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October 02, 2012 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-02

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8 - Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Recipe for a road trip mix

A sl walked around my tion, and for whatever reason, I get on the highway
house one summer day never drive longer than an hour begin to tire of tha
making sure I'd packed without listening to LCD Sound- sitioning to some i
the right items for a six-hour system's "Dance Yrself Clean." that aren't as hook
road trip, I realized that I had There comes a point in every car still enjoyable fory
excluded ride where the energy is low, and I like Iggy Pop her
something everyone is either in a bad mood Passenger," or '"Pu
crucial. The or annoyed at your weird sun- him and the Teddy
gas tank flower seed addiction (look, just Black Keys or Gor
was full, get used to it - I'm not stopping). suitable.
my suitcase For me, that's the signal to pop As you begin to
was stuffed on "Dance Yrself Clean" - the pace of the road, it
into the nine-minute song begins almost to ditch all of the a
trunk and I ELLIOT too mellow, and you can barely mellower tunes. I
had enough ALPERN hear James Murphy's singing. ence, Fleet Foxes']
ranch sun- Three minutes in, however, these Blues is a good albs
flower seeds massive synths take over, and through, as is Mun
to make my friends hate me a you can hardly resist the tempta- Sigh No More. The
few times over (they are both tion to dance, regardless of the Bon Iver never see
delicious and unsanitary). But, stupid song title. me - my friends tE
what I had forgotten would have at me because, ohr
ruined the trip in a way nothing again! (Wusses.) B
else could. B1yz II M en s here should be sot
You see, I had neglected to Bo " II "Men dued, just active er
add a road-trip playlist to my banned from you interested.
iPod. Shuffle doesn't work; The last leg ofti
nothing will ruin a mood more this car. be unplanned. Yes
than when "I'm Gonna Be (500 how dire a pre-chc
Miles)" by The Proclaimers but the final hour'
begins playing from your speak- you start realizing
ers. Not that I like that song or But it can't all be thumping you forgot to iticlu
anything (get out of my face, beats and party'songs. Too much other losers you've
it's a classic). And when you're house music tends to make my for the past few ho
driving, the music has to be per- brain hurt, especially when deserve some say i
feet - hitting the road is a long the hours begin to pile up and or whatever. This:
ordeal, made even longer by exhaustion sets in. The ratio of to patch things up
misguided stretches of Boyz II genres or "song flavors" needs sunflower seeds by
Men. No one wants to hear that to be precise, like bakinga long- requests. Just - dt
shit, man - put it away. island-iced-tea-flavored cake. stop it with the Bo
So if you've already decided Why would anyone make that? I not happening.
you're going to be the journey's have no idea, but I'm sure some And thus endst
conductor, it's vital that you drunk idiot tried to, and probably for your "Tripping
pick a well-suited compilation set their house on fire in the pro- ist (go ahead and
of songs and albums that mesh cess. In conclusion, don't try to came up with that
with the open road. Here's help make alcoholic cakes. you were going to
for anyone who wants to custom- Anyway, my recipe for the whatever else ma!
tailor the soundtrack for their road-trip setlist goes as fol- on your journey -
next highway voyage. lows: Begin by mixing some hip breaks to yell at th
Before I even begin to think hop and high-energy alterna- telling me what to
about the people in the car, the tive music. Start with alayer her one day!
mood I want to set or even the of Kanye and the Strokes, and
bands I may want to listen to, I maybe a dash of Foster the Alpern is a
always add one staple. Tradition People - the catchiness will set sunflower see
s ould dictate at least one selec- a good mood level as you first e-mail ealp
Gettingfreaky w.,ith

y. When you
it, start tran-
-laden, but are
you personally:
re (try "The
ankrocker" by
ybears), but the
illaz are both
settle into the
's important
bove for some
n my experi-
um to listen
mford & Sons'
very soothing
ims to work for
end to get mad
no, I fell asleep
ut the end goal
mething sub-
sough to keep
he trip should
, I described
osen playlist is,
or so is when
what songs
de. Plus, those
e been ignoring
ours probably
n the music,
is your chance
regarding the
y taking some
Jude, seriously,
yz II Men. It's
the strategy
g Out" playl-
pretend you
t - you know
anyway). Do
kes you happy
I like to take '
he GPS lady for
'do. I'll show
ddicted to ranch
eds. To help him,

I can haz drums?
Too Msullen to


with f
in th
that m
in bla
up. W
The 2r
few u
only a
or at l
you to
And t
to be:

use's '2nd Law' ly with "Supremacy," which
involves death metal guitar
overcome by lines that quickly transition
into, essentially, the James Bond
lameness theme song. After the second
screech of "suuuupremacy," it
By KATIE STEEN becomes heartbreakingly clear
DailyArts Writer that Muse is taking itself seri-
ously - except, actually, maybe
se formed in 1994 and, not. Take "Survival" for instance,
fifteen million albums sold which was chosen as the official
wide later, the band has had theme song of the Olympics. It's
time to a pretty awesome (in the literal
t on what sense of the word) song, but so
e learned cheesy in its awesomeness. It's
e last 18 cheesy in the sort of "Bohemian
- which M Rhapsody""way - a great song
evidently, The 2nd Law but there's no way to take it seri-
elodrama ously when Matthew Bellamy
Sullen Warner Bros shrieks "I'm gonna wiiiiiin" in
dressed falsetto. And then there's the
ack head to toe, looking lightbulb moment - of course.
while things explode in the this is the Olympic theme song.
round - people eat that shit It's so serious but also shouldn't
'ith the band's latest work be taken seriously at all ....just like
nd Law, the guys explore a sports!
nexpected aspects of their A particularly upbeat goodie
vity (read: dupstep), while on the album is "Madness," the
ging to take themselves second single and arguably best
teeny, tiny bit less seriously. track off 2nd Law. It's an unex-
2nd Law is a dense album, pectedly toned-down redemp-
east that's what Muse wants tion of the damages done in
think. The song "Survival" "Supremacy." The majority of
ntly requires a minute-long "Madness" consists of a stut-
ide" (sappy piano, crescen- tering Auto-Tune voicing "mad-
orchestra, choral ahhs). ness" (makes sense) with a dubby
he title track, a bombastic backdrop womping along - yes,
bugger, apparently needed even Muse has decided to dabble
split into two parts - "The in the dub. But it's the nuances
Law: Unsustainable" and that make the song - including
2nd Law: Isolated System." an adorable five seconds of voice
e album opens ambitious- harmonization - when the band

finally stops trying to outdo
itself and explores influences
other than nonironic metal riffs.
and glam rock rip-offs.
At its worst, The 2nd Law
sounds like a U2 reunion album
(has U2 broken up yet?). By the
second half of the album, you
begin to realize two things - this
is a long-ass album, and also, oh
my God, there are thousands of
people who really love, admire
and pay lots of money to this
band. And this is where the love-
able dorkiness of Muse begins to
really fade. "Follow Me" begins
with what just sounds like a ram-
bling drunk: "When darkness
falls and surrounds you, when
you fall down when you're scared
and you're lost ... " Then the song
mutates into a thrashing dub-
step nightmare, which ruins any
inkling of lovability the boys had
with their Queen-y sound.
Muse is undoubtedly lame in
The 2nd Law - let's make this
clear. But a couple - literally two
- songs are great, not despite
their lameness, but because of
their lameness. But, like most
Muse albums, there a just a few
winners that continue to reso-
nate long after the release date.
"Knights ofCydonia." "Starlight."
And now "Madness?" "Survival?"
But while the, dudes of Muse are
shrieking and shredding and
headbanging with hair in their
face and sweat raining from their
pores, they'll fail to see that most
listeners are rolling their eyes.


For theDaily
In the last decade, BR&B -
once a genre full of musical and
creative diversity - has decayed
into a mostly
homogenous * .* ,
mess of artists
who have lost Miguel
the ability to
think outside Kaleidoscope
the box. Insert Dream
into this plc- Bystorm/RCA
ture Miguel.
What sepa-
rates Miguel from his R&B con-
temporaries is the fact that his
music can't be defined by the
standard R&B guidelines. He
lacks the dance moves of fisher,
the multi-octave vocal range of
R. Kelly and even the soulful-
ness of Raphael Saadiq. A more
apt comparison would be a 21st-
century Prince - a man in a
genre of his own.
Miguel's debut, 2010's All
I Want Is You, sold well and
received solid reviews. That
being said, for every experimen-
tal and soulful slow jam on the
album, there was a songthat was
a little off, a song about stuff the
other R&B singers talk about.
Blame it on the major label influ-
ence, but listening to the album,
you get the feeling that there
was something Miguel was
holding back, something even
freakier, even wilder - the true,
down and dirty Miguel.
Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel's
second album, is the unhin-
dered expression of this pent-
up emotion. The opening track,
"Adorn," a standout from the
album and his most success-
ful song to date, simply gives
you that feeling: Miguel hits
every note, the beat is funky and
smooth and you can't help but
sing along. Remember, though,
Miguel is not an R&B singer, and
Kaleidoscope Dream is markedly
different from other contempo-
rary R&B albums out there. It
has various musical influenc-
es - a kaleidoscope of genres,
if you will - similar to many

Lloyd's 'Sticks and Stones,
exhibits the x-factor

Those cheekbones ...lady boners all over the place.

has a
esque I
a grun,
and "V
ever," a
'70s so
a heav


albums. The title track ever, when the album feels a
thumping, DJ Premier- little forced. "Don't Look Back"
hip-hop beat, "Use Me" is attempts to incorporate a heavy
gy, guitar filled slow-jam, electric guitar riff, but Miguel's
Where's the Fun in For- voice is swallowed up by cymbal
nother highlight, utilizes crashes and excessive noise. "How
unding break-beat drums, Many Drinks," the most stereo-
y baseline and a catchy typical R&B song on the record,
chorus (with the help of is catchy, but uses an extremely
Keys). tired subject matter: "How many
drinks would it take for you to
leave with me/You look good and
I've got money but I don't wanna
waste my time." Come on;Miguel.
e sand rds Stop being so lazy.
Le standards In recent musical memory,
Of R & B. "Pussy Is Mine," the second to
last track, has to be one of the
most absurd songs to ever be
included on an-album. As Miguel
uel's greatest strength croons the opening lyrics, "Tell
ways been his ability to me that that pussy is mine ..." his
the ladies. For better or friends laugh in the background,
Miguel sings what's on and it's obvious that this is a
nd, whether or not it's joke, right? Well, maybe not. As
or of the highest lyrical ridiculous as the lyrics are, this
rd. On "Do You .... " the is Miguel at his most vulnerable
single, Miguel flat out and most exposed, just a guy and
his woman, "I want to do a guitar, unaware that he's even
e drugs," a line that rivals being recorded. By the end, it
ick Ross telling a girl she becomes clear that the song was
ike a bag of money as the never about the vulgar lyrics -
?ickup line ever, The song, it was included in the album as
nable metaphor aside, an outtake, a glimpse at Miguel
ghlight of the album. It in the moment, and as the song
s from a simple guitar lick comes to a close he pleads,
head-bobbing, harmoniz- almost desperately, "I don't
play-this-in-a-convertible want to believe / Anyone is just
r jam. like me." Don't worry, Miguel.
e are moments, how- No one is.

DailyArts Writer
Most Americans aren't famil-
iar with Cher Lloyd's journey
through Simon
Cowell's "The
X Factor U.K.,"
so many default Cher Lloyd
to labeling her
as "the one that Sticks and
grunts" in this Stones
summer's hit
song "Want U Epic
Back." With
Lloyd's rough-and-tough, Sticks
and Stones attitude, this label isn't
too far off.
This album is the embodiment
of quirkiness. "Grow Up" is prac-
tically a competition between
Lloyd and Busta Rhymes to find
out who can spit out words the
fastest. Asa white Britishi girl, her
intense rap verses should be the
most tacky, annoying aspect ever
thrown into an album, but some-
how it sounds natural and fun.
It doesn't end with rap either.
If a bit of dubstep on "Over the
Moon" and "Playa Boi" isn't
enough, the song "Dub On the
Track" delivers exactly what it
promises. Imagine that. It's not
radio friendly in the slightest;
major bonus points for creativity.
One of the simpler playful
tracks, "With Ur Love," was a
major hit in the UK and originally
featured vocals by Mike Pos-
ner. The bouncy beat of Lloyd's
lighthearted vibe brings back the
mood of Fergie's "Clumsy." Pos-
ner was removed from the song
for the US release, which essen-
tially removed the aspect hat
would have drawn in American
listeners, which is unfortunate
because he does little in the way
of actual vocal contribution.
Though some might be excited

has air
talk to
his mi
says to
you lik
only R
looks li
worst p
is a hi
into aI
ing, I
l Ther

She didn't get him back.
to see Carolina Liar featured in music is sure to be a hit or miss
"Beautiful People," it's one of the among audiences, very similar to
weakest tracks on the album. The Nicki Minaj's pop-rap crossovers.
opening instrumentation sounds Fortunately for Lloyd, there's no
like it was sampled from a low- need to desperately attempt to
budget video game, and the melo- please fan bases from two com-
dy is just as dull. The only purpose pletely different genres of music.
this song serves is to add some The album has its creative twists,
tempo variety to the album., but it's clearly pop at heart.
Most artists only dream of hav-
ing Shellback, RedOne, Max Mar-
Producers can tin or Dr. Luke write and produce
on their album, and Lloyd was
work magic. lucky enough to have all four of
these hit-makers put together the
record. Shellback did the majority
of the writing and producing - a
The Dr. Luke-generated song, fitting choice, given all the work
"Oath," available on US release he's done for the other ferocious
only, was chosen instead as the female pop artist, P!nk.
next single from the record. Con- There are many roads to be fol-
sideringAmerica's obsession with lowed with pop music, but Cher
music made by Luke, this was Lloyd's voice has the x-factor,
a wise move. The sound of the allowing her to pull off almost
track is easily comparable to Nicki any musical interpretation of
Minaj's "Young Forever," which pop. Regardless of the wacko
by no coincidence is another production and collaborations
piece of his work. Reminiscing in that take the album in ten dif-
a remember-this-remember-that ferent directions, Lloyd is never
style shows a sentimental side to overshadowed , in the music,
Lloyd's rugged appearance. thanks to her "Swagger Jagger"
Cher Lloyd's thug style of pop vocal spunk.





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