Album Reviews

Scary Kids
Scaring Kids
Grade: B+
-Alyssa Vale

Listening to the 16-track, self-titled album by Scary Kids Scaring Kids, you get the impression that they were trying to incorporate a variety of musical elements into their recordings.

Not being a fan of pointless and nonsensical preludes, I recommend skipping the first track and jumping straight into “Degenerates,” the second track of the album. The energy that this song emits is astonishing. After just a short guitar riff, the rest of the instruments and vocals join in unison. The feeling that I received the first time I listened to this was truly powerful.

“Faces” is the fifth track of the album, and it’s also the most popular. This song really demonstrates the band’s ability to have one song encompass many different musical components. The verses are powerful, strong and angry, while the chorus drops into a softer melody that is still capable of holding true to the emotion of the song.

Tracks seven, eight and nine are all relatively slow, and while the songs aren’t bad, you get the vibe that this isn’t a form of music the band is entirely comfortable with. Overall, it puts a pretty strong halt to the progression of the album.

Toward the end of the CD, it pretty much picks up where it left off, full of energy and strong musicianship. Admittedly, it is probably not necessary that there are 16 tracks to this album – in fact, it would be better if there weren’t – but for only $10 on iTunes, it is certainly worth the purchase.

Bruce Springsteen
-Anthony Colebrusco

In the same spirit as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen holds a place in American culture that transcends time. If one was given the task to determine the poet laureate of American pop music, “The Boss” may very well be the first choice, if not in the top five. In the tradition of his previous albums, Springsteen’s new album, Magic, is full of places we’ve been and people we’ve met before, and Bruce Springsteen tells their stories with such remarkable detail and enthusiasm that we are drawn into his mythology. His lyrics are backed by the full, robust choruses of the 9-member E Street Band, which always manages to bring the decibel level up a few notches.

In 2007, though, Bruce Springsteen is worried about the fates of his characters and laments the political atmosphere in many of his songs. In “Last to Die,” he describes the apathy many have toward war and asks, “Who’ll be the last to die for a mistake?” But unlike The Rising, his 2002 post-9/11 concept album, these pleas against war are only asides from the rest of the upbeat tracks on the album.

Despite a slow start with songs like “Radio Nowhere,” which bears an uncanny resemblance to “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone, and the slow-paced “Your Own Worst Enemy,” Magic finally hits a stride and rediscovers the energy of the Boss’s old classics in songs like “Livin’ in the Future” and “Girls in Their Summer Clothes.”

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