October appeared to be a popular month for artists to release their new albums. Some of them were sure to impress, while others seemed destined to disappoint.
“Sounds Good Feels Good” by 5 Seconds of Summer
“Sounds Good Feels Good” provides exactly what you would expect from a band made up of a few young boys. Their album isn’t at all unpleasant, but it doesn’t seem to offer anything that sets it apart from the music of other contemporary young groups. Surprisingly, 5 Seconds of Summer has a large following, so perhaps there is some musicality that simply eludes me. The new album consists of songs that could be easily played on the radio and heard by a wide listening audience. However, the songs on this album do sound eerily similar to songs released earlier by this band. In one way, this provides a signature consistent style of music, but I wish the songs were varied enough that I could readily distinguish when one song ends and another begins.
If you like the sound of young boys in “rock” bands, then give this album a chance. It’s not at all bad. But if you prefer music that’s a little different, a little more diverse or edgy, then I won’t blame you for passing on this one.
“Pentatonix” by Pentatonix
Pentatonix is an acapella group known for Grammy-winning musical arrangements and incredible covers. So when the group released a self-titled album full of original music, it seemed that they were slightly out of their element. Followers of Pentatonix already know that the members all have strong, beautiful and unique voices that blend together seamlessly, yet these musicians are more arrangers than lyricists. In the new album “Pentatonix,” although the musical aspects are brilliant and almost every song is catchy, the lyrics are weak. The result is disappointingly nothing more than typical, cookie-cutter, pop star tunes. While fun to dance to, for the listener who wants to feel moved, this album doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.
If you want some upbeat music to play in the car, if you seek some tunes that will make you feel excited about life and leave you wanting to dance, or if you like good singers, this album is surely worth investigating. But if you want poetic lyrics that will speak to your soul, perhaps you should try finding other alternatives, or even wait for Adele’s next album.
“Confident” by Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato clearly isn’t that girl in Camp Rock anymore. She has discovered her unique sound and is releasing music that’s, well, actually quite good. Her newest single, “Confident,” seems to set the tone for the rest of this vocally powerful album. Her voice sounds like a combination of the best features in the voices of Jessie J and Ellie Goulding. Lyrically and vocally, the album is solid. Some songs, such as “Stone Cold,” will likely send chills down your spine, whereas others, such as “Lionheart,” may leave you utterly emotionless. The album is cohesive in terms of sound, and each song contributes some unique element to the mix.
If you like pop music and powerful vocals, this album is a must. Even if you’re not a huge Demi Lovato fan, “Confident” is worth a listen.