. We can also talk about Bloc Party, his band, and comment that it was totally expected of him to record electronic tracks once again. Forget all that review shit, cause it's coming anyways. "Trick" is an album we can dance our asses off and - wait for it - have great sex listening to it. Cause it's so damn HOT.

Back to that review shit... I have to be honest, this album sounds like Burial producing songs for Delphic and Katy B. It's all about dark loops, house basslines, melancholic lyrics and strong, soulful vocals. But yet again it's a great pop album overall, so that anyone can appreciate it - from Bloc Party fans to dubstep freaks.

"Doubt", arguably the best song in here, combines the star quality and  the rock attitude of its performer, but still manages to be as dance as Kele is trying to sound, without damaging his indie persona. "Coasting" is all about Burial's dubstep tricks, while "Closer" makes it clear that everyone has a cheesy side that leads to a recording mistake. "Year Zero", "Like We Used To" and "My Hotel Room" are all about sexiness and sensuality. So let's focus on those, please (!).

Have I really mentioned the words "sex", "sexiness", "asses", "hot" and "sensuality" in a music album review? Oh well...

AnArtCalled... 8/10

Δευτέρα, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Hozier - Hozier

From recording his first full-length album to performing live on SNL two weeks ago, Hozier has made a flying leap across the ocean, thus convincing the US audience to buy his songs. With soulful/bluesy vocals and lyrics inspired by the singer's some kind of pagan poetry, "Hozier" is a weird case of a crossover irish album you just don't expect it to work. But it works. And it works just fine.

His first single, "Take me to church", received much hype around the internet and Kiesza covered the song with her beautiful voice, but it wasn't until the singer appeared on the american television that changed everything. The album debuted at No 2 on Billboard 200 and Hozier became a star in half an hour.

Although he is an exceptional songwriter, some songs here are actually boring. But then again, that's not the case, because, as I wrote before, the album works just fine. Dark lyrics accompanied by guitars and gospel choirs, love stories and dramas, Hozier's countryside hometown, Wicklow Hills - all these are the materials of an album that could possibly give birth to a new music genre, the "Irish blues" or something (Kudos must also go to the producer, Rob Kirwan).

The best songs in here are loaded in the first half of the album ("Angel Of Small Death And The Codeine Scene", "From Eden", "Jackie And Wilson", "Sedated"), leaving the second half being responsible for the boredom factor. But the thing with Hozier is that even when you are bored, you can appreciate his musicianship and his ability to create his own vintage sound. That actually reminds me of Bon Iver, so applied mathematics (?) leads me to the conclusion that Hozier will win the Grammy Award in the Best New Artist category. Just guessing...

AnArtCalled... 8,5/10

Τετάρτη, 5 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Interstellar

We have watched many sci-fi horror films or sci-fi dramas or sci-fi action films or sci-fi movies in general the last decades. From "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Solaris" to "Apollo 13" and "Gravity", the ways the film-makers approach their scripts are so distinctive that you can identify their unique techniques every single time and the certain messages each and everyone is trying to pass along. But "Interstellar" goes beyond your expectations as far as only one thing is concerned - the unexpected sentimentalism of its creator.

Christopher Nolan is one of the most significant film-makers of our time. He might, in fact, be the new Steven Spielberg or something. And that's true, more or less. But it's also true that he has not been as sensitive with his characters in his movies as we would like him to be or as Spielberg, for example, has been in the past. This time, he outdoes himself and, more importantly, he outdoes the mediocre writing of the script (not the script itself) and creates a visual treasure that many directors can be jealous of (especially James Cameron, don't ask why, just because).

Let's talk about the script. It's smarter than everything you could possibly imagine. It's setting existential questions about life and beyond. But it's also vague a couple of times, while at other times it's being trapped by its own wittiness. You love it when it all comes down to a straight forward and clever storytelling, but you are confused and tired with all the scientific explanations, the countless times you hear the word "gravity" (irony), the way the hand watch is sending the Morse code (still a mystery) or the way the actors, especially Hathaway, are pronouncing "love" like William Shakespeare's heroes. The vagueness is in there, lost in space, but you overcome it, because it still is a great story and because Nolan's directing keeps being a piece of art, attributing some kind of poetic justice to the characters and their burdens.

The visual "Interstellar" is science fiction at its best. If Alfonso Cuaron won the Oscar for Best Direction, I can imagine Nolan already preparing his Academy Award acceptance speech. His images give great aesthetic pleasure but with a sense of wisdom in them, thus letting you think hard about all the questions he wants to put out there along with his brother, Jonathan. At this point, the writing process is a success. I wrote it before - the script itself is great, the writing (or maybe the editing) is not.

"Interstellar" is jaw-dropping in many aspects. The cast is brilliant, especially McConaughey and Chastain. Hans Zimmer's score will probably give him his tenth Oscar nomination and maybe a second award, twenty years after "The Lion King" (!). Hoyte van Hoytema's cinematography is extraordinary and the visual effects are actually close to something you can call reality. At the end of the day, it's a must-watch movie for the avid cinephiles, a piece of art for the aesthetes and an audiovisual masterpiece for the blockbuster suckers.

AnArtCalled... 9/10

Αντί απολογισμού…

Η αλήθεια είναι πως ασχοληθήκαμε με την μουσική έως και αποκλειστικά την χρονιά που πέρασε. Το πιθανότερο είναι να κάνουμε το ίδιο και την επόμενη με την περισσή πάντα, ασυνέπεια που μας διακρίνει. Δηλαδή όποτε μας κάτσει κάτι υπέροχο η απαίσιο –την ίδια ένταση συναισθημάτων προκαλούν άλλωστε. Έχουμε αφήσει ολίγον στην άκρη τα υπόλοιπα. Αν δεις την αρχή του μπλογκ, αφορούσε και φιλμς και εκθέσεις και φεστιβάλ. Αλλά ακόμα και ένα απλό μπλογκ θέλει την αφοσίωση και τον χρόνο του…την φροντίδα του εν τέλει.

Εύχομαι απλά αυτό τον χρόνο να είναι όλα πιο ήρεμα και εμείς να κάνουμε αυτό που αγαπάμε συχνότερα και εντιμότερα.

attention...

Oι ιδιοκτήτες/διαχειριστές του blog (pharmartistic, Nikolas) δεν φέρουν ουδεμία ευθύνη για τα περιεχόμενα οποιασδήποτε εκ των εξωτερικών συνδέσεων (links) που εμφανίζονται σε οποιοδήποτε μέρος του blog.

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Τα πνευματικά δικαιώματα αυτών των ηχογραφήσεων ανήκουν σε κάθε περίπτωση στους εκάστοτε καλλιτέχνες ή/και τις αντιστοιχες εταιρείες ή/και τους αντιπροσώπους αυτών.

Εαν είστε κάτοχος ή αντιπρόσωπος του κατόχου των πνευματικών δικαιώματων κάποιας εκ των ηχογραφήσεων και επιθυμείτε την απομάκρυνση της από το blog ειδοποιήστε μας και θα αφαιρεθεί άμεσα.

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