Thursday, October 26, 2006

Halloween Par-tay!















For anyone who would like to go to a Halloween party, but is a little shy putting on a costume and going to a real one (especially you guys who always dreamed of dressing up as Robert Smith from The Cure), well why not try an online party. If you're interested, Kevin Max is planning an online one at his website. For more info, click here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Open Door












Evanescence
"The Open Door"

With Ben Moody leaving the band in 2003, I have heard speculations that Evanescence will fall apart. That they are nothing without his guitar playing. Well to clear the air, those who said that are dead wrong. Now if you told me that singer Amy Lee was leaving, then I would agree that they'd fall apart. In fact, if you listen to the new album The Open Door, you'll see how she carries this band. After their smashing debut Fallen, I wondered how they would do their next album. Would they change their style? Tone it down a little? No. They stayed with the style that made their first album work so well. Haunting melodies, piano ballads with a hard rock background, and Amy's hypnotizing voice soaring on each song makes this album work well. Evanescence has always been honest in their songs when dealing with life, love, self worth, faith, and doubt. And you'll find that this new album further explores those topics. From reading a little about the band, I found that Amy had just gone through a breakup. It shows on The Open Door how that experience shaped some of the songwriting. That kind of transparency connects the band with an audience that also deals with the pain in life while looking for hope. That's where Evanescence connects with listeners on a more intimate level. The Open Door is a great follow up to their debut album.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Between The Fence And The Universe












Kevin Max
"Between The Fence And The Universe"

Between The Fence And The Universe is an an album that was made after Kevin Max's solo debut Stereotype Be. It's an independent release, so it wasn't a big seller in record stores. However, that doesn't mean the quality of the music is bad. In fact it's just the opposite. This wasn't released by a major record label. But by listening to the songs, you'd think it was put out by a major label. Having said that, it shows the quality of work Kevin puts into his songs. One song that stands out is the energetic rock track 21st Century Darlings, where Kevin showcases just how far his vocals can stretch, proving why he's one of the best singers in music. In the chorus of the song, just hearing him belt out the word "Sleep" is worth the listen(you have to hear it to know what I mean). Irish Hymn is a mellow track that has a hopeful theme for those of us who "hit rock bottom", as he sings in the chorus. Stranded 72.5 is a song that adds more variety to the album, showing how diverse Kevin's influences are in music. As unpredictable as his style is, one thing that is predictable is that Kevin always produces awesome music.

PO.ET.RY












PO.ET.RY
Kevin Max

It's refreshing when a great song writer ventures into something else that deals with words, like poetry or writing books. Well, not limiting himself to only writing music,
Kevin Max carried his creative mind over into poetry, showing his talent with the spoken and written word. He put a collection of his poetry in a new book titled PO.ET.RY. In this book, he presents a gift to those who crave for an authentic poetic expression. Kevin's never one to create music that lets down his listeners, and in this new book, he doesn't let down with his poetry either. He shares a side of himself other than the eclectic musician. The poems are categorized in 3 different sections: philosophy, romance, and spirituality. There is nothing simple or common about these. Just like his songs, these poems are mysterious, beautiful, dark, and unique, making each page a different experience. There is also some awesome artwork in the pages to match the mood of the poems. What also makes this book special is that it is not put out by a big name publisher, so it is void of extra crap just to make it appeal to the masses. Those who appreciate good poetry and art would be satisfied with this book.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mutemath













Mutemath

Once in a while, a band will come out and push the boundaries in music. Soon, that band will explode on the scene to surprise many new listeners, and confirm longime followers' intuitions that the band would eventually make it. Well to me, Mutemath is that band. I remember the first time I heard the song Control in 2004. From the first note, there was something different about it. I followed their music since then. I remember thinking, "There is hope after all." Yes there's hope. There is hope for music now with bands like Mutemath and The Killers paving the way. And Mutemath's debut album, which finally got released by Warner Bros (you'll have to do the research yourself to find out what the delay was about), is a breakthrough album that leads the way in a new revolution of music. Combining elements of Radiohead, The Police, and a list of others I could mention, these guys blow away a majority of bands out there. Paul Meany brings his Sting-like vocals, Darren King thunderously pounds on the drums like a madman, and Greg Hill and Roy Mitchell-Cardenas tear it up on the guitars. Put it all together, and you have a sound that you just can't quite put in a specific genre. If you find yourself getting this album, be prepared to be taken on a musical journey that will blow your mind. Definitely one of the best albums to come out in a while.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sam's Town












The Killers
"Sam's Town"

First came their debut album Hot Fuss. Amazing is a word that doesn't even come close to describing it. It was one of the best albums I've ever heard. I was immediately hooked onto this new band, The Killers. I remember after the last song played on Hot Fuss, the question on my mind was, "Could they do it again?" Well after listening to their new album Sam's Town, the answer to that question is an astounding, "Yeah! Hell yeah!" Not only did they do it again, but I'll even say that Sam's Town surpasses what they did on Hot Fuss! To any Killers' fan anxiously waiting if this will be a mediocre second effort, no need to worry. This album immediately turns up the heat with the opening track Sam's Town, which sets the mood for an experience in music that's unforgettable. The Killers continue to bring their trademark electro-alternative sound, and this time around, they sound a little more mature. It shows the work they put into this album to make what is soon to be a classic. While listening, I noticed a theme of returning to youth in the album, especially on the track When You Were Young which says:

We're burning down the highway skyline
On the back of a hurricane that started turning
When you were young
When you were young
And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live
When you were young

There's also lyrics that deal with returning to a love that's lost on the track For Reasons Unknown:

But my heart, it don’t beat, it don’t beat the way it used to.
And my eyes, they don’t see you no more.
My lips, they don’t kiss, they don’t kiss the way they used to,
And my eyes don’t recognize you no more.
For reasons unknown, for reasons unknown.

Another song that dealt with honest lyrics is The River Is Wild, where lead singer Brandon Flowers says:

Should I just get along with myself?
I never did get along with everybody else
I've been trying hard to do what's right
But you know I could stay here all night
And watch the clouds fall
From the sky
Because this river is wild

One word to describe this album is consistent. The good songs are consistent on Sam's Town. You won't have to skip through the CD to find anything worth listening to. There isn't one bad track in this CD. And that is a rare thing in music! Not only that, but it proves that The Killers is a band that's consistent in bringing groundbreaking music.