Posts tagged i will never be the same
I have some down time as I’m trying to clean out my external hard drives from old back-ups and started listening to some of my music on iTunes. I am not always up-to-speed on the new “in” music for the year and sometimes it takes me a few years before I really appreciate an album. This year there were some really stand out albums that came out and that I really enjoyed listening to. Here are five of my favorites.
5. Lady Gaga — Born This Way
I guess it wouldn’t be me unless I did mention Lady Gaga somewhere in my breakdown for the year. She not only came out with one full-length album, she also released a remix album of the tracks on “Born This Way” at the end of the year. While this isn’t my favorite Lady Gaga album, that would be “The Fame Monster,” I did find some songs on this album that I fell in love with and of course there were a few that made me want to rip off my ears. As a whole, I enjoyed the new territory and I did expect more from her, but I did find myself listening to this album a whole hell of a lot.
4. Amanda Palmer — Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under
I use to follow Amanda Palmer religiously on Twitter for a few years, but after a while even an ardent fan can get too much Amanda Palmer, which is why it took me a little after the fact to find out about her “Goes Down Under” album that came out. It wasn’t until I heard, and saw, the remix of “Map of Tasmania” that I was hooked into this cheeky set of tunes that she wrote while touring the “Land Down Under.” My favorite is definitely “Map of Tasmania” and I would definitely go out and get the remix versions by “The Young Punx” which feature Peaches.
3. Teddybears — Devil’s Music
I had inadvertently listened to Teddybears over the past few years without really knowing it and it finally dawned on me after I heard Robyn’s cover of “Cobrastyle” where I had heard it before. This year they released another great album following up on their 2006 debut “Soft Machine” titled “Devil’s Music.” It’s wide and varied but keeps a consistent strength of songs through the whole album from start to finish. They also team up with some great guests artists including Eve, The Flaming Lips, the aforementioned Robyn, and my personal favorite, CeeLo Green & The B-52′s on the track “Cho-Cha.”
2. Florence + the Machine — Ceremonials
I had listened off and on to Florence + the Machine’s previous album “Lungs” earlier in the year, but it never made a huge impact on me. When I heard their initial offering of “What The Water Gave Me” a few months ago, I was ravenous! When the full album came out a few months later, I could just put it on and listen to the whole album as I worked and it seemed each song was as good or better than the last.
1. Darren Hayes — Secret Codes & Battleships
Without a doubt, “Secret Codes & Battleships” was the album I was waiting most intensely for the entire year. Darren Hayes had been working on this album for the better part of two years and constantly teased his fans with updates here and there about the progress of the body of work. When it finally did come out in October, I was amazed at how perfectly themed the entire collection was. I rated each song of the 12 track album 5 stars in my library. I bought the super-deluxe fan edition which included a vinyl record just because I ended up loving this album so much (I don’t own a record player!) The second CD included in the fan edition wasn’t anything to sneeze at either. It included some very well-archetechtured songs that for one reason or another did not fit into the grand scheme of the album as a whole. Mysteriously, after some digging around, I had found a song titled “I Wanna Know” by Darren Hayes earlier on in the year that I absolutely loved and hoped would be released on this album — it wasn’t, and it wasn’t found on the CD of extras either. Why I can’t seem to find a release of this song will be lost to the ages, but I hope one day it will end up somewhere worthwhile.
These artists didn’t release a new album this year but they did pass along singles or “teaser” tracks to whet our appetites.
I Will Never Be the Same – Hold (Instrumental), Fantasy
I am a huge fan of Josh Atchley’s ”I Will Never Be the Same” project and supremely upset that I’ve never been able to see him live because he’s all the way in Los Angelos, and I will probably never get the chance to go there anyway. That being said, I’ve been frothing at the mouth since his “Standby” album release in 2009 for more music and he has been slowly releasing a few teaser tracks here and there and hopefully he will be releasing a full-length album later this year. You can listen to these teaser tracks on his SoundCloud page. My personal favorites are “Hold (Instrumental)” and “Fantasy.”
Marina & The Diamonds – Radioactive EP
I was turned on to Marina & The Diamonds whenever I saw a fan-made video which integrated the majority of her songs from “The Family Jewels” into a remix that accompanied a professional-level music video featuring some of our well-loved princess fairy-tales from history. She released an EP late last year called “Radioactive.” It varies greatly from her previous album, but I have to say the song is extremely catchy and dance-worthly. I am looking forward to a full-length album whenever she decides to release it.
“Standby” is the freshman album from “I Will Never Be The Same“. The man behind the band is newcomer Josh Atchley. From the band’s website, he details that through a year and a half of writing, playing, production and marketing, he has started from scratch to create the apocalyptic sound of “Standby.”
Atchley is the write, lyricist, and sole album band member (except for help on some of the drumming) which reminds me of Trent Reznor solo efforts with his band Nine Inch Nails. Atchley and the live band members of I Will Never Be The Same have started touring the album on the west coast (sadly, I have yet to see anything performed live or on video by the band.) He has dreams of touring the band across the country and hopefully, around the world.
His live band members include of course himself, Josh Atchley (Vocals, Lead Guitars, Keyboards), Brittany Bao (Keyboard/Synth), Taylor Haycraft (Guitars), Francis Ten (Bass), and Adam Waldon (Drums). Haycraft and Ten are also of the band “West Indian Girl” that specializes in some serious psychedelic music, not my cup of tea but check it out if interested!
The album starts with the contemplative “Prelude” and segues into the powerful “I Am Not The One.” “Worldless” exhibits the eminent warnings from the previous tracks and then glides into the electric “Starfields.” Atchley apparently is a fan of fire and includes two tracks alluding to the destructor, “Burn” and “Set Your World On Fire” have much grittier vocals but keeps to the beauty of the album. The other tracks on the album include thoughts and missives to another, the speaker alone and recalling the past. “Eyes Turning Black” is like the final chapter of the story, the world has died with everything with it. The sense that someone has died and the life you saw in their eyes has “faded to black.” “Superloop” is the ending thought that concludes with “Cry Little Sister,” a cover of the “Lost Boys” soundtrack theme by Gerard McMann and Michael Mainieri.
My favorite tracks off this album are “Worldless,” “Starfields,” “Last Goodbye,” “Eyes Turning Black,” and “Cry Little Sister.”
Here is a full track listing:
- Prelude (1:42)
- I Am Not the One (4:18)
- Worldless (3:25)
- Starfields (4:39)
- Burn (4:46)
- Speak (4:14)
- All For You (5:48)
- Last Goodbye (5:45)
- Set Your World On Fire (5:34)
- Eyes Turning Black (5:29)
- Superloop (5:27)
- Cry Little Sister (5:00)
You can pick up the album (electronic download only as of now) via your favorite electronic store: Amazon.com, iTunes, Fixt or eMusic. Also be sure to check out the band’s MySpace (if even just to listen to the music I talked about here), Facebook Page, and Josh even has an entertaining Twitter account as well.
And there you go, my first attempt at an album review! Check out this album and let me know what your thoughts are.