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Reviews: Grammy winners

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Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

They say music is life, and life is music. Almost everybody in the world listens to music. There are many great musicians to listen to and Daft Punk is one of them. With their “Random Access Memories” winning Album of the Year at the 2014 Grammy’s, Daft Punk have produced an album you should listen to, packed with so many hits in one album that you can’t go wrong buying it. Since the duo began releasing albums in 1993, they have risen up the charts and deserve every award they received at the Grammys this year.

Songs like “The Game Of Love”, “Lose Yourself to Dance”, and one of their greatest hits of all time and Grammy winner for Record of the Year, “Get Lucky”, are on this album, making it one you can listen to almost anywhere. If you’re just taking a walk, driving on the freeway or finishing your math homework, it is the best background music. This is nice, soft music with more beats than vocals, so if you like to listen to someone singing you shouldn’t get the album. It’s a sound for people who just want to relax calmly and not stress out while doing something. While the songs help you chill, they keep your spirits high as well.

“Random Access Memories” is a mix of ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and the future beats put all together to make a masterpiece of sweet music, but mostly Daft Punk focus on the genre of love songs. They could have had more variety on the album, but it’s still pretty good despite sticking with the romantic theme. Hopefully their next album will give the audience more danceable beatdowns than love songs.

“Lose Yourself to Dance” is one of the best songs on the album because it has a great beat and can help you get pumped or just want to dance for no reason. But the best song would be “Get Lucky” because it suits anything that you would do, from throwing a party to cruising around at night. “Random Access Memories” will probably go down as one of the best albums in history, remembered forever as Daft Punk’s brilliantly wonderful groove for the ages. If you buy this album, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 9/10

– Josh Benjach

Reymond - Pure Heroine Album

Lorde – Pure Heroine

New Zealand singer Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known as Lorde, exploded onto the scene last fall, her single and Grammy winner for Best Song of the Year, “Royals” from “Pure Heroine,” soaring to the top of the charts and her music earning her several Grammy nominations. Her album received nearly all outstanding reviews from critics, and Lorde won Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammys as well. Listeners have praised her deep lyrics and original sound, but is all the hype and applause justified?

Lorde’s hit album doesn’t even break the 40-minute mark, her 10 songs clocking in at a combined 37 minutes. Each track is similar in sound, which makes the album feel both fluid and, for such a short album, dragged out. Producer Joel Little implements slow, simple and mellow beats that do fit well with Lorde’s voice and style. While the songs aren’t particularly exciting, the style of sound is original and somewhat refreshing for the ear. The drum loops can get a little dull during certain parts of the record, and Lorde doesn’t break through vocally, preferring to stick to the safety of lower octaves for most of the album.

While the instrumentals are a new sound in the mainstream market, they are not strong enough to make the album something above average. While the lyrical works of the singer earned her lots of praise, this is mostly due to the fact that we have grown accustomed to the boring, bubble lyrics of the hardships of young love. While Lorde does offer some more intellectually attractive lines (though not on all tracks), they are nothing compared to the Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie masterpieces those artists used to put out on a regular basis. In fact, some song lyrics seemed random and confusing, making certain tracks feel weird.

The enormous amount of critical acclaim for “Pure Heroine” seems to be an attempt to encourage the branching out of pop music into more complex lyrics and sound, but the album is nothing extraordinary. The record has both its boring and strange moments as well as some strong ones. Lorde introduces new sound but seems to be trying too hard at times. The best parts of this album are the simple ones, and those make the album worth at least one listen.

Rating: 7/10

– Thomas Reymond

Topps-Kacey Musgraves (Same-Trailer-Different-Park)

Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park

Country artists Jason Aldean,Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, and Taylor Swift all were nominated for the the 2014 Grammy Best Country Album, yet 25-year-old Kacey Musgraves took the prize with her newest album “Same Trailer Different Park,” and reigns champion above some of country’s more famous contributors.

I have never been compelled to listen to a lot of country music; the genre seems odd compared to the usual type of music that I listen to. But this album changed my perspective of country music. Musgraves has a sweet calming voice, yet the message that she displays is so powerful. These songs are all direct emotions. There is no fluff in her lyrics; each song tells its own story. The best quote from the song “Merry Round” pushed me close to tears of laughter: “If you ain’t got two kids by twenty one, / You’re probably gonna die alone”.

Such a direct writer, she shows emotions through metaphors or analogies, running through every feeling possible. Her song, “Silver Lining” talks about the good within bad days, the things that we do not notice during those tough times.“If you’re gonna find a silver lining, / It’s gotta be a cloudy day”.

Then “Follow Your Arrow” explains about how one should do whatever you desire, no matter what the ideas of others since you only have one life to live. “Say what you think. Love who you love. / ‘Cause you just get so many trips round the sun. / Yeah, you only, only live once.”

Rating: 9/10

– McKenna Topps

Garza The Heist Album Cover

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist

Every year a ton of new rappers attempt to join in the limelight with many other famous rappers. Rappers like Eminem, Kanye West and Lil Wayne, who dominate the “rap game,” make it pretty hard to find a footing in the rap industry, but Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis manage to squeeze in to become big players in that game and 2014 Grammy winners for Best New Artist and Best Rap Album.

Their first major album, “The Heist”, is incredible. With Macklemore’s creative lyricism and a flow in his words that are pretty incomparable to other famous rappers, his talent is simply undeniable.

Right when the album starts with “Ten Thousand Hours” you can definitely understand Macklemore’s compassion for the subjects in his music and what his lyrics mean to him. The speed in his delivery is constant in this song with a perfect combination of alliteration and enunciation that make it sound spectacular.

Another song worth noting is “Same Love” which focuses on equality and how everyone should be treated the same way. Any kind of love is love, which is a theme that the song and pretty much the whole album encompasses. Plus the chorus sung by the beautiful voice of Mary Lambert is a highlight of the song.

This album does get dull after awhile. All of his songs on here seem to lose touch, and I lose interest towards the end of the album. He could’ve omitted some of these song, especially with a long one-hour and four minute running time. Despite the weak coda, “The Heist” deserves the Grammy for Best Rap Album.

Macklemore’s album proves that you can get famous with originality and depth in your music. I’m sure this white rapper from Seattle has many more hits up his sleeves for the coming years. And many fans like me simply cannot wait to listen. Hopefully it will be years before we see his albums wasting away in the bin of a thrift shop.

Rating: 8.5/10

– Christian Garza

Led-Zeppelin poster

Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day

“Celebration Day” is a live concert album released by Led Zeppelin. The album consists of 16 tracks that encompass one of Led Zeppelin’s most recent concerts. This live album is from the concert in London in 2007, where the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited to commemorate the life of music executive Ahmet Ertegun.

Led Zeppelin is a great band none the less, many would consider a legendary one for that matter. But their album “Celebration Day” doesn’t seem to strike that legendary chord.

The album is good with legendary hits like “Stairway to Heaven” in their live format. But it’s just like any other live album out there.

That’s where the album seems to miss its mark. If you’re a fan of Led Zeppelin I would recommend it, but if you’re just getting started with Led Zeppelin, one of their studio albums like Led Zeppelin IV would be a better place to start. That album is one of their best of all time.

With “Celebration Day” taking the Grammy for best Rock Album, I was kind of shocked not with the fact that Led Zeppelin was bad but the fact that a live album won the award.

Anyway if you’re a fan of Led Zeppelin, I highly recommend you listen to this album. They perform quite well on it and really makes you wish you were there to see them live. But like I said before, nothing is special about the album itself.

Rating: 7.5/10

– Christian Garza

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