State Champs – ‘Around the World and Back’
Pop-Punk / Alternative Rock
Released: October 16th
Pop-Punk is a strange animal of a genre, loosely tied together, and seemingly falling in and out
of popularity every other year. Filled with sappy emotions and unabashed teen angst, the genre always
seems to be at odds with critical opinion, but that hasn’t stopped it from being a vital part of radio play
for decades. Enter State Champs, a 5-piece from Albany, with their 3rd
Full LP, ‘Around the World and Back’.
From the first few seconds of pumping drums, marching chords, and melodic guitar leads of
opener ‘Eyes Closed’, it’s clearly evident what the rest of the album will hold. While arguably decent, but
sonically identical to countless other bands, State Champs’ sound presents nothing new. Energetic riffs, catchy hooks, and prominent choruses dot the landscape of the album, broken up by several acoustic sections and moody interludes. Any regular
radio listener will have already heard the entirety of this album, without yet actually having heard it. Not
innately terrible, but nothing to write home about.
For Fans of: Simple Plan, All Time Low, Neck Deep
4/10 ( Mediocre)
Lifeless – ‘Insider’
Ambient / Post-Rock/ Drone / Experimental
Released: October 4th
Hailing from Samara, Russia, ‘Lifeless’ is the brainchild of composer Sviatoslav Natalevich. With its first
release coming in late 2014, Lifeless is a rather young project, though now at its 6th
album (including 4
LPs, 1 EP, and a Compilation), it’s been a rather productive one.
Opening with ambient weather sounds, slowly seguing into mournful synth strings, ‘Nowhere’ perfectly
sets the mood for the album to come, emotional and melancholy. A fell voice echoes in the background,
rambling incoherent words, rising and falling until the track ends, and marches into the next. Much of
the album has a videogame-esque feel to it, creating images of isolation and loneliness. To me it
conjures picture of a dark and depressing walk, on a long forgotten boardwalk in a coastal town ; the
dock is empty of life, and fog rolls in from all angles, your head hung low and you listen to the waves
slowly crashing against the rocks. The instrumentation is mostly electronic, but the composer takes
great variance to the sounds used, ranging from piano, to organ, to strings, to droning ambient and
For fans of: Post-Rock, Dark VG Music, Loneliness
Machine Gun Kelly Releases New Album
General Admission is the sophomore album from the hip-hop and rap artist known as MGK or Machine Gun Kelly. A few singles were dropped prior to this album’s release date of October 16th. This album’s flow is very different from MGK’s usual rhymes. He’s not jumping on tables and burning shit down, instead he’s becoming deeper. General Admission is meant to show the passionate side of MGK, the small passionate side that he does have. This album trumps his other records by the maturity displayed. It’s obvious that MGK gave up the time his music would be spent played for the average listener, and instead went for a more private approach. With no certain party songs, it doesn’t seem like this album will ever air on the radio. With that thought in place, I think this is still a notable album for MGK.
Here, give this song a listen.
Billboards top 100 Rap Albums hasn’t changed much this week. Drake and Future’s collective album “What A Time To Be Alive” has been on the charts for 3 weeks, and for two of those weeks it has been #1. The #1 spotlight has been shared with Fetty Wap and his debut album “Fetty Wap”.
Pop Singer Demi Lovato Is Praised For Strong Character After New Album Release
Pop singer Demi Lovato has released her 5th studio album titled “Confident” on October 16th. This is Demi’s first album under her new label, Safehouse, Hollywood and Island Records. This album features “Cool For The Summer” which peaked at number 11 on the Billboard top 100, and “Confident”.
“Since her emancipation from the Disney Channel’s clutches, Demi Lovato has become one of pop’s leading motivational figures, wailing songs about self-empowerment and talking to Congress about destigmatizing mental illness. Openly discussing her struggles with bipolar disorder, bulimia and substance abuse, she has settled into herself in a manner similar to put-it-all-out-there pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Pink. Even the 23-year-old’s [scandalous] smash [hit] “Cool for the Summer,” the first single from her fifth album, “Confident”, operates in be-yourself mode.”
- Maura Johnston
I could not agree more with Johnston. Demi left her acting career to pursue something that she’s wanted her whole life, and she’s attempting to make a difference in the process.