Album Reviews – 24/8/09

Lady Gaga - Hit Mixes

Lady Gaga / Hit Mixes EP / Universal

Star Rating 3.5

It’s appropriate that Lady Gaga is being groped on the cover of her latest EP, as, on the tracks within, various house DJs copulate with the singles off of her 2008 debut The Fame – to varying degrees of success. “The Fame” and ubiquitous hit “Paparazzi” get vogued up and given a conspicuously eighties feel, while “Poker Face” and “LoveGame” both get distinct modern house treatments, complete with all of the swelling trance and industrial synth noises you’d expect at a Benny Bennassi rave. The remix for “LoveGame” surprisingly features guest vocals by Marilyn Manson, but the standout vocal add-in probably belongs to Kardinal Offishall on “Just Dance.” He sounds right at home on the track that already featured guest vocals by buddy Akon. Heat on dance floors or between sheets is sure to follow in the wake of this album

Download: “LoveGame – Chew Fu Ghettohouse Fix” , “Just Dance – Remix with Kardinal Offishall”

Jet - Shaka Rock

Jet / Shaka Rock / EMI


If one word can be used to describe Australian rock group Jet’s musical canon so far in their career, especially their earlier work, that word would probably be ‘douchey.’ Much was made of the similarity between their first hit single “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” and Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” and when most people got tired of that song they simply stopped paying any attention to Jet. So now, like an unwanted sequel to a mediocre film, comes Shaka Rock. Jet made a smart move, however, by dropping longtime producer Dave Sardy and co-producing the album themselves along with former …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead producer Chris Smith, and effectively took care of much of the douchey-ness that was unmistakably present in everything they’d recorded previously. Shaka Rock has a lot of genuinely enjoyable lower key songs, like “Goodbye Hollywood” and “Seventeen,” reminiscent more of Sloan than of the douchey band we’d known them as until now.

Download: “Seventeen”, “Goodbye Hollywood”

The Matches - album 4

The Matches / The Matches album 4… / Self-Released

Star Rating 3

This quirkily titled collection of rarities comes self-released from the band a mere month after it was confirmed that they are on hiatus, pursuing other projects. Though The Matches released a few previous full lengths on Epitaph, it’s no wonder this album didn’t wind up on Epitaph – it’s just too cheery. These diverse sounds ranging from ska-flavoured punk-rock to guitar-driven college rock are fit to be played on a crumbling front porch and best enjoyed along with forties of malt liquor. It’s not all fun and games though as two acoustic tracks show a more tender and vulnerable side of a band that may well have seen its last days.

Download: “It’s My Day” , “Like Yesterday”

Colbie Caillat - Breakthrough

Colbie Caillat / Breakthrough / Universal


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Colbie Caillat is an optimistic, hopeless romantic, pop singer-songwriter with about four and a half chords and a pretty face. Judging by the number of G’s shaved off song titles (“Fallin’ For You,” “Runnin’ Around,” “Breakin’ At The Seams”) one might think that the factory where they pressed the album charged by the letter. But it’s this letter shaving that really illustrates the audience Caillat is going for. This drop-in-the-bucket artist has composed enough sleepy cliché-laden ballads that one of them will probably strike a chord with listeners on a country radio station some place boring, but it sure won’t be a ‘breakthrough.’

Download: “You Got Me”

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