MUSIC MAKERS: Afire with Collider


Universal Music

HEAVY metal sounds awesome with the 30-year old Megadeth. Even after selling 38 million albums worldwide, founder and frontman Dave Mustaine hasn’t turned blase with success.

The Grammy winning band offers pulsating guitar riffs and even political lyrics on this 14th studio album.

I couldn’t stop playing the album. The guitar riffs, the percussive drive, coupled with Mustaine’s voice, all made Super Collider a riveting listen. The title track is actually a softer track compared to the other 10. Let your stress rock out with Built For War, Burn, Don’t Turn Your Back or even Megadeth’s cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat.

The banjo sound on The Blackest Crow is an unusual addition for this band, where Mustaine sings about death. But it’s listenable with imagery-filled lyrics like “The fires all but gone, my world is darker now/ Than the blackest crow.”

Outstanding is Dancing In The Rain where Mustaine opens with “Sentenced to work a dead end 9 to 5/ Trapped in a dingy corporate cubicle hell / Then go to work in the darkness on the midnight shift / Any chance you get, selling gas at the corner Shell...” and hitting the thrash metal nail with “Learn to dance in the rain, the sun will never come.”

Oh, how can you not admire Megadeth in a world of bubblegum pop, and folksy coffeehouse whispers? Get Super Collider for a rollicking trip to anywhere.

Noah And The Whale
Universal Music

IT has been five years since this English band released its debut album, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, in August 2008.

On Heart Of Nowhere, the melodies are still folksy but amped up just a little while the lyrics have grown up along with the band comprising Charlie Fink (vocals, guitar), Tom Hobden (violin/keys), Matt Owens (bass guitar), Fred Abbott (guitar/keys), and Michael Petulla (drums).

It’s an album of reflection about relationships, and not just how to get your flirt on.

The title track is a catchy melody, driven by a violin. Featuring a 1980s sounding Anna Calvi, frontman Fink seems to match her sound with ease. The bass line in There Will Come A Time sweeps you along while Fink croons Not Too Late ballad with some conviction. This slow tempo song stands out from the other nine songs as it could also be a country song with the chorus: “You were hoping for so much more/But it’s not too late, no it’s not too late.”

Preppy pop beats keeps you tapping with Still After All These Years, and I can hear the anthemic Now Is Exactly The Time being sung by fans in cars, clubs, and small venues.

If you like the Brit sound of the 1980s, Heart Of Nowhere will keep you in a sunshiny mood.

Sophie Zelmani
Sony Music

THIS double pack offering from Swedish singer-songwriter Sophie Zelmani combines her 1999 album Time To Kill with her 2010 I’m The Rain.

Zelmani’s songs have made it on television including Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dawson’s Creek, and movies including Independence Day (1996) with Stand By and her 1995 hit Always You on My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997).

Even Chinese singer Faye Wong sang Zelmani’s hit Going Home as Passenger in Mandarin.

I admit I’ve not heard of Zelmani before this album, and still don’t think she warrants a double-pack package unlike the previous offerings of Miles Davis and Johnny Cash. Zelmani offers a quiet, folksy sound. The two albums are mellow, and guitar-driven. She sings effortlessly, with no jarring notes. In fact, you can cook or sew or read a book as Zelmani almost whispers her songs.

I found the guitar melody on The Years memorable enough to make me want to play the simple chords.

If you like your music gentle, almost trancelike, then Zelmani is the bee’s knees. She might put you to sleep.

Demi Lovato
Universal Music

IT’s pop again from 20-year-old Demi Lovato on this fourth studio album, with the hit, Heart Attack. The singer-actress and now songwriter, whose real name is Demetria Devonne, co-wrote almost all the 13 songs which are about love and young relationships.

There are some electro-pop synth on some songs, some pop-rock and even R&B overtures in this radio-friendly album. The melodies are catchy including Really Don’t Care (featuring Cher Lloyd), Heart Attack, Made In The USA and Without The Love while Lovato shows strong vocals on the ballads Nightingale and Two Pieces, among others.

Neon Lights is irritating for its reverb, which wasn’t a necessary technical addition because Lovato has a good enough voice.

After the first few songs, the album begins to sound the same even with the breaks offered by the ballads. The producers threw vocal blasters for this young artiste to power through, leaving nuance by the wayside. And, Lovato delivered the goods with amps on high.

She is pure pop, compared to the R&B sound in Unbroken, but it should keep tweens and teens singing along.





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