New Music Roundup – Avicii, The Devil Wears Prada, Grouplove and Naked and Famous

EDM heavyweight Avicii.

EDM heavyweight Avicii.

I’m a little late this week getting you the best of the new music, so please forgive me. Last week saw new releases from EDM kingpin Avicii, Metalcore staples The Devil Wears Prada as well as alt-rockers Grouplove and The Naked and Famous releasing sophomore albums. Check out the previews below and let me know if you agree, or if I missed anything completely.

Avicii – True

Avicii, of “Levels” fame is back with his new album True. The lead single “Wake Me Up” did absolutely nothing for me when it was released, and unfortunately for me it leads off the album. A review of my notes through the first five songs reads as “Meh” and “Recycled pop with no edge” . Electronic music is something I listen to, but not on par with other genres, so maybe I’m wrong on my criteria for a good electronic album. “Recycled pop” seems valid though. Is it because Avicii went pop, or did pop go Avicii? Hopefully someone can fill me in, as I’m not as familiar with his previous work. The album has some choice cuts though. “Dear Boy” was the first song I enjoyed on the album, and at eight minutes it gives itself time to grow into a club song you’re able to dance to. “Shame On Me” is probably the best song on the album. It starts with a sweet (pun intended) “Ballroom Blitz” type drum fill and consists of a pretty funky bass line I wish he would have featured more. “Lay Me Down” could be a Daft Punk B-Side, but not as good. Overall I was rather unimpressed with the album, but others may think differently.

The Devil Wears Prada – 8:18

For fans of the heavier music, The Devil Wears Prada return with their newest album 8:18. It doesn’t sound as polished as their phenominal Zombie EP and only time will tell if it’s as good as Dead Throne but it has the potential. The opening track “Gloom” is one of my early favorites and sets up the tone and pace of the album. “Martyrs” is a thudding track that immediately stands out as one of the best on the album. 8:18 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does show that the band and genre have staying power.

Grouplove – Spreading Rumours

Grouplove returns with Spreading Rumours, the follow up to Never Trust a Happy Song and is more of the same alt-rock that you’ve come to expect from the band. The album doesn’t feature any songs that are as catchy as “Tounge Tied” but “Ways to Go” sure tries. “Borderlines and Aliens” is another song that really grows on you. It’s a fact that Grouplove makes fun, catchy songs that are easy to enjoy. If you liked their previous album then don’t miss this one.

The Naked and Famous – In Rolling Waves

In Rolling Waves is a less pop approach for New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous.  2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You was a great debut album that introduced the band to an American audience and immediate earned them a following. In Rolling Waves isn’t as much experimental as it is stripped down (as much as this band can be at least).The whole album feels like a breakup of sorts. Songs like “The Mess” and “Grow Old” combine to for a ten minute fight, while “A Small Reunion” rounds out the album quietly, leaving you in your loneliness. Less pop and more introspective, it’s a great sophomore effort from the group.

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A certified personal trainer and graduate of Northwestern University (M.A. in Sport Adminstration), Steve is resident fitness expert and music snob of JustAGuy. In addition to fitness and music, Steve also enjoys sports. Feel free to trash talk him at steve@justaguy.us.

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