Music: Solos and Sophomores

SUPERMODEL
Foster The People

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The last couple of years, indie pop has come on strong in the global music arena, exemplified by New Zealand wunderkind Lorde nabbing two Grammy Awards. Foster The People is no exception—who hasn’t heard “Pumped Up Kicks”? The sophomore album, “Supermodel,” is a raw extension of “Torches,” with some numbers, like “Coming of Age,” indistinguishable from the sounds of the debut LP. The longest title of the album, “A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon,” is a reminder that the band might fare well as the next New Order. Other than that, the album packs a forever young indie rock vibe, which most likely suits teens and the twenty-something.

 

EVERYDAY ROBOTS
Damon Albarn

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Hot on the heels of Graham Coxon, who has been venturing on his own apart from Blur, is Damon Albarn. While the English music head has been crafting songs for Gorillaz and several soundtracks, never has he done an LP of his own until now. The opening title track “Everyday Robots” is chilling and poetic in lyrics. There’s a delicate shriek of string and haunting piano melody, becoming a dark leitmotif underscoring the satirical words—portraying a similar theme as in T.S. Elliot’s “Wasteland” poem. The album, sufficient to say, is an acquired taste.

 

AWAKE
Tycho

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You may have never heard Scott Hansen, alias Tycho, but there’s a great chance you’ve come across his music. The third album “Dive” was a huge success, having the soothing ambient tracks played in hotels and shopping malls alike, and the ensuing record, “Awake,” enhances the guitar strumming to make presence to the ear instead of being concealed by other beautiful noises.

KISS ME ONCE
Kylie Minogue

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The Melbourne diva’s twelfth album is reiterating the same mantra we’ve seen out of her since eons ago. Sexiness, flirtations and karaoke-able tunes are Minogue’s fine assets that make her songs fit as pre-club earworms. The leading single “Into the Blue” is glamorous—she sashays so fine in that gilded YSL jacket. That aside, the disco record will scratch the itch for early night dance fever.

BEYONCE
Beyoncé

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Beyoncé’s fifth and eponymous album is perhaps the most satisfying work of her musical career to date. Not just a smashing record pumping 14 hip-hop, deep-bass tunes (hands up for “Drunk in Love”), but “Beyoncé” flaunts the singer’s voluptuous appeal and multi-faceted personas in the accompanying 14 video clips. Yes, it’s the first visual album, ever, which is pretty hard to imagine as how the Queen B pulled it off amid her busy tour and personal schedules as a wife and mother. But maybe all we need to do is to listen to her self-empowering lyrics, explicitly stated in tracks such as “Pretty Hurts” and “Flawless.”

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