CD Reviews: Battle Born
For those worried about the in-roads made by EDM and artistes like Skrillex, a message that may be more than welcome: The guitar is alive and well.
The Killers have just given us proof. What makes their latest album more than just a ‘guitar album’, however, is their ability to take on board so many of the diverse influences that cropped up on their last work, the dance floor-friendly Day & Age.
Listen to the second track, Runaways, for instance, and it’s easy to trace those New Wave and Electropop influences that cropped up on their big hit Human. It’s hard not to nod along to before hitting that replay button. It’s this ability to blend pop with rock (and a lot of guitar on tracks like The Rising Tide) that make The Killers such an easy group to like. Listen to this one with the lights out.
— Battle Born, The Killers, Universal, Rs 395
The Spirit Indestructible
Where did Nelly Furtado disappear? What was she doing in the years since Loose hits stores in 2006? Questions like these tend to pop up every five minutes or so while one struggles to get through The Spirit Indestructible. This isn’t to say it’s an awful album; far from it.
The track Big Hoops (Bigger the Better), for example, is among the coolest she’s given us. What makes the whole thing tedious is how the many producers she brings on board fail to create an album that sounds cohesive in any way.
For every intriguing track like The Most Beautiful Thing (featuring Portuguese singer Sara Tavares) come four thumping songs presumably created to be played after the latest hit from Rihanna. This is a pity, because Furtado has always come across as more than just a pop singer. Maybe next time?
— The Spirit Indestructible, Nelly Furtado, Universal, Rs 395
Where there’s an ‘¡Uno!’, there’s a ‘¡Dos!’ followed by a ‘¡Tré!’ And while a trilogy is all very well even in today’s attention-deficient day and age, the question Green Day need to ask themselves is this: Do they have that much to say?
Consider, for instance, the opener Nuclear Family: ‘Gonna ride the world like a merry-go-round, like a Ferris wheel that’s breaking down, drinking angel’s piss, gonna crash and burn, I just want some action so gimme my turn.’
They still sound pissed off, but not in a way that suggests they have found something particularly worthwhile to be pissed off about. Then again, the best post-punk bands are more about the attitude with which they attack the world rather than engage with it. This is fast and furious music. For old fans (remember Dookie?), a reminder of how potent a cocktail they used to be. Buy it!
— iUno, Green Day, EMI, Rs 395.
All titles are available at leading music stores.
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