by Alex Rivera
On Anarbor’s new record, the band keeps true to what they know best: give their fans ballads about heartbreak and relationships with a pop-rock feel. The new album, The Words You Don’t Swallow, is the band’s first full-length release since their EP Free Your Mind in 2009. The new album includes some songs from the EP, but the majority of it consists of newer songs.
For the most part, the CD is good, but not anything great or different than what the band puts out. Actually, it sounded as if I were listening to the EP all over again, just longer in length. The incorporation of songs off of the EP didn’t make listening to the record any better, either.
Although I am an Anarbor fan, I have to pass on this one. It just didn’t do anything for me, and the songs on the album sound just like everything else out in the scene: generic and mundane. Nothing really set this new record apart from anything else released by them. Thus, The Words You Don’t Swallow is a hit for newer listeners of Anarbor, but it’s a miss for older fans.
by Alex Rivera
Upon first glance of “School Gyrls”, I thought “Dear God, spare me the agony of yet another wannabe girl group.” My thoughts were semi-correct.
I’m not going to lie, the beats in this song are really, really good. But, the vocals are somewhat of overkill. It doesn’t really sound like singing, but more like whining. Also, the random guy trying to sound like Lil Jon and screaming in the background doesn’t make it any better. Plus, the lyrics aren’t anything special. The entire song is about going to a party and dancing. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Honestly, this group sounds like Ke$ha, but worse (considering that I actually like Ke$ha). They can’t really sing, and the whole “cutesy” schoolgirl image has to go. Stop trying to gain a fan base by dressing like you’re half-naked in provocative outfits and singing like the Cheetah Girls. It’s not going to work.
Vampire Weekend- “Contra”
Vampire Weekend returns with their sophomore album, the highly-anticipated “Contra.” When the first single “Horchata” hit the Internet, people couldn’t stop talking about it, and when their second single “Cousins” was released a month ago, people still couldn’t stop talking about it. After listening to “Contra,” I agree that the album lived up to all of the hype.
The album starts with the band’s first single off of the record, “Horchata,” a catchy song that will leave you asking what exactly Horchata is while humming the chorus as you’re walking to your class. The second track, “White Sky,” is equally as catchy with the band’s great use of drumbeats throughout the entire song. “Holiday,” the third song, instantly reminded me of “A-Punk,” the first single off of the band’s first album. The intros of both songs sounded exactly the same, and while that’s usually a bad thing, the remainder of the song makes up for the redundancy in the beginning.
“California English” reminded me of some fast-paced tropical song, especially through the drumbeats yet again, which is one of the things that I love about this band. “Taxi Cab” is more of a slow-paced song with the infusion of piano and violin and the use of witty lyrics that perfectly downplay how upbeat the majority of the album is. “Run” picks up with the fast pace right where it left off and has an extremely percussion-heavy and catchy chorus.
“Cousins,” the second single, opens with guitar and extremely fast drums, but it makes the song that much better! The chorus is awesome, the “hidden” bass lines that are thrown in complement the overall sound, and it’s just a happy song. “Giving Up the Gun” keeps the fast pace going, especially with the faster guitar strumming, which makes your head nod with the beat a little bit. “Diplomat’s Son” still keeps things a little upbeat but not as much as the rest of the album. As always, the use of drums is evident and the lyrics are witty. The final track “I Think UR A Contra” is the slowest on the whole album, but what better way to end a record that’s been 99.9 percent fast with snare and bass drums beating away every single song? This song has the beautiful use of the piano in it, which softens it up and lightens the mood.
Overall, “Contra” is an amazing CD. I loved every single song, and I can finally see what everyone was talking about. Vampire Weekend did an amazing job on this, and there’s no doubt in the world that “Contra” will revolutionize the indie scene as well as win the hearts of Vampire Weekend’s fans new and old