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So let’s start with reviewing Tristan Prettymans new great album “Hello…x“. Just to get it out of the way: The new album is nowhere near her debut, which is probably the best album ever released. (or so says my music player) But let’s cut to the chase. This album is quite diversed, driven by Tristan Prettyman’s unique and beautiful voice. It has bluesy and jazzy elements, lots of pop, rock and folk. It’s almost never dull and quite enjoyable. There’s some clapping, a lot of acoustic guitar, some piano and string, occasionally.
I might need some getting used to, especially if you have already come to know and love her debut but it’s definitely worth every minute (of total 50) of listening.
1. Hello (3:25)
The first track on the album (obviously), there’s the evermore stylish clapping, some (a little) quirky guitar play and Prettyman’s smooth, sometimes somewhat edgy voice. And there’s also some off-beat singing, which I really dig. Overall a good start.
2. Echo (3:38)
It starts with a really nice guitar tune, and makes you tap your toes (at the very least), then there’s some nice e-piano underlying, a little e-guitar as well. This song really has power and groove. (although some people might argue about the power, as always. But it’s just not about the volume and speed, when I mean power)
3. California Girl (3:58)
I had my difficulties liking this tune at first, maybe it’s a little too slow and uneventful for me, but there’s at least a short e-guitar solo at the end (the bright yellow-white part in the picture above). Definitely not my favorite song on this album, but there are plenty…
4. Madly (3:19)
Damn, I just like that guitar. And oddly enough I really like the drums (I never seem to notice them enough in other songs to actually appreciate them). Then there’s that clapping again (who started that anyway? Paolo Nutini?) The chorus is a little dull, to be honest, but it’s never the less a good sond.
5. Blindfold (3:58)
A very stripped down song, no unnecessary instruments, the focus almost just on Prettymans’s voice. (Which is good, by the way) It let’s you concentrate on the beautiful lyrics. It’s a little slow at first, but then just a little over the half it starts to get a little mor spirited.
6. Handshake (3:47)
Some quirky, squeaking guitars again, I don’t really enjoy it as much as the other songs until the piano starts getting louder and Tristan prettyman starts to absolutely rock (honkey-tonk style), at which point I am absolutely enjoying myself (yes, definitely more than just toe-tapping - unless I’m in some very public place, of course).
7. War Out Of Peace (3:49)
Oho, this doesn’t sound too much like Prettyman a first, just not enough acoustic. I like the broadening of her musical horizon, actually I find that this song would make a great soundtrack (in fact I think it sounds a lot like the soundtrack of “The Holiday” with Kate Winselt and Jude Law, which I now absolutely can’t confirm, listening to it on youtube ;), well, whatever. Oh, wait allright there it is, I just wasn’t patient enough. (Here, listen for yourselves)). This song is so full of potential to be fullfilled, so much optimism and pathos. (Also a little like Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”)
8. You Got Me (3:24)
Probably my favorite. Nice lyrics, cool guitarplay, slow enough, but never boring. What is there more to say? Ah yeah, off-beat singing. :D Ok, that’s it definitely my favority although I can’t really explain why…
9. Don’t Work Yourself Up (3:41)
Melancholic, raw and … damn, off-beat singing. ;) (Alright I’ll stop…) I like the flow between those raw, stripped periods, where you almost just hear her voice and the full and loud periods that sound exuberant and almost optimistic. It’s the contrast that make this song great.
10. A Little Bit (3:40)
A bluesy track, which definitely proves that Prettyman’s style has become more varied. Overall a pretty much average track and in the end there’s a cool chorus repeating the refrain.
11. Interviews (3:32)
I especially like the acoustic guitar in this track. “Interviews” has a quite catchy melody. I mean what’s not to like about this song…
12. In Bloom (3:47)
A piano-driven ballad with accompanying strings. The character of this track, however, is dictated (once more) by Tristan Prettyman’s beautiful voice. The comparison to Norah Jones can most definitely not be dismissed. I find that Norah Jones tend to be lighter (in a good sense), but they also tend to build much less tension and are therefore a little less interesting (in general, though you can argue with me here. But as a fact I also like Norah Jones music very much, it’s just not as “rocking” as Tristan Prettyman’s)
13. God Gave Me Patience (3:46)
So light the day
And invite me to stay
‘Cause now I see
I was always on my way
Just a little late
14. Hummingbirds (2:50)
A lighthearted, up-beat kinda song, the ideal finish, in my opinion. And this song really does the album justice.
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And there goes the happy ending. ;)
Captain Hammer has everyone fooled, and marks the great hero. Where he has to give a speech about his work for the homeless (which he despises) Dr. Horrible amushes him, freezes him with his freezeray and tries to kill him with his newly invented deathray, but he can’t. The freezeray malfunctions and Captain Hammer (unfortunately) can move again, he hits Dr. Horrible in which course the deathray gets damaged, which Captain Hammer des not notice, so then, when he pulls the trigger to finally kill his foe, the weapon is destroyed in an explosion, and Captain Hammer feel pain for the first time and runs away like a whyning baby. Penny gets hit by debree and dies. Dr. Horrible has now lost everything holding him back on his evil path (And I’m sure Penny’s last words “Captain Hammer will save us” gave him the rest). Dr. Horrible finally can join the evil league (because of Penny’s death) and he now does evil things…
He’s so evil, to even exchange his white coat with a red one.
This last part was alright, but not as good as the first two, because there was no letter from “Bad Horse”, because Dr. Horrible turned evil, because Penny died, and because this episode (in my opinion) was less humorous than the other two.
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With his incredible debut album Gavin DeGraw set the stakes very high, and now, sadly, fails to deliver. There are some songs, that are almost as good as the ones on “Chariot” (the debut), but there are also the mediocre titles, such as “Let it Go” or “We Belong Together”. The album is a little over-produced, too mainstream and often lacks the ingenuity and soul of “Chariot”.
All this doesn’t make “Gavin DeGraw” ab bad album, not even a mediocre one. It undoubtedly is a good album. There are several very catchy, good songs, but there are also songs, that disappiont. But compared to “Chariot” it just isn’t as good.
1. In Love With A Girl (3:27)
This song is about the power of love and it rocks (no surprise, they made it a single). It’s loud, fast and there are a lot of drums and heavy guitars.
2. Next To Me (Wait A Minute Sister) (3:26)
One of my favorites, a very catchy song about a (possibly) unfulfilled love.
3. Cheated On Me (3:39)
A ballad about how jealousy can drive loved ones away, unfortunately, in my opinion a little uneventful and definitely more mediocre songs on this album.
4. I Have You To Thank (3:27)
Starts almost the exact same way as “I Don’t Want To Be” from Gavin’s first album and then turns in to a cool, funky, strong tune. I especially love the bridge and the ending.
5. Cop Stop (3:24)
This song starts terribly, but gets much better with an ingenious, powerful refrain.
6. Young Love (4:08)
A ballad again, very melodic, starts of quite slow, dramatic, but in the last third it thankfully gets a little more exciting.
7. Medicate The Kids (3:19)
Probably one of the best songs on this album, about parents drugging their children. This songs really stands out not just because of the lyrics (they’re funny in a very concerning way ;) ) but also because it is extremely catchy melody and great bridge.
8. Relative (4:12)
A great, rocking song with a little funky lyrics, an awesome (”Jason Mraz”-like) bridge.
9. She Holds A Key (3:50)
This is my favorite song, a wonderful, strong, emotional ballad with great lyrics, rhymes and a superb ending.
10. Untamed (4:00)
A poppy tune, with a great bridge (again), and a very catchy, feel-good ending (with a little guitar solo - Oh I love those…).
11. Let It Go (3:49)
Sleeping pills? At least that was my first impression. Definitely much to depressing and slow, then there is this annoying refrain. This is by far the worst song on the album, the only one, that actually made me wind forward.
12. We Belong Together (5:30)
It’s a littley too clichéd and over-produced for me.