Love him or hate him, Lil Wayne has permeated almost every aspect of hip-hop and pop music. It seems that you can’t turn on the radio anymore without hearing one verse by the strange and distinguishable rap star. Trademarked by his raspy voice, unusual rhymes, and long dreadlocks, Lil Wayne has been the talk of the hip-hop/rap industry for some time now. However, that was not enough. Last year, the eccentric rapper announced the beginning of his recording of a rock album.
Most musicians tend to possess a certain distinct style of playing. Some melt faces with heart-pounding riffs, while others serenade the masses with acoustic melodies. Some of these musicians may also possess a certain persona. This persona may be the tendency to lay paparazzi flat on the concrete, on-stage spandex and big hair, or even a charitably aware citizen. No matter what persona and style a musician may possess, it usually remains pretty solid throughout their career.
Every modern-era college student can remember back to when “Anthem of Our Dying Day” was another song in the soundtrack to the after-school detention halls and two week relationships that epitomized middle school. The swinging pop-punk melodies and pubescent whining was a widespread adolescent addiction. However, you can kiss the days of Paige Avenue good-bye.
In today’s music, it is very rare to see a truly talented vocal musician. The prominence of auto-tuned spews of sexual innuendo and four-word choruses have overshadowed and hidden the truly talented vocalists in the modern music industry. The ongoing trend of solo albums from former front men has also been a topic I have been extremely skeptical as of late. These two grievances were shattered when I came across the new album by singer Jonny Craig.
Throughout the years, I had never thought of John Mayer as anything more than a commercialized pop star that caused teenage girls to go ga-ga. With his older hits never really striking a musical chord with me, I never payed much attention to his other work. However, this summer my good friend turned me on to his work in the John Mayer Trio. This completely opened my eyes to Mayer’s skills as a jazz/blues guitarist and I grew a new appreciation for his music. Upon hearing of the Nov. 17th release of his newest album, Battle Studies, I decided I had to check it out. Mayer continues to pleasantly debunk my previous views.
It isn’t very often that I feel I can listen to an album straight through and actually enjoy every track. However Monty Are I certainly breaks that trend with their newest album “Break Through The Silence,” which was released on Sept. 22nd. Monty Are I was a band started and based in Cranston, RI under their first name, Monty’s Fan Club. At the start, they were a popular ska band in the local music scene. As their name grew, they were eventually signed as Monty Are I by Island Def Jam Records and released their first official major label CD, “Wall of People,” in 2006.