Category Archives: rock

Eurovision 2012 – Baku, Azerbaijan

I can’t believe it’s already that time of year, and I can’t believe it’s come and gone! – Eurovision 2012, hosted in last year’s winning country, Azerbaijan. The contest’s 2012 motto: “Light Your Fire”, adapted from the country’s nickname: Land of Fire. As usual the abundance of Europop was awesome! I was incredibly sad to see Poland not participating this year, but many that did were incredible. I thought Finland’s entry by Pernilla Karlsson, “När jag blundar”, was a great song. It was a beautiful performance, and I liked it’s quiet power.

Russia’s entry this year was very amusing. Buranovskiye Babushki, a group of eight elderly grandmothers from the village of Buranovo, Udmurtia, halfway between the Volga and the Urals in Russia. Their disco-esque song, “Party for Everybody”, was actually damn catchy, and this performance was adorable! Best part? The group had entered the contest before in 2010!

I really enjoyed Germany’s entry this year as well. Roman Lob’s “Standing Still” is mellow, catchy, and just a great song! It may be my favourite song from this year, at least I know I’m going to hunt for more music from Roman Lob in the future (it doesn’t hurt that he’s super cute!)  The song came in 8th place in the final round.

But this year’s winner was Loreen, with the song “Euphoria”. This song was incredible. A perfect example of euro-dance/club music. The slow build up, the powerful chorus – it’s just simply epic. There is no doubt this was the year’s winner. Last year Sweden placed third with the song “Popular” (one of my favourite entries from 2011). I can’t wait for more of Loreen’s music! And I can’t wait for next year’s Eurovision!

You can watch the contest online and see all the magic yourselves: Eurovision

 

 

 

 


Disintegration

The Cure’s Disintegration is another on my list of absolute top-5 favourite albums. I cannot even begin to express the profound affect this album has had on me. I remember one time I told one of my best friends Kelsey that she needed to hear this album. I put it on in her kitchen (we were eating something) and the CD player was on repeat. The next thing I knew we had gone through the album 3 and a half times. We didn’t speak to each other, we didn’t move. While I have a lot of CDs that I absolutely loooove, Disintigration is the only one to have such an affect on me physically. If ever I listen to this in the car (as I was today) I seem to get to my destination without really remember all of the journey. I just become completely absorbed in the music. It sounds completely stupid but I feel like I feel feelings I didn’t know I had when I listen to this album!!! (I feel so angsty!)


I don’t know exactly what it is. The music itself creates a very unique sound world, filled with vibrant sounds from the 80s and just perfect percussion. Robert Smith’s voice is incredibly haunting and trance inducing. And it may sound a little ridiculous but sometimes when I listen to Disintegration I feel like I never want to hear another album aside from it.

It was the 8th studio album of The Cure, and the band’s best selling to date. It marked a return for the group to a gloomy gothic rock they had established earlier on in the decade. The album was number 326 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (although for me it is much higher!!!)

Wikipedia describes the music on the album perfectly: “Disintegration is epitomised by a significant usage of synthesizers and keyboards, slow, “droning” guitar progressions and Smith’s introspective vocals. “Plainsong”, the album’s opener, “set the mood for Disintegration perfectly,” according to journalist Jeff Apter, by “unravelling ever so slowly in a shower of synths and guitars, before Smith steps up to the mic, uttering snatches of lyrics (‘I’m so cold’) as if he were reading from something as sacred as the Dead Sea Scroll.” Smith felt the song was a perfect opener for the record, describing it as “very lush, very orchestral”. The album’s third track, “Closedown”, contains layers of keyboard texture complemented with a slow, gloomy guitar line. The track was written by Smith as a means to list his physical and artistic shortcomings. Despite the dark mood present throughout Disintegration, “Lovesong” was an upbeat track that became a hit in the United States. Ned Raggett of Allmusic noted the difference from other songs: “the Simon Gallup/ Boris Williams rhythm section create a tight, serviceable dance groove, while Smith and Porl Thompson add further guitar fills and filigrees as well, adding just enough extra bite to the song. Smith himself delivers the lyric softly, with gentle passion.”

The lyrics are incredible, the music is other worldly and I just can’t describe how into this album I get as I’m listening to it. I love every second of this album and songs like “Pictures of You”, “Lovesong”, and “Disintigration” are just unreal.

And who doesn’t adore “Friday I’m In Love”? It comes on almost every night on the radio when I go to sleep and I get so happy everytime I hear it. I was in Bed Bath & Beyond a few weeks ago with two of my best friends when it came on the radio and we were all like, “wow, I really love this song.”


Vanilla Ninja

Vanilla Ninja is an Estonian girl band which has been pretty popular in many European countries. They are particularly popular in central Europe. The group has also entered to represent their country in Eurovision both in 2003 and 2007 but failed to do so. They did however represent Switzerland in 2005 with their song “Cool Vibes” and finished 8th in the contest that year. They are so popular in Estonia that they have a brand of ice cream and kohuke named after them.

Vanilla Ninja has had four albums in various countries across Europe (all topping the charts at #1 in their native Estonia!): Vanilla Ninja was released in 2003, Traces of Sadness in 2004, and Blue Tattoo in 2005. The group’s fourth album, Love is War, was released in May 2006. The band was originally a four-piece group consisting of Maarja Kivi, Lenna Kuurmaa, Katrin Siska and Piret Järvis. Maarja Kivi left the group in 2004 and was replaced by Triinu Kivilaan. In December 2005 she also left the group to start a solo career and finish school, and the band have decided to continue as a three-piece act.

“Tough Enough” was released as a single in 2003-2004 in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and helped launch their career in German speaking Europe:

Vanilla Ninja‘s  site (Estonian)


LaFee

Christina Klein is better known by her stage name: LaFee. She is a German singer/songwriter who is pretty big in German-speaking countries. She has released 4 albums to date, three in German and one English album in 2008. In 2009 her fourth studio album, Ring Frei was released in Germany, peaking at #6 on the German charts, and #5 on the Austrian. It’s a great album for sure. The first couple of tracks have music that sounds like dark German heavy-rock/symphonic metal, and it’s supa-awesome. Something about it is so Germanic! I love the percussion throughout the album and the guitars are also amazing. The title track and single, Ring Frei is probably my favourite track on the album. Angst is a softer symphonic ballade kind of song.

The whole album has some really great instrumentation. Tracks like Nur Das Eine have wonderful piano parts and others like Angst have great string parts all mixed with a heavy rock percussion and guitars. This is another album I constantly finding myself totally rocking out to in the car. I don’t even know how to begin to explain the music so watch some videos and listen!

And of course you can check out her website: LaFee aber es ist auf Deutsch!