Album reviews

The Calling

Camino Palmero

RCA Records

***

While the group The Calling may not sound too familiar, their song “”Wherever You Will Go”” will. It has been getting lots of airplay on the radio and considerable time on MTV. It was also performed live in the film “”Coyote Ugly.””

“”Camino Palmero”” is the group’s first RCA record. This group consists of Alex Band singing vocals, Aaron Kamin and Sean Woolstenhulme on guitar, Billy Mohler on the bass and Nate Wood on drums.

The 11-song album was written by Band and Kamin, the founding members of the group. Many of the songs consist of the usual theme of a romance gone wrong and the feelings of the one who was jilted, such as “”Adrienne,”” with the chorus, “”Adrienne, I thought I knew you/ Once again, you used me, used me.””

However, there are a few songs that have unique themes that haven’t been overdone several times already this year. One such example is “”We’re Forgiven,”” which calls the listener back to reality with lines such as “”I pass them on the streets/ Their bloodstained hands and dirty feet/ And I can’t ignore them/ Any more than I already have.””

The music is not exceptionally good or original, but The Calling maintains a strong pop sound that carries through the album. Each track has a slightly different sound, but the album sounds rather uniform in tone. Some of the songs, such as “”Wherever You Will Go,”” have a ballad quality that is quite soothing. Then there is “”Unstoppable,”” which sounds more like alternative rock.

This album is good, but not great. Many of the songs sound rather familiar, but there are a few that make this album a good one to spend the ride home with.

— Jessica Long

Staff Writer

Various Artists

Paris Lounge

Musicrama

***

There is a distinctive sound to French electronica. Daft Punk and Bob Sinclar have been a couple of the more popular artists to come out of France.

Daft Punk capitalizes on smooth beats and thick bass grooves, and their vocodered voices are a distinct part of their music. Sinclar flavors his music with some more disco-influenced sounds. The French electronic sound also incorporates a lot of jazz and Brazilian influences.

“”Paris Lounge”” is a healthy collection of French grooves. This two-disc compilation is appropriately titled “”Paris By Day”” and “”Paris By Night.””

The first disc, “”Paris By Day,”” offers more relaxing tunes. They are more jazzy and incorporate a live sound — especially in the drums and the basslines. There are a couple of tracks that may sound a bit cheesy, but you can almost feel that French atmosphere.

The second disc, “”Paris By Night,”” is where the album truly shines. This seamless mix of tunes gives us an insight into the Parisian nightlife.

Tracks by St. Germain and Stephane B start the disc with a more jazz-influenced sound. The album progresses into a deeper groove with “”A New Life”” by Ginkgo. This disc closes with a hard-hitting techno tune by Harmix.

Those who are familiar with the relatively smooth French sound will find themselves playing this album all the time. And the music sounds fresh because this isn’t some greatest hits collection.

However, those who find a lot of Sasha or Paul Oakenfold albums in their collection and not any Air or Bob Sinclar might not find the same pleasure in this album.

— Joseph Lee

Hiatus Editor

Lupine Howl

The Carnivorous Lunar Activities of Lupine Howl

Beggars Banquet

***

Spiritualized was a spiritual group. Their lush melodies with minimalist beats and hypnotic sounds entranced an entire nation. By late 1997, Spiritualized was at the height of their musical prowess, holding a memorable concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

But by the next year, singer and guitarist Jason Pierce fired the rest of his bandmates. Within a year, bass player Sean Cook, guitarist Mike Mooney and drummer Damon Reece moved on to form Lupine Howl.

Constant touring and the suffocation of their creativity worsened adverse effects that had already settled into the minds of Cook, Mooney and Reece.

Lupine Howl recently released their first full-length, titled, “”The Carnivorous Lunar Activities of Lupine Howl.”” And this album is ferocious.

Imagine The Verve on uppers and a less-somber Richard Ashcroft at the helm of the band. The result is wailing guitars, soaring atmospherics, dark electronics, filtered vocals and a modern-day psychedelic groove.

The sonic appeal of Lupine Howl is most obvious on their 10-minute epic, “”Carnival.”” The swirling drum loops, fuzzy guitars and lo-fi squeals that build up and break down make “”Carnival”” a wonderfully produced track.

“”The Jam That Ate Itself”” is a powerful wall of sound pushing Cook’s words front and center, “”I’m stranded here between fucked and insane killing time ’till I gotta go.””

This album may not appeal to everyone but you’ll find comfort in the sonic-high that Lupine Howl gives you when it’s injected into your ears.

— Joseph Lee

Hiatus Editor

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