Arts

Kreesha Turner | Tropic Electric

EMI

4/5

“Rock paper scissors” is the name of the first single on Kreesha Turner’s latest album Tropic Electric. The name of the song appropriately entices the listener to take a chance on Turner’s newest record, and surprisingly, the gamble pays off.

Turner, who has been called Canada’s answer to Rihanna, has been known to pump out pop, dance, and R&B tunes that are enjoyable and award-winning. This year, more Junos than ever may be rolling in for this Edmonton native, as Tropic Electric is arguably Turner’s best work yet.

Soft synths, heavy beats, and Turner’s sweet but powerful voice are all impressively integrated on Tropic Electric. No one sound overpowers another, and the infectious, dance-oriented tracks make you want to get up and sway to the rhythm.

Songs like “Killer in the Club” and “Rock Paper Scissors” showcase Turner’s Jamaican roots through the use of tropical rhythms, and tracks like “Love Again” and “My Kryptonite” are all incredibly catchy and fun to listen to.

Still, not all of Turner’s songs are instant hits. Some tracks, like “Wherever You Are” and “I Feel My Darling”, should’ve been cut from the album, because, while they’re all right to listen to, they’re not up to par with the rest of the record.

Don’t be surprised if you hear Turner’s tunes in a club or on the radio, repeatedly. This Canadian R&B star already has a Juno under her belt, but it seems as if she’s just getting better with each new album.

—Sofia Hashi

 

Coldplay | Mylo Xyloto

Parlophone

1.5/5

THIS ALBUM JUST… baffles me. I like Coldplay, but they seem to have dropped the ball on this one. With a name like Mylo Xyloto, I’m sure many people were just as confused as I was when the album was first announced, and unfortunately, that confusion just doesn’t go away after listening to it.

Filled with generic pop hooks and songs titled “Hurts Like Heaven” and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”—both sound as cheesy as their names—it seems like Coldplay has stopped being Coldplay and become something more akin to a band trying to be Coldplay. The only song reminiscent of the originality they’ve shown on so many of their other albums is “Paradise”, and I’ll admit, it’s a good song. Not a great song, but likeable.

Unfortunately, it’s just one small fish in a sea of mediocrity. The album isn’t terrible, but it’s not far off from being OK. Sadly, this is one Coldplay album I wish I’d skipped.

—Brennan Bova

The Forbidden Dimension | The Golden Age of Lasers 

Saved By Vinyl

2.5/5

FORMED IN CALGARY in the late ‘80s, The Forbidden Dimension’s new album, The Golden Age of Lasers, is a bizarre release that hops back and forth between charming and bad.

The band describes themselves as a horror-rock band, but after listening to this album you get the feeling they have no authority to give themselves that label. It just sounds like a cornier version of Metallica if they recorded some show tunes in a basement for kicks.

There are a few songs that are pretty interesting, like the opening track, “Where’s My Wolves?”, but overall this record is pretty boring. The band’s charm peels away after a few tracks and you’re left with a grouping of songs that sound pretty much the same and get stale quickly. This album is best enjoyed when spaced out and listened to one song at a time, but even then it will disappoint more than a few times.

—Brennan Bova

Petunia and the Vipers | Petunia and the Vipers 

Independent

4/5

AFTER LISTENING TO Petunia and the Vipers’ self-titled LP, it is impossible to contain the band within a single genre. Their music ranges across yodelling cowboy, country, blues, and Elvis-inspired rockabilly.

The album opens with the soft iconic sounds of a slide guitar and western swing-style yodelling, misleading the listener into believing it is a traditional country album. The second track, “Mercy”, is a gritty Americana blues song about gambling and sin. By the third track, “Maybe Baby Amy”, which has a distinct rockabilly sound, you realize it is impossible to predict what the next song will bring.

With dance-worthy songs like “Bright Lights” and “Che (Guevara’s Diary)”, and Johnny Cash-inspired melodies like “Broken Down Love”, Petunia and the Vipers is an album anyone can jam to.

—Leia Atkinson

Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers | In the Time of the Great Remembering

Independent

4/5

BASED OUT OF Halifax, N.S. Ben Caplan is possibly the most bizarre folk musician you’ll ever listen to. His voice has the ability to be loud and raspy or soft and quiet whenever needed. This vocal range suits the diversity of his latest album quite well.

In the Time of the Great Remembering is best described as a folk album, but that is a very loose definition. You can hear a number of different genres tossed together on the album, making for an unusual assortment of songs. You’ll find a fair number of folk songs, a couple of dirty blues songs, and on the last track, “Strangers”, what sounds like Tom Waits singing vicious klezmer music in a fake accent. This album is weird, but it’s interesting. If you get the chance, it’s definitely worth the listen.

—Brennan Bova