2012.11.5 NEW RELEASES
Label: Sony Music
Genre: Electronica, club/dance
Calvin Harris’ third album, “18 Months,’’ plays like a greatest-hits record, and it is hard to shake the feeling that the electronic singer-DJ-producer is trying to sell us something we already have.
Still, the record is a reminder of just how good Harris is. Working alongside female vocalists such as Kelis, Rihanna and Florence Welch, Harris seems to instinctively know which song suits which performer: There’s monster hit “We Found Love,’’ the perfect pop song with Rihanna; Kelis is the star of “Bounce,’’ with its funky repetition; and “I Need Your Love’’ with Ellie Goulding couples her twinkling dreamy voice with the electronic direction that Goulding herself uses on her own new album.
But the female acts are not the only highlights. Rapper Tinie Tempah, who experiments with pitch, is on one of the best tracks, the playful “Drinking From the Bottle.’’
“18 Months,’’ with its big, thumping European beats, shows that Harris’ future is bright, whether lending his vocals - like on the hit “Feels So Close’’ - or producing in the background. AP
Label: Sony Music
Genre: Soft rock
A former contestant of the second installment of the hugely popular singing-survival show “Superstar K,” Kim Bo-kyung has released her first full-length album, “Rockin.’” The album contains 10 tracks, including acoustic pop, soft rock, ballad and other genres.
The title track is a vintage rock song written by JR Groove, who is best known in the Korean music industry for collaborations with household acts like Rain, Big Bang, Son Dam-bi and Park Jin-young, or JYP. With groovy guitar licks and addictive drum beats, the song has already generated expectations that it could be a chart-topper.
The third track, “Very Pretty Hands,” is a particularly catchy song - a classic soft rock ballad, its lyrics tell a sad story mourning the loss of a past lover who used to compliment on her hands, saying how pretty they were.
While a newbie in the music industry, Kim was recognized as the Best New Female Artist at the 2012 Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards and has recorded numerous sound tracks for hit drama series, including “City Hunter,” “Queen of Reversal” and “Arang and the Magistrate.” By Lee Jee-eun, contributing writer
“Dreams & Nightmares”
Label: Warner Korea
Genre: Hip hop
The hype machine around Meek Mill has been humming since the rapper signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group imprint last year. Mill has produced two respectable mix tapes and a few singles, including “Ima Boss.”
On his debut, “Dreams & Nightmares,” Mill shows great potential as a storyteller, but his lyrical flow is not consistent, ultimately setting back the 14-track album.
His wordplay is subpar on songs like “Believe It,” featuring Ross, “Young & Gettin’ It” with Kirko Bangz and “Lay Up,” with Ross, Wale and Trey Songz.
On those tracks, the diction of Mill’s lyrics is too weak for his standards, and his voice is too loud, making the words difficult to digest.
The Philadelphia-bred rapper thrives more when he takes it down a notch and delves into his backstory, venturing into his dubious past as someone who sold drugs for special recognition and to support his family. Mill does that well on “Polo & Shell Tops” and “Maybach Curtains,” with Ross, Nas and John Legend. AP