REVIEW BY MATTHEW BURDITT
New year, new music. This month got off to a big start to the year for music. We saw good pop albums and good rock albums and I’ll be talking about one of each.
CODE ORANGE – FOREVER
Code Orange (consisting of drummer/vocalist Jami Morgan, guitarists/vocalists Reba Meyers and Eric Balderose and bassist Joe Goldman) released their highly anticipated third album, (and first on Roadrunner Records) Forever on Jan. 13.
This record is a great analogy of the hardcore scene right now and how vast it really is. As expected, there are the beatdown tracks (Real, Kill The Creator) that’ll make anyone go absolutely insane, but the band experiment a lot on this record. Songs such as “Bleeding In The Blur” and “Ugly” take the listener down a route of Nirvana-esque instrumentations and vocals. Adding to their wearing of the ‘90s influence on their sleeve, we get a bit of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails in songs like “The Mud” and “dream2” with the use of synthesizers and extremely eerie sounds.
What makes this album so hard hitting however, is the lyrics. The band wants you to get hyped for moments like in the opening song, hearing Morgan emphasize that “Code Orange is forever” still sends chills down my back. Not only do they hit you, but this band showcases how dark they can really go, specifically in the song, “Hurt Goes On.” With the vocals being almost spoken word, it’s not hard to get why lines like, “I wanna hurt you mentally” and “the only reason I’m alive is to watch your mind go dead” sounds 10 times more sad than they already were.
This album was a rollercoaster of deep and dark emotion, but it’s still a solid hardcore record.
If Code Orange is trying to be the band that takes the scene by storm in 2017, they’re doing a very good job so far.
Listen to : Real
The xx – I See You
The xx is a British pop group that has been around for a while now. They’ve managed to build up a solid fanbase but this album (their first in five years) will be what gets them to take over the mainstream.
The band, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Romy Madley Croft, bassist/vocalist Oliver Sim and producer Jamie ‘xx’ Smith, took this record in an innovative direction yet maintained the simplicity that they are known for. Utilizing ‘80s pop sounds such as sampling Hall and Oates (On Hold) and Alessi (Say Something Loving) and certain production elements, the trio has perfectly crafted their own idea of modern pop in 10 songs.
Songs like “Lips,” and “Say Something Loving” showcase the abilities The xx has to display the emotional depth of their songs instrumentally and lyrically to keep the listener in a shock, and to simply embrace what they’re hearing, but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep it catchy. “On Hold” and “I Dare You” are the two catchiest songs on the record that’ll have the listener dancing around, yet they still maintain that emotion that exists in the rest of the record.
This is a great pop record that I’d recommend to any fan of music. The xx may have taken a long time to come out with this one, but it was truly worth the wait.
Listen to : On Hold