Friday, February 27, 2015

Track by Track Review: Kelly Clarkson - Piece by Piece

Clarkson's 7th studio album has hit the web in all of its glory - or is it shame?

Heartbeat Song: Clarkson and her promotional team have both admitted that Heartbeat Song was birthed in order to re-introduce Clarkson to pop radio after Catch My Breath, but even then "Heartbeat" is a big disappointment. Solid verses, but the chorus and bridge are abysmal. This single had to be stuck on the album, but an opening position is deceitful as to what the rest of the album has to offer. 3/10

Invincible: A soaring power ballad, albeit, with bland lyrics. The album is quickly back on track. 8/10

Someone: A melody that sounds strikingly similar to this Kesha song. It's an uneventful song, but it still feels worthy enough to be on the album. It's somber enough to attract some fans. 6.5/10

Take You High: A sea of synths propel Clarkson to her most legitimate EDM sound yet. Crescendoing drums in the pre-chorus lead to disconnected syllables flying high above synths and accented down beats. Unfortunately though, it feels slightly unfinished. 7.5/10

Piece By Piece: Piece By Piece definitely deserves to name Clarkson's 7th studio album. Beautiful sentiment, harmonies and phrasing along with a strong drum line create a powerful Because of You sibling. Clarkson takes stabs at her father while praising her husband's love towards herself and her daughter. Clarkson sounds proud and restored and heartbroken all at once. It's a fascinating track that commands the attention of the listener. One of the highlights of Clarkson's songwriting career. 10/10

Monday, February 23, 2015

Live Review: Lady Gaga at the 87th Academy Awards

Lady Gaga. You insanely talented woman. I will not belittle you by saying that you should have been doing this since 2008, because you changed the pop landscape for decades to come, and pushed artistic boundaries and stood by your work in good times and bad. Throughout your career, you have seen ups and more recently your downs. However, you just send the pendulum back on an upward sing.

First off, what a voice. This was your best vocal performance, period, hands down. The six months of vocal training have been showing not only in this performance, but in your work with Tony Bennett and your live performances since. The vibrato: magnificent and effortless. The placement: semi-operatic, excellent and strain free. The texture, the timbre: lush. When we look back at videos from 2009 up to even 2013, we see some characteristics that have been erased. You have answered your critics, and you have politely smacked them in the face.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Live Review: All 23 Grammy Performances in One Word (Maybe Two)

The 57th Grammy Awards aired last night, showing off a respectable 23 performances from legends and newcomers alike. If you missed the show, let Critic of Music give you the run down.

AC/DC: Why?

Ariana Grande: Cute (& pitchy).

Tom Jones and Jessie J: Why?

Miranda Lambert: Fiery.

Kanye West: Disappointing.

Madonna: Well (then).

Ed Sheeran: Blissful.

Electric Light Orchestra: Forgettable.

Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani: Yawn.

Hozier and Annie Lennox: Holy (wow).

Pharrell: Mess.

Katy Perry: Stunning.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Classy.

Usher: Good.

Eric Church: Why?

Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam: Yawn.

Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney: Refreshing.

Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige: Eh.

Juanes: Catchy.

Sia: Tired.

Beck and Chris Martin: Eh.

Beyoncé: Vibrato.

John Legend and Common: Powerful.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Live Review: Katy Perry - Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show

The most viewed spectacle of the year: the Super Bowl halftime show. The star: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known as Katy Perry. Her twelve and a half minute set featured six of her Billboard No.1 singles, two other stars, and a shooting star. But was the show any good?

Trotting out on to the field atop a silver tiger, Katy glided over her worldwide smash Roar. However, it instantly became apparent that this was not a typical live showing from Perry. She was in tune. The problem however was the metallic quality in her voice, which shows the use of vocal processing. Perry was using a pre-recorded vocal. Not as sinful as using the studio version, and even less sinful since she somewhat admitted she wouldn't be singing entirely live, but still worth a slap on the wrist.