|Photo by: Facebook.com|
Key Tracks: “Friends 1 and 2,” “Alley Cat,” “Christmas”
Inclusion is a powerful tool. On Jesse Remnant’s latest album Let's Be Friends, with his new band Human Cannonball, the once-Athens-now-Columbus musician succeeds at inviting listeners into his creative mind for 30 minutes of intimate, heartfelt and raw music.
Remnant opens the album by crying out and pleading for friendship in “Friends 1 and 2” by simply asking, “Why can’t we just be friends? / Why don’t we just pretend?” Though these simple questions are unfortunately never truly answered, the songs that follow stimulate some serious thought about relationships and life in general.
Later, “Friends 3,” a solemn song with vocals distorted by a vocoder, proves to be a stark contrast to the more hopeful beats of “Friends 1 and 2.” It sounds as if it is Remnant's last hope to ask the same questions asked on the earlier track, and he will settle for anything as long as he is not ignored.
Surprisingly, the 16-track album feels more to-the-point than most shorter albums. Each song is relatively brief and appropriate in length--no more than three minutes at the most--with a couple of the tunes wrapping things up in under a minute. This is a refreshing approach for an album, thanks to Remnant's ability to keep listeners’ attention while changing his style frequently.
The longest song of the album, “Alley Cat,” has a steady beat that comfortably holds the tune together. The song evolves into a different tune during its last minute, adding clashing symbols and an electric guitar solo after the vocals end. While initially startling, the change will certainly wake the listener up.
One of the last songs is “Christmas,” a tune with a drawn-out sound and lyrics that list the tangible presents Remnant received for the holiday. While listening, his realization is blatant that the presents did not make him feel fulfilled as he says, “I got everything I want for Christmas / But I ain’t got you / And that’s all I need.”
As a whole, Let's Be Friends combines smooth guitar strokes with raw vocals, which allow listeners to believe the band sounds the same whether it's heard through a set of headphones or live on stage.
As a whole, Let's Be Friends combines smooth guitar strokes with raw vocals.
A Wretched Virile Lore is a very hit or miss Mogwai remix album that will be appreciated by the band's loyal fans.
What Christmas Means by Kem has a few high points, but go ahead and add it to the pile of forgettable Christmas albums.
Consider Runner a winter blanket that will keep you emotionally warm as the seasons continue to change.
Despite borrowing from every Top 40 diva on the charts, Serena Ryder still can't piece together an identity for herself.
While Bad Brains' new album is certainly better than some of the band's releases in the past 30 years, it is still only mediocre at best.
Psycho White, an EP from Travis Barker and Yelawolf, has potential but ultimately comes up short.
Instrumental Tourist is full of organ-driven soundscapes with frightening industrial noise, yet is oddly soothing.
As a whole, Rihanna delivers yet another solid album of catchy club anthems and love ballads--and she doesn't need to be unapologetic about that accomplishment.
Stoned & Alone is an unimaginative album for potheads that rarely provides a moment of interest.