26 October 2010

Platform One Entertainment: Compilation Review

Platform One Entertainment out of Chicago, Illinois, has put together a compilation of 23 songs. With the exception of Kid Cudi, I’d never heard of any of the artists before. Cudder begins the set with his new single “Erase Me” featuring Kanye West. Being a diehard Man on the Moon fan, I love this song and the departure from his usual rap here. He goes for a more old-school rock feel here, with a really catchy chorus to boot. The song is the 5th most played song on my iTunes, so if that doesn’t sum up how much I enjoy it, then I’m not sure what does. Paradise Fears’ “Hear Me Out” is a really energetic tune that is a step above most alternative music these days, but lead singer Sam Miller’s voice leaves much to be desired. The word is “out” not “oot,” please go to speech therapy when you get a chance. On the other hand, he sounds great in the next song “Now or Never,” which reminds me of the soft-spoken, pleasant tunes of fellow alternative rockers The Academy Is… But the problem here is primarily the lyrics. “And you were like the ocean/perfect is your motion.” Really? Oh well, the crazed preteen fan girls must eat it up, so I guess mission accomplished. Next up we have Sapient with “Glorious Days” and “Universal Diorama.” I think he’s a really cool artist—kind of like a young Asher Roth, but with the funky beats so often associated with the likes of K’Naan or Mike Posner. I think the better of the two is “Universal Diorama,” for the simple reason that it’s unlike anything I’ve heard, but both have peaked my interest in Sapient as an artist. “Roll Up” by T-Razor is a fine song—the raps and rhymes aren’t half-bad, but the chorus is a bit on the boring, R&B-esque side. The compilation branches off here into more rock territory with “Burn It Down” by Awolnation. Although it’s slightly catchy, it gets pretty repetitive a minute in, and his rough, screamo-wannabe vocals become grating on the ears. And “Miracles” was a mere blip on my radar—nothing special about this acoustic, angsty tune. You’re an alternative artist—chill out on all the screaming, dude. “Be My Guest” is fairly decent in its rap verses, but is a little too Abercrombie & Fitch bad club music otherwise. FameCity Boiz’ next song, though, is quite awesome—has a bit of a gospel, jukebox flair with a modern, R&B twist. The song is upbeat, and I’m sure could become stuck in my head quite easily. “On My Way” by Izabo has a psychedelic Western sound, but the unique vocals don’t really pique my interest. And I couldn’t even get past the stupid “whoa-oh-oh’s” of the first 30 seconds of Kadawatha’s “Agape” before I switched the song. So obnoxious, and alternative music at its most mundane. “Airstrike” by Nick Dragisic is my favorite song of the compilation thusfar. Slow and simple, but with powerful lyrics about growing up and perfect vocals to boot. Train Company’s “Change,” is pretty cool—very bluesy and verging on reggae. The kind of music that’s relaxing to listen to while eating in a restaurant or local pub. Their next song, “Otherside,” is pretty dull. The vocals are very distant and difficult to decipher—maybe it was recorded live or something? Regardless, the instrumentals drown out lead vocalist John Zozarro‘s voice, although to their credit, the band itself really shines here. “Guilty Filthy Soul” by Awolnation is also another favorite of mine—too bad he did so terribly on “Burn It Down,” I never would’ve even known they were the same artist if I hadn’t checked my computer. “Soul” has the classic 70’s rock vibe with an infectious and foot-stomping chorus, and I can’t help feeling happy listening to it. The Primary slows the compilation down some with their song “Until Then,” and I love every minute of it. Blaring guitar, woeful lyrics, and soaring vocals—the perfect mellow, rainy day song. Put Coldplay in a time machine to the days of classic rock and this would be them. And while “Smile” is a catchy song, the whiny and unbalanced vocals make the tune rather obnoxious. What’s with alternative songs and saying “whoa-oh-oh?” Geez. Same could be said with Kadawatha’s “Gonna Stay”—perfectly catchy song ruined by unnecessary shouting and ghastly falsetto. Just calm down and sing the song for what it is. ‘Tearing Me Down” is a really cool tune—it sounds like it’d be a chill, mellow song, but with the twang of a guitar becomes a trippy journey into the throes of love. FeelAbouT concludes the compilation with 2 songs. The first, “Stop,” has a really unique, electronic beat that is quite a toe-tapper. And although the vocals leave a little to be desired, it’s a fun song regardless so the screeching voices can pass by. “Break Even,” on the other hand, is a loud, rash rock tune that where the vocals frankly bug me quite a bit. She seems completely out of her range here, and is struggling with way over-kill on the vibrato in her voice. It’s quite the headache to listen to. She slurs all of her words, and the instrumentals don’t mesh—making the song just a big mess. Overall, the compilation is pretty hit and miss, and is at its strongest when not relying on the alternative set. I found some great discoveries through listening to it, and appreciate Platform One’s efforts in putting it together.

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