Thursday, October 01, 2009

Review Day

There are no spoilers in this review.

Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson:
Though there may have been some catchy tunes on her second CD, Be OK, the horrible rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" killed any interest I had in listening to it. This is her third CD, and it's definitely on par with Girls and Boys although no one song jumps out at me as a favourite. A few towards the middle are annoying repetitive though. You can listen to samples here.

Final Grade: B

Resistance by Muse:
It's been three years since Muse's last CD, and in that time they've gotten less heavy rock and more electronica. There are a few great tracks on this CD, especially "Uprising", "Resistance", and "I Belong to You", but despite a few great builds, there are never moments of absolute explosion like "Knights of Cydonia" or "Hysteria". Other songs seem a little pointless, like "United States of Eurasia", and the highly-touted symphony at the end which seems too much like a movie soundtrack writer imitating Muse rather than a serious Muse work. I like the CD more on progressive listens, just like I did with Black Holes and Revelations. You can listen to samples here.

Final Grade: B+

Bomb in a Birdcage by A Fine Frenzy:
A Fine Frenzy's first CD, One Cell In the Sea got a very mixed response from me, with the near-perfect songs like "You Picked Me" and "Rangers" dragged down by aurally irritating songs like "Think Of You". However, her sophomore effort is uniformly good, with a mix of more upbeat styles and catchy hooks, blending Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor into a unique sound. The only stumble is track #10, Stood Up, which is the musical equivalent of seasickness -- a little less echo would have been nice. I have a feeling that this CD will continue to grow on me as I listen to it, just like KT Tunstall's Hold On did. You can listen to samples here.

Final Grade: B+

Half Life 2: Episode 2:
There's nothing insanely new in this episode of gameplay -- you run across the countryside and through some mines, occasionally getting bored by long noninteractive sequences that they refuse to call cutscenes, but involve you jumping around on a twelve-minute elevator ride trying to shoot the sidekick that insists on narrating your predicament. At least this time there's a couple new monsters, and you don't spend the game in a parking garage.

Final Grade: B-

Shocking mulatto apple
American Police Force Corporation Takes Over Small Town Police Force and Prisoner-Less Jail
It's time to abolish Switzerland

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