When seeing live music, it comes down to the improvisational Jams for me. When offered a free ticket to the Sold Out Glass Animals at the 9:30, I perused their catalog on Spotify and thought it would be a change of pace and something different to write about for my ever-growing portfolio. With that in mind, I'll just jump right in.
I was unimpressed with this group, which has gained immense popularity over the past few years and it makes me feel as though I am disconnected with the younger generation in today's society, especially musically but I suppose that's what growing up is all about. There were people at this show who seemed like they had their life changed, people singing every word, jumping up and down, woman swooning. I haven’t seen anything like it in the Jam world, where musical prowess exceeds catchy lyrics and electronic “drops.”
Credits: Amanda Lynn
Glass Animals needs to find their funky side, get in touch with the roots of the music they are playing, instead of accentuating the pop bullshit. There were some moments within their performance that were well done, thought out and original but these seemed to be overshadowed by the musical/performance process itself.
While high in energy, Glass Animals could only keep my interest for a short time before ultimately, I kept wondering, "When will I hear a freakin’ guitar solo?" The musical capabilities of this band seems highly limited and very pop-keyboard centric, which with all due respect, takes a certain skill set of its own but it's not really in the same class of musicianship that I am used to seeing; it's more learning to synthesize and arrange computer sounds. The lyrics to their songs were catchy and again, pop oriented but I could see something there beyond the surface level. I would suggest that Glass Animals searches these depths to find the true nature of their lyrical qualities and musical abilities. Perhaps visiting the Talking Heads catalog and learning how to incorporate true musicianship and lyrical competency into what they are trying to achieve.
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The Afro Nick Song And Album Review
Having opened up to experiencing new albums, new music and doing diverse musical reviews, The Afro Nick album came to me and while it's not right up my alley musically, I wanted to give it a go and try something new. The Afro Nick is heavily influenced by the deities of Rock and Roll like: Hendrix, Zeppelin Bob Marley, and Santana. The Afro Nick came to New York City from Greece, and has been playing various gigs in the US and abroad.
The Afro Nick’s most recent single "Get There Before Noon" is raw and emotional. (Available online goo.gl/ZYQJYm) This was my first time listening to The Afro Nick and I wasn't sure what to expect. It turned out to be my favorite. It is emotional and poignant and well performed and recorded, the lyrics inspiring to those who wish to listen. It takes you into high-energy ride down the highway, a sense of nothing to loose but the road and life left behind. It is a great introduction into what The Afro Nick has to showcase and it reminded me of The Black Angels or something in that realm of musical delivery.
The self titled album, (Available on Amazon dld.bz/d7wmc) The Afro Nick starts off with hard rock, driving guitar riff that make you immediately think of classic rock staples from the 1960s-70s. The Afro Nick’s vocals stand out and are original and stylistically unique, adding character to each song. This is a well-produced salbum with great musical structures and backing vocals. "Like Movie Stars" takes a hard turn into more Lou Reed inspired accents but stays fairly hard and keeps its rustic feel. The chorus reminds me of many classic 60s songs including that authentic tambourine shaking in the background. This song offers chanting lyrics that seem to get stuck in your head. Singer Britanny Foushee makes a haunting vocal appearance giving it a smooth and soulful character.
"You and Me" delves deeper into the soul and psyche of The Afro Nick, with lyrics that are very revenant and thought provoking. There is almost a Socio-political message with Afro Nicks lyrics but they are more informative than that, they are spiritual, while still remaining earthly. The influence from Classic Rock artists from the 1960s-70s is clear and defined within this song and its musical structures. Good instrumental solos on guitar with clear and precise intent. "Sunny" is exactly as the name suggests, happy, fun and warm, reminiscent of the musician’s Greek background; a cheering anthem to the uninhibited and stress free life.
"Ta Too Ta" starts off strong with distorted guitar chords and reverberated vocals. This song certainly has a clear message and you have to really listen to get the meaning. “Ta Too Ta” juxtaposes the lyrical theme of money and it's hardships. Nice vocal break down at the end. "Dream Big" again has a social message, which reminds me of Bob Marley and his lyrical choices in the past. The Afro Nick takes the listener on a soul-searching journey through question after question. "Make It" is the medical remedy for those hard rock fans. With its anti-establishment and anarchist tones, the beats are fast paced and extremely edgy with inspirational undertones.
"It's You" is Classic Rock driven but the breakdown are more grunge-punk style. This song blasted through my speakers and is one of the best-mixed songs on the entire album. Great guitar work and rock structures. "Free Like Me" was the next song on the album and again we see the same thematic approach to lyrics and meaning. This song is liberating for those who seek it. "Don't Waste My Time" closes out the lyrical portion of this album and I think it's a great closing choice. The vocal arrangement is much like David Bowie in the vocal strength and ability. “Here, Just For Tonight" is an apt ending to close out the album leading the listeners into instrumental plays.
All around, The Afro Nick is original and creative and the lyrics resonate with the audience. This album would sell very well internationally and with today's economic, social and political activism playing a huge role in societal formatting, The Afro Nick’s message would give strength to those who wish to make changes not only within themselves but in the world around them. You can check out more of The Afro Nick here and catch a live performance if you can! Also, if you are a musician or a band consider hiring him to produce your Album! The Afro Nick LLC recently produced Didi DLicious that you can check here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3y5roGwm8Z3PNuiBAhOYNe