Friday was the biggest day for music worldwide. November 18th saw many albums released, just in time for Black Friday sales in the United States. Four of these included Metallica’s “Hardwired…To Self Destruct’’, Little Mix’s “Glory Days”, Bruno Mars’ “24k Magic’’, and, my personal favorite, Highly Suspect’s “The Boy who Died Wolf.” All albums fitting for this years’ Santa Sacks.
Metallica-Hardwired…To Self Destruct
Metallica’s twelfth studio album was released today, 8 years after their critically acclaimed Death Magnetic. Returning to the classic tone of the first four albums, Metallica has come crashing back onto the scene with this album. The first single released off this album Hardwired starts with a head-banging riff and thundering rhythm section (drum and bass), and from this you know you are going to be in for some classic thrash metal.
35 years since the band forming, Metallica is still going strong, with this album being a testament to everything they have accomplished. Over three CDs in the album, they cover almost every single era, taking what works and throwing it all in. For those metalheads out there, there is thankfully none of the solo-less mess they call St Anger on the new release. And as an extra special surprise, the third CD includes 9 tracks recorded live, songs from all their albums.
Definitely a gift for the head-banging, metal-loving people in your lives this Christmas. This album deserves a 7/10 I think, because it’s great, but still does not compare to the albums that they wrote when they first started, which are personal favorites.
Little Mix-Glory Days
Little Mix, winners of the British X-Factor show in 2011, have released their fourth studio album today. Glory Days has themes of empowerment, and the sass of their other albums, something the singers are known for. An inspiration for teen girls everywhere, especially with songs like Power and Shout Out to My Ex on this album.
With a very heavy pop and RnB sound, Little Mix have picked up the pace from their last album. The difference between the albums just shows what a year can do for a band. The new album is more quick and snappy than the last few, returning to the sort of sounds from their original single Wings. While previous albums focused on the vocals, Glory Days has seen a mix of different talents from each of the four singers, some of which include rapping and beat-boxing. They also have a big focus on A Capella in this album, even if it is just background harmony. Very impressed with how they have combined so many talents into a great record, especially as this is not a band i would generally listen to.
For this album, I am going to give it an 8 out of 10, because I would even listen to this, after not really getting into their other albums previously. Big thanks goes to Tess Paterson, my Little Mix ‘expert’, who helped me write this review.
Bruno Mars-24k Magic
Bruno is back with this upbeat new release. Taking an RnB/Hip-Hop genre, he has made a record worthy of nightclubs and jazz-bars alike. Very different to both his previous records, Bruno has once again created something…magical.
With a very appropriate title, 24k Magic could become the defining album of the year. Bringing the blues back, then throwing in the dance element, the album can be split in two, like many of his albums. Songs like 24k Magic are sure to be heard everywhere, from radios to clubs, while the more jazzy songs, for example Too Good to Say Goodbye, will be hits with those who love piano-heavy music. Again, he has catered for all people, and put his special touch on his music. Who knows, he could be the next Michael Jackson, especially with his music right now.
Golden Magic is the only way to describe this album. So many hits could come from this LP. This record deserves a 9 out of 10, because it is incredible and just amazing. Bruno only knows how to make music like this, and he just keeps getting better with age.
Highly Suspect-The Boy who Died Wolf
#MCID #BKCC, Highly Suspect, a thumping band from Cape Cod, is back with their second album The Boy who Died Wolf. This band of twins and their best mate is definitely one to look out for. With a mix of politics, life experience and plain fun in their songs, their music is incredible. A favorite band of mine, so I am extremely excited for this album. Listened to the whole thing already twice, three times.
The album explores so many different tempos and styles. Songs like My Name is Human are fast paced and up-beat, while Seratonia is inspired by Pink Floyd, Chicago is a Piano/vocal solo with a very different style to the band’s normal, and Viper Strike, released after the USA Election this year, is extremely political and the band’s opinion on the President-Elect. A very easy album to get into, it makes you want to jump up and dance. Many concert go-ers were impressed with their performance at this year’s Auckland City Limits festival in March, so I cannot wait for them to come back.
An iconic sound, this album could go big, and the band even bigger. Highly has brought us another great album, one exceeding expectations after Mr Asylum, their first album which was nominated for two Grammys at this year’s awards. I’m giving this album an 8 out of 10 because while I love it, Highly Suspect have explored themes that many people would not agree with, and this has changed from Mr Asylum, where the target audience was much broader. Great album for all hard rockers out there though.
Please be aware that the language in this album is highly explicit and clearly explores themes of sexuality, politics and drug use.