Music: September In Review

September is a nice transition month. Many of us are moving out of Summer and into Fall starting or ending new seasons in life. Musically this month has been the same. After some big releases in August from the likes of John Mayer, Luke Bryan, The Civil Wars, Washed Out, Shigeto, and some big names in Metal, this month has seen a lull. In my opinion there wasn’t a whole lot of interesting releases. Perhaps this isn’t fair in some sense because the talent is there. What I found a lack of in many releases – even the big names that did have an album drop this month, was the sheer lack of innovation.

Just like in the rest of the world with almost anything whether it be politics, business, or any art form – you name it. We want to see change, growth, and revolution. Unfortunately there was not much of that (in my account) within most of the new releases I heard this month. However, I have included a list of what is worth mentioning for some reason or another. Whether you need to catch up on something you forgot about or feel like adding something new to your playlist –  Read these verdicts and try giving them a listen.

Verdict (in no particular order)

Over The RhineMeet Me At The Edge of The World: OTR have been around a long time and are still making good music. The alt rock band – or whatever you might call their genre – showcases more of their very folk-tinged tunes in warm and heartfelt tones throughout this double disc album.  7.6/10

Balance & ComposureThe Things We Think We’re Missing: Hands down better than their last album and though in many comparisons it’s similar to their first full-length it is just as diverse. It’s good to see a band mature and grow and this album grows on you a little more every time you listen to it. 8.5/10

Moving MountainsMoving Mountains:  The self-titled effort from these New York prospects is good.  However, in a genre of post-rock that I always find myself coming back to… it’s just that – good.  It’s by no means a bad album but it’s nothing special in my opinion. 6/10

The WeekndKiss Land: This was the most surprising release to me on this list. This R&B album is full of would-be radio hits other than the fact that only three of the songs on the album are under five minutes. Only one song boasts a typical radio length so it makes sense that there aren’t many “hits”. I was thoroughly impressed with this release from The Weeknd. 8/10

Arctic MonkeysAM: Here’s an ironic statement – AM is a uniquely generic album. Almost the entirety of tracks on AM are just humdrum and typical Arctic Monkeys. There are a few songs at the end of the album that are good but it’s too little too late by then. Oh well. 6.5/10

The Devil Wears Prada8:18: Co-Produced by Matt Goldman (Producer of Underoath) and Adam Dutkiewicz. A decent hardcore band with great production gets you a slightly above average album. I hope I don’t lose any friends over this opinion. Decently brutal stuff but most songs are comprised of good moments and not fully great as tracks and certainly not even close to amazing as an album. 6.5/10

Saves The DaySaves The Day: They always remind me of the 90’s. I don’t know why. They weren’t really around early enough to be 90’s. Maybe it’s the Powerpop. My point is that Saves The Days has had their day…and it is not this day! It could be the fact that Chris Conley is the last man standing, I’m not sure. Disappointing album. 6/10

AviciiTrue:  A strange mix of house music and folk that slowly grows into more poppy grooves as the album progresses. Somehow the mixture works in this case. By any rate True proves an interesting direction that works well for the album and Swedish producer Tim Bergling (Avicii). It will be very interesting to see how he progresses in the future and if the album will impact the dance genre. This was one of the better releases for September. 8.5/10

MGMTMGMT: The band is as eclectic as ever in their third full-length. I really love how MGMT continues to experiment with their sound and they are testing the boundaries even more in this latest installment. I would call this Lunch Music. It’s the type of thing you could just sit and listen to while eating a sandwich. Perhaps while partaking of some type of illicit drug or hallucinogen. 7/10

DrakeNothing Was The Same: I don’t have anything against expletives I think they have their place and I think that right placement can actually round out some songs. I think in this album it is too excessive. It’s not the sheer amount of it I’m talking about – It is hip-hop after all and we’ve come to expect that. It is more about how they are used. It kind of kills the mood after a certain point. Musically the album is good. Interesting production and I love the incorporation and how piano/keys are utilized in a couple of the tracks. 7/10

Kings Of LeonMechanical Bull: Even with a Grammy in their possession I think that Kings of Leon are a very overlooked band and don’t get enough credit for their material. Mechanical Bull is a well-developed album with that typical Southern Rock flare with a tinge of grunge. If you’ve only listened to the album’s single Supersoaker, don’t stop there because there are many tracks better than it. 8.3/10

KrewellaGet Wet: Someone once explained Krewella to me by saying they were two hot sisters and a scrub making dub-step. The full-length release is here. I find it a more pop driven form of dub-step not far from the work of Skrillex. It’s an overall fantastic effort and cool vocals from the Yousaf sisters. One might especially like this album if they enjoy sexually suggestive themes in music. 8/10

Said The Whalehawaiii: One of three Canadian artists on this list of releases and a pretty good album overall. However I would put this album in the same predicament as the aforementioned Artic Monkeys release – but not quite that bad. It just doesn’t surpass or show much growth from the band’s other releases. It’s solid but nothing to write home about. 7/10

 

Geeking out over a new album you’ve heard or some other form of media? Feel like writing a review? Try writing one and submitting it to us at guest_submissions@robot-ronin.com

About John Nador

John Nador is an expert in various media working with many musical artists; he has helped run some of the largest music festivals in the mid-west. John is also a huge movie buff who loves venturing out to find fun new movies and musical artists to enjoy.
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