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Results tagged “Universal Republic Records” from Rockin' Roll Call

Rock 'n' Roll Call: Owl City - The Midsummer Station

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The Midsummer Station

Heard about them but never heard of them...until now. Maybe the Audubon Society's favorite band, Owl City - the album is "The Midsummer Station" and it's on Universal Republic. There must be a secret clone factory somewhere cranking out these bands - happening hooks as sung by a great melodic frontman on perfectly concocted rock gems. Even if you think you're being played, you're not - it's entertainment by an entertainer who know what he's doing. I love stuff like this. The Owl in question here is obviously Adam Young, out of Minnesota - a very weird state that has given us Bob Himself, Golden Gopher football which always sucks, Al Franken who is always funny and Michelle Bachmann who is always a whistlehead. Owl-Man Adam makes perfectly pure power pop - just him and a bunch of machines on songs about young lust - love, whatever. Imagine a frozen Howard Jones.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Drake - Take Care

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Take Care

Drake - just Drake - perhaps hoping to join the well known believers in brevity such as Godzilla and Madonna - has a new one - that would be "Take Care" and it's on Universal Republic. The same machines seem to be playing the same old song as Drake does his rap lite thing - as he lets his vulnerable little boy side shine through as he says and does the right thing as his audience - women. To Drake, the fair sex and the b-word remain complete strangers, as it should be. The rhymes are a step above the usual, which admittedly is a low bar, but Drake seems to have the sweet soul man thing figured out even as he remains fully as dangerous as whistling in the backyard, but he would appear to have a future at that 3 a.m. hopefully getting lucky moment, if and when you've made it home drunk. And in a totally unrelated subject, that rapper with a hat - Kid Rock - dissed every Capricorn (who generally never lie and are always right) by coming out for Mitt Romney who is a mean rich guy that makes plastic seem authentic. Do you want a boss or a president?


Rock 'n' Roll Call: King Charles - Loveblood

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Loveblood

King Charles has a new one - "Loveblood" on Universal Republic out a couple of months. This one is all over the place but in good ways - you'll hear some doo wop, some reggae, maybe even some calypso, some spectacle worthy of Queen, some Edward Sharpe vocals - all in a baroque vision of grandiose pop. You might even hear some Jan & Dean on my favorite song, "Bam Bam" by my new favorite band and "Love Lust" is a snappy extrapolation of Harlan Ellison's wry observation that "love ain't nothin' but sex misspelled." And for no apparent reason this King Charles likes polar bears and flamingos and is even joined by Mumford & Sons on one song, a good way to keep his head on straight unlike the other King Charles who was beheaded on 30 January 1649 and is still dead and has no new one.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Florence + the Machine - MTV Unplugged

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MTV Unplugged

Florence + the Machine gets all acoustic on her "MTV Unplugged" thing on this CD collection and also a DVD of Miss Welch doing 14 songs, all on Universal Republic. You know, I waited until I heard "Ceremonials," (her last studio album) and I even saw her on SNL the other night before I listened to this one, and I still don't get it. She sings too loud on songs that aren't that good to begin with.


Rock 'n' Roll Call: Amy Winehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures

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Lioness: Hidden Treasures

As usual, in music, being dead isn't half the dodge it is for the rest of us mortals - after all, even though they entered the past tense long ago, Jimi and Elvis are still making albums, so too is Amy Winehouse. This one is "Lioness: Hidden Treasures" and it's on Universal Republic. First, let me say what a waste - Winehouse was a real talent as she breezes through a bunch of oldies. Don't like them all - but, damn - Winehouse could really sing. I like the oldies, "Our Day Will Come" and her cover of the Shirelles' biggie, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." And Lioness? Indeed - Winehouse could have the Lion King eager to drink swamp water and sleep in a hollow log and go on a blind date with a hyena just for the chance to her her purr, "Beat, it sucker." Everyone will still love Winehouse tomorrow and the day after that...

Rockin' Roll Call
Bill Locey reviews music for the Ventura County Star, when he isn't reenacting the history of this great nation or teaching it to incarcerated youth.
He is the tall guy lurking in the back of all the local rock shows.
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