Artist: Brazilian Girls
Album: Brazilian Girls
Still looking for that perfect “chill” album? You know, the one you want to put next to Portishead, Morcheeba and Thievery Corporation to complement certain key life moments? Brazilian Girls are the newest addition to this genre, bringing their own creative flare. The term “stoned-sexy,” comes to mind to describe the vocal stylings of Sabina Sciubba, who sings in six different languages in the album. Listeners can only imagine how hot she really is. In French she sings the song “Pussy,” whose chorus shouts “Pussy! Pussy! Pussy! Marijuana!” over Latin beats and horns.
Artist: 50 Cent
Album: The Massacre
Label: Afterlife Entertainment/Shady Records
“Bitch, get in my car.” Not the best way to pick up women, unless you’re Fiddy, of course. A new plateau of gangster rap has emerged the past few years with the creation of the G-Unit dynasty, with 50 leading the pack. The recent release of The Massacre, which is still at No. 1 on the billboard charts after five weeks, led me to ask, “I wonder what Fiddy is doing right now?” Probably having lots of sex- and stompin’ on phonies. After all, he’s living it up large in Farmington, Conn. – a new neighbor to about two-thirds of GW undergrads. But seriously, this album is sick. No, really: “I ain’t got no conscience, them whores are nothin’ / They ain’t wit us, they against us, We supposed to touch ’em …” Awwww yeeeaaaa.
Album: Tegan and Sara
Artist: So Jealous
Label: Sanctuary 2004
The fourth album from identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin builds on their power-pop heritage, layering aggressive acoustic guitars with 80’s synth lines courtesy of Weezer’s Matt Sharp. The fragile-voiced duo’s piercing vocal harmonies dispel any sense of innocence as they power through 14 songs of love lost and found, their vaguely danceable percussion providing a no-nonsense backdrop to the vocal tornado. Metaphorical confrontations with past lovers abound, and uncomfortable romanticism occasionally takes center stage. While the emotional honesty may be too raw for some to enjoy, Tegan and Sara’s catchy pop hooks reel in anyone lost by the lyrics. They may seem harmless, but watch your necks. These girls bite to kill.
Artist: Kings of Leon
Album: Aha Shake Heartbreak
Label: RCA 2004
The sophomore effort from the Nashville, Tenn.-based family quartet bridges the gap between Stoner Rock and New Wave, a drastic departure from their debut album. They’ve shaved their beards, dropped the kitschy neo-Allman Brothers schtick and invented a new brand of southern rock that is as filthy as it is catchy. Life in a rock band is seedy and sex-laced, and they don’t seem to mind discussing it openly; many of the songs seem destined to be radio hits, save the lyrics that would offend anyone’s mother.
Artist: The Bravery
Album: The Bravery
Label: Island Def Jam
The Bravery’s self-titled debut album follows this decade’s hipster rock trend, featuring five New York natives and their upbeat Indie pop. The album is driven by 80s synthesizer beats and The Killers-like vocals. Neither the song material (angst-ridden love and desire) nor sound is particularly original, but The Bravery is a nice addition to the catchy style of modern rock.
Artist: Queens of the Stone Age
Album: Lullabies to Paralyze
Label: Interscope Records
Queens of the Stone Age continues the hypnotic appeal of its melodic, stoner rock. Lullabies to Paralyze begins with a quiet, softly sung ballad, and then quickly progresses into a sinister version of pop. Highlights of this seamless album include “Little Sister” and the creepier-sounding “Someone’s in the Wolf.” Lead vocalist Josh Homme’s voice blends well into the tuneful yet driving guitar, yielding minute-long tracks that are just as satisfying as ones that are seven minutes long.