Today we find out what happens when Indi Power Pop goes electronic! However you choose to categorize them, the four-piece rock band OK Go is clearly dabbling into new areas with their latest album, Hungry Ghosts. Early in Crash Chords history, Matt had the priviledge of conducting an interview with OK Go’s drummer, Dan Konopka, while also reviewing their previous release, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. For their new album however, we administer the unadulterated CCP treatment, so hop on board and share your own opinions! Following that, we shift to a more lighthearted topic: quite simply, the nature of “rocking out!” Can this primal urge ever mingle freely with the stoic world of critical analysis?
A time warp has thrown us today, specifically to a time when “Pop Goddess” could only conjure up one name: Madonna. In welcoming today’s special guest Rashmi, an actress and musician in her own right, she has us take a look at Madonna’s breakthrough album, True Blue. And then we shift to Rashmi herself. Raised in Dallas, Texas, her music is a blend of country folk tinged with the pleasing lilts of traditional Indian ornamentation. Not only do we find out when her style took shape, but we get to hear it for ourselves — as do you! Ears open, everyone.
Today’s band, the English guy-girl duo Slow Club, dips from modern Indie-Pop back to 60s/70s-era Motown for their new release, Complete Surrender. First we take a trip through the album, and then, as per the present case of genre-meshing, we take another trip a through a thesis: “Pop music looks toward the future while Indie looks to the past.” Any validity? That’s today’s question. (Opinions & comments encouraged.)
Checking in on one of the mellowest pop rock bands of the last decade, we simmer down to discuss Coldplay’s latest LP, Ghost Stories. Afterwards, join us in a discussion on unconventional vocalists! More often than not, inflection and artistic flare will win over classical training. But in the world of rock, where a singer’s humanity is paramount, how much can an artist get away with? When does novelty fail in the face of effort?
Today we welcome guests Mark & Chuck of the music comedy duo Afterbirth Monkey. As tradition demands, they have the honor of the weekly album pick, which they reveal to be Katy Perry’s latest, Prism. Later, we spotlight our guest duo and pick apart the origins of their risque yet quirky comedy style. And of course, we couldn’t let them leave without giving us a taste of their craft, so they regail us with three unique tales (in song form of course). Stay alert for these performances at the most logical intervals. Hint: you won’t have to wait long for the first.
Finally giving the biggest collaborator of the music industry his due, this week’s review spotlights Pharrell Williams’ latest solo album, GIRL With the artist’s smooth rhythms and groovy textures, it’s no surprise that his singles seem to find their way to every DJ’s library. Simply put, they’re easy on the feet. And so, for our discussion, we open the floor to dance music! We cover its varied history and cultural quirks, so be sure to boogie down with us after the review.
In the mood for some satirical gibberish? Who isn’t. That’s why we’re pushing forward with more reviews of comedy music albums. This week we chose The Wack Album by The Lonely Island (the comedy Hip-Hop troupe composed of former SNL staff & cast members, Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone). Then stick around for a brief intro to the use of satire in art. Conversely, stay tuned for a future discussion on the use of music to a comedic end.
To close off the year, we thought we’d take a little stroll through the Billboard 200 and see what all the fuss is about. So when we heard that one of the world’s top-selling artists just released a “surprise” album slated to top the charts without any marketing or hype, our choice became apparent: Beyoncé’s self-titled, self-proclaimed “visual album”, BEYONCÉ. Then, in keeping with the artist’s decision to release a music video for each track on her album, we get into a little discussion on how other artists have applied the visual element in their work.
This week, we review OneRepublic’s third studio album, Native, followed by an overview of common lyrical formats, implementation, and lyrics’ capacity to strike a bigger chord than the chords that support them.
It’s finally time to tackle our first EP, an original work by Walk off the Earth called R.E.V.O., which we discuss alongside a selection of self-released covers. This rare combo-review comes courtesy of our guest, the enterprising thespian known as “Joe Rude” of The Kings of Karaoke and of The Society of American Fight Directors. He tells us a bit about Karaoke as a business, and also as a haven for quelling inhibitions, one show at a time. Stick around at the end for a treat performance!