Album Reviews

Album Review: David Cook Pumps Life Into “Digital Vein”

{Image Credit: David Cook Official}

After parting ways with RCA and relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, singer and songwriter, David Cook returns to the music scene from a four-year hiatus with his third studio album, Digital Vein.

David Cook never fails to wear his lyrics on his sleeve and his latest record, Digital Vein proves that sentiment. Today, the former American Idol winner released his follow-up to 2011’s This Loud Morning with a common theme throughout the record focusing on how love flows through life—or life flows through love, however way you hear it. With a clever play on words, Cook’s latest record runs through every emotion and feeling similar to that of a blood vessel passing through every inch of the human body and back to the core of its very existence—the heart.

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Miriam Pultro Sings It Like It Is with Debut Single, “Good Thing I Don’t Love You”

Love is all you need—unless you come to a hard realization regarding the truth of that beloved four-letter word. Falling in love does not always end up like a romantic comedy or a photograph from some home catalog. Love means pain, heartache, breakups, and lonely nights of drinking your face off, or sending text messages you shouldn’t have.

No one understands this feeling more than talented filmmaker and actress, Miriam Pultro of the critically acclaimed web series, Mythos. This past month, Pultro released her debut single “Good Thing I Don’t Love You” on CD Baby, in which the young starlet sings of falling out of love.

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Luke Bryan Amps Up Country Music with “Kill The Lights”

There is no bigger name in the country music industry today than reigning Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan. The 39 year-old Georgia native celebrated his 13th No. 1 hit last week when the debut single “Kick The Dust Up” from his fifth-studio album, Kill The Lights topped country radio airplay charts.

Releasing last Friday, Kill The Lights trails 2013’s stellar record Crash My Party, which debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 Albums and Country Albums charts. Becoming the third best-selling album of 2013, Bryan’s fourth studio album sold nearly 2.5 million copies and produced six No. 1 singles—four of which sold at least 1 million copies and are now certified platinum. Since his debut in 2007 with I’ll Stay Me, Bryan has not only skyrocketed to the top of Nashville’s most successful performers by delivering No. 1 hits and filling stadiums year-after-year, but is recognized as one of the country music industry’s most respectable power players.

Throughout his rise to headliner status, Bryan was one of the more adventurous country artists to fuse a cliché dirt-road-country track with modern pop elements in hopes to reach larger audiences. While the combination of hip-hop, rock, pop, and electronic music to old-school country has triggered dislike and a “civil war” of sorts among critics, journalists, and fellow industry artists, the “bro-country” sub-genre that Bryan so spotlessly delivers is continuing to thrive thanks to its growing popularity with millennials. As music evolves in various genres over the years, it’s implied (and inevitable) that such a progression will move into the country category as well.

While Kill The Lights might allude to Bryan shying away from country music and diving headfirst into pop, there are strong, country-sounding elements present in this new record.

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Kacey Musgraves is More Than Just “Pageant Material” With Latest Record

{Image Credit: Mercury Nashville}

Kacey Musgraves is one of the biggest and brightest country music stars today, emerging as one of Nashville’s boldest and most authentic artists. Musgraves released her sophomore studio album Pageant Material last week to strong acclaim and tracks that tread personal observations of a small town.

First bursting onto the scene back in 2013 with her debut studio album, Same Trailer, Different Park, Musgraves became an overnight success and country’s darling with healthy liberal attitudes and themes. On her latest record, the usually alternative-country singer is much more confident in its styling with being able to fuse mainstream with a 1970’s countrypolitan flair.

Much of Pageant Material is about personal tussles with the subject of perception versus reality. Is life really what it seems? Written entirely by Kacey Musgraves and produced by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Musgraves herself, the record is by far one of the best this year.

Kicking off with the summery and unperturbed, “High Time,” Musgraves hits higher registers as she moseys along a 1950’s sound. With well-timed claps and carefree whistling, the track is the epitome of a country song and Musgraves brings it back full circle with its lyrics (“Ain’t got to be alone to feel lonely”). It is incredibly enjoyable and something to blast loud this summer.

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The Killers Mark Their Return with “Battle Born”

The Killers’ highly anticipated fourth album, named after the words emblazoned on the Nevada State flag, Battle Born releases this Tuesday, September 18 and is already creating quite the buzz online. The LP is their first record since 2008′s Day & Age, an album that has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. The band embarked on a highly successful worldwide tour following the release of the album, ending off in 2010 and telling fans they’d be going on a hiatus. Each member went onto their own solo projects with the most attention turning to lead vocalist, Brandon Flowers and the release of Flamingo in September of 2010.
Flowers stated that Day & Age was the band’s “most playful record” and it now begs the question for several people, what does the new album have in store for fans, lovingly known as “the victims”?

Talking “Love and Sex” with Michael Johns

Two of the most complex emotions that we face in this life might just belong to matters of the heart: love and sex. Without the obviousness and a dictionary definition, what are they? Singer and songwriter, Michael Johns has it figured out in his own style. His new EP, Love and Sex, a three track release arrived in digital music stores this past Tuesday and showcases a mutual vulnerability and angst regarding the subject.

Johns, who released his debut album Hold Back My Heart nearly four years ago has undergone a fascinating transformation, emerging as an artist who truly understands and feels for his music. With everything he has done since his debut, listeners can hear a vocal and lyrical maturity showing an impressive artistic growth in Love and Sex that delivers and encompasses raw passion, desire and that burning love within the three track EP.

I caught up with the ever congenial and charming, Michael Johns to talk Love and Sex and as always, he’s an absolute delight to talk to. He shares that he was strictly in the mood to write this specific collection of music so he did it, without any intention. That’s a notable characteristic within Johns and shows how versatile he is as a singer and songwriter.

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Album Review: This Loud Morning (David Cook)

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed with songwriters and I admire most, it’s the courage they have to strip themselves down; exposing their thoughts and feelings to a capricious world while diving into a deep unknown abyss just to know that someone along the way understands that very meaning they’re trying to articulate. Deep, well-thought songs don’t come from the surface. They come from deep down with an open heart and mind that allows for poetry, melody and passion to permeate through.

An artist who never fails to wear his heart on his sleeve is David Cook, the past winner of the FOX reality show, American Idol but don’t peg him into the Idol cliché. Cook is one of the rare winners along with Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson who’s able to stand on his own two feet and found success over the years by laying his heart on the line. Lyrically and vocally, Cook is impressive and by far one of the finest musicians emerging today. It’s been about two and a half years since his platinum-selling self-titled album debuted and the wait has been worth it.

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