By: Tiffany Chan, Eva Zhu, and Rita Ovis
Harry Styles by Harry Styles
Harry Styles is making a strong comeback with his self-titled, solo debut album. As a fan of the British vocalist, I was eager to hear the new tracks. Would the vibes be similar to those performed with One Direction? Will it contrast with and veer away from mainstream pop? It was, in fact, the latter, and I took an instantaneous liking to Harry Styles.
The album consists of slower-paced songs with up-tempos seasoned nicely throughout, primarily telling narratives of ‘the one that got away,’ a wistful feeling that will leave you contemplating your current situation or expressing admiration for a certain someone. This includes the emotional rock number “Sign of the Times” and ballads such as “Ever Since New York.” Styles notably takes on a more serious persona. That being said, the existing fans will be in for a pleasant surprise with his new sound. – TC
After Laughter by Paramore
After four incredibly long years, Paramore finally released their fifth studio album, After Laughter on May 12. Instead of the the pop-punk/alternative rock sound of their previous releases, this album has an ‘80s new wave and synthpop groove to it. It’s quite refreshing.
The lead single “Hard Times” is a boppy jam with catchy guitar riffs and unsuspecting pop hooks that are genre-bending. It follows the recipe of what Paramore does so well: a cheery melody accompanied by sad lyrics. The second single, “Told You So,” isn’t the most impressive track, but the simple repeated bridge will get stuck in your head quickly. The lyrical content on this album is also incredibly hard-hitting. Tracks such as “26” and “Fake Happy” speak of doomed love, and depression, respectively.
All in all, After Laughter is an extremely well-produced album that is definitely worth more than one listen. – EZ
Pleasure by Feist
Leaving fans yearning for more after the indie-rock masterpiece of Metals which came out in 2011, Leslie Feist has teased audiences with a six-year hiatus. She makes a successful comeback with Pleasure — which is truly a pleasure as it combines her soft jazzy roots with new indie rock influences. The title track “Pleasure” opens the album with pleasing harmonies, showcasing Feist’s unique, fluttery voice with jazzy and catchy instrumentals, setting the tone for the rest of the album.
Some songs on the album are more rock-inspired such as “Any Party” or “Century” which offer a quicker pace and are reminiscent of her previous album Metals. Other songs, such as my personal favourite, “I’m Not Running Away,” settle into slow, groovy, jazzy beats and elongated vocal melodies. These showcase a more mature, darker side of Feist’s musical range. Nonetheless, the listener is hooked into Leslie Feist’s mesmerizing voice through her earthy tones, enticing falsetto, and her ethereal harmonies. – RO