The Singles – The Magician and the Gates of Love
Nathan Moes is the driving force behind Langley’s finest pop group, The Magician and The Gates of Love, who have recently released four installments of an online singles collection. The collection includes melodic slower songs like “The Lions” and “A Gentlemen’s Harvest,” which show a growing compositional sense in the young songwriter. The crowning achievement of The Singles comes in the form of “Banner Year,” which is full of multiple time signature changes, along with vocal harmonies reminiscent of Brian Wilson’s “Our Prayer.” Nathan is just beginning to flex his songwriting muscles, but has already shown that he’s the real deal. The Singles are available at http://themagician.bandcamp.com/. -Tim Ubels
When the Night Comes – The State Lottery
Only seconds into The State Lottery’s sophomore effort, When The Night Comes, are you pushed into a healthy variation of a yelling and shout-out-loud-chorus engulfed in saxophones and guitar driven punk songs. The band’s lead singer crams words into tight spaces, much like the New Jersey outfit, Titus Andronicus. Lyrically infused with stories about growing up in New York, death, boy scouts and the not too distant future, The State Lottery rolls all the best elements of folk punk into one concise nine-track album. When The Night Comes, is available on vinyl or free download at http://www.ifyoumakeit.com -Tim Ubels
Invented – Jimmy Eat World
Everyone still loves Jimmy Eat World’s classic hit “the Middle”; it’s still a hit, and is used for numerous soundtracks. Their new album, Invented, has all the excitement and energy that they once mixed with a unique blend of pop and electro-dance. It seems all the bands now-a-days are trying out the synthesized dance sound club goers love and many aren’t able to pull it off, but Jimmy Eat World (surprisingly) does. They keep their old, well loved sound and mix it well with what’s in style currently. It’s all selling records, and lets hope with their new sound their able to stay on top.
Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney is one of America’s most popular and well-loved country singers. Boys want to be him – girls want to be with him. And while he is talented, it’s hard not to notice that all his songs have a similar sound and idea. It’s all about beaches and babes for Kenny, and it seems as though that has finally run its course. In this album, he ventures about a bit (to country roads and babes) but still keeps the same sound. I wonder if he realizes the literary reference in the album title and what Hemingway actually did with the whiskey.
Hands All Over – Maroon 5
It’s so hard not to like Maroon 5. Every bone in our musically elite bodies tells us to hate these guys, but in all truth, we secretly love them. There’s a reason their singles have all been top of the charts. And this new album is no exception. Their lyrics and melodies are painfully catchy and will get stuck in your head for days, which may or may not be a bad thing.