Mark Ronson can play a mean guitar, but his extensive knowledge of rap, funk, and soul was what got him noticed in the first place. Ronson’s past two records have been slick, sample-heavy dance records that hint at his formative years as a club DJ. The formula is no different on his newest album, Record Collection.
Many of today’s most successful pop stars write very little of their own music or lyrics, and they don’t want you to know it. This has never been the case for Ben Folds, who writes the vast majority of his own work.
Few bands are more frustrating than Weezer. They produced two of the best records of the last fifteen years, Weezer and the early emo classic Pinkerton, but recent, unfortunate efforts have reduced the band to a parody of itself. Their last few successful songs have been candy-coated, sugar pop anthems.
Helmet is a band that has always broken the rules. When it formed in 1989 in New York City, Helmet was heavy and dissonant enough to win the fickle approval of the metal and post-hardcore scene, yet melodic enough to fit in with Seattle’s grunge rockers.
Nobody ever cuts poor Ra Ra Riot a break. Although only four years old, the band has already been signed and subsequently parted ways with their label, V2 Records, and suffered through the mysterious death of drummer John Pike in 2007.