QuickTakes

Christina Perri
“The Ocean Way Sessions”
(Atlantic Records)

This debut EP from Perri features a fresh, light sound with songs about romance and independence. The catchy lyrics of the well-known single “Jar of Hearts” have endeared it to many new fans of Perri, and the other songs on the EP don’t disappoint. “Daydream” is a cute, upbeat song with fabulous vocals, and “Bang Bang Bang” features strong percussion, making it nearly impossible to not want to start dancing along. Fans of Ingrid Michaelson or any strong female vocalist will certainly enjoy the debut of this fresh new artist.

Kelsey Grashoff


Kid Cudi
“Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager”
(G.O.O.D/Universal Motown)

Cudi’s sequel to “Man on the Moon: The End of Day” relies heavily on his signature vulnerability and drug use – there is an entire song dedicated to marijuana, aptly titled “Marijuana.” With an awesome cameo from St. Vincent on “Maniac,” the album chronicles an artist being spit up and thrown out by the hip-hop industry, an obvious narrative of Cudi’s own nervousness. “Work hard, make sure I don’t become a memory,” he worries in album opener “Scott Mescudi Vs. the World.” At times the album is quiet and repetitive, but the unique production proves that Cudi is maturing at least musically, if not personally.

Madeline Twomey


Salem
“King Night”
(IAMSOUND)

In the barely two months since its release, Salem’s highly anticipated debut album “King Night” has certainly made the rounds. You are as likely to hear the ethereal sounds coming from some kid’s basement as you are to hear it on the fashion runways. Their first single, “King Night,” is perhaps the best track on the album. Dramatic, sinister, and at times, cathartic, the song washes over unsuspecting first-time listeners. Other songs that immerse the listener in the eerie universe inhabited by Salem are “Sick”, “Frost” and “Redlights.”?The downside to this album? You can barely make out the lyrics to any song. The good news? You really don’t have to.?

Lyzbeth Lara


How to Destroy Angels
“How to Destroy Angels EP”
(The Null Corporation)

When Trent Reznor put Nine Inch Nails to rest last year, not many people thought he was going to put his voice to rest as well. In his latest musical project How to Destroy Angels, Reznor has left the vocals to his wife, Mariqueen Maandig. Maandig, who left L.A.’s West Indian Girl last year, provides a sultry voice that drags through the album like the most agonizingly slow caress. But Maandig’s voice pales in comparison to her husband’s raw and dynamic sound from his years with NIN. For Reznor, this is one of his tamest albums in a while, but it’s just the beginning, and Reznor’s talent far outweighs any initial hiccups.

Caroline Bowman

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