Well, I’m finally getting to the good part of receiving the mixtape, and that is writing my review for it. I’m really sorry that it’s taken me this long to get to it. I know I said that it might be Thursday or Friday, but things went much faster than I anticipated, and so I’m able to do it now. YAY!
Before I get started on track analysis, I’d like to mention how much I appreciated you titling the mixtape, “For Violet.” Not only did this let me know that you knew who I was, it made me feel, in an odd sort of way, special.
Anyway, thanks for that.
Now, on to the music:
1. The start reminded me quite a bit of Bloc Party. I think it’s because the vocalist sounds quite a bit like Kele. I don’t think it is Kele, though. (I’m going to feel like an idiot if this happens to be something off of his solo album.) This number is very upbeat and has a really nice indie feel to it. I’m sitting here dancing in my chair as I’m listening to it. “Everything’s ending , there’s no use pretending.” “Tension grows. Just think of the children…” I like the lyrics that I hear, too. This was a great choice for an album opener. It sets the mood for music quite nicely.
2. This one starts off with a guitar bit, soon followed by a percussion entrance. It’s not quite as loud as the first number, but I get the same sort of feel to it. The song reminds me of something Two Door Cinema Club might do; the vocalist has soft, clean vocals, and the background music seems to fit into what they might do. This is, of course, a good thing, as I’m quite fond of Two Door Cinema Club. I can’t wait to find out who this is.
3. This one’s a slightly slower number. OOOOOH, that synthy entrance was very interesting. I was totally not expecting that. This is a nice overall intro. From what I’m hearing, there is more than one vocalist. That sort of thing I’ve never really understood. Anyway, while they’re not as agreeable with me as the previous two tracks, they’re still nice vocals, and I’m sure that the more I listen to it, the more it’ll grow on me. I can’t help but feel that I have an idea who this might be. I can’t really say for sure, however. Anyway, above all else, the background music is really catchy.
4. Heyyy, I actually know this one! It’s “Some Kind of Nature (feat. Lou Reed)” by Gorillaz. I’m glad you chose to put something on from “Plastic Beach;” that album is nice.
I’m not sure if I would’ve picked this particular track myself, but it’s Gorillaz, so I doubt it would’ve mattered. Lou Reed doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but somehow, this song makes it kinda fit into place. I’m excited there was something I knew on here. It’s nice to sense some sort of familiarity in things like this sometimes, I think.
YAAAY, you put Florence + the Machine on here! You get double points for this one. The song is “My Boy Builds Coffins.” I wouldn’t have cared what song it was, though, because I love “Lungs.” Florence’s voice is so recognizable, and it’s a voice that I really enjoy listening to. Thanks a lot!
6. This is a softer number, with what sounds like bits of keyboards and soft percussion, maybe some bongos. The voice isn’t something I like, to be honest. I don’t know; it just sounds kinda weird to me. Nice addition of organ there in that bit, though. Organ should really be used more often in music, I think. “I will be the one who loves you the most.” Awww, how cute.
Actually, the vocal line is the only thing I don’t enjoy on this track. I’ve gotten to like voices that I didn’t like before, so don’t get discouraged that I don’t care for them right now. I may just need some more listens to allow it to grow on me. Anyway, the song overall has a nice feel to it. I still like it.
7. This one kinda has an old Mexican feel to it.
I can’t think of any better way to describe it. At any rate, I thought it was rather cheeky. The vocals are soft and sweet, which is funny, because they’re singing, “Sweet, swee-ee-eeeee-eeet” at the beginning. I can’t help but feel I somehow recognize the vocalist. He sounds like a sweeter version of Guy Garvey from Elbow. What I mean by that is that while I get the same sort of rasp from him, it’s not nearly as husky as Guy’s voice tends to be.
I think I may be overanalyzing this, honestly. Anyway, this track is pretty chill, and I like chill, so good job.
8. Ahhh, I see we’ve picked the tempo up a bit again. I hear lovely acoustic guitar. I like songs like this. This is quite an interesting voice we have here. While it’s not the greatest voice in the world, I find oddly fitting with this sort of music, for whatever reason. I get more of a folk feel here, which is perfectly acceptable, as I really enjoy folk music. I have a strong feeling this song will grow on me a lot over time.
“Sha la la la la la.”
9. This seems quite a bit more somber than the previous track, which serves as a good contrast. The vocals on this sound similar to the previous track, oddly enough. I’m not sure if it’s the same person/group on these songs; I don’t think it is. Again, it’s the background that grabs my attention more on this song. I can’t really pick any lyrics from this song, as the vocalist is a bit difficult to understand. It’s like his words are slurred together into an unintelligible mess. Not that I dislike that or anything, because I remember feeling like this sometimes when I first got into Radiohead. I found Thom Yorke hard to understand on some of the numbers.
10. I know this one, too! It’s “Flume” by Bon Iver. This is one of those albums that I looked into because people on the forum were raving about it. As this is the opening track to the album, “For Emma, Forever Ago,” it was my first impression of Bon Iver, and I fell in love at first listen. Consequently, it’s one of my favorite Bon Iver tracks.
Justin Vernon is amazing.
11. Heyyy, another song I know. This one is “Gold in the Air of Summer” by Kings of Convenience. I got into this duo rather recently, so I’m still trying to take the discography in. I didn’t recognize right away, honestly. However, once the vocals came in, it was unmistakable. This track has reminded me that I need to take better listens to Kings of Convenience, because they’re a legit acoustic duo. Thanks for the reminder.
12. This begins with drums, shortly followed by piano. The vocals are enjoyable on this. I love the contrast between duple and triple meter on this number. It’s stuff like this that gives a track texture. This is another one of those numbers that I kinda wanted to groove to, but in a bit of a different matter. It sounds like the tuning is a bit off on at least one of the instruments, but oddly enough, I don’t mind. I think I’ve just learned to become more tolerable of such things. I’m enjoying the bridge here. This definitely sounds like music I would listen to on a regular basis.
13. Saxophone? Synths? Groovy bass? You cheeky person, you. You put a jazz number on here.
This is a chill, smooth, instrumental track. This track reminds me yet again about how I should listen to more jazz. As much as I like jazz, for whatever reason, I don’t listen to it all that often. The only times I really get into it is when I see my college jazz bands in concert. This was pretty much the last thing I expected to hear on this mixtape, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it nevertheless. It’s nice to get a break from the previous stuff by listening to something like this. Listening to this reminds me of the 6th grade, when we were just getting started trying out for instruments. I saw a commercial on TV, and Benny Goodman played. That’s when I decided I wanted to play saxophone. (which, BTW, didn’t happen.
) This reminds me of how much I love the saxophone. This is probably one of my faves on the tape, honestly.
14. WOW. OK, so this takes me way back to my early childhood. My mom exclusively listens to oldies in the car. That’s the type of music I was raised on, and until I started taking piano lessons, it was the only music I knew. This takes me back to those good ol’ times, back to when I could actually tell you who this artist was.
I know for sure I’ve heard this before, but it’s been so long, I’ve forgotten. Actually, I may ask my parents if they know. -goes-
So, scratch that. They don’t want to be bothered with such trivial things, apparently. I know I’ve heard this person before, though, as well as this song. It’s killing me that I don’t know offhand the person who does it. I guess this’ll have to wait until the reveal.
15. Ahhh, back to guitar and all that good stuff. Again, this is something I would definitely listen to on a regular basis, probably. It has a good, driving bass line and a distinctive guitar bit, both of which tend to repeat themselves. Again, it sounds like more than one person is singing here. I could be wrong, though, because the vocalists on this sound like the same person. I don’t know. I don’t think I know the song well enough to make that sort of determination. Ick, so the vocals slipped on that chord right then. OK, dude, I know you’re a boy, so you can stop singing about it. Yeah, that bit kinda annoyed me.
I don’t think they meant any harm, though.
16. The beginning reminded me a lot of “Knife” by Grizzly Bear, even though that’s not what it is. The guitar riff is similar, though, and they’re in the same key of B major. They also have that same sort of feel. I’m not a fan of the vocals at all. Sorry.
It’s like what I told you in the other track, though, so it’s no big deal. OK, so I just heard a bit about a washing machine. Does that have to do with anything, I wonder? Oh gosh, ick. That guy should not try to sing that high if he’s going to whine that badly. >_< OK, I’m quite annoyed by him now. I’m really sorry. I’m trying really hard to find something good to say about the vocals, but the more he sings, the more it drives me bonkers. At least the background stuff is good. I’ll give it that much. OK, so the group bit (that was a cappella in nature), that part was OK, so it’s not like the vocals suck all the time. I’ll try to give this a few more listens before I denounce it completely.
Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed this mixtape. I heard a few favorites, as well as quite a few things I haven’t heard of before. You did a great job on the mixtape, and I commend you. I can’t wait to find out who you are, as well as the songs I’ve been listening to.