Spurned by his former patrons, gangsta rapper the Game has carved out a musical niche that isn’t aligned with Dr. Dre’s West Coast or 50 Cent’s East Coast dominions. Unfortunately, this style, as exemplified on his new album, is little more than a star-sponsored imitation celebrating gangsta-rap’s golden age.
“Changes are no good” is something that the Stills sang about on their debut album, but the Canadian indie-rockers learned the lesson the hard way when their “difficult” second disc took a nosedive upon release. The band’s brand new record resurrects their old sound to win back the disillusioned rock hipsters.
For all the jokiness inherent in the Melvins’ music, many might think fate has played the ultimate joke on the hardcore/metal pioneers. After all, 20 years is a long time to follow an artistic vision with meager results. But the group proved on Sunday night’s concert in Madison, Wis., that being eclipsed by Nirvana and other grunge grandmasters hasn’t tamed their sonic firepower or their sense of humor.
Already secure in his place as the imaginative, whiny voice of the emo generation, Bright Eyes’ frontman Conor Oberst has embarked on a solo career that leaves behind much of what we’ve come to expect from him. His new, self-titled album dumps overwrought songwriting confessionals for the sweet and simple sounds of country-rock.