Here's the first of three reviews of all the Tape Loop CDs. First up is Julie's - Put the windows down, the radio up and Drive (Or, Toronto Radio playlists for a sunny Friday Afternoon)
Cover art was amusing. Like it.
1. A nice intro song Ė a piano/drums buildup to a catchy, poppy rock song. The piano gives it a touch of the Ben Folds Five.
2. Starts very 80s/electronic rock and continues in a similar vein. It sounds really familiar to me, but that might be because it sounds a lot like other current bands like the Killers and Bloc Party. Itís fairly catchy, but nothing that stands out for me.
3. This is a little more grungy pop rock Ė not so keen on the high backup vocals in the chorus. Again, it doesnít stand out as a song in its own right, but so far the tracks all follow a similar style and blend nicely from one to the other.
4. Really love the opening of this one Ė reminds me of a 70s rock song that I canít remember the title of. Great, catchy guitar riff kicks in and the vocalist has a very athletic stadium rock voice. Itís a cross between Maroon 5 and an 80s rock band like Bon Jovi, which sounds weird but it works. So far, this is my favourite song.
5. The first song on the album with a female vocalist. Again, it has a nice intro and buildup. Her voice reminds me a little of Sonia Madden from Echobelly Ė coquettish and unfussy, which I like. A simple and toe-tapping drum beat with a great running bassline make this a great track. Nice one.
6. Aha. Now this track was on the first CD that you made me, and it was on my iPod for so long that I know most of the lyrics! This kind of song is usually too reminiscent of my teenage grunge rock years, but I quite like this one. I think itís because I listened to it for so long. Heís got a decent voice as well which helps. The lyrics are quite funny, unintentionally I think, but itís a good one for driving (if I had a car). Instead, I enjoy it when walking down a cold/snowy/windy street in NYC. Works pretty well.
7. Now, I definitely know this song. Canít remember who itís by or what itís called, but I definitely know it. I like the pseudo-60s intro on the Mellotron, or is it a Moog? Very indie-alternative rock, this one. I like it. I feel like I should be wearing ironically bad clothes with a hat and stupid sunglasses.
8. This has a bit of a country opening, with the a cappella harmony and cowbell. It moves into rock territory a little more as it starts, but keeps some of that country feel. I quite like it, but again itís a middle of the road for me.
9. Although the very beginning of the song is a little weird (distortions and the like), it settles straight into a really great indie-rock track. I like the guitar riffs and the melody very much, itís a standard format song but they use some interesting chord progressions and the lead singer has a lovely voice. Very catchy and sunny. Top track. It also has a truly superb line in the chorus. ďSing me Spanish TechnoĒ. Brilliant.
10. I recognise the lead singerís voice from somewhere Ė I canít tell if I keep recognising these singers because they sound like a lot of current vocalists, or if Iím far more musically savvy than I thought. Anyway. This track starts with vocals and bass, and gradually builds up into a fun, toe-tapping sort of song. I canít decide if Iím just a bit Ďmehí about it, or if I really love it. After three listens, Iím still not sure. I think Iíll leave it on my iPod and let it grow on me.
11. An acoustic guitar blues riff starts off this track, very bluegrass sounding and has me boogying in my seat at work. The vocals come in after a good 24 odd bars, and keeps the simple sound of the track with just singer and guitar. Itís a fab bluegrass style song and heís a great guitarist, using his guitar not just for chords but as a percussion instrument as well, tapping and string-stopping chords for a really punchy sound. Iíll definitely look into this artist more when I get the tracklist.
12. A gentle start to this song, which intros into a very 70s folk rock sound. Itís got a real West Coast, laid back flavour to it which I really like. It could happily slip into the Dazed and Confused soundtrack.
13. Hmm. I donít really like the start of this track Ė too much distortion on the guitar Ė and the melody doesnít match the chords particularly well. It also mixes styles together but they donít blend into each other. This trackís a no for me.
14. A nice rock song to round off the CD. Itís not a show-stopper but a solid track.
In all, I liked this CD Ė the songs all came from the same genre so they fit well together Ė but I would have liked a little more variation and flavour from other styles. It gets a solid 7 as there were some great tracks, some pretty good tracks and only one I really didnít like.
Thanks Julie! A tracklist would be much appreciated.