Well we’re now in the full swing of things for Music to Your Ears – as I was a bit busy preparing the 2018 Edgars for you all, I missed a handful of new releases. Here’s the highlights and lowlights of what I’ve listened to in the past few weeks:
Camila Cabello – Camila
‘Havana’ is a soft banger for sure, and it will definitely be inhabiting clubs long after this review has turned to dust. The shame of this all is that Cabello is a much better singer than this album allows – if she were truly given something challenging, she could take over the world. Between the humdrum lyrics and run-of-the-mill beats behind her, you can hear a true vocal master lying in wait for a chance to prove herself. A week after initially listening and I couldn’t tell any of these other tracks apart. It’s a shame, and here’s hoping this stays popular enough to let her spread her wings.
Key Tracks: Havana, I guess?
Fall Out Boy – M A N I A
Full disclosure here: I’ve been waiting for this to come to fruition for a while. This up-and-coming band has been lighting up Brooklyn and Manhattan clubs for the past few years and they’ve managed to finally release a full EP! Don’t worry all, this is definitely a lot of fun. There are certainly a few growing pains – some songs sound exactly the same, the lyrics are sometimes a bit goofy – but it’s all in good fun. If you want a similar sound before you dive into this, take what I thought of immediately: a modern-day version of The Oneders (Wonders) from Tom Hanks hit film That Thing You Do!. Let’s hope they don’t end up facing the same fate. When their best songs hit, they’re really danceable gems, and that’s all you want from a power-pop band, isn’t it?
Key Tracks: Grenadine Nosebleeds / Ms. Miss Me Yet / Vampire Girlfriend
The Decemberists – “Severed”
Your favorite folk-pop confederation is back – that’s right, after vocalizing a Lin-Manuel Miranda penned ballad to Benjamin *fucking* Franklin, Colin Meloy and copmany are back with the first single from their upcoming album I’ll Be Your Girl. The futuristic synth is welcome, if not surprising, but once Meloy’s vocals kick in alongside the rough-riding drums, you know you’re in for something completely innovative from the long-term merrymakers. I’m really pumped for this new album, all of a sudden.
Well, that’s it for now. Hopefully by the next edition, we’ll have a great deal more to have delved into. Most of the past three weeks has been listening to the best original songs from film in 2017….so I promise I’ll pick it up later.