#Review: Editors – Violence


   

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Editors are an English rock band from Birmingham who have enjoyed many career successes, including two platinum studio albums (out of five, to date), a Mercury Prize nomination and two albums entering the charts at Number 1. Now, in 2018, the band are releasing their sixth studio album, Violence. Here’s what we think of it…

Editors - Violence.jpg

Let’s just start by saying that this album is a far cry from their post-punkesque, 2005 debut, The Back Room, yet somehow they’re still recognisable…but then maybe that’s the beauty of this band; they’re always growing and always changing, but manage to still be the same, iconic band.

The lead single, ‘Magazine’ is a bold, electro-rock song that is like something you might expect from Depeche Mode, whilst ‘Hallelujah (So Low)’ is acoustic and melodic in places, yet very heavy and industrial-sounding in others; it’s like the lovechild of Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails – not two bands you’d ever expect to be put together, but oddly…it works! Whilst the album has moments of purposeful, off-key darkness, there is just as much positivity and lightheartedness. ‘Darkness At The Door’ is probably the most out-and-out electro-indie/pop song on the album, whilst ‘Cold’ is a stadium-filling, lighter-waving ballad.

This feels like something very different, very new and very exciting for the band.

In other places, this album has similarities with Take That (‘Nothingness’) and even a melody from Chicane‘s ‘Come Back’ struck me in the title track, ‘Violence’. That’s not to say the band are copying from others; they’ve actually just produced an incredibly diverse and eclectic album, that truly has a bit of something for everyone. It has been largely supported by a guy called Blanck Mass (aka Benjamin John Power), who is known for making heavy electronic music and produced by a man named Leo Matthew Abrahams, who has worked with the likes of Imogen Heap, Brian Eno and Florence And The Machine. That’s perhaps why this album has so much distinctiveness to it.

Having worked closely with the two, singer, Tom Smith, said, “When it’s electronic, it’s very electronic. But then when it’s guitar-y, it’s very band driven. I think we’ve managed to find the balance of those two things better than we have done before.” He goes on to say, “I think there’s a balance here between melody and brutality that I don’t think we’ve managed to get before,” and that’s very true; this feels like something very different, very new and very exciting for the band.

This is an incredibly strong album from a well-established band. For so many others, it’s easy to slip under the radar by your sixth album but that won’t be a worry for Editors with this release. Whilst the band have not had a Number 1 album since their third record, In This Light and on This Evening, they’ve managed to create something special with Violence. In fact it would be very surprising if this doesn’t reach enter the charts inside the Top 3, if not Number 1.

Rating
4.5


‘Violence’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/violence/1328602125


Violence on Spotify

Magazine (Official Video)

Hallelujah (So Low) [Official Video]


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Editors’ sixth album, Violence! What do you think of it? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Rae Morris – Someone Out There


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerRae Morris is an English singer and songwriter, hailing from Blackpool, Lancashire. With an album already under her belt, she’s back with her second full-length offering, Someone Out There, released through Atlantic Records.

Rae Morris - Someone Out There

The album opens with the simplistic yet melodic, ‘Push Me To My Limit’, which feels almost like the starting narration of a musical or a soundtrack, leading up to something epic.

There isn’t a completely running theme throughout the album but each track has a way of telling it’s own little story. Some of the most stand-out tracks on the record include; ‘Atletico (The Only One)’ for its unusual and bold use of choppy vocal hooks and melodies – it’s a really stunning song, ‘Do It’ has a very atmospheric, electro-indie vibe that’s truly catchy, ‘Wait For The Rain’ has a beautiful vocal melody that I love more and more each time I hear it – it also builds up a quite dirty beat to become this massive banger and ‘Dip My Toe’ which is one of the most pop tracks on the album but it has a certain Grimes quality to it. You can’t help but love the vocal hook in the chorus and sing along to it.

It’s not a generic pop record by any means and that’s something to admire – her bravery and conviction to shape her own sound and stand out from the crowd is truly refreshing.

Throughout the album, there are strong similarities with Björk(on the track ‘Rose Garden’), Imogen Heap (on ‘Lower The Tone’) and (on ‘Reborn’) – there’s a ton of quirkiness in Rae’s vocals (she’s certainly not afraid to utilise her voice in weird and wonderful ways!) and a real boldness in the instrumentation, provided by collaborator Fryars – the clever use of subtle sounds that somehow stand out, make a real impression. There is plenty of space for the vocals to shine through in the production and vice versa.

One thing is for certain; whilst this is a major label pop artist’s release, it has a uniqueness about it and there’s a real essence that she was given license to create something that suited her style and make the record she wanted to make. It’s not a generic pop record by any means and that’s something to admire – it’d be so easy for her to pump out something to fit the mould of current trends but her bravery and conviction to shape her own sound and stand out from the crowd is truly refreshing. This is a pretty awesome album, that with each listen I’ve become more and more fond of – I think it has a lot to offer and it certainly shows that Rae Morris knows exactly the sort of artist she wants to be.

Rating


‘Someone Out There’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/someone-out-there/1299762265


Someone Out There on Spotify

Reborn (Official Video)

Do It (Official Video)

Atletico (The Only One) (Official Video)


We hope you enjoyed our review of Rae’s second studio album. What do you have to say about it? Would you rate it the same as us? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings with us via our socials.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: MUNA – About U

‘About U’ is MUNA’s must-have debut album – a thoroughly powerful and stunning release!


   

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In case you didn’t already know, MUNA are an American band consisting of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson, who have been hard at work, crafting their own unique sound and brand of “dark pop”; this is their debut album, About U.

muna-about-u

About U is an incredible debut album; it’s production is slick and the lyrics are playfully honest. The band have ensured to steer clear of gender pronouns to ensure their songs are able to resonate with a person of any gender or sexuality, yet they still cover a wide variety of topics; relationships, heartbreak, regret, freedom and individuality. Yes, it’s an album predominantly about the ups and downs of love, but MUNA have definitely taken a refreshing stance on it.

What I love about this album is how the style of it flows superbly yet each song has its subtle gems in the production, that make each and every one of them stand out.

It features all the fan-favourites (So SpecialLoudspeaker(an unapologetic anthem for being your imperfect self – a real highlight of the album) and Winterbreak) as well as their newest single ‘Crying On The Bathroom Floor’, which is packed with melodrama. Then there’s the huge, hit single, I Know A Place which is pure pop perfection – it’s catchy as hell and the lyrics provide unity; it’s an anthem for the LGBTQ community and has provided a beacon of hope for those who’ve suffered horrendous attacks in recent times.

The band’s sound is stunningly well-crafted; from the huge, euphoric synths and drum pads to the subtle, endearing guitar licks, Katie Gavin‘s vocals weave beautifully across the tracks. At times she has a vocal style similar to that of Katy Perry and the use of vocoders is subtle yet haunting – very reminiscent of Imogen Heap.

Some of the stand-out tracks (besides the singles) include ‘Around U’ (an anthem of detachment; freedom from a former lover), ‘After’ (an exploration of the feelings you get from the morning after the night before) and ‘Promise’ (an admission of lies that have been told, after it’s too late). ‘End Of Desire’ and ‘Everything’ are fantastic songs too.

All-in-all, this album is the perfect debut and thoroughly deserving of the rating I’ve given it. There isn’t much I can fault with it. It almost allows you to forgive yourself for past mistakes you made and empowers you to take control of your life by embracing the highs and lows of love and relationships. A thoroughly powerful and stunning release. I honestly reached the end of the record and wished that they could release another album of new music next week!

Rating
5.jpg


‘About U’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/about-u/id1171832662


About U on Spotify

‘I Know A Place’ (Official Video)

‘Loudspeaker’ (Official Video)


I hope you enjoyed ‘About U’ as much as I did! What are your thoughts? What would you rate it? Please leave a comment below or let us know via our social media.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MellowMonday: Imogen Heap – ‘Hide And Seek’


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This song is just incredible and was the first song I heard by Imogen Heap…and now, I’m obsessed with her sound!

‘Hide and Seek’ is such a unique song; it is solely performed with  Heap’s vocals which are transformed though a vocoder hooked up to a keyboard synth. This has created the incredible a cappella sound that made the song so iconic.

Since its release 11 years ago (this week), in 2005, the song has been featured in many television programmes and films, including popular teen drama, The O.C. It was also prominently sampled by Jason Derulo, in his 2009 single, Whatcha Say’.

It’s so passionate and heartfelt and I love how it doesn’t conform to the usual pop song structure. It is the perfect way to start the week. Enjoy 🙂

Have you heard this before? Did you love it when it was released? Are you still a fan today? Do you have any similar #MellowMonday songs you can share with us. Please communicate with us via our social media accounts.

Have a great week!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Hide and Seek’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/hide-and-seek/id189964745?i=189965253