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Music Review: What is Love by Melanie Ungar

Year: 2015 (I’m not sure if the album was released on platforms other than Jamendo before this time)
Genre: Country, Country Pop, Pop
Online: Youtube, Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter
Tracks:

  1. What is Love
  2. Madly, Deeply
  3. Deeper For You
  4. One Day
  5. Open
  6. Let’s Start Again
  7. Madly, Deeply (Acoustic)

Melanie Ungar is a Canadian artist that I stumbled across on Jamendo whilst listening to one of the automated playlists a few years ago. I think that it was actually the third track of this album that drew me in initially. Since then, this debut EP has been a regular listen each week, with many of the songs making it into various playlists.

As mentioned above, this release fits into the categories of Country and Pop. I don’t listen to a lot of Country but when I do it tends to result in some regular listens. But what makes for good Country Pop? Well, not being generic is a good start.
Whilst the album doesn’t “change the game” it does offer solid compositions that a pleasure to listen to. I can’t say the same for some artists that have recently spent time in the charts. Her vocals are crisp and the catchiness of the lyrics makes me return time and time again.
So, do I have any favourite songs on the album? Yes. The third track Deeper For You probably gets one or two extra plays whenever I listen to the album. I also adore the fifth track Open. Why do I like these songs so much? Well, they cause me to reminisce about my own relationship with my husband of 21 years. These songs also do a great job of sharing the idea of growing attachment and intimacy between a couple.

In conclusion, I really love this album. What is Love is a must-listen for anybody that is a sucker for good love songs. If that is not your bag, then you have no soul. ROFL I also recommend the album for fans of Country Pop.
For those interested, Melanie Ungar posts videos regularly on her youtube channel (linked above). A lot of the content consists of covers, which she manages to add her own trademark style.


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Music Review: Neon by Vitne

Year: 2013 with a Jamendo release in 2015
Genre: Hard Rock, 80’s Metal
Online: Official Website, Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter
Tracks:

  1. Destroyer
  2. Nasty Habit
  3. Silhouette
  4. Royal Nights
  5. Lick You Up
  6. To the Sky
  7. I’m Feeling Deadly
  8. Cruisin’
  9. Rest in Peace
  10. Fire (Outtake)
  11. It’s Me (Outtake)

Neon is the 2013 album release by Norwegian artist Vitne. I first came across Vitne in February of this year whilst listening to some of the playlists on Jamendo. The initial track that I listened to was Winter Love Song, a cute little single from 2014. I liked it enough to listen to some of Vitne’s other music.
The first thing that you will notice when listening to Vitne is the mild accent that seems to go well with the at-times delightfully cheesy lyrics. The style is deliberate and gives Vitne’s music that rock porn vibe. It is a guilty pleasure.

For Neon, Vitne kicks it up a notch, channelling a hard rock and metal sound from the early to mid-80’s. If the metal and hard rock from that era don’t appeal, then this album likely won’t be your cup of tea. I still recommend that you check out the album anyway.
If I had to choose some favourite tracks, I would pick two songs. The opening track Destroyer does a great job of setting the mood for the entire album. The twelfth track, an outtake of It’s Me, does a great job of further showcasing Vitne’s instrumental work with a kickass guitar solo that knocks it out of the park. I can easily listen to and enjoy each of the tracks though, which made picking favourites songs from the album difficult.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this album. Would I listen to it all of the time? No, but I play it on repeat every few weeks simply to “rock out”. In any case, you guys should check out the album and the rest of the Vitne catalogue. If you like what you hear, be sure to spread the word.


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Music Review: Traveling Songs by The Dada Weatherman

Year: 2016
Genre: Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Folk
Online: Official Website, Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter
Tracks:

  1. Free Your Mind
  2. Traveler’s Song
  3. Desert of Love
  4. Rewind
  5. We Will Be Alright
  6. Rocking Out
  7. M.O.
  8. Falling in Love

I apologise for the delay in posting another album review. I decided to remove the album that I previously had on the top of the list on account of Canadian band The Rest being oddly absent from the interwebs nowadays. It made me a little sad but I suppose that even good bands break-up or fade into the ether. I recommend that you check out their album on Jamendo here. And this brings us to the next album on the list.

I first noticed French band The Dada Weatherman, otherwise known as Dada & The Weatherman, about two years ago when one of their new albums popped up on the front page of Jamendo. Folk.It.Up was a good listen and I soon found myself listening to some of their other releases. Last year, they came out with the album that I am reviewing today, Traveling Songs. Please note that all of their tracks are in English.
Traveling Songs is a collection of eight tracks that offer a more refined folk and psychedelic and blues rock edge, reflecting Dada’s roots growing up listening to classic rock and blues from the 60’s and 70’s. With all of TDW’s albums, there is a strong focus on vocal and guitar work to do justice to the compositions. Sadly, I can’t say the same for several other artists that I have listened to of late.
Do I have a favourite track in this release? I enjoy all of the tracks, but if I had to choose then it would be a toss-up between Traveler’s Song and We Will Be Alright. Be sure to post your favourite tracks of the album in the comments section if you take time out to listen to the album.
In conclusion, this is a great addition to the existing catalogue of releases by The Dada Weatherman. It offers something new whilst somehow managing to stay true to the roots of the artist. Be sure to also check out the other releases of TDW and let me know what you think of their music. And last but not least, if you have any other artist and album that you’d like me to check out on Jamendo, be sure to drop me a line and I will try to get to it ASAP. You can find a copy of the album on Jamendo along with a huge catalogue of their releases.

If you have any other artist and album that you’d like me to check out on Jamendo, be sure to drop me a line and I will try to get to it ASAP. I have a backlog of album reviews to get through so bear with me.


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Music Review: Falling Apart by LukHash

Year: 2012
Genre: Electronic, 8Bit, Chiptune, Darkstep, Electronic Dance
Similar Artists: Trancendam,
Online: Official Website, JamendoBandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook
Tracks:

  1. Alpha
  2. Pixelove
  3. Detached Reality
  4. Falling Apart
  5. China
  6. Computer Date
  7. Room 12
  8. Broken Star
  9. 65536
  10. Gravity
  11. H8 U 2
  12. R3born
  13. Bonus Track – Woken Up @3AM V2

LukHash is an electronic artist from Poland that I discovered on Jamendo last year. They’ve been around for a while now, developing a bit of a following online in the process. It is certainly understandable why they are so popular as well.

Falling Apart is a thirteen-track compilation that does a great job of offering a glimpse into what makes LukHash so unique and entertaining to listen to. Whilst no two albums in their catalogue are alike, you know from the start that you are about to listen to will give soundtracks for the likes of Gianna Sisters a run for their money. I could waffle on about this and that but I doubt that I would do the album near as much justice as simply listening to it yourself.
Do I have any favourite tracks on this album? I would say that H8 U 2 is my personal favourite even though it is a mild rehash of a song from an earlier release. It has the deep bass and percussion that I find myself repeatedly going out of the way to listen to. Perhaps it is because it is one of the darker tracks on the album.

All in all, I really like this album. If you enjoy old-school side scrolling RPGs you will likely appreciate this album a bit more as well. In any case, be sure to check it out along with the other releases in LukHash’s catalogue.


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Music Review: Last Impulse of the Dying Sun by From Sky to Abyss

Year: 2016
Genre: Hard Rock, Metal, Metalcore
Similar Artists: Killswitch Engage (USA), Flayst (Switzerland), Sons of Northern Mist (Russia), Factor 150 (Ukraine), Lost Ape of Killa (Italy), Perishing Mankind (Austria), Echovolt (Ukraine)
Online: Jamendo, VK, iTunes, Amazon
Tracks:

  1. Intro
  2. Beast
  3. Sunburst
  4. Buried in Your Dream
  5. Violent Reflection
  6. Quantum Ocean
  7. This Tragedy is Only for the Hopeless
  8. Dead By Leaves
  9. Maora
  10. Us
  11. Last Impulse of the Dying Sun

I will begin by saying that I do not listen to a lot of hard rock or metal music. However, this week I will be discussing a recent album release by Russian hard rock and metal band From Sky to Abyss. When I saw their newest release featured on the Jamendo website in early January, I had no clue who they were but I figured that I would quickly find out if their music was worth a damn. Let’s just say that I liked what I heard.

Last Impulse of the Dying Sun is an eleven-track compilation of well-engineered compositions. The vocals are crisp, and other instrumental performances are solid. Every now and then, you hear a slight synth vibe in the background as well, which made me smile a bit because it worked well with the growling vocals, intimidating guitar work and percussion.
Do I have any favourite tracks on the album? I have two. For some reason, I really dig the mood and guitar work in the seventh track This Tragedy is Only for the Hopeless. That being said, I also find myself repeating the first track a lot as well. Both have distinctly different vibes.
One thing that could potentially be questioned about this album is whether or not it adds anything new to the genre. Whilst I don’t necessary think that it does, I don’t feel that it has to. In this day and age, there is often this feeling that people need to innovate or do something new. I would argue that innovation is pointless if the result sucks and holds no real purpose beyond some compulsion to be different. Of course, that is just my two cents on the matter.

This album may not be everyone, but I highly recommend that folks that enjoy rock, hard rock and metal take the time to listen to the album all of the way through. For the creatives out there, I suspect that this album might work well for getting into the mood to work on high-level destruction and action scenes with a darker edge. If you guys do check out the album, I’d love to read what you thought of it in the comments section.


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Music Review: Funkloric Trip by Cool Cavemen

Year: 2014
Genre: Funk, Fusion, Rock
Similar Artists: Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, FFF (French band)
Online: Official Website, TwitterJamendo, Youtube, Bandcamp
Tracks:

  1. Intro
  2. Belgique mon Namurrr
  3. Nichrome
  4. Style 59
  5. Smack Fast that Fat Snack
  6. Drunk Dream
  7. Killian Kevin
  8. Mulherao
  9. Paname Ricain
  10. Primitiv Man
  11. Buffalophil
  12. Secret Agents Can Surf
  13. Speedy Fonkales
  14. A380Kg
  15. Everybody Spank
  16. Mozart est la
  17. Slide to Hell
  18. Lost in Translation
  19. Polka Vodka

Cool Cavemen is s French Fusion and Funk Rock outfit that I discovered on Jamendo more than a decade ago. Their songs from those earlier albums still bring me a certain amount of joy and I occasionally find myself humming several in particular to make quick work of tedious activities. Music by bands such as Cool Cavemen offers plenty of incentive for me to learn French. Their music and style have both changed a bit over the years, transforming into what we hear in their most recent release Funkloric Trip.

Funkloric Trip is a collection of nineteen often playful songs. Playful? The guys experiment with several different styles, making for a really fun album that I often listen to on repeat for several hours. Some of the songs also have a humour to them, such as Style 59 (here is the amusing music video) and Buffalophil.
Do I have songs that I like more than others? Much in all as I enjoy all of the songs on the album, I have to admit that I do have several favourites, but I will cover three in particular. Belgique mon Namurrr was the logical choice for the first song for the album and is an awesome standalone track. It is perfect for fleshing out detective noir scenes. Smack Fast that Fat Snack offers the right amount of a Funk edge to bring my energy levels and mood up. Secrets Agents Can Surf is a song that has some wonderful changes in pace throughout, giving that wonderful surf rock vibe in the process.
How do the songs fit together? Though the album doesn’t explicitly have a theme, the variation in the style of the songs managed to create a paradox of sorts. Those seemingly disconnected songs seem to work together because they do contrast each other. Weird, I know. Compare that to artists such as Mike Oldfield and Muse that typically go for a theme or a story for each album.

I highly recommend that you guys check out this album and other music in their catalogue. Seriously, these talented weirdos deserve some more listens because they produce some really enjoyable tunes. If you do take time out to listen to Cool Cavemen, be sure to let me know what you think of their music. If you like it, share it with others as a little thank-you to the band.

 


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Music Review: Oh, Yeah! Wait. What? by Giannespoli

Year: 2014
Genre: Electropop, Pop, Nerdpop
Similar Artists: MC Frontalot, Michael Jackson (mid to late 80’s),
Online: Jamendo, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube
Tracks:

  1. Feel Alive
  2. Ain’t No Stop
  3. I’m a Nerd
  4. Get Down
  5. Welcome
  6. Beautiful Angel
  7. We Go Together
  8. The Doodat Song
  9. Chunky
  10. Rockstar
  11. Reason to Believe

In lieu of my schedule being all over the place this week, I have decided to post a music review today instead of an anime review. I apologise about this, but it just couldn’t be helped. What I will say is that the following music review is for a rather unusual artist that I took an immediate liking to when I heard his music on Jamendo late last year.

Giannepoli is the musical entity of Gian Nespoli, a Brazilian expat living in Michigan. He wrote, performed, produced and masterfully engineered the tracks himself at his home studio. I suspect that he might have been cackling while he did it, like all evil geniuses… but that is another matter. At some stage, there was even a Kickstarter associated with the album and I wish that I could have helped spread the word about the project.
Right from the moment that you see the album title, you know that it will be somewhat different. The songs on the album are weird in a good way, sort of like Gian Nespoli himself. We see love ballads such as Beautiful Angel and Feel Alive; the rather amusing love song about food entitled Chunky; the quirky We Go Together; the channelling of MC Frontalot in I’m a Nerd; and the uplifting Rockstar. These aren’t the sort of songs to merely have on in the background either. I’ve tried to, but I eventually deem it necessary to remove distractions in order to sit down and simply enjoy the album.
The album as a whole is really enjoyable to listen to, with a hint of childlike abandon in that willingness to experiment with different styles. It results in a collection of fun, inspiring, silly and lovely songs that I listen to multiple times each week. To say that it leaves a smile on my face would be an understatement.

Anyway, I really think that Gian’s music deserves a lot more attention because he shows some serious skill and talent in this album. The whimsical nature of some of the songs may not appeal to everyone, but I really do think that there will be at least one song on the album that each of you will enjoy. As such, you guys should check it out. Seriously, head on over to Jamendo now and check out the album. Don’t be a slacker!