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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sigur Ros decided to live stream their new album, Valtari, online as a preview (it will be released May 29). The album played every hour on the hour (7 pm) in every time zone. Since I’m a big fan, I decided to write down my opinions of the album as it played.

1.”Ég anda”  (I Breathe)

When the song began, I want to say my ears immediately felt wet as if someone had slowly poured a cup of water into them. The title makes wonderful sense as throughout the song I felt like I was coming up for air. The song drastically changed two minutes in and became a bit more chaotic.  It held on to that trance like feel as the song slowly began to build and what a build it was! When the drop finally came, I felt as if the air had been knocked out of me.

2.”Ekki múkk”  (Not a Sound)

Having already previewed this song before this stream, I didn’t expect it to surprise me as much as it did. It came in a lot more trippy and broken up than the first track and I found myself falling in love with it all over again. The static heard throughout the track, to me, sounded like crackling fire. Goosebumps covered my arms. Literally. About ten times in this track. It is absolutely beautiful. Jonsi’s (frontman) voice is like liquid, slowly flowing inside your head and taking over your body. The song slows down drastically towards the end. A beautiful track. Probably my favorite on the album.

3.”Varúð”  (Caution)

The transition into the track isn’t as smooth as between the first two as an untuned piano begins a slow melody. The vocal melody is quite different than the first two tracks, but the chorus is absolutely mind-blowing. A chorus of angels, in my opinion. Absolutely love the build .. the chorus of voices, the drums .. the piano. Everything is just perfect. Almost brought me to tears. Even when the song faded out with just the vocals … oh my goodness. Chilling. My second favorite on the album.

4.”Rembihnútur”  (Tightly Knotted)

This song began a little darker than the others and fit the title appropriately. The jumbled piano line was beautiful as well as the fast intense string line. Everything changed when the vocals began. More chills and goosebumps. AND THE CHORUS …. absolutely breath-taking. Throughout the beginning of this song, I felt myself becoming “tightly knotted” and as the song progressed, slowly becoming undone. Wonderful. This was the shortest song on their album, yet it did not cease to impress.

5.”Dauðalogn”  (Deadening Calm)

This song appeared recently on the The Vampire Diaries Season Finale (which I watched and cried when I heard this song). Deadening Calm is the perfect title for this beautiful masterpiece. The mood is completely different and the vocal melody is so raw and saddening. Not much to say, it’s just so wonderful. My third favorite track on the album.

6.”Varðeldur”  (Campfire)

A beautiful transition into this track with a lovely piano line which slowly picked up speed as the song progressed. Very quietly you hear a broken up, repeated vocal melody begin. I immediately felt as if I was in the woods walking around and listening to nature (there was also some faint whistling that sounded like birds). As the song came to a close, the only thing remaining was the piano line (beautiful). The song remained instrumental throughout and, although peaceful and relaxing, felt empty to me.

7.”Valtari” (Roller)

As the longest track on the album, as well as the title of the album,  I was prepared for something great and I was not let down. The song began very mechanically with a much different sound than the rest of the tracks, but changed midway through to whistling and chimes/bells and a slow build. Although a wonderful song, it was not my favorite.

8.”Fjögur píanó”  (Four Pianos)

The final song on the album began with a single beautiful piano line (figured since the song is titled four pianos) and I crossed my fingers for a wonderful mix of piano in this track. I was not disappointed. A second more broken piano line soon began, but fit perfectly with the beginning piano line. Gosh, this track is so beautiful, I would play it in my wedding ceremony! The song eventually adds the rest of the piano lines and melds together so perfectly … such a beautiful song. The pianos die out, however, after five wonderful minutes and the rest of the track feels, to me, as a tribute to the album. A nice bookend.

Overall, the album was everything I pictured it would be. After listening to this album, I swear there is Heaven and God … and it is Valtari and Sigur Ros. 

You can pre-order the album here: http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/valtari/preorder/

Valtari will be available for purchase on May 28th. 

[ As seen on HRC ]

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Passion Pit, an eletro-pop band based out of Massachusetts, recently just released their new single Take a Walk from their upcoming album Gossamer (out July 23).

Although the single begins with their known poppy nature, a more serious and mellow tone is noticed as soon as Michael Angelakos belts the first lyrics:

All these kinds of places/Make it seem like it’s been ages/Tomorrow’s sun with buildings scrape the sky/I love this country dearly/I can feel the lighter clearly/But never thought I’d be alone to try

Although the single lacks the harsh feel of his voice that originally drew me to this band initially, the single still has that driving feel and has a pretty catchy chorus.

After taking a second listen, I knew for sure that although this single is much different than the stuff they’ve done before .. the new album looks very promising.

Take a listen for yourself!

[as seen on HRC ]

Every summer contains a few action movies and every summer has one box office smash – Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ is that movie for 2012. Not only does it contain action, as well as destroyed the box office on its opening weekend (grossing a good 200 million), the film contains some of Marvel’s best super heroes!

Now, I wanted to write this review as soon as I got home from seeing the movie, but I couldn’t think of anything to write nor could I sit in front of a computer and do anything but stare. My mind was BLOWN. I was speechless. I just wanted to go to bed and dream about the movie (which I did).

For those out there that are not comic book reading, super hero obsessed as I am here is a little background on The Avengers.

The Avengers is a comic book series that gathers some of the best Marvel superheroes together to battle against the evils of this world and others outside of it. Although the original Avengers comic books consisted of a few more superheroes than the movie portrayed, the movie puts together: The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Ironman, Hawkeye, and Black Widow with the help of Nick Fury. The Avengers go against Thor’s brother, Loki, and his alien army in this film. That’s right. Alien army. Intense.

If you have been watching any movies the past few years, you probably have seen movies by these names already in theaters. Before The Avengers movie could be created, they decided to make a face for each superhero with their own background movies. I would suggest seeing these movies before seeing Avengers to get a better grasp of each superhero and a grasp of the Avengers plot line. Don’t forget to sit through the credits to see the special Easter egg at the end of each movie. There are TWO in the Avengers movie. So keep an eye at and stay until the very end!

In regards to my review of The Avengers, I promised myself I wouldn’t give anything away and I won’t. I would have hated someone ruining this movie for me, so I suggest you finish reading this and run to a theater near you and enjoy it yourself!

I was so excited to see The Avengers because it was directed by one of my favorite directors – Joss Whedon. If you have grown up watching ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, you understand how amazing Joss Whedon is at, not only writing, but directing. He did BOTH with The Avengers. The script was perfect – serious, full of action, hilarious, with NO love story. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, NO LOVE STORY! Joss Whedon knows how to write a script and keep audience’s on its toes and that’s exactly what The Avengers does from start to finish. Count on action, lots of it, and count on loving the characters not for their looks, but for who they are as people.

Not only did he write a beautifully, well flowing script – his directing and cinematography choices were amazing. There were so many moments throughout the film where I just said to myself, “That was beautiful” or “Great choice.” They did an amazing job with the CGI overall. Everything was believable which is something, to me, never happens with movies containing CGI.  It was all just extraordinary.

Now, the one thing that I was looking forward to seeing in the movie was Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk. Hollywood has tried twice already to create a Hulk movie and have failed miserably twice. It’s always difficult to create a movie based on someone like the Hulk (who is really just a big secondary character/catalyst). I was really interested to see how he would play Bruce Banner and how the Hulk would look/act in the new movie.

I WAS BLOWN AWAY. I just flew out of my seat and out of the theater. Mark Ruffalo was an extraordinary Bruce Banner. I absolutely loved every minute of his screen time and wanted to see more of him as the film progressed. I was equally as impressed with their CGI of the Hulk. He was just believable and real, unlike the previous movies, and just BAD ASS. The catalyst of the movie, if you will. But Joss Whedon didn’t make him perfect and even though he’s pretty much indestructible, they made him seem a tad bit vulnerable in the big fight which is something I praise Whedon for doing. Make your characters strong, but give them faults. He was also funny. There were so many moments with Bruce/The Hulk that had me laughing out loud. Something new with the Hulk since Hollywood has always portrayed him as sad, depressed and alone. Joss Whedon did a perfect job with the Hulk. Perfect job.

Since I had seen the previous background movies for the other superheroes, I wasn’t as surprised at how amazing they were in the film. Tony Stark/Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.) was a diva as always, Captain America (Chris Evans) was the classic American hero, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was, well, beautiful and the demigod he should be, and the assassins Black Widow (Scarlet Johannson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) were, surprisingly, great. As the movie progressed, I wondered how they (Black Widow and Hawkeye) were going to do anything in the final battle scene (they are just humans), but Joss Whedon did a great job using them as important pieces in the puzzle.

The puzzle being the movie, of course, which is spent putting together this team of extraordinary superheroes and then putting them through this epic, and I mean, EPIC final battle scene. I won’t give anything away, but certain events occurred that caused me to hold my breathe, scream with surprise, and even cry. You will too, I promise.

I honestly cannot write anymore about this movie without giving anything more away. My advice is to turn off your computer and go spend the next two hours in the theater watching this film. You won’t regret it one bit. Even if you aren’t a superhero buff, you will enjoy the eye candy (they picked some hotties with bodies for this film) and you will enjoy the action.

If you can only see one action packed blockbuster this spring/summer, make it Marvel’s The Avengers.

Your $11 won’t be wasted.

[ As seen on HRC ]