Tag Archives: Album Review

Album provides musical legacy

Less than six months after Amy Winehouse’s tragic death, fans were able to listen to one last album dedicated to her legacy and life. “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” is a perfect yet subtle story of Amy Winehouse’s legacy and talents all compiled into one extraordinary album.

Jazz, R&B and soul are mixed into Winehouse’s last album, creating sounds that only she could have produced. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Winehouse used that to her advantage and was able to tour and become a world-wide star, not only in Europe, but also in the U.S.

“Lioness: Hidden Treasures” is filled with artists and other collaborators such as Tony Bennett, Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi. Most of the tracks on Winehouse’s last album were either original recordings produced solely by Winehouse, or alternative versions of past songs that she recreated with a different twist.

One of Winehouse’s popular songs, “Valerie,” made its début early in her career, but on her final album, she had been holding onto a different version that she had messed around with in the studio. On this album, “Valerie” is played with blues and soul pertinent to the ’60s, making it a nice transition on the overall album.

Even though Winehouse’s success was sometimes dismayed due to her personal struggles and addiction, the inner battle Winehouse faced was portrayed in songs on her final album, such as “Wake Up Alone” and “Our Day Will Come.” Both of these tracks leave you with a sense that Winehouse was at times ready to leave this world, but wanted to make sure her dedicated fans had a final extraordinary album to remember her by.

Remember Winehouse not by the personal struggles she faced, but by her talents of giving listeners the pleasures of soul, blues and R&B. This album will make you wonder where Winehouse would have been able to take her remarkable talents if her life had continued.

Tune into KSLC 90.3 FM for an exclusive sneak peak of Amy Winehouse’s final album, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures.” You can also listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm or stream the station on iTunes.

Haydn Nason/
KSLC 90.3 FM
Haydn Nason can be reached at  kslcmusic@gmail.com.


‘Growing in the Cold’ sure to please

Jess Penner’s latest album, “Growing in the Cold,” is a delight that is a breath of fresh air for all who listen.

Equipped with her guitar and pleasurable attitude, Penner will lure you track-by-track with her fanciful voice and innocent lyrics that are warm and uplifting.

The singer-songwriter from Los Angeles grew up in Hawaii and her joyous tones evoke a surplus of warmth that she has acquired and embraced throughout her life.

“Life is Rosy” is an up-tempo track that undoubtedly exemplifies her contagious affirmative tone.  Her voice is coincidently original and comfortable, all while maintaining a reassuring harmony that could be known from a long-time friend.

Her talents naturally create a light, airy atmosphere that will leave a welcomed lasting impression. Humorous and honest lyrics will hit close to home drawing you even closer to her blissful presence.

What she refers to as her “sassy” song, “I Won’t Change” expresses her tribulations concerning a nonconforming relationship. Her insight is sincere, relatable and nevertheless fun. With optimism like hers, you might feel as though there is never a bad day with Penner.

Many of her songs are about her experiences with an array of relationships from friends to lovers. With her open outlook on life, she is equipped to take anything in stride and prepared to share her experiences through her work.

“Bring Me the Sunshine” is a testimonial to her free-spirited motives that anyone would find contagious.  Her voice and heart are open and ready to be absorbed. With a spacious voice she may be soft around the edges, but she is ready to express and be heard.

Penner is an absolute delight and “Growing in the Cold” is an ideal extension of her grace.  Simple and down-to-earth, she knows how to be true and personable in her work.

Her voice is one you don’t want to miss out on.  Since signing her first record deal at the age of 16, she has continued to develop her resume, which includes features in advertising campaigns, movies and television shows. She is sure to continue to expand her name and surpass any foreseen boundaries.

Make sure to tune in to listen to Jess Penner on KSLC 90.3 FM to experience her outreaching talent.  You can also listen online at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm.

Brinn Hovde/
KSLC Music Director
Brinn Hovde can be reached at kslcmusic@gmail.com.

Indie rock band melds heartbreak, love, folk rock

Warsaw, a Seattle-based indie rock band, combines the sounds of heartbreak love songs with folk rock roots to provide a soothing combination of a unique alternative band.

Warsaw is a five piece pop-folk group mostly known throughout the Northwest, but it has played and traveled all across the United States.

The five-man band contains Scott Schrock Jr. on the bass and symphonics, Kris Orlowski on the guitar and main vocals; Aaron O’Neil playing the percussion; Torry Anderson on the keys, glock, vocals and melodica; and Mark Isakson on the guitar, banjo, pedal and lap steel.

These unique instruments are mixed to form wild emotions that can be felt through their indie-folk sounds.

The album name and the title track, “Warsaw,” is a heartwarming love song describing being stuck and tied to a person in time.

The symphonics and percussion flow together in the track “Warsaw,” as the vocals provide the story overlapping these soothing sounds.

Lead singer Kris Orlowski has been inspired by many famous artists, such as Mumford & Sons, and similarities can be found in his music and lyrics.

He also recognizes influential artists and bands, such as Jason Mraz, Coldplay and Bon Iver.

The song “Way You Are,” brings a more indie-rock sound, which is different from every other song.

This song is a perfect transition on the EP and one of their most famous tracks so far.

Kris Orlowski has been called a “troubadour by definition” from the Seattle music blog “Sound on the Sound.”

His tracks have a charisma of their own, which is why he is becoming increasingly popular.

Warsaw was released on Nov. 22, and has been on many artists’ radars ever since then.

KSLC hopes to see tour dates soon for the Northwest region.

The album Warsaw is a perfect example of how indie-pop music can provide love lyrics while telling a story through acoustic and unique sounds.

To hear more songs and to check out Kris Orlowski on Warsaw, go to KSLC and listen.

We are now streaming online, so go to our website and listen to the Best in the Northwest Student Station, KSLC 90.3 FM, www.linfield.edu/kslcfm.

Haydn Nason/
KSLC 90.3 FM
Haydn Nason can be reached at kslcmusic@gmail.com.

New Age group plays psychedelic tunes

"This World is on Fire" album cover

Atlanta-based rock group, Elevado, brings a blend of ’70s and ’80s melodies to the alternative stage with a retro-futuristic approach that proves to be enticing for listeners of multiple genres.

Psychedelic guitar riffs and original rhythms give the group solid weapons for its arsenal to pursue higher levels of the music industry.

Elevado’s album, “This World is on Fire,” provides a great sample of the group’s upbeat, eclectic tunes.

Comprised of Cain Wong, Don Dudenhoeffer, Justin Hughes, Justin Sias and Ripley Torres, Elevado looks to mix live electronics with alternative music and produce unique music.

The track “Song of a Purple Man” opens with the daring guitar riffs that make this group something special.

The vocals and overall rhythm certainly strikes a chord with its post-punk classifications and reminds the listener of another retro-like band, The Killers.

The title-track crosses between early Police and some of the United Kingdom’s early ’80s anarchist bands and gives Elevado strong footing in the alternative world of music.

“Indigo Torch Serenade” proves to be the psychedelic love song on the album.

A smooth electronic beat in the background leads the way for a sensual guitar riff that gives the track the intimate feel that makes it a highlight of the album.

The lyrics show dark declarations of love in a cool way: “She’s my valentine, love cannibal, and I’ll kill anyone who tries to take her away…”

It sounds like something from the diary of a mad man, but it is a big part of what makes the group so unique and interesting to listen to.

The song “Our Turn Came Tonight” is a great representation of the ominous style the band pursues.

The track is marked by sharp, stinging guitar riffs set against a danceable, pounding rhythm one would find in a New York City underground venue.

With a sound similar to that of Depeche Mode, the track serves as something you can both dance to as well as jam to while in the library.

Elevado could be described as New-Wave, Electronica, Post-modern, as well as many other genres, but the best thing about this group is that it has the ability to appeal to those who listen to all types of genres.

Its upbeat rhythms make anyone want to put on the dancing shoes, and its superb musical talents call for musicians to strive to learn their stuff.

Look for Elevado on the KSLC airwaves; it is definitely worth a listen.

James Testa/
KSLC 90.3 FM
James Testa can be reached at kslcmusic@gmail.com.

Debut album highlights youthful spirit

If you’re still feeling a bit of a drag from midterms, Gold Motel’s debut album “Summer House” will surely help boost your mood.

Gold Motel has released an album that exemplifies a vibrant tone and youthful melodies.  Inspired by simple pleasures and whimsical beauty, the tracks from this album are quaint and purely enjoyable.

Singer-songwriter Greta Morgan began her music career independently, known as The Hush Sound, after a lifetime of singing.

In 2009, she joined efforts with Matt Schuessler, Adam Kaltenhauser and Eric Hehr, who had previously been refining their musical ambitions in Chicago.

Since the beginning, they have continued to develop a successful name for themselves, touring nationwide independently and alongside Hellogoodbye and Farewell Continental.

They are spreading their vibrant sound through each song and gaining popularity every step of the way.

Instrumental tinkering and refreshing vocals set a foundation for many of the songs on this album.

Rhythms that could be expected from the ‘60s unite warm uplifting tones with the contemporary indie-rock genre.

Greta’s warm vocals embrace a vibrant, rich tone that compliments a delicate array of instrumental balance. This respects the easygoing, laidback message that this band portrays.

The track “Fire After Midnight” has a buoyant, lifting tone that will have you lost in a sea of rhythmic abundance, all while absorbing a rich array of harmonious lyrics.

It sounds as if it was produced with the careless freedom of a child while maintaining maturity and devotion.

On the other hand, the track “Who Will I Be Tonight” is a rich collaboration of angelic sophistication drenched in heartfelt emotion. Even though this track has a slower tempo, it still maintains the warm feeling that this album offers by staying true to its musical roots and genuine sound.

Every track sustains Gold Motel’s sound while maintaining a diverse selection of emotional experiences. As a young band, they have already accomplished so much in their debut album.

This joyous album is one you don’t want to miss out on. Tune into KSLC 90.3 FM to experience what Gold Motel has to offer.

KSLC is now global. Listen online by streaming at www.linfield.edu/kslcfm.

Brinn Hovde
/KSLC Music director
Brinn Hovde can be reached at kslcmusic@gmail.com.