What is there to say about me? I'm 22, I've worked at both Gamestop and Game Crazy, and I obviously have an obsession with video games. I'll play pretty much anything, but I have a not-so-secret obsession with rhythm games so you've been warned. I'm also a proud member of Stereotoid, home of the best damn album reviews this side of the interweb.
Still, I'm always up for a good multiplayer romp, so if you ever wanna play a couple games send me a request on Xbox Live, PSN or Steam. I'm a bit of a shy little introvert, but once you get to know me I'm not that bad.
Also, for some stupid reason I have a Twitter. You should follow it, or something.
Okay, so here I am again, with another surely polarizing and hate inducing post about Rock Band. My last blog detailed 15 keyboard heavy songs that would be a good fit in the game, but in this one I'm just putting 25 songs that would highlight all of the new features put in the game, as well as a couple songs that just would be fun to play. Read on, and leave all hate in the comments.
(Seriously though, thanks for being generally good sports about this you guys. I know music can be a VERY opinionated subject, and I'm glad to see everyone that's commented on my blogs so far have been a very understanding bunch. Stay classy folks.)
1) Heart- Magic Man
It's an absolute crime that we have not seen any Heart in Rock Band yet. And while they have wound up in Guitar Hero twice, it's always puzzled me- why has such a wonderful band not made it to the superior product yet? Especially with this song, a song that's pretty much a staple of most classic rock playlists. It's got it all- memorable riffs, a singalong chorus that nobody can ignore, and a guitar solo that perfectly balances that edge between fun and difficult. And did I mention it features one of the best harmonizing vocal lines in rock and roll history?
2) Lynyrd Skynyrd- I Know A Little
I'm not gonna lie...I really don't like Lynyrd Skynyrd. I understand their importance, but they're just not my thing. Simple Man was overrated, Sweet Home Alabama was overplayed, and Freebird was overrated AND overplayed. But this song however? This song is the exception. A southern-rock powerhouse track, this is sure to kick the ass of even the most hardened guitarists, not to mention that keyboard. Dear lord, that keyboard. This track would easily be the 'boss song' of the game for the new peripheral, not to mention just all out fun to play on any instrument.
3) Fleetwood Mac- The Chain
Another classic song, this song has always struck an emotional chord with me. The haunting harmonies, the heavy lyrics, and that memorable "If you don't love me now, then you'll never love me again" chorus. But the best part of the song? The chill-enducing breakdown. Once that bass kicks in through the silence, the guitar starts to shred, and that inimitable "The Chain will keep us together" chant echoes through the speakers, you're practically overcome by the emotions the song illicits. Put this song in the game, PLEASE.
4) New Order- True Faith
I know, my other RB3 list was very new wave heavy. However, I neglected to mention one of the greatest new wave groups of all time, and that's a wrong I had to right. And I know, they have another, far more popular song that would probably prove better for the game, but the fact of the matter is this song just doesn't get enough love and, thanks to a rather well-done cover by Anberlin, this song has gained relevance lately, making now the best time to put it in the game.
5) Rush- Caravan
Hey! Did you guys know Rush has a new song out? Did you know it's from an album that comes out in 2011? Does any of this sound eerily familiar to the whole Chinese Democracy situation from Rock Band 2? Now, I'll admit. This song doesn't have any fancy keyboard, or harmonies, but it does have one thing the rest of the songs on this list doesn't: it's fucking Rush. And, even in this day and age, the golden boys of Canada still have the magic. Though they may have acquired a bit of a heavier edge over the years, they still know how to craft some amazing music. Wouldn't it be awesome if all that amazing music from the album made it to Rock Band 3?
6) David Bowie- Changes
CH-CH-CHAAAANGEES!! As anyone that knows me well enough would tell you, I am a massive David Bowie fan, to the point where I would say he's the greatest musician ever. And while this isn't exactly my favorite song by him, this would be a perfect fit for the game, thanks mainly to that dominating piano line. Not to mention, it'd be funny to watch vocalists trip up at the off-kilter vocal delivery present during the chorus.
7) Beastie Boys- Intergalactic
I know what you're thinking...it has no guitar. The bass is barely there. It has one very boring organesque piano sample and a drum beat. This wouldn't work at all. Well you know what I have to say to that? Fuck. And. That. Thanks to the advent of harmonies, this could be the PERFECT get-drunk-and-get-down track for three vocalists. Imagine three guys, callin' back, dropping rhymes, trying to imitate the poses from the video. For that alone, I think this song deserves to be in the game.
8) Beck- Where It's At
Ah, Beck. I would be lying if I didn't think of this song due only because of the backing piano sample, but that's just one of the many good things about this song. A fun to play drum beat (With a solo, no less), Beck's always-obscure-but-never-boring lyrics, and even some basic harmonies. Not to mention it's just a fun song to listen to. And hey, there's a guarantee that this will be more fun on guitar then the other Beck track we got.
9) Sonic Youth- Bull In The Heather
Okay, I admit. This song doesn't have an amazing guitar riff. No funky, plucky bass line. No harmonies. No piano. It's got a decent drum beat, but a very repetitive one nonetheless. And the vocals are good, but they're not something amazing in this song. So why this song? Because, when you combine it all together, it just makes for one hell of a song that greatly exceeds the sum of it's parts. Add a digital Kathleen Hanna dancing on the stage during the song Harmonix, and you've got magic on your hands.
10) Alkaline Trio- Time To Waste
I'm pretty sure everybody is going to hate this song, I'm not going to lie. I hardly know any people that know who this band even is, let alone people that actually like them. But me personally, as well as my girlfriend, we both love this band...so naturally, we've been chomping at the bit for a chance to play one of their songs in the game. The advent of the keyboard controller and harmonizing vocals suddenly makes this more possible then ever before, thanks to this song. Sure, it's from the time when they stopped being an amazing pop-punk band and started being a really good alternative band with some darker punk leanings, but it's still a great song nonetheless, and a song I'd love to see in the game.
11) Dethklok- Hatredcopter
Guitar Hero got a Dethklok song, so why can't we? And while Bloodlines is an amazing choice, I don't want to see the same song in both games, hence why I choose this one. It's hard as hell and will certainly fill the spot of "That WTF-hard metal song that everyone wants to play but nobody can play well", and is one of the few songs you'll find from the 'band' that features harmonies- in this occasion, entire lines sang by drummer/former Snakes N' Barrels vocalist Pickles. A perfect choice for the band if ever I saw one.
12) Pendulum- Propane Nightmares
Pendulum is, admittedly, an odd choice for a game that isn't DJ Hero. However, as one of the most prominent electronic acts around, as well as one of the few to still stick to instruments, they're just dying to be presented in a video game. And this song is a perfect display of what makes them great- amped up drum beats, slamming guitar and bass rhythms, and an awesome display of vocal/keyboard double duties that all combine to make a simply great song, electronic or otherwise.
13) Avenged Sevenfold- Little Piece Of Heaven
I know, I know, I know- "Avenged Sevenfold? What the fuck man, you suck." Well, whatever. This song is about as un-Avenged Sevenfold as it gets, taking on a boldly theatrical tone, complete with a choir of singers, piano, trumpets, violins, the whole nine yards. It's a darkly humorous song lyrically, telling a tale that I honestly never even noticed until the music video. Gameplay wise though, it would fit in perfectly- the background harmonies, the piano, the shifts to the drummer singing, everything. This has the potential to be one of the most 7-man band songs in the game.
14) Blood Brothers- Peacock Skeleton With Crooked Feathers
Alright, another love 'em/hate 'em band that I'm sure nobody other then me enjoys. An incredibly frantic group, this shows the Blood Brothers arguably at their best, and is a perfect entry course into just what their music entails- a fast, catchy Casio beat, dueling vocals, rapid, frantic changes in the rhythm, and an all around frenzy of madness that few other bands can pull off. It'd probably fall in to the "Visions" category of "This shit isn't music" to most people, but I personally think it'd be an excellent addition to the game for the people willing to give it a shot.
15) Against Me!- Miami
First off- ignore the video, just listen to the song. It's a fan video. Moving right along, this is another band like Alkaline Trio, where I don't know many people that know who these guys are, but they're one of my favorite bands ever, so much so that I even have a tattoo based on their first album on my back. Now, avid Rock Band players will notice that two of their songs are in the game already, but those two songs were after they took a drastic change in their sound, moving from ultra-frenzied folk-punk anthems to more of a alt-punk sound with intense lyrical messages. This song comes from the more of a middle ground between the two, when they were starting to slow down a bit but still had a bit of their signature sound left over.
16) Paper Tongues- Trinity
I just recently started listening to these guys, and I gotta say I'm a real big fan so far. Discovered out of North Carolina by the world famous Randy "Yo Dawg" Jackson, these boys attempt to fuse their different musical backgrounds of hip-hop, soul, funk, and alternative into it's own magnificent beast, with beautiful results. And while they have another song (Ride To California) that would arguably be more fun to play, I picked this song mainly because of the heartfelt vocal delivery and the standout keyboard line during the chorus.
17) Klaxons- Gravity's Rainbow
Man...am I the only one that liked these guys? Another not-so-popular band, these New Ravers from the other side of the water bring their own brand of frantic chaos to the scene themselves, combining many elements to form their own unique sound before suddenly disappearing for three years. One of their more popular tracks (And their first single), it also has all the staples of a good showcase for the new features. And, ya know, I'd actually like to see some other people figure out who these guys are.
18) The XX- Crystalised
This band here? I think I just discovered them like...four, five days ago. And while it's a very slow, typically mopey indie track, it's also a great beginner's entrance into the harmonies, and just a hauntingly enchanting song to listen to. Easy doesn't always equate to boring, so long as the song in question is good enough. Not to mention this could easily be the voxtar song of choice for the game.
19) Nine Inch Nails- Every Day Is Exactly The Same
Yes, another easy, kind of boring song. But this is another track that could be used to warm people into the new keyboard peripheral rather well, not to mention the appeal of Nine Inch Nails is kind of hard to top. And while it's not the best choice from them for another game, this has always been one of my favorites by them for the bleak, hopeless sound the song portrays, and I'm all for that sort of thing in a video game.
20) Outkast- Bombs Over Baghdad
I will make this clear- if you don't like the idea of this song being in a video game, then I'm afraid we can't be friends anymore. This song is absolutely perfect for a game like Rock Band. It's got the frenetic drums, it's got the guitar (Not to mention the guitar SOLO), and hell, it even has a bit of keyboard in it. But what really makes this so perfect, is being able to get two guys up there and doing their own Big Boi and Andre 3000. Harmonix said that they were open to the idea of hip-hop making it to Rock Band...well, put this song in and prove it.
21) MGMT- Flash Delirium
Taken from my favorite new album to come out this year, this song is another excellent display of harmonies, brought about by a band that many have hoped would appear in a rhythm game for quite some time. Luckily, their new album features a more stripped down, 60's-70's esque psychedelic sound, making it all the more likely that it could actually happen. Not to mention, this songs eventual devolution into madness would be a pretty fun thing to play.
22) Justice- D.A.N.C.E
What's that? More dance music? Hell yeah more dance music. The standout track by the two frenchman that aren't Daft Punk, this song has all the right qualities to be made into a playable Rock Band track. How could you not have a smile on your face by singing such charming lyrics? Not to mention the fact that, in the chase for branching out and getting diverse artists and genres in-game, the realm of dance music is practically untouched...so what would it take to be able to do the D.A.N.C.E in Rock Band?
23) Brick- Dazz
Speaking of genres, if there's one thing Rock Band needs more of, it's the funk. We're not content to one single 3-pack...we need more. And what better song then Dazz? It brings the funk in spades, and brings it with keyboards and harmonies to boot. Play this song at a party and everyone's almost guaranteed to dance.
24) The Gap Band- You Dropped A Bomb On Me
Another awesome funk track, and probably my personal favorite of all time. I never was able to explain why I love this song so much, but whatever it is I just can't stop listening to it again and again and again. Not much to say about this, it's simply a great song.
25) The Roots- The Seed (2.0)
And ending this list is another hip-hop songs by one of the best acts in the genre. I know that not many people have a fond respect for hip-hop (A certain comment section from a Def Jam Rapstar post comes to mind), but this is one of those bands that I can't really imagine anybody hating. It's got a simple guitar line yes, but this could easily be one of the most fun and versatile vocal tracks in the game, especially if they did it as harmonies. Plus, who doesn't wanna see a man with a giant afro playing drums?
Aaaaand there you have it, 25 more picks from my personal collection of bad music tastes, for you guys to pick apart. I'm probably going to hold off from doing another one of these, seeing as how I've pretty much suggested enough songs to fill up the rest of the track list at this point...so, sound off in the comments, tell me how wrong I am, and I hope to see you all for Stereotoid!
AND DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE DEBUT OF STEREOCAST!!!!(Shameless Plug)
A quick primer- this is the first non-Stereotoid related article I've written since we started so this will probably come off as vaguely amateurish. Moving right along...
So, as anyone who's played the Green Day Rock Band demo (Or simply saw the article Nick Chester posted), Rock Band 3 is set to feature some form of keyboard/keytar peripheral. At first I didn't think much of it, aside from the obligatory "sweet, more gameplay for me". Though, just like anything else Harmonix has ever done in a video game, during one long drive with the radio cranked high, my mind started turning and I saw the possibilities. So, in an article that will surely only excite myself and Xzyliac, let's get to listin'.
Journey- Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Okay, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't typing up this entire thing just because of this song. In fact, it was this song coming on the radio that sparked this whole idea. But still, listen to it. Listen to that keyboard. That's perhaps one of the few times where anybody could call a keyboard part "badass". And of course, in true Journey fashion, once the rest of the song kicks in it just gets better. It has all the makings of a great Rock Band song (Seriously, why do we only have two Journey songs in the game anyways?), except with an awesome keyboard part that's perfect for being included as an example of how well the new peripheral can work out in the game.
...However, the music video is just ridiculously goofy. Thank the 80's for that, and thank Harmonix for using in-game avatars as opposed to music videos.
Guns N' Roses- November Rain
Another fairly obvious choice, yes, but usually when debuting a new peripheral for a music game, you need a couple songs in the game that shine specifically because of that peripheral (Like, say, what Won't Get Fooled Again did for the drums in RB1). And while the first suggestion is perfectly rounded out on all instruments, for November Rain the majority of the song takes a backseat to the piano parts, up until the guitar solos that is. This would be a perfect song that spotlights the keywhateverweget and would even be a nice song to introduce a keysomethingoranother solo with. Plus, most people would agree that some more classic GnR would be a great thing to have, and even if I'm not the biggest fan in the world I can't deny that.
Death Cab For Cutie- I Will Possess Your Heart
Yeah yeah, go ahead, instantly invalidate all of this for including an uber-popular indie hit on it. But realize one thing- if Rock Band didn't put a bunch of radio hits in their games, they probably wouldn't sell nearly as many copies and, therefore, wouldn't be able to eventually shower you in (Insert not-that-famous band you love here)'s best songs as DLC later. Plus, as a general rule I try to keep it semi well-known with my RB lists. Aaaaaanyways, another staple of throwing in a new instrument is that you have to have that general 'easy' song that allows you to come to grips with the new mechanics and, this song would be perfect for such. I only suggest that they use the radio edit as opposed to the eight minute long album version, or else everybody will be bored to death before the singing even occurs. Plus, it'd also fulfill the aforementioned 'popular indie song' criteria that RB seems to have in their starting tiers usually (Like Float On in RB2).
Muse- Apocalypse Please
A band that's sorely requested time and time again in the world of Rock Band, Muse would also be a perfect band to show off the new peripheral. There's quite a few songs from them that would make good additions to the game with or without piano parts, but ultimately I went for this song simply for how much piano is present in the song. Combine it with typically bombastic lyrics from Muse about the end of the world, and you also have a perfect song to go about your keytar/vox dreams.
Seriously though...keyboard or otherwise, we better get more Muse in the game.
The Dead Weather- The Difference Between Us
And now let's get a little weird. Suggested by the always-brilliant Xzyliac, this would be a perfect track to showcase some of the more quirkier sounds you can get out of a keyboard, not to mention a simply awesome track from in my opinion the best of Jack White's fifty bajillion different bands. Add in the fact that we've already seen three tracks from The Dead Weather in the game and you could actually see this kind of happening.
Queen- Bohemian Rhapsody
Like you didn't see this coming. Everybody and their mother wants this song in the game. And hell- if Guitar Hero can throw it into their game, why can't Rock Band? Unless Queen Rock Band becomes a reality and they save this for that, I honestly would be pretty surprised if this doesn't show up in the game eventually. One of the greatest songs in the history of ever. EVERYBODY knows the words to it. I'm sure you've re-enacted the car scene from Wayne's World millions of times, you understand why this needs to be in.
Styx- Come Sail Away
Come on. COME ON.
Depeche Mode- World In My Eyes
Okay, so this one may be a little bit of a stretch but...I'm sorry, I just really really like Depeche Mode. This would be another one of those easy ones, and might not even be too popular to the majority of the people buying the game but few can deny the impact Depeche Mode had on the world, and I think it's high time they wind up in something other then Lips. Not to mention, even if the keyboarding parts might not be that hard, you still have a really fun drum line and some great vocals to sing.
Eurythmics- Here Comes The Rain Again
Another far cry to be sure, but it's still another great example of how the keyboard reigned supreme in the 80's, and another song that features a great drum track that's sure to challenge even the hardiest of fake-plastic-skin beaters. Though you can't mention this song without talking about the wonderful vocalwork of Annie Lennox. Is it sad that I'd kill to see this song in the game? No? Good.
More 80's madness? You better fucking believe it. Berlin's another one of those amazing examples of keyboard-driven awesomeness, and the added benefit of having a hot lead singer like Terri Nunn probably had something to do with their success. Sure, most know them for the cheesy ballad Take My Breath Away from Top Gun, but this song always takes the cake for me. I promise I'll cool it with the 80's now.
Devo- What We Do
ARE THEY NOT 80'S!? NO, they are new Devo. As any fan of the band would know, they have a new album coming out this month, so why not throw their newest tracks into Rock Band? As Xzyliac said so elegantly to me on Twitter about 25 minutes ago, "New Devo > Old Devo", so instead of going the easy route and saying Whip It, I'd rather this amusing little track that shows just how much a bunch of old guys can rock. Sure, it might be a bit easy on the guitar side, but just try to play this song without a grin on your face.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons- Beggin' (Pilooski Re-Edit)
Let's get old school. REAL old school. Originally from 1967, this song would be perfect not only for some piano action, but an excellent display of harmonies from an era that perfected the art, from one of the standout groups of the time. This particular version is a slight remastering from 2007 (Some of you may have heard it in a certain shoe commercial) that would be perfect for Rock Band and an excellent way to alleviate the almost total lack of music from the 60's present in the game.
The Animals- House Of The Rising Sun
This is quite possibly one of the greatest songs to ever be written, why isn't this in a game yet?
And finally, we have...
Patch keyboard compatibility into existing Rock Band songs
Alright, so, let's be honest- this will probably NEVER happen. Not even counting the Rock Band Network, Harmonix has well over 1000 songs in their catalog already. For them to go back and put keyboard support into every one of those songs that has a keyboard part would be simply insane. But if it would happen it'd be simply incredible and prove once again that Harmonix are the undisputed masters of their craft. Of course it may not be so far-fetched after all: if I recall rumors from long ago, there were rumblings of patching harmonies into existing Rock Band songs and, combined with the fact that RB3 has been in development for at least two years now, anything could happen.
One thing's for sure though- either way, I can't wait 'til this Fall.
Tattoos. Lots of people get 'em. Sometimes, they wind up awesome, like the millions of rockstars you see out there. Other times, they're a damn disaster, like that one chick a while back that got drunk and had 42 stars tattoo'd on her face, or the guy that fucked up the Shoryuken command and has to live with that forever.
Well, I'd like to think that mine came out well. This was my first ever tattoo so I figured I'd start out small and get the infamous Red Ring Of Death, on my forearm. I figured that, not only would it signify my status as a gamer, it would also be a vaguely unique and pretty cool way of saying that, as a human, I myself am pretty flawed and defective (Not in an emo way...assholes). So, in the interest of having the entire internet ridicule me for my idiocy, I figured I'd tell the world and show them what I have to live with now. Forgive the crappy quality, as the only working camera I own is my phone, but hopefully you can make it out.
And before you ask, yes. That's a Monopoly: Transformers Edition sitting next to a Blanka Edition Street Fighter IV Fightpad in the background. Nerd status is pretty much in full effect for me.
So yeah, viola and such! I can definitely say that it's an addicting experience, and I'll definitely be getting more. I might even attempt to give R3y Gutierrez a run for his money when it comes to nerdy tattoos. I already have my next ones planned- one of the Worms from the Worms series, the Rock Band instrument logos, the "Grenade with a smiley face pin" from Battlefield: Bad Company, and a few more...but for now, this one shall do. Anyone else got any gamer tattoos they want to share? Aside from you amazingly sexy people with the Mr. Destructoid tattoos. Oh how I envy you.
Okay, let me get one thing straight- I'm terrible at this. I never wish anyone other then my girlfriend happy birthday. Mainly because it just feels so awkward for me. So, that being said, I'ma give this a shot.
First off, HAPPY FRIGGIN BIRTHDAY, YOU SEXY ROBOT PIMPDEVIL YOU. I may not have been around that long compared to most, and I may not be as recognizable as some of the 'bigger names' in the community, but dammit I am a part of this community and I'm proud to say that. From the Kraids, Xzyliacs, Megastrykes, Tubatics, and other classy and intelligent individuals I've been lucky to find myself getting to know (Well...if by getting to know you mean reading their c-blogs and wishing I could be as cool as them while simultaneously building a shrine to them in my totally-doesn't-exist closet), to the actual editors and people that keep the site running, I can safely say this is the best online community I've ever met. So, for that, I'd like to extend the birthday well-wishings to you guys too, since the site wouldn't be the same without you guys. Keep being awesome.
And of course, there's the editors. Oh dear God, the editors. I don't even know where to start with you guys...
Thank you Nick Chester, for showing me that there may be one other person in the world out there that can rival my love of rhythm games. You stay classy there.
Thank you Hamza, for your love of the sauce and even bigger love of sharks. It's not often that I can say I (superficially at least) know a binge-drinking shark lover. Also, we do appreciate the daily recaps. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
Thank you Anthony Burch, for having a love for the little guy. Sure, I may not be as big on the indie titles as you, but there's no denying that you have a taste and desire for games that are more than just games, and I respect that.
Thank you Dale North, for your unrequited love of the RPG. I probably would have never jumped aboard the Atlus train if not for you. Also, you've got awesome music taste.
Thank you Geraldo Beedog, for JOURNALISM.
Thank you Jim Sterling, for simply being Jim Sterling. Yeah, a lot of people seem to hate you, but I'm not one of 'em. It takes a lot of guts (That's not a fat joke by the way) to stand up in the face of hatred and stand firmly in the belief of your own opinion, and hopefully ya never stop doing that.
Thank you Chad Concelmo, for A) Being awesome, B) Turning me on to the joys of unashamedly punching an old lady in the face (Well, I didn't really do that, but still), and C) Giving me a bigger respect for the classics. I don't think I would have ever turned around and beat half the classic games I have if not for you and the other Retroforce guys.
Thank you Brad Nicholson, for being the scariest gamer I've ever seen. I used to think the Regginator was huge...then I saw that your arms were roughly 2.8x bigger then Reggie's torso. You're awesome.
Thank you Sports Sarkar, for bringin' the game and putting up with everybody's ridicule on Podtoid. Sure, you may be a punching bag sometimes, but every good group has to have the lovable underdog that gets bullied on. Plus, it's hard to find a person that writes about sports games and actually knows what the hell they're talking about.
Thank you Jonathan Holmes, for loving the Wii like you do. Nintendo gets a really bad rap and, sure, they may deserve it a lot of the time, but you're there to show what they do right. And when they do right, they do amazingly, emphatically right. You're also really funny on video, just throwin' that out there.
Thank you R3Y, for being hands down the best video content editor in the business. There really isn't any better way to put that. Just keep doin' what you do. You also have amazing tattoos and I am envious.
Thank you Josh Tolentino and Andrew Kauz, for showing that hard work and amazing c-blogs WILL get you somewhere eventually. You guys deserved what you got and I'm glad to see you made it. I know a lot of the editors started out as mere c-bloggers, but when I got to this site, you guys were still just regular members, and seeing the promotion was certainly inspiring. Same with you Megastryke, even if you only got one article out so far.
Thank you Matthew Razak and Grim, for being around to pick up the articles others don't. We may not see a lot of you (Or maybe I just miss a lot of your articles, I'm not too sure), but you're just as appreciated as the other guys.
Last but not least, thank you Niero. You fucking made the site. You are the driving force behind this. If not for your (brilliant) little scam to get into E3 many moons ago, I wouldn't even be here writing this. Keep it up, you give robots everywhere a hero to look up to.
So yeah...four years. Four long, awesome years. I think I've only been around for a little under two of those years, but they've been some awesome years. Cheers mates, I'll see you on number five.
Okay...so, for the people that didn't die in Memetoid mania, you may have caught the grand debut of Stereotoid, the amazing new feature brought about the Cblog world, orchestrated by Xzyliac. You may have noticed that a certain person, that person being myself, was supposed to have had a review of the long-awaited Gorillaz album "Plastic Beach" up there and it never really happened. That would be due to the fact that somebody got in a car accident via running into a power supply in our neighborhood, making us lose all cable services in the area for almost the entire weekend. That includes internet. Thanks to that shining example of human stupidity, I was not able to forward my review to Xzyliac, or even tell him (Yeah, mystery solved guys, Xzyliac's a GUY) what the hell had happened since, ya know, no internet.
However, I am glad that the crew trekked on without me and am pleased to see that Stereotoid's grand opening went very well, even despite all the behind-the-scenes worrying. Of course, there is one question that still remains- I have a review written. What do I do with it? Well, the simple answer would be to post it. So, without further ado, the 'lost' review of Plastic Beach. Because better late then never, correct?
Album: Plastic Beach
Label: Parlophone, Virgin Records
Released: March 3, 2010
*Sub-genres Trip-hop, Experimental, a little Electronica here and there
Sounds like: A bizarre love affair with the 80's brought into the modern era. With 100% more rappers.
The Gorillaz are, for lack of a better term, very hard to pin down. Their music can span anything from mainstream trip-hop for the masses, to upbeat dance tracks, to spoken word from Dennis Hopper (No, really). For the most part though, despite the genre hopping that comes from the brainchild of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett (And whichever artists they pull out of their phone book to put on the album this time), the quality has been consistently top-notch. This album, while having a couple sour spots here and there, is no exception.
First things first- they've really stepped it up when it comes to collaborations this time. With big names like Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Lou Reed, and even Mick Jones and Paul Simonon attached to this album, you know that at the very least you'll see some star-studded performances present. Of course, that's not even half of the names attached to the album (It's a Gorillaz album, would you expect any less?), but they're definitely the A-list of the album's massive roll call.
The album begins with a vaguely dark, somber orchestral intro (Cleverly titled...wait for it...”Orchestral Intro”) before seguing perfectly into “Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach”, a track that Snoop Dogg pretty much makes his own, be that for better or for worse. It manages to both sound like a Snoop song and a Gorillaz song at the same time, which is no small feat. Next comes “White Flag”, which is your standard Gorillaz song, more or less- catchy, infectious beat with some biting verses, though it still retains the orchestral backings of the past two tracks underneath the electronic grooviness. Following that we have “Rhinestone Eyes”, which is purely Damon-only, and may be one of the strongest tracks on the album because of it. Next is the amazing “Stylo” which, if you haven't heard it by now you probably don't have internet and aren't even reading this anyways. The album continues to impress with “Superfast Jellyfish”, a track featuring the return of De La Soul which, if you've ever heard Feel Good Inc. (And who hasn't), you know that to be a good thing.
Around here we have the first real low point of the album, a track called “Empire Ants” which was just a bit too slow and plodding for my tastes. Thankfully, track 8 wakes everybody up again with “Glitter Freeze”, a fun track with a simple beat that'll be stuck in your head for days. Next we have the Lou Reed-led track “Some Kind Of Nature” which is surprisingly upbeat for what I'm accustomed to hearing from Lou Reed. Afterwards we have two more collab-free 'Gorillaz' tracks- “On Melancholy Hill”, which could best be described as the album's love song, and “Broken”, a track that, while not really bad, isn't necessarily amazing either, just...servicable.
Track 12, “Sweepstakes”, may be the most fun song on the whole album. Featuring Mos Def and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, it starts out subdued, with a fluid backing beat and some excellent lyrical flow from Mos, though the track really shines once the drums kick in. Definitely my favorite track on the album. “Sweepstakes” may be a tough act to follow, but the album's title track, “Plastic Beach” does an admirable job. Featuring Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, it's probably the closest you'll ever come to hearing a new song from The Clash. Around this time the album pretty much runs out of steam, with tracks like “To Binge” and “Cloud Of Unknowing” being largely throwaway tracks in my opinion, though I will say that “Pirate Jet” is kinda catchy, if lacking in substance. The final track, “Pirate's Progress” is best described as an extended version of the intro track, ending the album off on the same foot it started, or at least initially. It starts off as dark and moody as it did at first, but picks up towards the middle and gradually gets happier before getting just a little bit too broadway-esque for it's own good.
In the long run, I'd definitely recommend this album to anyone who calls themselves a fan of the Gorillaz, or a fan of hip-hop in general. It may not be an amazing album, but the good outweighs the bad and then some.
By now, I'm sure everybody has noticed that Dtoid's been giving away a bunch of codes to access the Blur beta. I know many of you have gotten your hands on one. I also know that many of you haven't. Well, I happen to be one of the lucky blokes that did win a code...BUT. In a bizarre twist of fate, Hamza accidentally gave me two. So, in the spirit of giving, I'd like to offer it to you guys in the form of a good 'ole fashioned contest. The rules will be simple- Leave a comment referencing a lyric from a Blur song. I don't care what the song is, so long as it's an actual Blur song, and you don't fuck up the lyric. When this hits 25 comments, I'll randomly select one of them, and the beta code will be yours. Sound simple? That's because it is. Get to commenting!
(Also, keep in mind, these beta codes only work for the 360. Sorry PS3 owners.)