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Reviews

Music reviews of bands and artists from Rockhaq

Album Review: Donald Fagen – Kamakiriad
10
4 months ago

Album Review: Donald Fagen – Kamakiriad

At what point does music become lifeless? Could it be commercial pandering? Indeed, one could spend hours reeling off artists whose music has come across as a blatant cash grab. Whose time spent on their music was looked over with the vague haze of dollar signs clouding their vision. The sort of music whose sole purpose is to sell, sell, sell often comes with an aftertaste of lifelessness, a kind of coppery taste.
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Album Review: Prefab Sprout- From Langley Park to Memphis
10
6 months ago

Album Review: Prefab Sprout- From Langley Park to Memphis

Paddy McAloon is a human curio. Sixty-four years of age yet comparatively ancient in outward appearance, he sports long grey hair which melts into a silver beard of equal length. For a photo shoot with the guardian he once sported a cane with a white globe atop it. While this may only be the singular instance of cane wielding one can attribute to McAloon, it’s an image that is seared in my brain; another addition to the aesthetic powerhouse the man is. It would be somewhat trite to call him an elder statesman of pop but with a visage like his, he practically yearns for the honour.
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Album Review: Muse – Origin of Symmetry (XX Anniversary RemiXX)
8
1 year ago

Album Review: Muse – Origin of Symmetry (XX Anniversary RemiXX)

By  •  Reviews

Muse’s career-defining Origin of Symmetry is one of the few albums that I consider to be a modern masterpiece. Their second outing took their musical status to new heights in regard to scope, quality, creativity and ambition. After investing many hours into this album over the course of 14 years, I still find it astonishing how effortlessly Muse branched out to a vast amount of contrasting genres where they were able to completely reinvent themselves musically. 
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Single Review: Taeyeon – All About You
9
1 year ago

Single Review: Taeyeon – All About You

By  •  Reviews

Ever since I came to Vietnam to teach, there was one thing that piqued my interest which was to understand why Korean pop music was so popular in this country. Despite having already been introduced to the South Korean musical giants such as BTS and Blackpink, they still felt incredibly disposable after a few listens. However, there was one solo artist that grabbed my attention among the others. That artist goes by the name of Taeyeon.
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Album Review: Laurie Anderson – Big Science
10
1 year ago

Album Review: Laurie Anderson – Big Science

Laurie Anderson’s Big Science is an album that is obsessed with time. Its progression, its regression and its stalling. It fixates on the mundanity of modern life, suffusing it with a sense of dread about what is to come and a sense of anguish that we haven’t traversed too far from our origins. It’s an album that exists in the past, present and future and doesn’t enjoy being in any of those three places at once. Anderson’s simple exclamation of “this is the time, and this is the record of the time” becomes less prosaic and more ‘mosaic’ in its multiple layers. This is the record of the time, it’s the record of all times, but that doesn’t mean it enjoys being there.
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Single Review: Taylor Swift – Love Story (Taylor’s Version)
9
1 year ago

Single Review: Taylor Swift – Love Story (Taylor’s Version)

By  •  Reviews

Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ is the best teenage romance song ever written. Nothing will ever capture the grand delusions of young love better than giving the most famous romantic tragedy of all time a happy ending; a love so real it can resurrect Romeo and Juliet. The effect is only heightened by how earnestly 18-year-old Swift seems to believe it. ‘Love Story’ sweeps you up in its whirlwind momentum and soaring choruses, and it’s all built on an impossible fantasy.
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Album Review: Paul McCartney – McCartney III
7
2 years ago

Album Review: Paul McCartney – McCartney III

By  •  Reviews

Paul McCartney’s solo career is an unwieldy beast. Spanning half a century, the quality of the ex-Beatle’s music varies wildly across and within albums (or even within individual songs). No albums exemplify Paul’s work outside of the Beatles better than McCartney and McCartney II. Both released at the beginning of a decade and at the end of his time in a chart-conquering band, Paul’s first two solo efforts are bizarre little artefacts that seem to deliberately ignore the fact that he was once in the biggest group in the world. Rough, experimental and a tad unfinished, they’re certainly no Abbey Road, but they are fascinating insights into the artistic process of one of the greatest living songwriters. In hindsight, they’ve also proven surprisingly influential in the world of lo-fi music. I was naturally excited and intrigued then, when Paul announced his return to the series with McCartney III, a new album “Made in Rockdown”, as he has playfully dubbed his COVID-19 isolation.
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Album Review: Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine
9
2 years ago

Album Review: Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine

There’s a misconception surrounding Róisín Murphy that’s followed her for a number of years now, something that sounds nice when written down but is ultimately a completely empty statement. Critics like to point out the unfair way in which Róisín Murphy hasn’t become a global superstar. Off the back of 2007’s impeccable pop masterpiece Overpowered, many jumped on the bandwagon that this would propel her to deserved universal acknowledgment and acclaim. Whether Overpowered should’ve done so is irrelevant. A truer assessment of Murphy’s career is that she has always been destined to be a cult favourite, always leftfield in some way. Murphy has been on an inexorable path throughout her career; from Moloko’s Statues to 2016’s Take Her Up to Monto, she has been honing a notably uncommercial strain of nu-disco, each release perfecting the previous’ imperfections. Róisín Machine is Murphy incarnate: relentlessly danceable and relentlessly uncommercial and relentlessly her.
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Album Review: Taylor Swift – folklore
9
2 years ago

Album Review: Taylor Swift – folklore

By  •  Reviews

The last couple of releases from American pop superstar Taylor Swift have been patchy to say the least. 2017’s Reputation attempted to lean into all the controversies that had plagued her in the preceding years, but its bombastic edginess too often tripped over itself into absurdity. Then there was last year’s Lover, which should’ve been a glorious return to the buoyant synthpop that made 2014’s 1989 so appealing but a bloated tracklist and some truly dire singles bogged it down. Neither of these albums were without their high points but any glimpse of a return to form ultimately felt suffocated by all of the context, be that the exhausting tabloid drama or the excessive promotional hype.  
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Album Review: The 1975 – Notes on a Conditional Form
8
2 years ago

Album Review: The 1975 – Notes on a Conditional Form

By  •  Reviews

In the age of music as content, churned out to fill playlists on streaming services, the album has had a bit of a crisis. What’s the point of arranging songs this way if they don’t have to fit onto a disc with a limited amount of space? The responses to this question have been varied but, as a trend, albums have become more bloated. R&B superstar Drake’s 2018 album Scorpion is an excellent example of an album dragged to nearly an hour and a half long to provide as many playlist-ready tracks as possible. The lengthy double-album is nothing new, of course, but these days an artist doesn’t tend to release one to make an artistic statement – like Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde or The Beatles’ White Album – so much as to have as much content to satisfy the greedy streaming ecosystem. More alternative musicians may have a higher motive – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ masterpiece Ghosteen was a double LP for a clear artistic reason – but for the most part popular music pursues length for the sake of it. 
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