Kid Rock – Sweet Southern Sugar (2017)

Believe it or not, Kid Rock is still around these days. He transitioned from being a rapper to a rock star, onto doing his own brand of country based music. This, his latest release is a surprisingly good listen. Let’s check it out.

We start off with some native American sounds and trippy backdrop of Greatest Show On Earth before marching into a droptuned piece that sounds great. Some great lyrics are here as well. Kid Rock sounds better than ever here. It’s an excellent piece that sounds, once again, different to anything Kid Rock has done before. It’s catchy as well, with a great guitar solo. Nice way to start, dude.

The follow up song Po-Dunk has a great set of riffs to start with. It leads into a harmony heavy song about a southern girl. It’s a very country style song, but doesn’t sound anything like old country and western songs. It’s Kid Rock in the 21st century for all of us to hear. It’s a quirky and wonderful listen for all to hear. It has many different riffs and samples here, a nice tune.

Tennessee Mountain Hop alludes to good tunes and good times, and lyrically refers to Johnny Depp. Ironically, Kid Rock dissed him on his first album. But hey, this song will make you feel good. That is what great music is about though, it sounds so good that you will refreshed afterwards. It’s an ode to classic rock as well, with references to God as well. An excellent tune, and a shining moment on the album. It is picturesque this song for sure.

I Wonder is an attempt at a postmodern sounding country piece. It’s a loop and electronic based piece. It’s a little weaker but still, it’s Kid Rock. It breaks into a rock heavy song, with a blistering guitar solo. It gets better as it goes along, however, with Kid Rock pleading about a lover that he misses. A good listen anyway.

The next song, American Rock ‘n’ Roll is a pacing, drum driven song about said topic and having a good time. It is a great song for the purpose of music alone. It’s a gentle and driven listen, a classic Kid Rock song for sure. A blistering guitar solo will blow you away here, a decent tune. The chorus is very much a singalong one.

The follow up Back to the Otherside is an acoustic driven piece. It’s about keeping on through tough times, which isn’t sung about much these days. Self-preservation is the theme here, a great anti-Nine Inch Nails sort of song. A good effort. Positivity is the main point.

Raining Whiskey is another acoustic number. It talks about a place that one cannot go back to with a lover. It references a dark place where one goes to drink away their own pain. It’s a good listen with some old fashioned touches about it, which is reflective lyrically. A chilled out sort of vibe is on this tune.

Stand The Pain is another good piece about dealing with issues. It’s a wonderfully constructed and orchestrated piece. Kid Rock knows how to make good music for sure, even at over 40 years old. The theme of keeping strong goes on throughout this album, which is essentially a positive one. The outro is full on.

Up next is Sugar Pie Honey Bunch which is a love song. Kid Rock seems overly serious on this record, which is unusual for him to be so. It’s a quieter and more meaningful listen compared to the other songs on the album. It’s very moving. It’s very committed to a love in Kid Rock’s life, be it real or metaphorically speaking.

The last song on the album is Grandpa’s Jam, is an out there, more rock and roll based. It’s very explicit, and fittingly so. It’s Kid Rock being selfish again, but it rocks hard. A good way to complete the album with a hard rock sort of vibe. A good listen, despite a lot of selfish swearing.

This album is quite good. It shows Kid Rock still has his mojo after all the years of being a musician. Hopefully he keeps on going as he ages. His records are still very consistent, if you like what is written here about Kid Rock, give this a listen.

8/10

Knife Party – Abandon Ship (2014)

Knife Party are notably a musical duo from Australia. Early pieces, such as Internet Friends were club classics, and great tunes too. They released this, their first and only album so far, in 2014. Is it up to scratch? Let’s have a listen to the music here.

We begin with Reconnect. It has a psychedelic intro with a spoken voice letting the world know that Knife Party are here. It’s a good listen and a nice way to kick off the album.

After this, we go to Resistance, a nice piece with some house and dubstep overtones. The breakdown is intense. There are some African sounding drums in this breakdown, we hit party central with an awesome groove. This is a refreshing listen compared to the RnB of today, it’s fantastic. These guys are fantastic at what they do, the music here is great.

Boss Mode begins with some freaky distorted chimes, before knocking down the competition with a Hip Hop style groove and distorted dubstep riffs. It is a great tune here, the sampled lyrics pointing to a higher level of consciousness. Our sonic journey on this track is wonderful. It ends with some gunshots. Mint.

EDM Trend Machine is a piece that sounds much more mellow, along with some good male soul like singing. It’s a good one to relax to after a heavy night of clubbing, assuming that people enjoy this sort of thing for that purpose. It’s way different than the tracks before it. Automated dance music for the people.

The following piece 404 sounds a little weird. It has some Chiptune sort of noises in the track, before going into a static sounding bliss. Rotating drums capture our attention, before launching into a very good piece in the style of Knife Party. It’s a good listen, taking us into the future of music and sounds we have not heard before. There are a few twists and turns in this one, being very suspenseful indeed.

We Begin Again with some poly rhythmic beats and we hit sonic waves afterwards. The vocals, which have a sense of urgency, then kick in. Honestly, this piece is not as good as the ones before, which is disappointing. But it fits the album well anyway. There are some good samples in the middle of the track as well.

A more dubstep driven Give It Up with some reggae influences comes next. It is a good uptempo and busy sounding piece that sounds club ready. A progressive and semi-psychedelic listen here. A nice effort. The dubstep bassline is fantastic here.

D.I.M.H. sounds much more mainstream and House based, you can seriously dance to this tune. It has some interesting sound effects, and vocals comparing music to God. It sounds like a rework of an old 1980’s song, but seriously, it is much better than that for sure. It’s a greatly textured piece.

Micropenis is a strange tune that begins with a strangely sampled situation, before leading into a piece that has beats galore everywhere. It had some rather metallic sounds in it as well. It’s okay, but not fantastic, mind you. There are some Sufjan Stevens like melodies in the breakdown here. The second half is far better than the first half by far.

The next song Superstar is outright awful. It sounds like a poor take on a disco track here. Worth avoiding, and enough said about this number. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds do a better job at disco than what Knife Party do here, and that’s saying something.

The follow up Red Dawn is a far better tune, something indeed to listen to at sunrise, for all you party animals out there. It has some middle eastern melodies and cut up vocals for your enjoyment. It’s a good dance number. Some neat intricate backwards loops occur, before banging beats hit you. A good way to liven up the listen towards the end of the album. A ghostly outro makes it better, too.

Kaleidoscope is the last one on the album. It’s a laid back and chill tune, for those who made it through this album. A good downtempo, deep house sort of joutney. It has suspense all the way through. We then finish the album.

This is a good album, not a great one. It does have its moments, but for the most part, could have been bettered. It’s still listenable, especially for you young nightclub goers. Having said that, it is worth a listen anyway.

7/10

Kid Rock – First Kiss (2015)

Kid Rock has slowly transitioned from (believe it or not) rapper to country rock artist over the years. It has been an interesting transition, although many consider the Devil Without A Cause album his best. It wasn’t specifically, he has had many highlights in his musical career. But this release in 2015 shows that, despite the age of rock and roll, Kid Rock still rocks hard. This is a great listen, let’s dive in.

First Kiss kicks off the album. It looks in retrospect to a simpler and more rural time in Kid Rock’s life with basic things in life. The whole thing sounds melancholy in general. But hey, it’s a great radio ready song for people to enjoy. Isn’t that what rock and roll is about? Yes it is. Great song. The guitar solo is fantastic towards the end.

Good Times, Cheap Wine is about exactly that. It sounds super bluesy and country like. Kid Rock knows the history of rock and roll very well. He insists the things he digs and doesn’t dig, mainly the latter. It’s easy to dance along to, and sounds wicked. There is some good slide guitar here as well. Not a bad listen. “You can try to change me, or love me just the way I am,” he sings. A great statement.

The next song is by far the greatest on this album. An ode to a great musician himself, Johnny Cash is a chilled summer vibe tune about having fun with a girl as well. The guitar used here is likely a great sounding Fender Telecaster. It’s a classic song, and deserves a good listen.

The anti Socialist rant Ain’t Enough Whiskey is a weak point on the album. Kid Rock these days is a big Donald Trump supporter, which is rather silly for a guy like Kid Rock to like a person like him. But in any case, it’s obviously aimed squarely at Barack Obama. The chorus is a great devotion to getting trashed though, which is better than the rest of the song.

Drinking Beer With Dad is definitely a good song though. It’s about drinking and playing tunes on the back porch with one’s old man. Yes, Mr. My Oedipus Complex has some respect for his late father here. It’s a really touching song, and definitely worth listening if you dig Country Rock. A nice statement.

Good Time Lookin’ for Me is about just that, and is a sort of redneck country thing that Kid Rock does nowadays. It sounds very much like a strain of country that nobody does anymore. Still, it’s a good listen on the album. This album flows very nicely, and there is some great guitar work here. A nice piece.

The next song Best Of Me has Kid Rock comparing himself to others, and then stating that he is giving his best to others in life, namely a love he has. He does really well here in this ballad. It sounds so soulful and well delivered. The female backing vocals are very reassuring. A nice organ and guitar driven piece. Even in old age, Kid Rock delivers well.

The next piece starts off weird, but then, here we go! One More Song delivers so well, and is a great piece about music. Yep, Kid Rock talks about some difficulties in his life, and adds that the music will save him, and us. It’s so true, and surely we all agree with that. It’s so emotional and catchy too.

Jesus and Bocephus is a spiritual piece about Kid Rock meeting said Jesus in a said spiritual confrontation. It’s another emotional and moving piece which is a bit of a tearjerker. It has some eastern sounding strings in it, ironically. But it has some reflective lyrics in it. A slow piece, but just sounds great.

FOAD is a pretty direct song. The politically incorrect version, which is FOAD, is on most album versions, and the other version, Say Goodbye, also is around on the internet for listening. It’s a good way to finish the album, but sounds a little twisted. But hey, it’s Kid Rock for you.

This album is a great modern day throwback to the older styles of music that are slowly dying out over time. It’s a great thing to hear, especially in the day and age of Rap and RnB, this is a breath of fresh air. Give it a listen if you can.

8/10

LMFAO – Sorry For Party Rocking (2011)

Probably one of the funniest albums this century, LMFAO’s Sorry For Party Rocking is pretty out there. Is it any good though? Let’s give it a listen and find out.

We begin with Rock The Beat II is obviously a joke piece which sounds sort of dubstep. It’s a great introduction to a very silly album here. These guys obviously can make music, yet at the same time don’t care about tomorrow. Brilliant.

The title track Sorry For Party Rocking is a millennial anthem for no tomorrow. It’s an all-in-all anthem for those who have made it in the music industry. It’s got some wacky lyrics in it about said experience. A must listen for fans of the album. It’s very profane as well.

Party Rock Anthem continues the madness in the scene, and was regularly played in nightclubs at the time. It sounds very nightclub ready indeed, and is a great listen to hear. It’s more civilised compared to other numbers that have come before. But hey, sorry for party rocking everyone. It’s futuristic and funtastic.

Sexy And I Know It is THAT song that was all over the radio at the time. The video clip is likely the most homosexual or appealing thing out there on YouTube, depending on your view. It’s still a great tune, and sounds awesome. It sounds very catchy.

The next song starts slowly. Champagne Showers is an alcoholic’s anthem for the next generation. With digitised vocals and sound effects everywhere, it is a good party song for those who wish to hear it. It’s a great song to hear about getting wasted. The climax of the song is awesome.

The next club ready tune is One Day. It’s about chasing the finer pleasures in life, including chasing a girl. It’s more of the same, but hey, sorry for party rocking.

Put That A$$ To Work is a devotion to sexy girls out there. It’s about a sort of sexy up song about a real party girl that one could love, on the dancefloor. It’s about a girl’s ass, obviously these guys were very sexual about things. Still, it’s a good piece.

Take It To The Hole is obviously about you-know-what. Sounding cheesy and slightly annoying, it’s kitsch galore. These guys must have been pretty wasted writing pieces like this, but hey, sorry for party rocking. “I’ll beat it up!” is screamed here.

A lesser cut, We Came Here To Party, features a rap piece that sounds very flowing though. It’s about getting trashed. In fact, all these songs are about that. But that’s the great thing about this album. It talks about toasting to the good life at hand, nice to hear.

The next one is about a strange way of loving and appreciating someone. Reminds Me Of You is about finding someone to be with at a party environment. This song sounds like a computer game with beats – but hey, it’s a great listen. Wicked stuff. Mentions Calvin Harris as well, a nice touch.

Best Night is about having a crazy chick as a partner. It’s a more mediocre piece to a partytastic album for you crazy peeps out there. A good listen. It’s a little weaker here, despite the album being very consistent overall for this sort of music. Not bad. Let’s make this moment last forever.

All Night Long is a great piece about the necessity of seeing a partner. It’s a party devotion song. A nice piece for a lover at hand. There are many cameos here, all to good effect.

By this point, the album seems to tire. With You sounds lethargic. Could have been better, but hey, once again, sorry for party rocking. It’s about smoking weed though, a party thing for sure.

The next song Hot Dog is a sort of reprise of Sexy And I Know It. It’s hilarious and clubtastic. These guys were mega at the time, and time shows why. This song is excellent. A good listen.

I’m In Miami Bitch refers to a club heavy lifestyle that is fun and sexually explicit. It’s a great piece to hear on this album which talks about a “polka dot bikini girl” (Underworld reference here?). It’s a good fun romp.

Shots featuring Lil’ Jon is a great piece which samples seemingly the author of this website at the start of the song. It ends the album nicely, and we party hard to the finish. It’s repetitive, but works well.

If you want to get messed up big time, this is your album. It made the duo mega. Sadly, it fell apart for LMFAO after this. But hey, Sorry For Party Rocking.

8/10

Ariana Grande – thank u, next (2019)

Ariana Grande fever hit a peak around the release of this album. Her previous album Sweetener had gotten attention for those who enjoy contemporary music. Ariana Grande quickly added fuel to her fire for her fans and released this album in early 2019.

It is perhaps not as consistent as Sweetener, but thank u, next is not a bad recording to hear. Let’s have an analysis of this recording.

We begin with imagine, which actually has nothing to do with John Lennon’s own song called Imagine. It’s just a way of Ariana Grande saying what she wants to do with a lover. It’s a great start to this recording. It sounds very full-on. The vocal melodies at the end are great.

Next is needy with a sort of Chrono Trigger (SNES game) electronic sound in the background. This one is not mixed that well, and the mix should have pushed Ariana’s voice further up through the mix. Still, it’s okay to hear. It seems a weaker effort overall, sadly, due to the mix. There are some interesting orchestral sounds at the end though.

NASA continues the overall concept of the album, which is talking about space travel in relation to Ariana Grande’s life. It’s an okay tune nonetheless. It’s an interesting topic to cover though.

bloodline has a strange conversation at the start, before going into a rather routing R & B song. It’s about keeping a lover at a distance. Since Ariana Grande has had many high profile lovers, this is the aftermath of all that had been going on. It’s not that good, could have been done better.

The intro at the beginning of fake smile sounds like something recorded in the 1930s or 1940s but quickly goes into a better (for this album) sounding piece than before. It’s about keeping up one’s guard in the realm of fame. It’s a good listen to. Ariana’s voice sounds really good here.

Next up is bad idea. This is a good piece, but not outstanding. Most of this album, at this point, is very ordinary. It could have been better done, in retrospect. Although the lyrics are merely reflecting Ariana Grande’s life, there is nothing that really sounds truly great at this point.

make up has more discordant sounds, to begin with, before launching into a forgive-and-forget type scenario lyrically. It’s okay to hear, but despite her popularity, this album seems a little pointless. It should not have been rushed in retrospect, and it sounds as though that is the case.

ghostin begins with some freakish atmospheric sounds before launching into a very personal experience with Ariana Grande herself. Admittedly, this piece is a big improvement on the others in the album. This shows that Ariana Grande can deliver very well, be it the correct song. And in this case, she does well here.

Next along is in my head. It’s a straightforward tune but there is a great vocal melody within it. The other elements of the song are very meh. Still, it’s a decent listen. Ariana’s singing is very good here.

The next piece is 7 rings. It is hardly original in approach. It’s a weak song about selfishness. Not exactly a decent tune, especially lyrically. Rather forgettable, to be fair. Could have been bettered.

thank u, next arrives. It’s immediately a catchy song, fortunately. The title track of the album is about relationship issues that Ariana Grande has had with her ex-boyfriends. It’s delivered well. Good job here.

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored is a joke sort of title for a serious sort of song. It’s about Ariana Grande finding a new path in her life for herself. It’s a good listen for a laugh. The album concludes here.

The verdict with this album? Rather overrated and trashy. Perhaps more time could have been spent re-recording and editing certain sections. It is good but does not live up to the hype. Better luck next time Ariana.

6/10

Ed Sheeran – No. 6 Collaborations Project (2019)

Being the biggest artist in the world, Ed Sheeran has gone a little leftfield here on this recording, and quite rightly so. Featuring the top artists of today, it is another great listen from the man himself and proves, once again, the staying power of Ed Sheeran in the postmodern music scene of today.

We begin with a click and some beats with Beautiful People which features Khalid. It’s a great start to the album, and Ed Sheeran’s singing is excellent here. It’s catchy and exciting enough to get the room pumping. An excellent start to the album.

The follow-up South Of The Border which features Camila Cabello and Cardi B sounds a bit like Shape Of You but it’s somewhat different. It’s still very catchy but great all the same. “Come south of the border with me,” is what Ed Sheeran wants you to do, whilst you sing along to the song. Nice.

Cross Me which features Chance The Rapper and PnB Rock, feels more urgent in its delivery. But it’s a good piece nonetheless, showing the good rapping skills of the guests and Ed Sheeran’s chorus delivery is unique. Epic.

Take Me Back To London featuring Stormzy is a wonderful piece which is almost like a rap battle. Ed Sheeran aims to please and does so very well. It’s about Ed Sheeran’s sort of life, which he has worked very hard away at.

The next piece is a bit different. Best Part Of Me featuring YEBBA is an excellent acoustic guitar and a piano-driven ballad that has the two main artists switch verses on this song. It’s a great effort, although slower than some of the other songs on the album.

The hit single I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber is an interesting take on a night out in Ed Sheeran’s world. It shows an edge of romanticism about it. It’s an excellent piece, however, and shows some decent substance from these two young men.

Antisocial refers to Ed Sheeran’s life, in which he is exceptionally hated at a party or in a social setting. Featuring Travis Scott, it’s a direct rant against people who Ed Sheeran cannot socialise with. It’s still a good piece, however. It does seem a little weaker than the other cuts though.

Remember The Name which has Eminem and 50 Cent, seems reminiscent of some of the older hits of Eminem’s early days. Eminem’s voice hasn’t aged very well, but the song is very very good. The album so far is very consistent.

The next piece, Feels, has Young Thug and J Hus on it. It’s an okay piece, but not as good as the others. It’s good to hear Ed Sheeran branching out somewhat on this album with different musicians. That is very cool indeed.

The cut after, Put It All On Me, with guest Ella Mai is very good. It’s a much more rapid-fire vocal delivery and is reminiscent of a Led Zeppelin style approach to the two main voices on this piece. A nice song, and worth listening to.

Nothing On You with Paulo Londra and Dave is a rather ordinary piece about romance making at night. The two guests’ contributions don’t really fit well here and could have been better thought out in retrospect. It’s okay, but nothing special.

I Don’t Want Your Money featuring H.E.R. talks about the comparison between love and money. It’s a good moral story about love in comparison to materialism. It’s an excellent listen, and the call and response bit towards the end is very good.

The next song, 1000 Nights, refers to the time Ed Sheeran has done gigging and features Meek Mill and A Boogie wit da Hoodie. It could also refer to drug use, however, not openly. It has a great rapid-fire delivery by Ed Sheeran.

The following song, Way To Break My Heart featuring dubstep star Skrillex sounds rather chill with the sonic instrumentation, although it’s a plea from Ed Sheeran himself lyrically. It sets the rules for Ed Sheeran in his life and is the calm before the storm of the song after this one. There are some trippy sound effects at the end.

BLOW which features Bruno Mars and Chris Stapleton is likely the best song of the whole album and is the ‘last but not least’ sort of thing. It’s loud, raw and rocking, with fantastic lyrics at hand. If you should listen to one Ed Sheeran song, this should be it.

Although this is a very new release and has received mixed reviews, ignore the critics for the most part. This is a great moment from Ed Sheeran, and as we continue into the 21st century, hopefully, many more great moments will come from the man.

9/10

Ed Sheeran – Divide (Deluxe Edition) (2017)

Ed Sheeran is most likely the most popular musician alive today. He has had a winning streak throughout the 2010s and is now so wealthy that he is almost a billionaire. This album is a great album in postmodern contemporary music, so let’s dive in and check it out.

Eraser kicks off the album with a message that tells of Ed Sheeran’s difficulties coping with fame. It’s a fairly straightforward tale of rock and roll excess, with Ed Sheeran stating that he finds comfort in his pain. It’s a disturbing but catchy enough song.

Castle On The Hill is another catchy piece which tells of a childhood haunt of our main man. It’s a decent song, and one not far away from Penny Lane or Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles. Nice to hear that sort of influence.

The following song, Dive, talks about the sacred nature of love. It’s a beautiful piece with Ed Sheeran pleading for reassurance from his lover before he dives right into her. Ed Sheeran recently married, so it’s safe to assume that this song is about his new lover.

After that, we have the tropical sounding Shape Of You, a huge hit upon release as a single. It’s lyrically perverse but catchy as anything. It’s a very solid piece, and demands repeated listening. “I’m in love with your body,” says Ed. Brilliant.

Perfect is the most beautiful song ever done by Ed Sheeran, and also truly one of the most beautiful songs ever made. It’s a tearjerking ballad but so well done that it hits the spot very, very well. Perfect, indeed.

Galway Girl is a take on Irish music and a great job of it. It’s a good listen with some Irish fiddles in it and seems very anthemic. A nice leftfield tune by Ed Sheeran. Ideal for anyone who likes this sort of folk-like thing, it’s great for that purpose.

The follow-up Happier is a strange sort of message about lost love, but feeling better about it after some time. Hence the title of the song. It’s not a nasty message though, in fact, it is reassuring. It is a slower piece but as good as what has come before on this album.

After that song, we have New Man. This song is about a pretentious sort of guy who doesn’t get respect from Ed Sheeran. A simple meaning over an acoustic pop background is here and chugs along nicely.

Hearts Don’t Break Around Here is a simple sentiment about getting the right woman to be with to love. Not since The Beatles has the world of pop music encountered such brilliantly done romanticism. It’s effective, to say the least.

What Do I Know? is a hipster-like song with a philosophical bent. It’s one of the best statements you will hear in pop/rock music today. It simply talks about the power of music and love, “…but what do I know?” asks Ed Sheeran. It’s not a definite statement of self-importance, but a good one nonetheless.

The Coldplay-like How Would You Feel (Paean) is a wonderful song about love and companionship. It’s a slightly weaker song, but it’s still quality nonetheless.

The very sad sounding Supermarket Flowers is an ode to Ed Sheeran’s mum. It’s a nice way to reveal to the world about he feels about his own mother. “You were an angel in the shape of my mum”. Ed Sheeran – a brilliant musician indeed.

Barcelona is a catchy and upbeat song which is very good poppy stuff. It’s about Barcelona itself and has a very good and catchy chorus. Mint.

Bibia Be Ye Ye is a nice sort of song about the aftermath of getting trashed after a night out. It’s not throw away at all, despite the fact it is not a hit single. It’s still solid and does very well with some quacky guitar sounds in it.

The next song is Nancy Mulligan, a fictional story about running off with said girl to get married to her. It’s an interesting piece with fiddles again. Never a dull moment on this album whatsoever.

The most direct and recognisable statement is Save Myself. It’s a great way to finish off this album and makes one feel satisfied after this listen. It’s a great album no doubt.

This album went stratospheric after its release. Ed Sheeran is now all over virtually every radio station and has become a household name. After all – he deserves it. This is a quintessential and great album.

9/10