Tag Archives: teen music review

Music Review: Tune-Yards


Title: WHOKILL, Nikki-Nacktune-yards-whokill-covernicki

Artist: Tune-yards

Haven’t heard of electro-pop creative genius Tune-Yards? Be prepared to meet your new obsession.

On Tune-Yards’ last record — Whokill– Merrill Garbus created some good dance jams, but they didn’t get me moving. On Nikki Nack, she gets you dancing like crazy.

On songs like “Stop That Man” and “Manchild,” you can definitely tell that Garbus found influences in tribal sounding rapper-singers, like M.I.A. and Santigold. In the first single, “Water Fountain”, Garbus goes crazy, with everything from wild tribal drum playing to fun playground chants. Sound too obscure for you? Don’t worry, on songs like the ballad-y “Wait For A Minute” Garbus calms down a little bit, creating an atmospheric slow song for everyone to enjoy. Go stream Nikki Nack for free on NPR and learn more about Tune-Yards on her website. Tell us what you think in the comments section!​

–Peter, High Point, Teen Blogger

Music Reviewed: Neko Case

If you haven’t already heard of Neko Case, stop reading this and look her up.

Just kidding, you should read this review first.

Case, a Tacoma native, has a honey-sweet voice that can fill any heart with sadness or joy, often at the same time.  Case has been around for a while, first starting in the 90’s.  Now 48, Neko Case is still on fire.  With her most recent record, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Case mourns the losses of her family while still leaving hope.  Neko Case’s buttery vocals have been helping me plow along through the masses of schoolwork us kids seem to have these days, as she sings about sadness in the present, but the happiness that the future is sure to bring.

Now, stop reading this review and listen to her first record, Blacklisted. I dare you not to cry.

The library has her CDs, but you can also check out and e-listen to the new CD through Hoopla.

–Peter, 13, Fremont



It’s been awhile since the Billboards were starstruck by soul diva. Adele’s been quiet and unfortunately Amy Winehouse is no longer with us. (Moment of silence for a fallen femme fatale.) So for those of you also with cravings for the sacredly profane, here is my personal list of women to watch while we wait for Adele’s sweeping return and the zombie apocalypse.

If you dig the bad girl ballads of Amy Winehouse or Duffy, you absolutely have to listen to Gin Wigmore. This sound-alike hails from New Zealand, where she writes catchy, growly blues rock tunes about life, love, revenge and rebellion. She has two albums out, Holy Smoke (2009) and Gravel & Wine (2012), both of which feature her gorgeously gravelly vocals. Her hit, Man Like That,” is the reason many relate her to Amy Winehouse, but I am more enamored with Gin’s acoustic version of her own “Hey Ho.”


If you fancy Adele, but also get a kick out of hip-hop and bass drum, give ZZ Ward a shot. I caught her at Bumbershoot this past summer, and her live sound is simply to die for. Her tone and strength are highly reminiscent of Britain’s prized Grammy collector, though she pairs her talents with upbeat pop-rock instead of melancholy piano melodies on her latest album, Til The Casket Drops. It’s Etta James meets Wu Tang Clan with a pinch of country rock flair, and it’s fabulous. Watch her most popular music video, “Put The Gun Down,” here.

Quadron was the warm-up band at concert I attended last month at Neumo’s. Danish electronic soul has never been a predictable genre, but it was the first time I witnessed an opening act completely outshine the main event. Their neo-soul jams have percussive prowess and jazzy pizzazz. When coupled with lead singer Coco’s rich R&B contributions, you get grooves ranging from catchy earworms like “Pressure” to the more salty and subtle songs like “Crush.” They have released two albums to date, Quadron (2009) and Avalanche (2013).

Happy Listening!

–Maddie E, 17, Teen Center Adviser


Teen Review: The Hobbit Soundtrack (music)

Hobbit SoundtrackAlmost anybody who has seen The Lord of the Rings films will recall that the music was probably one of the most well made soundtracks in the history of film music.  It was so beautiful yet so epic.  Whether it was the flute melody from Concerning Hobbits or the epic trumpet parts scattered throughout the movie, there’s one thing that people can agree on: the music was awesome.

But as there were many doubts about whether the The Hobbit would be any good, there were also doubts about whether or not Howard Shore would be able to pull off another feat of Mozart-caliber composition.  I confess that I am guilty of having these doubts as well, but when I first heard the music, I was completely blown away by how amazing it sounded.
From the moment I watched the trailer, I just knew that the soundtrack was going to be good.  Howard Shore had brought back the beautiful flute melody from Concerning Hobbits and added a new theme song showcasing the lower sounding brass instruments.
If you liked Concerning Hobbits then you’ll love the new song Old Friends.  It incorporates the flute melody and it slightly changes it.  I remember the first time that I heard it, I was a bit surprised, but not in a bad way, that Howard Shore had altered the rhythms at certain parts.  I had felt that way at the end of the song The Return of the King where Howard Shore slightly changed the rhythm of the melody, but as with The Return of the King, I have come to appreciate the changes the original melody that Shore has made in Old Friends. Continue reading

Listen Here!: The Empyrean

File:John Frusciante - The Empyrean.jpgI’m Central to Nowhere and I Am Unreachable. That’s a combination of two lines from two songs from the album The Empyrean by artist John Frusciante, who is basically one of the greatest guitarists of all time.  This album came out in 2009 and has been something I listen to almost every day. Continue reading

The Family Sign: a breath of fresh air for modern hip-hop

Let me start off by saying if you like hip-hop, you owe it to yourself to get all of Atmosphere’s work, especially God Loves Ugly, Seven’s Travels, and Lucy Ford.  All in the Family is the first album in which Ant (the producer for Atmosphere) uses live instruments, and it really shows. Continue reading