Archive for September, 2008

Your Own Talent Agency

Your Own Talent Agency ins/hot-linked-image-cacher/upload/″ class=”alignnone” width=”350″ height=”350″ style=” margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left” border=”0″/>The long awaited arrival of one of the most anticipated albums this year has finally been released today, The Glass Passenger. This is Jack’s Mannequin’s sophomore effort, three years after their successful debut was released. Not to be mistaken with Everything In Transit, The Glass Passenger is a style of Jack’s, listeners have yet to hear. Driven by brutal honesty and vivid emotion, Andrew McMahon takes fans on a journey into the dark caves of disparity and out through the cracks of light and hope. The Glass Passenger, almost a direct telling of Andrew’s remarkable story, is an epic and heart-warming album, one that is a sure to be a candidate for album of the year.

Musically, this album is sound, from the instrumentals to the vocal work. Starting with track one, we begin our descent into The Glass Passenger with Jack’s Mannequin as our guide. Ironically the album starts off with Crashing, a track with a modest tone but heavy meaning. A catchy but sincere piano melody paves the way for this mellow but lyrically charged track. Although not as aggressive as some other tracks, it fits nicely with the emotionally-tuned theme. Besides the great piano work, listeners get a taste of an array of epic sounds from the guitar work to the drums. One of the key aspects of this song that really emphasizes the seriousness of it all, is the well placed and timely backing vocals. The backing vocals put me in a different mood, almost a sad realisation of the world, yet amidst it all, lays hope. Andrew does a great job with the lead vocals, managing to unleash emotion without having to sacrifice pitch and tone.

While Crashing is a nice song and an easy listen, it has only touched the surface of the album. The next track, Spinning, is one which I feel exhibits Andrew’s intense vocals very well. Having seen him live, I can attest to his high energy and emotional performances. What starts off as a solid mellow tune and a subtle verse, quickly turns into a passionate and hopeful chorus. This is where we hear Andrew at his best, delivering line after line of heart quenching lyrics. Combined with a beautiful melody, it’s a song that truly delivers. I really enjoyed the guitar work in this song, and everything combined to create a very surreal atmosphere. The entire album took me for an emotional ride, with the passionate vocals and meaningful instrumentals; it’s a side of Jack’s that feels very honest and uncut.

Unlike Spinning, songs like Spin, What Gets You Off and Bloodshot give another powerful feeling. Instead of optimism, listeners are treated to a world of despair and sadness, but it’s a sadness that’s beautiful and elegant. The way that Andrew carefully delivers his vocals keeps everything classy and never seeking attention or help. The songs are presented in a way in which listeners get a feel for whatever the songs happen to be about. It’s this no holds bar delivery that I felt put Jack’s Mannequin on another level. As always Andrew McMahons vocals are solid throughout, constantly changing paces, and always very passionate. The instrumentals are really outstanding this go around as well, although I do miss the happy care free piano work from Everything In Transit.

Deep within the album is my favourite track, The Resolution, which epitomizes the strength and persistence of Andrew McMahon. Not only that, but I feel the lyrics convey exactly what I feel about The Glass Passenger. While all the lyrics are completely meaningful and passionate, and often get dark and dreary, they never feel selfish or seek anything more then the message they convey. Likewise, the song is about finding an answer and not seeking attention or forgiveness, and it’s an incredibly refreshing and sincere message. A powerful song, it’s inspiring on every listen and makes me respect Andrew McMahon and his band Jack’s Mannequin a little more every time.

The Glass Passenger is an unbelievable album, and a great follow up to their debut. I’m going to do something out of the ordinary and rate this on a numerical scale, because I feel it deserves that much. Out of 10, it’s definitely a 10+, because I can’t think of a better more matured sound then what this album delivers. I though Everything In Transit was perfect and I still do, but The Glass Passenger is another completely different yet perfect sound altogether. Accompanied by a very strong sense of lyrics and meaning, Jack’s has created a piece of art that’ll go down in my record books as a classic.

Check out their Myspace for official tour dates and album info.

Jack’s Mannequin – The Resolution
Jack’s Mannequin – Swim

Caribou’s Andorra Wins Polaris Prize

Caribou aka Daniel Snaith won the Polaris Music Prize and taking home the 20,000 cash prize for Canada’s best Canadian album. I gave the album 4 out of 5.

I guess I’m not surprised at all. Reading an article on Friday on the artist’s choice for the prize hinted at Caribou’s Andorra. I’m not mad at the decision, it was a great album and I think it suffered from the “I listened to it too long ago” syndrome when picking a choice out of the 10.

The album is very good, even if I last listened to it like 6-months to a year ago, I can still go back to this album and enjoy its creativity. It’s catchy in nature with the use of ethereal vocals, subtle electronica and some catchy guitar work.

Is it better then Shad’s The Old Prince. That is comparison sticks and stones in my opinion. I was heavily rooting for Shad because he’s a talent to be commended and his hip-hop work should be considered. Good to know Frank on the jury thought of Shad.

I guess we do this all over again for next year’s Polaris Music Prize. Wolf Parade and Chad VanGaalen are early candidates so far…

Sundialing by Caribou

We reached 500 Posts Bitches!

That’s right, number 500! It’s really only 500 by number as I lost count awhile ago because I actually don’t know when I started this blog. Allan’s World of Music is a horrendous blog name especially with multiple writers but hey I guess I never thought much of a music blog when starting it.

But just like terrible band names, a blog is only as good as it’s content and thankfully a lot of people decided to stick around :).

So what do you want to know about the blog now? Let’s take a nostalgic look.

Our most popular post, thanks to google is the Harold & Kumar 2 Playlist and Review. People ask once a week it seems on what song is playing at this certain point of the movie. Other people have really stepped up and helped one another. I was useless.

The first mp3 I got in trouble for was not understand the release date for The Raveonette’s Lust Lust Lust. The track in question was Black Satin by The Raveonettes.

Black Satin by The Raveonettes

The first mp3 that was put on the Hype Machine was The Pipette’s Sex when I reviewed their album.

Sex by The Pipettes

The first blog post on was on the wonderful Emmy The Great, My Party is Better Than Yours is an awesome song. Sadly we’re still waiting on her debut album.

My Party Is Better Then Yours by Emmy The Great

My first “Q&A” is with the now broken up Siberian. It was crappy but I think my “interview” skills are better even though I’m still lazy.

I first offended someone was with my Black Kids review (the other time I offended someone was saying that MGMT likes it up the bum…). No, I didn’t say anything racist! It was calling Myspace’s download system “retarded” as they would alter the mp3 files and the tags. Making it soooo annoying. If this person is still offended, go see Tropic Thunder.

I’m Making Eyes At You by The Black Kids

I am quite hated on this blog. Some of the comments I’ve received:
“You Minger” on Why I Won’t Like MGMT
“Learn To Write”, “your attitude towards music is very wrong, you should stop writing”, “You give blogging a bad name.” and a funny fake WebSheriff comment: “CEASE & DESIST:

For heinous and multiple crimes against the English language, please close this blog immediately. You have 48 hours to comply.

Web Sheriff

And more on Mystery Jets – Twenty One Review. Apparently I pissed off a lot of people accusing the MJs of stealing. I will admit I wasn’t so nice in my own comments as I’m not a professional and I’m not afraid to tell someone off. Just try me ;).

And hopefully the next 500 posts is just as interesting it was for you the readers as it was for me! Hopefully I didn’t bore you.

The Trews – No Time For Later Review

Three years ago, at the very beginning of Grade 9, I remember coming home and turning on MuchMusic. Normally, the channel would have been background noise to me eating in the TV room, but not this time. “So She’s Leaving”, The Trews first single off their sophomore album “Den of Thieves”, blared through the television screen. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the sounds of the thrashing guitar perfectly complementing the lead singer Colin MacDonald’s booming voice, which can now be recognized anywhere. Needless to say, I bought the album a day later.

The Trews were formed in Nova Scotia in 1997 by MacDonald, bassist Jack Syperek, guitarist and brother to Colin, John-Angus MacDonald, and drummer Sean Dalton. They first gained recognition in Canada with their single “Not Ready to Go” off their debut album “House of Ill Fame”. These hard rocking Canadians have since been touring their home country and the United States (and are always coming to Toronto).

Their third album “No Time for Later” features songs with a newer, edgier sound like “Paranoid Freak” will an awesome piano ending. If you’re into hard rock, then the first single off the album “Hold Me in Your Arms” will definitely hit the spot. If you’re into softer, more melodic tunes, then “Man of Two Minds”, a half-acoustic track where MacDonald’s vocal abilities shine through. On “I Can’t Stop Laughing”, it is evident that they miss their native Nova Scotia on this cheerful, upbeat track.

Overall, this album combines so many different sounds that can all be classified under the umbrella of hard rock. The Trews are a true Canadian talent that anyone with an ear for solid music can take a strong liking to. With each album, the band progresses musically, creating a better, more rockin’ sound. My final words of advice: if you’re into everything for Bryan Adams to the Foo Fighters, this album is for you. Buy it…now. Hear more from The Trews on their website and their MySpace.

The Trews – Paranoid Freak.mp3

The Trews – Man Of Two Minds.mp3

Proud Simon – Night of Criminals

Proud Simon is a 5-piece band out of Brooklyn, NY. There tends to be a huge diversity of music that comes out of what could be called the indie rick epicenter of the world. Proud Simon is no different with their Americana/folk/country style.

Their release of Night of Criminals reaches stores on November 11th and while this is a little bit early, my experience with reviewing albums is best when I just share my ideas as if they were fresh. (Thanks to Team Clermont for sending albums way too early in advance).

Anyway, I actually struggled with their sound. It comes off feeling a bit odd or strange. There’s seem to be a bit of a clash between the music and vocals. However, it becomes apparent that the album itself is a grower otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it up.

One of their better songs is Clockwork On and On but at one point, I hated the intro and it just didn’t work for me. Towards the end, though the music saves the day. The music itself is a little difficult to put my finger on though they do call themselves a mix of Americana with indie rock. The way I would describe it would be country-style vocals with Americana/folk style riffs but otherwise I’m stuck.

I tend to find all songs growers or my initial reaction to each track as quite poor considered to my reaction afterwards. Proud Simon doesn’t take a straightforward path to their songs, they do different things that tend to come of as ‘weird’. Proud Simon is better when they keep things straightforward though their creativity does make them stand out for better or worse.

This album is solid, not spectacular but not everything I review has to be. Maybe this might be up your alley.

Rating: 3.5/5

Clockwork On and On by Proud Simon
One Night Stand On Cadium Yellow Avenue by Proud Simon

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