Sunday, October 27, 2013

Single Review: Lady Gaga - Venus


Originally slated to be the 2nd single from ARTPOP, Venus dropped in full today. In essence, it is everything we would've thought ARTPOP would sound like.

It's sparse in its lyrical content (and thought), but it is chuck full of gritty synths, drums, and the electro-pop magic that we all dreamt of when we thought "ARTPOP." That being said, thank god this song was scrapped in favor of Do What U Want as the 2nd single. It lacks a hook, along with many other pop characteristics, instead opting for electronic flavors. Lady Gaga did a strong job with the production (the build up in the latter part of the song proves that point), and it does capture an out of this world sound. That is not Venus's problem: the problem is its choppy verses and chorus. Venus hops along with its strange lyricism, being left to stand on one leg, AKA the production.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Track By Track Album Review: Katy Perry - Prism


Katy Perry's 3rd full length EP leaked in full, and will hit US store shelves Tuesday, October 22nd. The album holds a 61 on Metacritic, which means it has generally favorable reviews (much more than what could be said about her two previous albums). But how does it fair here at Critic of Music?

Roar: Yes, it is still the same Sara Bareilles rip-off we heard 2 months ago. At least she sounds good on it (Plenty of solid C5s and Eb5s). C-

Legendary Lovers: Starting off with a sitar to kick off this mysterious creation, Katy shows off semi-rapping style in the verses. Obviously her Indian wedding influenced her here, as some more diverse styles can be seen here. It's the closest thing to an artistic identity we've ever seen from Perry, exciting! B+

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Vocal Range and Profile: Carrie Underwood



Vocal Range: D3 - G5 - F#6 (Bb6)
Longest Note: 20 Seconds (I Know You Won't Live)
Vocal Type: Full-Lyric Soprano (Though she tries to mimic Mezzo singers) (3 octaves, 2 notes)
Vocal Rating: A-List

Positives:
Ability to hold notes for extended periods without wavering in pitch, with or without vibrato (Blown Away, I Know You Won't live). She is capable of using properly executed drives as well.

Her lower register is smoky, and maintains the slightly metallic quality of the rest of the range. As she ascends, she finds her strength: her middle register. Hher lung capacity here is incredible, holding resonant and well-supported notes without issue.

A sweet falsetto that is light and airy, as well as a thick, soothing head voice. As a musician, her delivery can be aching, as well as fierce and vigorous (Before He Cheats).

Negatives: 
The voice can be nasally, and chest notes become more and more "shouty" as they ascend. Her head voice sounds disconnected from the rest of the voice, and thin. Her vibrato, though a trademark of the voice, sounds uneven. Her larynx placement is also inconsistent.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Live Performance Review: Kelly Clarkson - Fair Trade Concert


After a two month tour, one would expect Kelly Clarkson's voice to be a little out of shape. However, the 31 year old Texan delivered an incredible acoustic only performance in New York this week, in support of Fair Trade.

Taking to the stage, Kelly comfortably delivered some massive vocals. In her 5 song set, she performed some hits (Stronger, Don't You Wanna Stay) and the rare live gem, Sober. On the latter, she made My Country Tis of Thee's emotional impact equivalent to "Happy Birthday." Through somber verses, and an incredible bridge, Kelly herself was left on the verge of tears when the guitars were laid to rest.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Album Review: Miley Cyrus - Bangerz


Bangerz is not the sex-oriented mess the general would public would believe it to be without a listen. It is also not the 2nd coming of pop some "Smilers" would have you believe.

Miley has talent, yes. She can sing and she can act (bare with me even if you disagree). But she struggles with making a musically superior album. Bangerz has its steps forward, and its steps back. At the end of the journey, you're left with several different tastes in your mouth. Some of them may be "I really want to throw a party," and others may be "I really want to throw up."Ballads like Wrecking Ball and Adore You are steps in the right direction, but multi-genre atrocities like FU counteract the progress made. Miley, as much as you may love the Rihanna style you've adopted, you do so much better when you wear your heart on your sleeve, rather than wearing nothing at all.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Live Review: Demi Lovato - Neon Lights @ Jay Leno


Debuting her fresh new blue hair, Demi took the stage to bring an impressive vocal of her latest single, Neon Lights. 

The recent removal of her tonsils really paid off here, as she gave one of the best vocals in quite some time. The pitch was spot-on throughout, and she even dug deep into her chest to nail the C#3 in the first verse (the lowest note she's ever sung live I believe). She then took into the upper reaches of the atmosphere to nail the sustained notes in the chorus replacing any issues with vibrato.