Browsing Tag

U2

Album Review: “Sucker” by Charli XCX

Charli XCX was in danger of becoming the millennial version of Nate Dogg- an artist known more for being featured on (and often, the best part of) other people’s songs. Her work singing the catchy hooks on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It” was so good that she actually overshadowed the lead artists.

With the release of “Sucker,” Charli XCX should finally get some attention as a solo artist. “Sucker,” the England native’s third album, is an entertaining affair that proves her ability to come up with catchy hooks that will stay in your head for days is no fluke. It’s an album full of potential radio hits and should turn Charli XCX into a gigantic pop star. I enjoyed this album thoroughly and was happy to see it get lots of love from music critics (Rolling Stone had it as the sixth-best album of 2014 – “Songs of Innocence” was #1 – I actually think “Sucker” was a lot better and I am a huge U2 fan). To paraphrase- remember her name, it’s about to blow.

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Album Review: “Songs of Innocence” by U2 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (10/15/2014): The review has been augmented to include bonus tracks from the deluxe edition released earlier this week. 

Perhaps the biggest irony surrounding U2’s latest album, “Songs of Innocence,” is that Bono and company adopted an innovative and cutting edge distribution system to promote a back-to-basics concept album about formative experiences from their childhood days.

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Quasi-Album Review: “Spiderman Turn Off the Dark” Soundtrack

What if Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark had never made it to opening night? That’s not an unrealistic proposition. After all, between injured actors, scathing/mocking reviews and lawsuits galore (including one from director Julie Taymor alleging that Bono, among other things, showed up to production meetings drunk and with supermodels in tow), the famously troubled production was lucky to even make it to the stage in the first place. Even though it ran until January 2014, the play cost so much to produce ($65 million!) and stage ($1.3 million weekly budget!) that it ranks among the biggest flops in Broadway history with losses rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million.

So, what if the show had been cancelled before it saw the light of day? It’s hard to say what Bono and the Edge would have done, but one thing is for sure: They would have had to do something with all of the songs they had recorded for the “Spiderman Turn Off the Dark” Soundtrack.

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Album Review: “Chinese Democracy” by Guns ‘N Roses

Another one of my old favorites from my Livejournal blog. If I could add anything, it would be that the album does NOT get better with age.

I have no idea if Axl Rose is a Star Wars fan.

On the one hand, I would doubt it. After all, Axl doesn’t strike me as the kind of sci-fi nerd that would wait in line for tickets and dress up like Obi-Wan Kenobi at Comic-Con.

On the other hand, the galactic soap opera that is Star Wars could very well have served as an inspiration for some of Guns N’ Roses’ high-concept and utterly confusing videos from their heyday in the early 90’s. “Don’t Cry” showed Axl’s domestic trauma and battle against his inner demons, kind of like Anakin Skywalker’s struggle with the Dark Side and his dysfunctional relationship with his son. “November Rain” showed Axl at his happiest, only to lose everything at the end, kind of like how Anakin seemingly lost everything as he made his transformation into Darth Vader. “Estranged,” uh, showed Axl playing with dolphins. I don’t have a Star Wars parallel for that one. Maybe the Ewoks? Maybe whatever Jar Jar Binks was supposed to be?

Why do I bring up Star Wars? Because, like Chinese Democracy, the Star Wars prequel trilogy took decades to develop and produce, cost untold millions, and generated such ridiculously high expectations upon its release that there was no way the final product could ever live up to the hype. With Chinese Democracy, Axl Rose has finally released his Star Wars prequel trilogy. It only took 14 years, an estimated $13 million (as of 2005), and more band members than we can count (including two separate tenures by guitarist Robin Finck, whose contract expired twice before the album was even close to seeing the light of day).

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Back to the Future – A Concert Review of U2 at MSG.

Concert Review:

U2

October 14, 2005

Madison Square Garden

It’s hard being serious all the time.

U2 realized that in 1988 after critics savaged their concert film “Rattle & Hum,” accusing the band of being pretentious and over-indulgent. It wasn’t their outspoken political views that got them in trouble. In fact one of the high points of the film was the band’s emotional performance of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” that took place hours after the Remembrance Day Bombing that killed 11 in Northern Ireland on November 8, 1987. Bono launched into an emotional rant during the middle of the song condemning the bombing and yelling “F— the revolution!”

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