The Good, Bad, and Mediocre: Album Reviews for December 2012

The Good, Bad, and Mediocre: Album Reviews for December 2012

By Courtney Guttenberg

Dos! – Green Day  3.5/5 stars

Dos! is Green Day’s November sixth release, the second in a series of three albums –  the other two titled Uno! and Tre! (after drummer, Tre Cool), respectively. Dos!, in comparison to their most recent release (21st Century Breakdown), sounds closer to their older albums, lyrically and instrumentally. The subject matter is more jokey, and there is no apparent story line like in both American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. The album itself sounds like a combination between Green Day’s other alias, Foxboro Hot Tubs, and American Idiot. Overall, the album is alright, but nothing too spectacular. Ashley is pretty good and Stray Heart is okay, too. Makeout Party and Lazy Bones are both dumb and jokey – definitely not the best songs on the album. The songs all sound like they would mesh together nicely as one big song.They’re not lyrically or instrumentally diverse, but they’re not bad, either. While Billie Joe and the boys aren’t exactly making it back to their Bay Area punk roots, it definitely isn’t a bad album and it honestly could be a lot worse.

The Good: Melodic, funny, and catchy. Stray Heart has a really prominent bass line.

The Bad: Kind of boring. Nothing to write home about. May be overly silly for some diehard fans who expected a masterpiece.

(III) – Crystal Castles 3/5 stars

(III) is Crystal Castle’s third studio album. It’s all right. It isn’t wonderful. It isn’t horrible, either. In fact, it could be much, much worse. However, compared to their last two albums, Crystal Castles and (II), it’s disappointing. Their debut, Crystal Castles, made them stand out amongst other electronica artists. (II) had a handful of good songs, a few excellent ones, and a few decent ones. (III) fails to accomplish anything even remotely close to groundbreaking, as far as sound goes. The beats sound more like discarded hip-hop beats. Insulin is reminiscent of Love and Caring, a song off of their debut. It’s the only song that truly stands out, though. Telepath is also decent.The rest are very drawn out – some might even go as far as to say that the songs are boring – and lacking the originality that the duo had with their prior releases.

The Good: The synth, as always, sounds cool. Insulin and Telepath are good songs.

The Bad: Boring, boring, and more boring. Nothing spectacular. Doesn’t invoke any feelings on either spectrum. Some could even refer to it as “meh”.

Unapologetic – Rihanna 2/5 stars

Unapologetic is Rihanna’s seventh studio album, released on November 19th. I feel like I could essentially sum up what I’m about to say in this review with the fact that there is a song entitled Loveeeeeee Song (yes – with all seven of those extra “e”‘s) on this album. But I have to give Rihanna some credit – the title dictates the subject matter. I shouldn’t have been expecting anything less than her being unapologetic for what she’s – um, rapping? – about. On that note, it seems as if she’s undergone this overnight transformation from pretty decent r&b / pop singer into this pseudo-hardcore rapper. And it just isn’t working. Only Girl In The World? Great song. Disturbia? Incredibly catchy. SOS? Also amazing. However, a song where a majority of the entire track is the repetition of “all I see is signs / all I see is dollar signs“? Not so great. What Now is actually a decent song – it almost seems like it has to be on there in order to prove that Rihanna can still actually sing.

The Good: What Now is okay. The beats on each song are also pretty good. Diamonds, while repetitive, is catchy.

The Bad: The “rapping”. The repetitiveness. The apparent lack of effort. Chris Brown.

Trilogy – The Weeknd 4.5/5 stars

Trilogy is The Weeknd’s remastered compilation album that contains his three previously released mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. The House of Balloons portion of the mixtape is good – songs like What You Need and The Morning have an eerie, echoey sound to them, with the corresponding beats to match. Loft Music is a great song. The Thursday portion of the album is also good, and it features a collaboration with Drake (The Zone), as well as the slightly more intense Life Of The Party and The Birds, Pt. 1. On the Echoes of Silence portion of the album, there seems to be more emotionally charged tracks, like D.D. and Montreal, as well as Till Dawn (Here Comes The Sun). By far, the coolest track out of all thirty cuts is Initiation. All together, this is a really good album. The Weeknd provides the originality that many mainstream artists lack, and it’s so refreshing.

The Good: The entire compilation. All thirty cuts are unique and good in their own way. It’s obvious that a lot of effort went into every song. There are no filler tracks.

The Bad: The subject matter is slightly repetitive at times.

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