Album Review: The Ready Set’s ‘The Bad & The Better’

The Ready Set is back with some new sounds just in time for summer 2014!

The album, titled The Bad & The Better, was released today, May 27th.

The Bad & The Better is a wonderful concoction of fun, medium tempo pop beats and heartwarming ballads.

The two singles on this album are “Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)” (released back in 2012) and “Higher.”

Fans of The Ready Set may have already heard the big buzz about bonus track “For the Better,” which is a song tribute to Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s feud fueled by the incident that occured at the 2009 MTV VMAs.

Jordan Witzigreuter made it clear that the song is a tribute to the country singer, as he makes countless allusions to her songs and personality.

“So take that 13 luck and find, there’s a 100 waiting in line,” he says, mocking Taylor Swift’s favorite number. For the chorus, he hones the melody of her song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as he sings,

Whatever, ever, ever
It’s for the better
Hey, hey whatever, ever, ever
It’s for the better.

“For the Better” even quotes Kanye’s infamous line “Imma let you finish.”

I must say, this is a clever one, Jordan. Was this the inspiration for the album title?

The rest of the album includes fun summer songs “Carry Me Home,” “Luxury,” and bonus track “More Than This.”

The Ready Set plays with some synth in “Are We Happy Now” and bonus track “Terrible Things.” The synth adds to the emotional heaviness of both songs.

The albums ballads include “Don’t You Need Me” and the very heartfelt, tear inducing track titled “Castaway” featuring Jake Miller. “I’ll step back from the doubts overtaking me. They were breaking me,” Jordan sings as the swift violin melody swings back and forth between the lyrics.

Listeners that enjoy beautifully structured lyrics, will find my favorites, “Freakin’ Me Out,” “Bitter and the Sweetness,” and “Bleeding.” Jordan’s soft falsetto mixed into the melody of these three tracks are enough to make you melt faster than an ice cream cone in the summer heat.

And of course, this album would not be complete without one weird song, “Fangz.” I don’t even know how to explain that one.

I think The Ready Set fans will enjoy The Bad & The Better. Jordan Witzigreuter put together an interesting collection of melodies for our enjoyment this summer.

Listen to The Bad & The Better on Spotify.

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This Week In Music: Karmin’s “I Want It All” Music Video

I Want it All

Karmin’s Amy and Nick in “I Want It All” music video

#TheSassIsReal!

Couple and pop duo Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan of Karmin are back with a sassy new hit titled “I Want It All,” featuring the jazziest of melodies.

The song features a ear-gasmic crescendo of “da da das” in the intro, which carries throughout the rest of the song as well. The chorus becomes a party when the trumpet melodies come flooding in, mixing perfectly with Amy’s voice.

In the music video, it appears that Amy “want[s] it all,” but there’s a gold plated wall blocking her from taking hold of her desires?

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Fortunately, the gold wall doesn’t stop Amy, Nick and the supporting dancers. The groove of this song coupled with the old-school jazz themed music video will make you feel like you can have it all, right there on the dance floor, even while dancing on roller skates.

Yes, the video contains roller skate dancing. No, just the dancers, not Amy and Nick, I’m afraid.

I Want It All 3

The most interesting thing to realize about “I Want It All” is the fact that in it, Amy does not rap a single line. This could be a problem for fans who love her female rapper techniques most.

Luckily, the music video might be just what the doctor ordered.

Enjoy!

Album Review: Jesse McCartney’s ‘In Technicolor (Part 1)’

In Technicolor Part 1

After three years of silence in the music industry, Jesse McCartney is back with his new EP In Technicolor (Part 1), out today, December 10, 2013.

For those of you who are a bit puzzled, the answer is yes, Jesse McCartney is the kid that used to look like this:

Except now he’s 26, his hair is dark brown, and his music has more of an R&B feel instead of the pop tunes he sang back in the 2000s.

In Technicolor (Part 1) is a short EP of four songs, totaling 12 minutes.

The EP begins with the introductory 1:41 track “In Technicolor (Part 1).” The first chorus hits home, as McCartney sings,

Get a job, pay the rent,
Rinse, wash, repeat do it again, oh
We all live in a black and white world
But let’s face it, while time’s wasting,
We’re all here with the same motivation,
Trying to find that someone who sees your worth.

This verse sets up the premise for the song, which is the concept of living a life with the main goal of finding someone to be with as it all unfolds. This person makes your dreary, everyday, black and white world turn technicolor.

How beautiful!

“Back Together” and “Tie the Knot” sound very Justin Timberlake, with their funky, upbeat, R&B feel, complete with trumpets and bass guitar melodies.

“Tie the Knot” features some impulsive elope-sounding lyrics. “I’m ready, you’re ready, we’re ready, been ready / Come on girl let’s tie the knot,” he sings excitedly. Is there something you’re not telling us about you and Katie Peterson’s relationship status, Jesse?

The EP concludes on a serious note with “Checkmate,” the only ballad on the album.  “You are gonna lose ’cause you chose to make the moves you make” is the lyric in the chorus that stands out the most.

It’s nice to hear Jesse McCartney’s voice back on the market again. I’m assuming there will be a part 2 to this sometime in the near future?

Please don’t take another three years to release it, Jesse!

Listen to In Technicolor (Part 1) on Spotify.

Album Review: Parachute’s ‘Overnight’

Today marks the release of Parachute’s new album Overnight!

overnight

I’ve been in love with Parachute ever since a friend got me hooked on their song “She is Love.” Since then, I’ve also been hooked on “Mess I Made” and “All I Know.”

Now Parachute is back with a brand new album that I am listening to for the first time as I write this review. So, all of my opinions will be first impressions.

As soon as I heard the first song on the album, “Meant to Be,” I knew this was going to be a good album. I just love lead singer Will Anderson’s voice! The lyrics as so captivating, as he sings,

“When I found you
You could run so fast
You never really wanted love
And it couldn’t really hold you back.”

This song set the bar high for the rest of this album.

I had already heard “Can’t Help” and “Hearts Go Crazy” before the album was released. “Can’t Help” is one of those love sick songs with an addicting piano melody. I love the bell sounds in the song “Hearts Go Crazy.”

“Drive You Home” was kind of a let down for me, because the intro led me to believe that it was going to be a really slow tempo ballad, but it isn’t. I think the song would have been better if it were slower.

“Hurricane” has a bit of an R&B feel. The drum is like a heartbeat throughout the song. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. Will Anderson’s falsetto is great in this song.

I really like the beat of the song “Overnight”, the song that the album is named for. They layer some really cool beats, including the cool guitar rift and snare on the chorus. I also love it when “I should be sleeping” repeats for the bridge.

I think “Didn’t See it Coming” is the most creative and catchy song on the album. I love the talking bits, especially when he says, “And I was told don’t speak with your mouth open / But I couldn’t help it…” I also love how Will Anderson goes up the scale as he sings the word “coming” in the chorus. This song is brilliant, and will most likely be stuck in my head all night.

“The Other Side” is a sweet, slow ballad. Anderson sings “Darling don’t look back, no need to worry / I’ll be here waiting on the other side.” So heartwarming. “The Only One” is also a ballad, although the lyrics are much more powerful than “The Only One.” The chorus is so beautiful:

“Standing by the bedroom door
Staring at an empty face
I can see it in your eyes
Some things you can never change
Nothing else that I can do
While I’m waiting for the end to come
I know youre gonna walk away
But you should know that you’re the only one
You’re the only one.”

The way the word “one” echoes at the end of each chorus really gets to me.

The song “Waiting for that Call” will have your feet tapping and your head bobbing up and down. I love the slight raise of volume on some of the lyrics. Anderson even swears in this one. It was well placed, though.

“Disappear” is really heavy on the acoustics. I guess they decided to focus more on the lyrics for this one.

I’m not going to lie, I was kind of weirded out when I heard the intro for the last song on the album, “Higher.” Its a mixture of crashing sounds, combined with a church choir and a loud guitar. I kind of like it.

In general, I think this album was alright. Parachute tends to grab me with 3-4 songs every album, so I guess this time my favorites are “Meant to Be,” “Didn’t See it Coming” and “Waiting for that Call.”

Check out the album on Spotify!

Katy Perry ‘Prism’ Truck, “Roar” Single Art, and Teaser

Katy Kats! It’s time for The Third Coming!

katy burn

At the end of July, Katy Perry announced the release of her third studio album Prism.

Up until its release on October 22, 2013, the golden Prism truck will be touring the United States.

If you find the truck she might retweet you!

I cannot wait until it gets to New York!

roar

This week, Katy Perry released the single art for her single “Roar” and two teasers titled “Burning Baby Blue” and “The Third Coming.”

“Roar” will be released on August 12th, and UK fans can already pre-order the track here.

The teasers speak for themselves. Katy Perry’s symbolic rendition of her separation from the old sound fails to disappoint with the burning of her signature blue wig and a funeral service.

roar album art

“Roar’ Single Art

I just love how she chuckles when the camera focuses on her during the funeral in “The Third Coming.”

So mark your calendars, Katy Kats! She’s coming!

August 12th: “Roar”

October 22nd: Prism

And don’t forget to tweet your photos of the golden Prism, coming to a city near you!

This Week in Music: Mike Tompkins’ “Shake the Ground”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 was a big day for Mike Tompkins.

Why?Shake the Ground

The genius of a musician released his first original single.

ORIGINAL.

NOT A COVER.

For those of you who have yet to meet the Canadian YouTube phenom, I’ll show you what this guy is about:

Yeah. His voice is his instrument. Literally.

He does covers like this regularly. Most of the songs he remixes with his mouth are of the pop genre, including Demi Lovato, Rihanna, and even Owl City.

You can imagine how excited his fans were when they learned of his original single.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to song beats, since he can rely on his own instrumentation. So would he choose a ballad or something fast paced? Heavy base or loud snare? Vocals or instrumental?

I was itching to know. So I went onto Spotify and listened.

And I loved it.

At first I was kind of disappointed. I stared at my computer thinking, no, Mike Tompkins can do way more than just a chorus of “Oh”s and a steady snare.

And then the beat dropped.

He went electronic on us.

Holy crap, that was unexpected!

“Shake the Ground” is a song about what it feels like to be in the party scene, or even on stage, where the flashing lights transform you.

He sings, “Somehow I feel born again tonight.” The feeling of bursting out of your own skin to show the world who you really are shines through in the lyrics of this song.

This song should definitely be on your next party playlist.

“Shake the Ground” probably describes exactly how Mike Tompkins felt when he performed his original song at Playlist Live.

The lyric video features scenes from his performance at Playlist 2013. No word of an official video yet.

Have a listen here. I dare you to challenge his Skrillex-like capabilities!

WRHU 88.7 FM Hofstra University

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This lovely Monday I spent some time at the radio station WRHU 88.7 at my school, Hofstra University. Autumn and Alex were there hosting Alternative Nation, a segment that plays alternative rock songs from artists such as Sixpence None the Richer, Breaking Benjamin, and my favorite, Neon Trees.

They played some really good stuff while I was there. I sat at the table and jammed out to “It’s My Life” and “Do You Really Love Me?” by No Doubt, and the amazing “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. They even let me request a song! Watch here.


Clearly I had a good time.

Autumn, a broadcast journalism major at Hofstra who helps out with the show “Alternative Nation” every other Monday from 11am-1pm, let me interview her when the show was over. She’s such a sweetheart. Watch the interview here!


WRHU serves the Long Island, NYC, and Conneticut areas. It is home to the New York Islanders Hockey, and of course, Hofstra Pride sports teams.

The station is known for being the leader in development of multimedia, new media, and diverging media platforms. It is Long Island’s largest radio news station team.

WRHU hosts a variety of shows and segments, including “HMWC” (Hofstra Morning Wake Up Call), “Off the Charts”, “Political Seance”, “Jazz Cafe”, “Polka and Oberek”, “R&B Serenade”, “Dead Zone”, “Women’s Show”, “The Locker Room” and more.

WRHU can be streamed online or via iPhone app. To listen online click for PC or Mac. For the iPhone app click here.

WRHU 88.7 allows students to sign up for a training program in order to help out with the station and/or create their own radio show. A few of my friends have participated in the 10-week training course, and they do not regret having taken it one bit!

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If you’re a musician, you can send your music in and they might play it on the air! Send submissions to:

WRHU Music Director
111 Hofstra University
127 Dempster Hall
Hempstead, NY 11549