Korn: ‘The Paradigm Shift’

Korn-The-Paradigm-ShiftRelease date: October 8

Tracklist:
01. Prey For Me
02. Love & Meth
03. What We Do
04. Spike in My Veins
05. Mass Hysteria
06. Paranoid and Aroused
07. Never Never
08. Punishment Time
09. Lullaby for a Sadist
10. Victimized
11. It’s All Wrong

My favorite tune: Mass Hysteria

On their previous album, as much as we might hate to admit, Korn was literally saved by dubstep. What will happen this time in the new album with Brian Welch’s comeback? Obviously, the return to their almost-original line up means back to Korn’s classic sound concept. After an uptempo but a bit monochromatic start in ‘Prey for Me’ and ‘Love & Meth’, then shifting to higher gear on ‘What We Do’, Paradigm… finally warms up on ‘Mass Hysteria’. But then quickly loses traction on ‘Paranoid and Aroused’ and the dubstep-flavored first single ‘Never Never’. With the rest of the songs fleetingly sound alike, Korn needs much better tempo and beat variations. So maybe, what Paradigm… ultimately still lacking of, besides maybe another nudge from Skrillex, is… the return of David Silveria.

My Rating: 5/10

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Moby: ‘Innocents’

innocents-cover-webRelease date: October 1

Tracklist:
01. Everything That Rises
02. A Case For Shame (feat. Cold Specks)
03. Almost Home (feat. Damien Jurado)
04. Going Wrong
05. The Perfect Life (feat. Wayne Coyne)
06. The Last Day (feat. Skylar Grey)
07. Don’t Love Me (feat. Inyang Bassey)
08. A Long Time
09. Saints
10. Tell Me (feat. Cold Specks)
11. The Lonely Night (feat. Mark Lanegan)
12. The Dogs

My favorite tune: Tell Me

Moby keeps replaying similar chord progressions, similar piano and string synth sound, similar bluesy and soulish female vocals, in all his albums including this new one, but they just never lose their charms when Moby is able to find the right groove. Two years ago he almost failed to nail it in Destroyed, but this time it’s another story. Innocents do have thicker souls, with the exception of “The Perfect Life” that somehow lacked sparks, naturally indebted to the precious help of those interstellar collaborators–Skylar Grey, Inyang Bassey, Al Spx of Cold Specks, great vocals!–which of course also means much, much, less Moby’s “boring” voice. One trick pony, or the be exact, few tricks Moby? Of course. Sometimes he doesn’t do the tricks very good, other times it is very good.  Just don’t sing too much, Moby, that seems to work so much better.

My Rating: 7/10

Washed Out: ‘Paracosm’

ParacosmRelease date: August 13, 2013

Tracklist:
01. Entrance
02. It All Feels Right
03. Don’t Give Up
04. Weightless
05. All I Know
06. Great Escape
07. Paracosm
08. Falling Back
09. All Over Now

My favorite tune: Weightless

Two years after his debut album ‘Within and Without’, Ernest Greene adds just too few new layers into his musical pieces.  The reggae flavor in ‘It All Feels Right’ is certainly a breath of fresh air, while other songs remain essentially sound like a not too bad B-side from his previous L.P., and this time Greene also a bit overdo his laid-back bossanovaesque vocal concept, reducing it to mumbles in ‘All I Know.’ Washed Out almost ironically becoming a washout within its own paracosm.

My Rating: 6/10

Suede: ‘Bloodsports’

suedeRelease date: March 19

Tracklist:
01. Barriers
02. Snowblind
03. It Starts and Ends With You
04. Sabotage
05. For the Strangers
06. Hit Me
07. Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away
08. What Are You Not Telling Me?
09. Always
10. Faultlines

My favorite tune: For the Strangers

If all comeback-bands have to do is rehashing their own materials, make new songs that retrace their old songs, then at least Suede has done it right. ‘It Starts and Ends With You’ is a subdued echo of  ‘Beautiful Ones’, ‘For the Strangers’ is a deadpan reincarnation of ‘The Chemistry Between Us’, and overall Bloodsports essentially is their brand new Coming Up: a statement to the world that the band has been reborn, again. Only this time, with fewer potential hit songs.

My Rating: 7/10

Angels & Airwaves: ‘Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal (Double EP)’

avaRelease date: December 18

Tracklist:
The Score Evolved EP:
1. Reel 1 (Diary)
2. Reel 5 (New Blood)
3. Reel 6

Love Two: Re-imagined EP:
1. Surrender Remix
2. Epic Holiday Remix
3. Young London Remix
4. Anxiety Remix
5. Saturday Love Remix

My favorite tune: Reel1 (Diary)

For AVA hardcore fans, it’s a must, of course. For casual listeners, it’s just an electronica remix of five songs from the Love Album, plus some, three to be exact, new electronica-flavored songs. What phantom brake pedal? We might never going to find out.

My Rating: 6/10

Green Day: ‘¡Tre!’

treRelease date: December 11

Tracklist:
01. Brutal Love
02. Missing You
03. 8th Avenue Serenade
04. Drama Queen
05. X-Kid
06. Sex, Drugs & Violence
07. Little Boy Named Train
08. Amanda
09. Walk Away
10. Dirty Rotten Bastards
11. 99 Revolutions
12. The Forgotten

My favorite tune: Missing You

…And it all ended with a fizzle. Lesson learned: Don’t stretch your latest release into a trilogy album concept if you don’t have enough good materials. You’ll end up with a lot of mediocre and crappy songs by the third LP, and selling one of it as a ‘Twilight’ movie soundtrack really won’t make it any better.

My Rating: 4/10

>>Check out my other reviews on Green Day’s trilogy album:
Dos
Uno

Rihanna: ‘Unapologetic’

Release date: November 20

Tracklist:
01. Fresh Off The Runway
02. Diamonds
03. Numb (feat. Eminem)
04. Pour It Up
05. Loveeeeeee Song (feat. Future)
06. Jump
07. Right Now (feat. David Guetta)
08. What Now
09. Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko)
10. Nobody’s Business (feat. Chris Brown)
11. Love Without Tragedy / Mother Mary
12. Get It Over With
13. No Love Allowed
14. Lost In Paradise

My favorite tune: Love Without Tragedy / Mother Mary

Miss Ri, let’s see what your producers make you to do this time. More guest stars power? Good. But what about quality? More of those simplistic dime a dozen pop songs soaked wet in blaring techno sounds and mind numbing dance beats? And love ballads with all too ordinary American Idol-ish music arrangement? And Chris Brown? Does he suppose to make this album sells more? But thank goodness there are some few real diamonds like the Michael Jackson-y ‘Nobody’s Business’ (yes, the one with Chris Brown) and great ‘Love Without Tragedy / Mother Mary’, while the main single ‘Diamonds’ ironically duds.

My Rating: 6/10