Monarch Music Minute - Yellowcard, The Game and the Naked and Famous
Yellowcard – “Yellowcard” 💿💿
After many years together, the band Yellowcard is saying their goodbyes. They didn’t leave their fans empty-handed, though. Along with the announcement of their departure from the music world, they also released a farewell album and tour.
Yellowcard has embodied what early 2000s pop-punk should sound like. This theme has stayed consistent with their music, and latest album is no exception. They have stuck with their roots and didn’t branch far away from what’s safe for them.
The self-titled album, released on Sept. 30, has shown just how little the band has evolved from their early 2000s work. The band first gained momentum with their hit single “Ocean Avenue” in 2003. Luckily for them, the idea of being 16 and in love was a popular concept at the time. Now, though, it seems everyone has grown up except them.
The band would not leave without a proper goodbye, and the track “Rest in Peace” shares that farewell with the listeners. Even though the track is featured as the opening song of the album, it is built around bidding farewell to their fan base. The music video features pictures from their years of touring.
Other songs like “A Place We Set Afire” include lyrics like “Try to breathe the air that’s here and now / Try to find some peace in falling out.” Hit single “The Hurt is Gone” encompasses the main point of the album and has lines like, “Whatever lies ahead / The things that we have said will slowly fade / Nothing can remain.”
Unfortunately, nothing about the album stands out. It’s built on half decent beats and run-of-the-mill guitar riffs. It’s not terrible, but also not remarkable. Any dedicated fan will enjoy, but Yellowcard’s goodbye just fell short.
The Game – ‘1992’ 💿💿💿💿
One of the more nostalgic albums released this year, “1992” still battles with modern issues. The album is an aggressive take on police brutality, the bigoted judicial system and throwbacks to childhood classics.
Jayceon Terrell Taylor, or more commonly known by his stage name, The Game, is the talent behind “1992.” The album, released on Oct. 14, is an aggressive take on wistful thinking with a mix of The Game’s personal angry feelings towards societal conflicts.
The opening track on “1992” sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Savage Lifestyle” holds nothing back as The Game addresses his feelings towards racism in America. The lyrics, “Cause the government corrupt, I can prove it / Martin, Malcolm, Huey P. Newton /And that’s why the whole city out here looting,” gets right to the point.
“1992” has shown that The Game has the ability to make things personal, yet relatable. “I Grew Up On Wu-Tang Clan” shares a childhood memory. It’s honest and raw, and while that may come across as intimidating to some, it’s what The Game wants people to hear.
“F— Orange Juice” takes another political stance. It’s charged, and The Game trash talks Trump while defending O.J. Simpson. The line “These white people votin’ for Trump / But they don’t give a f— about OJ,” makes it pretty clear on how The Game feels about the situation.
Other tracks keep up Game’s honest nature. For instance, “92 Bars” is a clear diss on Meek Mill. “Young N—-s” takes a more solemn turn and talks about the harsh reality of losing a friend to a gang.
“1992” has the perfect mix of harsh modernism and some nostalgic thinking. The Game has taken the music of today to tell a story of the past. It has the potential to be one the best rap albums of 2016.
The Naked and Famous – ‘Simple Forms’ 💿💿💿💿
Taking a turn from their mellow approach on “In Rolling Waves,” “Simple Forms” is more reminiscent of The Naked and Famous’ earlier works. In a pleasant change, the album is lead by strong vocals and confident lyrics as opposed to their typical electronic beats.
Released on Oct. 14, “Simple Forms” is compiled of pop-synth ballads and catchy, upbeat lyrics. Lead vocalist Alisa Xayalith with her singular, demanding voice supports the music and grabs the listener’s attention. This gives the band a unique edge in a genre that’s easily over-worked.
The album kicks off with hit single “Higher.” It’s an energetic, carefree song that sets up an almost misleading tone for the rest of the album. Xayalith showcases her rigid vocals as she croons on about being independent and carefree.
“The Water Beneath You” takes on a downtrodden feeling, even with the upbeat tempo. The song is about a painful breakup that the singer can’t help but feel guilty over. Lyrics like “I hear you, defeated, and calling out my name / The guilt that is forever mine / To know that I’m to blame for every / Tear and every sigh,” show a different side of the album, giving the listener something familiar and leaving something to hold on to.
Other tracks off the album like “My Energy” and “Losing Our Control” keeps up the theme that “The Water Beneath You” sets. Though each track keeps up the theme of losing control, there’s still a positive pin and Xayalith’s vocals to keep you interested.
“Simple Forms” is emotional, catchy and solid. The Naked and Famous don’t hold back as they get in touch with their electro-pop roots. It’s different without having the group stray too far from their own sound. It’s self-assured, and it might even be their best yet.
💿 — Face palm.
💿💿 — Eh…
💿💿💿 — We’re getting there.
💿💿💿💿 — I’ll listen to it twice, even.
💿💿💿💿💿 — Hell yes!