New Music Roundup – Chvrches, Drake, Kings of Leon

Drake is back.

Started from the bottom.

I’ve been real bad at getting these roundups out in a timely fashion, hopefully next week will be different. Some new releases to check out starting with Chvrches, a new and exciting group out of Scotland. Southern rockers Kings of Leon return after fleeing the music scene for a few years. Finally, Drake also dropped a new album, Ryan reviewed it earlier in more detail, but I’ll share some notes as well.

Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe

Hailing from Scotland, Chvrches, a synth/elctropop group, are poised to be one of this year’s breakout bands. The Bones of What You Believe is a strong start for the Scottish group. The Recover EP launched them, showing the world that Chvrches could make catchy pop. Bones starts with the great “The Mother We Share”  and immediately flows into one of my favorites, “We Sink.” If heavy synths is your type of music do yourself a favor and pick up this release.

Drake – Nothing Was The Same

Ryan already wrote a review for this but I’ll chime in a few words. Nothing Was The Same is an odd album. Is Drake R&B, or is he a rapper? I don’t know and I’m sure he doesn’t know the answer either. The entire album (1:07:49 to be exact…) seems to contradict itself. Drake goes from being brash and boastful (“Worst Behavior” and “Started From The Bottom”) to introspective and shy (essentially the other tracks). It’s irritating and tiring. For most of the album you feel like you’re underwater until one of radio friendly songs yanks you to the surface. I feel like Drake is almost shooting for a Magna Carta type album here, but lacks Jay-Z’s natural born confidence. Nothing Was The Same is like your local library, it’s nice to visit for a couple of minutes and check something out, but it’s difficult to give it an hour of your time.

Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull

Kings of Leon, our favorite southern/radio rock band are back after taking a few years off to unleash Mechanical Bull on us. The biggest complaint of their past two albums was that the band changed the southern garage rock sound that earned them a small, but loyal, following early in their career. The band tweaked their sound, made it more accessible, and got super famous. I get it. Mechanical Bull isn’t a return to that sound by any means, but it definitely influences the album. Youth and Young Manhood it isn’t, but it’s also not Because of the Times (probably my least favorite KOL album). “Supersoaker” has been out for a while and is a catchy tune. “Beautiful War” is a nice song, and could be placed on Only by the Night. Basically, if you weren’t a fan of KOL before, this album won’t change your mind. Ditto if you’re looking exclusively for a return to past glory. But if you appreciate the band’s earlier sound, along with their more modern success, this album will please you.

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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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