Photo by G. Art by Damien Hirst.
Thirty Seconds To Mars / Damien Hirst
Now you can connect Jared Leto to Damien Hirst when you are playing the 6 degrees of separation game has Hirst has lent one of his spot paintings for the cover of the new Thirty Seconds to Mars album. In other news, I am seeing Laura Mvula (pictured on the far left) in a few weeks and I am excited!
Photo and autograph courtesy of G’s insanely huge in-person autograph collection.
- Peter Gabriel – So
There’s so much good news to report here, so let’s start at the beginning! 2012 will mark the 25th anniversary of Peter Gabriel’s classic album “So.” A special reissue is being planned (read: PLEASE put the 12″ version of “In Your Eyes,” “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time” on the set) for next year. Peter Gabriel is calling on fans to contiribute pictures, photos, memories of “So,” and winning images/ideas might appear either on his official website, or in the special packaging of “So” when it is released. Contribute by going to Peter Gabriel’s official website!
If you are out there Peter, while I only got my copy of “So” autographed this year, it’s one of my prized possessions and meeting you to get it signed was one of the highlights of my 2011! I’ll be more than happy to contribute this image if you find it useful.
Photo by G.
- Prince is Street Art
Prince’s 1979 album “Prince” is street art!
When you hear Prince’s recent studio output, you think of a song from said album – “why you wanna treat us so bad?!”
Photo by G.
Amy Winehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures. Out December 6, 2011.
When you listen to the collection of unreleased Amy Winehouse songs “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” your heart will break all over again. Amy Winehouse’s death was a real rock and roll tragedy and though she could not be on this planet physically, she’s left behind some amazing songs that showcase her great gift. Opening with the epic reggae cover “Our Day Will Come,” you’ll see the song can stand up amongst her best tracks. Again, my heart breaks all over for what a loss her death has left in the world. “Between The Cheats” is next and it is apparently one of the post-Back to Black songs and her voice sounds a little rough. Again, a great song, but you can hear in her voice that she could not handle this planet. “Tears Dry” is the original version (with different lyrics) of “Tears Dry On Their Own.” The song is much slower and it is really cool to hear the evolution of such a great song. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” is probably the most epic song on the album. It sounds like a cross between the song “Back to Black” and a James Bond Theme! She really breaths new life into this classic song. Knowing Amy’s fate, the lyrics of the song are even more haunting, but the answer is an overwhelming YES! “Like Smoke” features rapper Nas and has a great beat. The 68 Version of “Valerie” is next. This sounds similar to the way she performed the song in concert and it’s great to hear that it was recorded in the studio (and the vocals are different than the previously released versions!) Her cover of “The Girl From Ipanema” is next and it’s another highlight of the record. The song was recorded pre-Frank and her voice sounds angelic! The music is loungey with jazzy drum and bass! I love it! “Half Time” starts off with just Amy and guitar and as she sings “when the beat kicks in” a laid back beat kicks in and the song has great groove! The original version of “Wake Up Alone” is next and it’s also much different than the released version. “Best Friends, Right?” is next and it sounds like a Frank-era song. “Body and Soul” is the last known studio recording and it also features the legendary Tony Bennett. The final song is a cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You,” and it really is a powerful, but powerfully sad performance from Amy as you can almost hear the desperation in her voice. She really gives the song a new feel to it.
This collection of songs will really upset you that such a great talent is gone, but at least she left so many amazing songs for the world to listen to for the rest of time. “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” by Amy Winehouse is out on December 6, 2011 in the United States.
Photo by G.
Chris Martin of Coldplay
Some people love Coldplay. Some people hate Coldplay. Some people love to hate Coldplay. I love them. I will say that my interest in the band has waned over the last few years and the band working with Jay-Z on their last EP was nearly a deal breaker for me. Needless to say that when I read that the band has worked with another talentless superstar, Rihanna, I am actually frightened that I might have to kiss this band off for good. A week before their newest (and possibly last) album “Mylo Xyloto” is released, here’s my two cents. I’ll be writing short comments as I hear each track for the first time.
“Mylo Xyloto” – Instrumental.
“Hurts Like Heaven” – The title track leads right into this one, and it’s definitely the poppiest and danceiest Coldplay song I’ve ever heard. It’s also extremely catchy. This will be a good choice for a single, according2g. The track is 4 minutes long.
“Paradise” – Also a really pop sounding track. I read that Coldplay mentioned they wanted to try something different and there are no arguments here. Whether you like these songs or not, you cannot accuse Coldplay of making the same record over and over again. The chorus “Para-Para-Paradise, Oh-oh-ohhhhh” is a very Coldplay chorus and will probably sound awesome in concert.
“Charlie Brown” – Sounds like the “Clocks” off this album.
“Us Against The World” – A slow acoustic song. This is the first song I am not too crazy about so far.
“M.M.I.X” – A short instrumental palate cleanser, if you will.
“Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” – “M.M.I.X” runs right into this song, which was the first single. This sounds like a “classic” Coldplay song and might not even be out of place on a U2 record. I can imagine The Edge doing the guitar solo.
“Major Minus” – Also “classic” Coldplay. The chorus features “ooh ooh’s” and will be great live. One thing you’ve got to give it to Coldplay for, they sure know how to make anthemic music.
“UFO” – Acoustic ballad. Short song measuring only 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
“Princess of China” – Is that Chris Martin rapping? Oh dear! Rihanna’s vocals start in the second verse and while her voice is not making me want to stick sharp objects in my ear like normal when I hear her, I think she has no business on a Coldplay song. In my opinion, they can deny it all they want, but they are sellouts. It’s an unneeded attempt at grabbing headlines and attention for a very mediocre song. Why, Coldplay? WHY!
“Up In Flames” – How ironic to title a song “up in flames” after the Rihanna song. This is a slower track that reminds me of “Where is my Boy” by Faultline that Chris lent his vocals to many years ago, though this song is faster. I do like this song though. It’s got an ethereal beat and I like the way he says the title during the chorus (which he repeats 4 times).
“A Hopeful Transmission” – A 30 second instrumental.
“Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” – Another “classic Coldplay” sound. This is an uptempo rocker with a catchy chorus and guitar riff.
“Up With The Birds” – A slow track that starts off with just Chris and piano, builds some acoustic guitar and by the end of the song, it’s a full Coldplay production before giving way to just piano.
Overall, the album is a little uneven and I haven’t really analyzed the lyrics yet (though I’ve never considered Chris Martin to be a really great lyricist), but I find myself not disliking the record entirely on first listen. In fact, I like about half of the album a lot after the first listen. I’m sure the Rihanna track and some of the slower songs will not have a home on a G playlist, but I can definitely see myself enjoying the faster and rockier tracks in the coming days and weeks. I know there are a lot of Coldplay die-hards that will probably attack me for not loving every second, but there’s a reason this site is called According 2 G. Have you heard the album yet? Let us know what you think.
“Mylo Xyloto” by Coldplay is released on October 25, 2011.