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  • You're on the wrong track, baby, and you're such a disgrace.

    31 maj 2011, 20:27

    Lady Gaga
    Born This Way
    Rating: 1 / 5 Stars

    *This review has also appeared on Epinions and Amazon.*

    Pros: Nothing
    Cons: Lyrics, musicianship, cheap production, repetitive and uninspired melodies, comparing of gay people to monsters and freaks, offensive, religiously inaccurate, and just plain old boring.

    I avoided this album like it was musical cancer. Not because I was afraid of liking it. But rather because I just didn't want to have to listen to it. I listened with open ears and an open mind and wondered whether or not Born This Way would have any sort of substance to it. Firstly, does it live up to GaGa's debut record, which can be regarded as her version of She's So Unusual. Well, no, it does not. And that isn't saying much. Frankly stated, Born This Way is so bad, that we need a new word for bad. It is not bad because of the way she dresses; it is not bad because of the fact that she gave the album away with proof of purchase of coffees, game cards or cellphones; it is not bad because it premiered on a Facebook game: it is bad because the songwriting is very hollow, uninspired and generally lazy. It is bad because the melodies are boring and plagiarized. It is bad because it is simply not memorable or catchy. It's difficult to continually give one one-star ratings to Lady GaGa's music-it's just what's expected of me. But I hope people read this review and find the merit behind it. I genuinely did not like this album, and I still have no clue why people eat her up.

    The hype of this record must first be address. Before promotion for The Fame Monster was over, little bits of information about this new album began to surface. It was hyped as being the album of the decade-of the century, even, and we should all be paying attention. But much like anybody under that amount of pressure, they aren't able to deliver. This was true of Cyndi Lauper, and it was true of Alanis Morissette. And thus, it happened to Lady GaGa as well. Unlike on her first album, GaGa truly took a whiff of herself and began to believe that she was the second-coming of Madonna. And as a result, the first single released from Born This Way, the anthem-esque title-track, was a direct rip-off of one of Madonna's better known singles. Except this time, people noticed the correlation between her and Madonna, and it wasn't positive. Was the song a hit? Yes. Was it a monster? (No pun intended-I wonder why she wasn't selected to be on Kanye's Monster). No. In fact, I would barely call it a success. It set the tone for the rest of the album, though: bad lyrics repeated more than anything on a Police song (and Sting loves to repeat himself). Its follow-up was Judas, another uninspired song that tries too hard to take it to the next level. Really, in a world where Madonna has done it all before, it was just a new middle. Not to mention the fact that her take on Mary Magdalene's story is wickedly inaccurate-for the record, MARY MAGDALENE WAS NOT A WHORE; SHE WAS AN APOSTLE.

    But the singles didn't get real insight into the rest of the record, which is very, very long. But long doesn't equal quality. Rather than focusing on anything I would call an earworm, GaGa released a bunch of mediocre, haphazard tracks without any meat to them. Heavy Metal Lover has an industrial production that sounds more like tin than steel, and ballad You and I has a decent ending but a bland opening and middle. Most, if not all, of the songs on this record never go anywhere. They want to be showstoppers, but none of them are the least-bit impressive. The song Scheiße, which is German for what you do in the bathroom, offends my ears and my brain with its gibberish introduction and mind-numbingly bad chorus, and outside of Bloody Mary, which has a brooding melody to it, there's nothing I would want to hear more than once. Lady GaGa seems content to waltz down the road that Madonna, Grace Jones and Dale Bozzio had already carved out, all the while bringing nothing new to the table. She is not edgy, and she is not that interesting. But one thing that really annoys me is the way she seems to think she's the Queen of Homosexuals-she knows almost nothing about gay culture and the struggle we endure day-in-and-day-out. There is not a day that doesn't pass where we don't feel a little one morsel of shame or torture, particularly living in America. And songs that pander like Born This Way just make me feel like a spoon-fed baby without a choice. A friend of mine recently posted to his Facebook wall, that all gay people are monsters. When verbally slaughtered by his other friends, he responded with, "My name is Lady GaGa, and this is my message." And he was right. Her lowering of homosexuals to mere freaks and monsters and outsiders is not helping the cause, but only serving to destroy it. By the time the seventeen songs are finished, you will only feel underwhelmed, slightly bored and very, very sleepy. GaGa's voice croaks and roars like a kitten trying to be a lion, as her desperate grasp onto her fame begins to slowly and silently erode.
  • Duke's Reviews: Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream (4/5 Stars)

    27 jan 2009, 21:54



    Here's one to Life Itself:

    I am the anti-Bruce Springsteen fan; or, at least, I look like one. Last summer, when I attended the open-air leg of his Magic Tour at Gillette Stadium, I was the only person of color there who wasn't working the venue. I'm also fairly sure I was the only homosexual, and the only person there alone. His crowd didn't discriminate based on age, though, as I saw everyone from children to the elderly rocking out in their own way, but the general average was around 45 and white. Though I'm known for loving pop music, I do like to push my head through the surface and breathe in some good ol' rock and roll, but based solely on first impressions, you could ascertain that my reaction to Mr. Springsteen's music would be "Ewwww! He's old!" But after hearing 2007's "Magic," I was hooked.

    "Working on a Dream," when plans were first announced, sounded like a quick way to cash in on Springsteen's love affair with the Democratic Party-- in fact, the album was initially set to be released on January 20th; and once the first single was released, the title-track, many fans were left very non-plussed. Sounding like a poor "Magic" b-side, this song embodies the word "mediocre." Take a generic melody, a dated production, add some sleigh bells, then throw in an awkward whistling breakdown and you've got this song-- oh, and don't forget to repeat the line "I'm working on a dream..." about seven thousand times. The song isn't as terrible as I'm making it out to be, but after the 5-star masterpiece that was "Magic," I was disappointed in the lack of originality. Then, once the less-than-great second promotional single "My Lucky Day" came out, I figured it was all over.

    When I get my hands on a new record that I've been looking forward to, hearing for the first time is like Christmas morning, but when I obtained a copy, I forgot it even existed. In fact, I stumbled onto it and thought I'd at least give it a shot. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I find it wholly ironic that Springsteen chose the two worst songs on the album to promote his latest record, because every other track is genius. Springsteen's music has adapted to the times: in the 1970s, he did an Americana-type of progressive rock; in the 1980s, simple pop rock; in the 90s, crap rock; and then, with the new millennium, he got dark. "Working on a Dream" embraces every facet of his career from the radio-friendly to the Bob Dylan-esque poems. "Outlaw Pete" starts out this record, and it's entirely something you'd expect from him circa 1978. Clocking in at over seven minutes, the track moves and paces itself skillfully, telling the listener that Springsteen is about to go all over the place musically.

    Fans of his last few albums will adore the Carbon Leaf-sounding "Tomorrow Never Knows," a simple folk song with a breezy melody and Springsteen's quiet vocals; alternatively, we have "What Love Can Do," a powerful rock song that will please long time fans. One thing noticeable about this record are The Boss's vocals. I'm not quiet sure what happened between 1980s and now, but I do know that he eventually learned to sing. His powerhouse delivery is still intact, but it's behind a very skilled voice that's got a lot of moxie. "Surprise, Surprise" proves that anybody can like a Springsteen song, as this one will take us back to 1985. Simple pop music with an updated twist-- pure singles material. Regardless of whether or not you like it, it'll be in your head for weeks, so you might as well make the best of it. Personal favorites are "This Life," which is like an improvement on the sound from "Magic," and "Life Itself," a dark and brooding track that reminds me why I became a fan in the first place.

    "Working on a Dream" is a very slick album that stars Bruce's incredible vocals, lyrics, and melody arrangement. For anybody who heard and hated the title-track, I recommend you give the rest of the album a shot, because it's a total 180. In fact, maybe people should listen to this album backwards, beginning with the haunting "The Last Carnival," and ending with our 7-minute vignette.

    TRACKLIST
    1. "Outlaw Pete" - 8:00
    2. "My Lucky Day" - 4:01
    3. "Working on a Dream" - 3:30
    4. "Queen of the Supermarket" - 4:40
    5. "What Love Can Do" - 2:57
    6. "This Life" - 4:30
    7. "Good Eye" - 3:01
    8. "Tomorrow Never Knows" - 2:14
    9. "Life Itself" - 4:00
    10. "Kingdom of Days" - 4:02
    11. "Surprise, Surprise" - 3:24
    12. "The Last Carnival" - 3:11
    13. The Wrestler

    Repeat: Life Itself; What Love Can Do; Kingdom of Days
    Skip: Working on a Dream; Queen of the Supermarket
  • Duke's Reviews: Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke (5/5 Stars)

    19 jan 2009, 17:24



    * * * * * (5/5 Stars)

    One Journey For You, and It's Magic

    Original published on Epinions and In Your Speakers.

    I heard this album at my former job, which was a nice change from Britney Spears, for whom my managers seemed to have a constant boner. It's rare that I hear an album at work that I can't wait to hear played over and over again — usually listening to a manager-chosen record all the way through more than once akin to water torture. However, with Ladyhawke’s debut, I was hooked from the first track and kept my ears turned in. I don't know who popped this record in our 5-disc changer, but could give that person a giant kiss because it's one of the best debuts I've heard in a very long time.

    Ladyhawke, a New Zealand native, is an electronic goddess, drawing inspiration from a wide range of styles. Take some 1980s dance rock and combine it with an updated, more-mature twist and you get this impressive LP (even if the album art doesn't accurately give you a clue as to what kind of monster is backed behind the casing). For fans of electro-funk band Chromeo, Ladyhawke is a real treat - she's got all the attitude, the clever lyrics, the smart beats and the production of the aforementioned act, plus and that fun accent highlighted by the line, "All night long from dusk til' daawwwwn."

    The first song on this record is impeccable. “Magic” is by far, my favorite cut on the album, especially because it encompasses everything an electro-pop song should. First off, it's one of the heavier tracks, with its in-your-face, Moroder style and underlying guitar riffs squashed beneath a steady dance-beat.

    "You're taking me for granted, baby. I made a start with you, but it's not fair ... one journey for you, but it's worth it. One life here with me, and it's magic."

    Her dynamic voice is perfect, drawing inspiration from Imogen Heap, Jenny Lewis, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

    Luckily, though none of the other songs match the incredible opener, every other cut on Ladyhawke is quite enjoyable. “Manipulating Woman” and “Back on Sunday” are both pure fun, packing in a plethora of different styles of dance music (freezepop anybody?). Plus, Gorgio Moroder's stamp is all over this album, specifically on tracks like “Oh My,” a soft, 80-inspired song akin to the likes of A-Ha and Duran Duran. “Dusk Til Dawn” sounds like it came directly from the Metropolis soundtrack (or as if it was produced by Journey circa 1988) with its crazy attitude and long, drawn out synth notes. The lyrics and arrangement remind me of early-2000s house band The Cooler Kids, fronted by Sisley Treasure.

    The non-stop action of Ladyhawke will keep you coming back listen after listen. “Back of the Van” is pure 1985 high school prom - in fact, I think it achieves the sound that all those 80s pop stars were truly striving for. Well, take a note kiddies because Ladyhawke's done it right on her first try. The misleadingly titled “Professional Suicide” is another great pop song featuring spacey verses a-la-Ladytron mixed with a dance-rock sensibility and an in-your-face bridge/chorus: ”It's professional suicide / savin' all you've got for a rainy day. Do what you want...” If there is one important component in a pop song, it's a great hook, and Ladyhawke's debut album is full of them.

    “Paris is Burning” is undoubtedly the most popular song on the record, written during the artist's stay in France. The hand-clap/cowbell production soars and Ladyhawke's echoing lyrics just equate pure fun: ”All of the boys and the girls here in Paris sing to the night without sight, but with madness ... tell me the truth, is this love or just Paris?” Anthem-disco never seemed like a good idea until I heard this album thumping through my speaker system. This is a track that just screams "Turn me up, damn it!"

    In fact, if I had to give a one line description of Ladyhawke, it would be the aforementioned quote. Every cut on this record literally shines in respect to sonic quality. So, if you're a fan of electronica, pop or disco, then give a spin to the debut from New Zealand-based Ladyhawke.

    Track List

    1. Magic (3:27)
    2. Manipulating Woman (3:35)

    3. My Delirium (4:16)
    4. Better Than Sunday (3:28)
    5. Another Runaway (3:17)
    6. Love Don't Live Here (4:03)
    7. Back of the Van (3:40)
    8. Paris Is Burning (3:49)
    9. Professional Suicide (3:43)
    10. Dusk Till Dawn (2:37)

    11. Crazy World (3:35)
    12. Morning Dreams (4:00)
  • Duke's Reviews: Brandy - Human (3.5/5 Stars)

    19 jan 2009, 17:14



    Brandy gets personal, but doesn't change a damn thing:

    Originally published on Epinions: Click here.

    Brandy's just so damn cute. Throughout her musical career, she's always remained a pretty bubbly performer, but perhaps that bubbliness comes at a price. It's no doubt that Ms. Norwood has vocal talent. Even through the overloaded computer effects and vocal layering present on her 2008 "comeback" album, it's apparent she's got the chops. That's never really been an issue. The issue, instead, with Brandy's music is that it has not changed since she first hit the scene. The same generic sound has seemed to follow her, and there's usually nothing special about that Brandy sound. It's just..."oh-so-Brandy." When I heard the lead-off single from Human, I was torn. The song was definitely catchy and fun, but at the same time, it was just another Brandy song. It didn't feel like the new Brandy song.

    And if Brandy is so human, then why does she sound a little like a robot?

    I'm not usually a huge fan of introductions and interludes, especially after Janet decided to run that motif into the ground, but Brandy has taken the cake here with the awkward introduction (something about it's wonderful to be a human and whatnot) and the interlude stuck before Long Distance, which is one of the better songs on the album. (How's that for a run-on?) Luckily, those are the only two, and the rest of the album is comprised of downtempo tracks and ballads, so don't expect the scorching hot dance tracks from Full Moon. This album starts off on a really boring note with The Definition, a song that has a nice beat, but Brandy almost sounds like she's about to cry. For a Brandy song, it's got a nice production that sounds a little less early 2000s and little more current. It's a hit and miss, and it's a good song, but I just have to be in the mood for it.

    Warm It Up (With Love) is just a giant trainwreck of potential. The melody is obnoxious and the lyrics can barely be understand because of the strange speed. It's one of the more upbeat songs, so it bothers me that it's so subpar. The hollow production sounds like a demo and there's this awkward echo-effect placed on Brandy's voice that turns what could have been interesting into a bad Michelle Williams song. Had this song been a lot slower and without the awkward background track, it might be on repeat a little more. But the high point comes soon after with leading single Right Here (Departed), a song that, though it sounds exactly like the work she has done in the past, is stellar. It's a throwback to the Full Moon album with Darkchild's slick production and Brandy's powerful vocals. Beware that it wasn't mastered the way it should have been, and the volume and it sounds a little muddled. For as incredible as that song may be, Piano Man is disgraceful. I don't know who the hell Brandy thinks she is, but where does she get off recording such crap? The two-bit-Party-Like-A-Rockstar production is where migraines come from, and the lyrics are downright stupid. The vocals are awkward here, as well. It's like someone nudged her vocal track over so that it wouldn't sync well with what could be called the instrumentation.

    As previously stated, the album is more or less a collection of downtempo tracks, all with an uplifting message attached to it. The point of Human is supposed to be that it's okay to be flawed, to doubt yourself, to make mistakes, etc. What's at the heart and core of this record is nothing short of beautiful, and it's outlined on tracks like A Capella (Something's Missing), Camouflage, and Shattered Heart. Something's Missing is another one of the highest points of the record, as it showcases how gorgeous Brandy's voice truly is. Beyonce should be tacking notes and learn that screeching does not make for a pleasurable listening experience. As Brandy did not contribute to the writing of Human, it's nice to know that what she lacks in that department is more than compensated with her impressive and sultry vocals.

    1st and Love has the best production of any Brandy song in the last 10 years as it's experimental while still keeping the introspective feel of the record. And we get straight up ballads like Human and Fall that would make Mariah Carey stomp her foot in jealousy (though Fall is one of the most obnoxious songs on the record with its against-the-grain production and vocals). The first time letting this album play few, very little of the record stuck out to me. After a few listens, most of the record has grown on me, even if it's still just another Brandy record. Most of the songs can sound similar to each other, but it doesn't make them enjoyable-- except Piano Man; I'll never forgive Ms. Norwood for that travesty.

    I don't think many people were anticipating or expecting much from Brandy's 2008 project (myself in included). I wasn't disappointed, but I also wasn't surprised. I hope Brandy decides to change it up a little bit on her next album, but I'm tired of hearing the same old thing over and over again. But when you feel you're heart guarded, and you see the break started, and when the clouds have all departed, take out Brandy's Human, because she'll be right there with you.

    Rating: 3.5 stars (4 stars)

    TRACKLIST
    Human Intro
    The Definition
    Warm It Up (With Love)
    Right Here (Departed)
    Piano Man
    Long Distance Interlude
    Long Distance
    Camouflage
    Torn Down
    Human
    Shattered Heart
    True
    A Capella (Something's Missing)
    1st and Love
    Fall

    Repeat: Right Here (Departed) and A Capella (Something's Missing)

    Skip: Fall, Piano Man

    Recommended: Yes

    Great Music to Play While: Listening
  • LAST.FM STAMP ART PROJECT

    21 aug 2008, 16:58

    Since the website is so difficult, I'm making some new artist stamps/banners. I'm not making all of these for me. Some of these artists would just be fun to work with. If you use them, CREDIT ME IN YOUR PROFILE. :D

    Artists to come:

    Alanis Morissette
    Avril Lavigne
    Billy Joel
    Bjoerk (finished)
    Bruce Springsteen (finished)
    Carbon Leaf
    Chris Brown
    Courtney Love
    Damone
    Daniel Lanois
    David Bowie
    Duran Duran
    Eisley
    Freezepop
    Genesis
    Hole
    Imogen Heap
    Janet Jackson
    John Barrowman
    Joni Mitchell
    Journey
    Kate Bush
    Keane

    Kylie Minogue - http://volume-junkies.deviantart.com/art/Last-FM-Stamp-Kylie-Minogue-95512800

    Le Tigre

    Madonna [Sticky and Sweet] - http://volume-junkies.deviantart.com/art/Last-FM-Stamp-Madonna-SS-95516027

    Madonna [1980s]
    Men at Work
    Missy Elliot
    Moloko
    No Doubt
    Oasis
    Peter Gabriel
    Phil Collins
    Queen
    Richard Hawley
    Robyn (finished)
    Róisín Murphy
    Selena
    Simon and Garfunkel
    Stars
    Sunset Is A Battle
    t.A.T.u. (Russian)
    t.A.T.u. (English)
    The B-52's
    The Turtles
    Tina Turner
    Utada Hikaru
    Vitamin C
    Wir sind Helden
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    Yes

    I will be doing an OiNK stamp in memory of 10/23/07.

    If you have any requests or ideas for an artist, PLEASE let me know. I will be posting these sporadically, but I hope to have them finished by October 23rd.
  • OVERPOWERED -- What the hell happened?

    6 jun 2008, 18:43

    Have I figured out Overpowered?

    Okay, well, probably not, but here goes.

    In 2005, Irish singer-songwriter released her debut solo record "Ruby Blue," an album which incorporates deconstructed jazz, cabaret blues, electronica, and pop sounds, creating a swell of music I haven't enjoyed for quite some time. Not only Ruby Blue the best thing to come from 2005, it's also one of the best albums ever records. From the hollow and sharp "Leaving the City" to the smoky "The Closing of the Doors," I can let this album run through thousands of times.

    Back in the days of OiNK (RIP, little piggie), I stumbled upon something that make me nearly explode with sunshine and rainbows: a release called "Róisín Murphy - Overpowered [2007/MP3/V2]"
    Without delay, I had the song and what I heard was...not something I expected.

    Oh, shit.

    Oh, shit shit shit shit shit shit. Róisín Murphy..bad club music....no...had she sold out? Well, yes and no. After researching the album and listening to plenty of interviews with the woman, I was disturbed to here her almost ignore the record. After the success of her sophomore album, Ruby Blue almost never existed, with only two songs being performed on her 2007 European tour. While she did call the album "unique," she also said, "I don't think I'll ever make another Ruby Blue." She obviously has respect for her Matthew Herbert-produce debut, but there was something in her voice that just screamed "This was just a practice record. It didn't really count."

    ... ><!

    Well, I've tried to listen to Overpowered with an open mind. I thought "imagine it's not Roisin. Image it's Janet Jackson or Madonna... Well, if it were Madonna or Janet, I can safely say I still wouldn't like this album all that much. That said, I went through most of it without needing a bucket to wretch into.

    18. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #01] Overpowered
    19. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #02] You Know Me Better
    20. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #03] Checkin' On Me
    21. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #04] Let Me Know
    22. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #05] Movie Star
    23. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #06] Primitive
    24. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #07] Footprints
    25. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #08] Dear Miami
    26. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #09] Cry Baby
    27. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #10] Tell Everybody
    28. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #11] Scarlet Ribbons
    29. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #12] Body Language
    30. Róisín Murphy - [Overpowered #13] Paralell Lives

    There is also a bonus track, "Off and On" which I thought was just a misprint of the Ruby Blue track "Off on It."

    So, the opening title-track is a song that I enjoy to a certain degree, but it runs on WAY too long. I do, however, like to listen to the radio edit (which cuts over a minute of filler beats out) from time to time. The problem is that the opening really does set the tone for the rest of the record.

    It's cheesy, tacky, and a little annoying. It doesn't showcase Róisín's powerhouse voice as it did on Ruby Blue. My biggest issue, which is a problem I have with Madonna's "4 Minutes" single, is that THE MUSIC IS LOUDER THAN SHE IS. WHAT THE FUCK? I SHOULD BE ABLE TO HEAR HER, NOT THE TACKY EUROPOP BEAT.

    ...Ahem...

    That said, some of the songs do appeal to my dance music sensibility. Tracks "Let Me Know," "Off and On," "Cry Baby," and "Body Language" are the few tracks that I can stomach. I'm not a HUGE fan of Roisin's former electronic band Moloko, but I sure liked them a hell of a lot better than this album.

    2/10

    Recommended tracks:

    Let Me Know
    Cry Baby
    Body Language
    Off and On (Unreleased Track)
  • My Pick for Best Record of 2007: Bruce Springsteen's "Magic"

    5 mar 2008, 03:51

    Mr. Bruce Springsteen is, without a doubt, one of the greatest rock and roll artists of all times. The man has achieved international status, sold millions of dollars, and has been touring since the early 1970s. His classics Born in the U.S.A., Born to Run, and Dancing in the Dark have made the man a voice of the "blue-collar" man, just struggling to get by. Now, with his 2007 released Magic, Bruce is back in full swing with the E-Street Band and all new tracks that create a successful piece of rock and roll art.

    01. Radio Nowhere
    Radio Nowhere was the first single released from Magic and, man, it is fantastic. Darker than most of his earlier music, the song defines true rock and roll. However, this is one problem with this song: the introduction suffers from what I believe is subliminal plagiarism. Basically, the opening guitar is Tommy Tutone's hit 867-5309 (Jenny). Now, Tommy Tutone had said that if he wanted to take it to court, he could definitely win. However, he's not. And for good reason. Call me crazy, but I think that Bruce has a little more integrity and respect than that in his music. I do not believe that this was done intentionally-- in any way. However, the song is hindered for lack of originality in the music department. Luckily, the lyrics and story make up for it! The lyrics of Radio Nowhere come from a man who is alone, possibly very scared. One really must listen to this hard-edged track for him/herself.

    90% A-

    02. You'll Be Coming Down
    This song sounds like a cleaner and more polished version of Bruce from the 1980s. The great about it is that it could fit onto one of his previous efforts with no trouble. His voice sounds absolutely great and the lyrics are appropriate. Overall, it's one of the better performed tracks on the album, and yet, it still has this forgettable "second-song" feeling about it. Sadly, when I play the record, I forget it's on. It lacks that magic it so sorely needs; nevertheless it's the great track.

    90% A-

    03. Livin' In The Future
    So, this also sounds like a cleaner and more polished version of Bruce, but done with a little more oompf. Capitalizing on the saxophone, this song definitely embodies everything that Bruce Springsteen is about. It's just...it's just so rock and roll. The message of the song is blatant: take it easy. Well, Bruce, this song always puts me in a good state of mind.

    100% A+

    04. You're own worst enemy
    A song about self-defeat and epiphany...wonderful. How uplifting, right? Well, not really, but it's still my favorite song on the album. What I truly like about this song is that is sounds the most revolutionary, whereas the last two tracks are evolutionary, meaning that this track shows how must the man has grown as an artist, and that not everything he does has to sound the same. This song is my recommended track.

    A+ 100% **Recommended track!**

    05. Gypsy Biker
    This song is not the most memorable, in my own humble opinion. But the good thing about this record is that every song is quality, so you get no real losers here. The song, even though of average length, tends to go by very quickly, partly due to the fact that the melody doesn't progressively or drastically changes. It's the ideal song to represent constant. Not only that, but the instrumental section comes across as a little early, meaning that it sounds like the song was possibly longer at one point. To give it credit, the melody that is there is classic Bruce-- just not that memorable.

    87% B+

    06. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
    This song just screams "Eighties movie theme!" in my face, over and over and over and over and over. This song sounds like it belongs over a good-time flick's credit rolling. It's good music to have on the background of whatever you're doing, as the melody and tempo could put anyone in a good mood. That is a double-edged sword, however, as I feel the song lacks presence. Luckily, the band's playing and Bruce's voice are top notch.

    90% A-

    07. I'll Work For Your Love
    Unfortunately, this song as all the same qualities of some the previous tracks: doesn't stand out among an album of beautiful tracks. Great, but not stand out. And that's an issue. Honestly, just need my review of the previous track...apply it here...done.

    90% A-

    08. Magic
    Ahh... There is nothing quite like the title-track of an album. It's really just a moment of truth: will it be mediocre, or will it be worth while? Well, my friends, this song is definitely worth a serious sit down and listen. While it's not as in your face as Born to Run or anything, the song is certainly one of the best eponymous tracks I've ever heard. The song is quiet, somber, and full of burnt imagery that will really get you thinking.

    100% A+

    09. Last to Die
    We'll be the last to die for a mistake! cries Bruce with passion over a carefully created production of music, mood, and (of course), magic. This is one track that embodies stand-out. It's a power-house track that shows us just how much Bruce and the E-Street Band has improved over the years. There's no good way to describe it's meaning, as it needs to be heard by the listener first hand.

    100% A+

    10. Long Walk Home
    Now, I have an actual issue with this song. It sounds too damn similar to You'll Be Coming Down. It's the first song on the album where I had to stop myself and say, Wait...are you kidding me? It's a solid song, but it's unoriginal nature disturbs me. It gets the same score as its sister song, mainly because it retains all the quality and awesomeness thereof...but I wish it were more distinctive.

    90% A-

    11. Devil's Arcade
    This song is reminiscent of our title-track, except that it adds a lot of in-your-face spirit. As subtle as Magic was, Devil's Arcade is more complex and wonderful.

    95% A

    There's one more song on most releases on this record, a tune in memory of a close friend of Bruce-- Terry's Song. I've chosen not to review it. There's no way to review a eulogy. All I can say is that Bruce sounds like he's in pain. It's a heart-wrenching track.

    Overall: 94% A!

    A well-deserved A, Bruce! Worth the money I spent on the disc and on the vinyl!
  • Another one of these thingies-- I'm bored as hell.

    1 feb 2008, 03:15

    Name your top 10 most played bands on Last.fm:

    1. Madonna
    2. Genesis
    3. Bruce Springsteen
    4. Tina Turner
    5. Kylie Minogue
    6. Yes
    7. Peter Gabriel
    8. Kate Bush
    9. Freezepop
    10. Wir sind Helden

    What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
    Owner of a Lonely Heart

    What is your favourite album by 2?
    Duke

    What is your favorite lyric that 5 has sung?
    "Play it on your speakerphone-- track repeat, go on and on

    What is your favorite song by 9?
    Thought Balloon or Bike Thief

    How did you get into 3?
    Annie at my old-job.

    What was the first song you heard by 1?
    Human Nature or Bedtime Story or Frozen

    What is your favorite song by 4?
    I Might Have Been Queen and A Fool in Love

    How many times have you seen 9 live?
    None. I keep missing them.

    What is a good memory you have concerning 2?
    Seeing them live. The train ride involving a drunk couple fighting over a t-shirt made it complete. Genesis fans are so sweet as well-- we were all talking on the train. :D

    Is there a song by 8 that makes you sad?
    Army Dreamers

    What is your favorite album by 5?
    Fever

    What is your favorite lyrics that 3 has sung?
    "I've got a coin in my palm-- I can make it disappear."
    "I searched the pillow beside me for the tears we cried-- baby, they were gone. Gone over the rise."
    "Wrap your arms around me-- COVER ME!"

    What is your favorite song of 1?
    Live to Tell, Causing a Commotion, Human Nature, Vogue, Open Your Heart

    What is your favorite song of 10?
    Soundso, Von Hier an Blind

    How many times have you seen 8 live?
    Never.

    What is your favorite album of 1?
    True Blue
  • Top 10

    29 jan 2008, 15:34

    1. Madonna
    First song I heard: Human Nature
    Song that made me love them: Human Nature/Express Yourself
    Current favorite song: Impressive Instant
    Overall favorite song: Live to Tell, Causing a Commotion
    Least favorite song: Love Song

    2. Genesis
    First song I heard: That's All
    Song that made love them: Turn It On Again
    Current favorite song: First of Firth
    Overall favorite song: Behind the Lines
    Least favorite song: Not About Us

    3. Bruce Springsteen
    First song I heard: Over The Rise
    Song that made love them: Dancing in the Dark
    Current favorite song: Cover Me
    Overall favorite song: Cover Me
    Least favorite song: Working on the Highway

    4. Tina Turner
    First song I heard: River Deep, Mountain High
    Song that made love them: What's Love Got To Do With It?
    Current favorite song: I Might Have Been Queen
    Overall favorite song: A Fool in Love
    Least favorite song: Whatever You Want

    5. Kylie Minogue
    First song I heard: Can't Get You Outta My Head
    Song that made love them: Love at First Sight
    Current favorite song: Speakerphone
    Overall favorite song: Love Affair
    Least favorite song: 2 Hearts

    6. Yes
    First song I heard: Owner of a Lonely Heart
    Song that made love them: Leave It/Hearts
    Current favorite song: Does It Ever Happen?
    Overall favorite song: And You and I
    Least favorite song: Roundabout (GASP!)

    7. Peter Gabriel
    First song I heard: Sledgehmmer
    Song that made love them: Sledgehammer
    Current favorite song: Growing Up
    Overall favorite song: Solsbury Hill/Secret World
    Least favorite song: San Jacinto

    8. Kate Bush
    First song I heard: Wuthering Heights
    Song that made love them: Running Up That Hill
    Current favorite song: Cloudbusting
    Overall favorite song: Running Up That Hill
    Least favorite song: Aerial

    9. Freezepop
    First song I heard: Hairbrained Scheme
    Song that made love them: Stakeout
    Current favorite song: Bike Thief/Thought Balloon
    Overall favorite song: Parlez-Vous Freezepop?
    Least favorite song: Tennis Boyfriend

    10. Wir sind Helden
    First song I heard: Von hier an blind maybe?
    Song that made love them: Von Hier an Blind
    Current favorite song: Soundso
    Overall favorite song: Nur Ein Wort
    Least favorite song: Bist Du Nicht Müde
  • R.I.P. OiNK. We'll never forget. Wir werden niemals vergessen.

    23 okt 2007, 20:17

    As many of you already know, OiNK, one of the few true music downloading communities left, has been shut down by British and Dutch police. This saddens me to no end. (Viele wissen, dass OiNK, eine Musik-Gemeinschaft, ist jetzt gestorben. Die Polizei aus England und Holland haben OiNK aufgehört. Die Auskunft tut mir weh so.)

    Members of the website are going through a very rough time: losing their main output, community, contact with people, and, most of all, worrying about possible prosecution. Today is true day that music has died for many, many people. People are commenting that they will never buy another record from a retail store again. Some may even shun their local shops. (Mitglieder der Seite kämpfen: wir haben unsere Gemeinschaft und Freunde verloren. Heute ist Musik gestorben. Viele haben gesagt, dass sie nicht mehr neue CDs kaufen wurden.)

    In protest and in memory of one of the greatest websites and networks ever created, I say this: (Hier ist ein Denkmal für OiNK, eine Seit am besten: Spiel es wieder.):

    TURN IT ON. TURN IT ON, TURN IT ON AGAIN.