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Green Day

Green Day- American Idiot

Jason Jump – Writer: I don’t care what anybody says, I’ll always love Green Day. This song rocks, and has a point to boot. (4.5/5)

Sean Anderson – Writer: Just recently, I was bemoaning how so many of today’s protest songs suck. This one doesn’t. I lost all respect for Green Day right around the time that woman on E.R. did an acapella version of “Good Riddance.” “American Idiot” sounds like the rocking Green Day of my past. Maybe they’ve been rewriting the same song in the intervening 7 years. If so, that makes for a boring career. But as a single, it works.(3.5/5)

Alexandra Lander – Film Editor: Green Day throws in their two political cents with this catchy, bopping satire. The driving drumbeat is reminiscent of The Ramones, but the style is more sophisticated. We can be assured that Billie Joe Armstrong is among the many not happy with the state of our country when he sings, “Welcome to a new kind of tension/All across the alien nation/where everything isn’t meant to be O.K.” Another Green Day rocker – and perfectly timed for an election year. (4/5)

Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave- Be Kind & Remind

Sean: Isn’t the Beatles’ “Blackbird” the Alpha of using bird sounds on a song? And if it is, then the “Wildlife” version of “Across the Universe” is the Omega, and everyone else should stop putting birds in their song. This song doesn’t do a lot for me, but I do kind of like the R2-D2 like chirps. (2/5)

Alexandra: The opening acoustic guitar intro to this song is crisp and playful, with stolen bird noises from a relaxation tape. When Zach Rogue began singing, I thought for a moment that Elliot Smith had been resurrected. It has a kinder, gentler feel to it than most alt-rock songs, and the band could very well be the sophisticated Simon and Garfunkel sound of Generation Y. (4/5)

Jason: I think these guys are trying to channel Simon and Garfunkel, but they don’t seem to be doing a very good job at it. The music is too repetitive, and all the bird chirpy sound effects are just annoying. The high-pitched vocals are just over the top. (2/5)

Mason Jennings

Mason Jennings- Crown

Alexandra: This song had a definite alt-country/folk feel (almost made me think of James McMurtry) complete with harmonica and lyrics about the frustrating dualities of love (“I don’t want to be together/I don’t want to be apart/I don’t want none of this love for you honey/Deep, deep down in my heart). The singer slides sloppily off-key in an annoying way. He will never be Dylan, if that’s the sound he was going for, but it was a valiant try. (3/5)

Jason: This is typical Mason Jennings. I don’t see anything special about it. (3/5)

Sean: Simple, sparse, and intimate. If you told me “Crown” was a cover of a 30s folk song, I’d believe you. The song has lots of elements I like, but the emotion never quite seems to infect the vocals. It’s a shame, because it detracts from what could be a really good song. (3.5/5)

Human Television

Human Television – Saw You Walking By

Jason: This is just noise. The music, vocals and drumbeat are all moving too fast and seem out of sync, everything sounds confused. I can’t understand a word. (1/5)

Sean: For new music to grab your ear, typically, you want something that sounds new or different. If it sounds too like something you’ve heard before, either you’ll likely be bored by it, or you’ll say it “echoes” the sound, and then go on to bore your friends about how it’s an entirely fresh approach to the same ground, when in reality you have no idea why you aren’t bored by it. “Saw you Walking By” is simplistic and silly, but catchy. You’ve heard it all before, but they present a fresh approach to lo-fi jangle pop. (3/5)

Alexandra: If you miss the roots-alternative sound that disappeared after the early 90s, this song is for you. The opening guitar riff is a tribute to early REM, and you could swear the whole tune was an oldie that someone dug out of a college radio station’s archives. Human Television has a tight sound and does an excellent job bringing back some of the sounds and styles that paved the way for today’s alt-rock groups. (5/5)

U2 - Vertigo

U2- Vertigo

Sean: Face it; U2 is well past the expiration date on cool. Unless they’ve been listening solely to their local Alice station, no one is going to hear you say, “I listen to U2” and think that you are on the cutting edge of today’s rock and roll. That said, “Vertigo” is not an entirely unworthy entry. Despite the gratuitous Spanish speaking (n.b. “One, Two, Three, Fourteen”!?!), and the Hives-like riffs from the Edge (shouldn’t other people be emulating him, instead?), this song shows that U2 is still able to co-opt current rock trends into a pastiche which is strictly U2. If you and your mom like U2, you’ll both like this single. (3/5)

Jason: Last time I said REM should quit while they’re ahead, and now, I’m going to say it of U2. I don’t care for this song, and I’m thoroughly convinced this band has nothing left to contribute, I wish they’d go away. I loved both bands at one time, but I’m really starting to hate their persistence in churning out run of the mill pap when they should have long since retired. (1/5)

Alexandra: Yeah!!! The old passion from War is back! Simply put, this song rocks. Lyrically, it lacks the sophistication of U2’s more poignant hits about political issues, AIDS, love and heartbreak. It sounds more like the boys from Dublin just wanted to have a little fun. Edge’s signature guitar solo at the bridge combined with Bono’s background vocals sound like the ghost of their old tune “Surrender” walked through the room for a brief moment, perhaps hinting that we are in for a “roots U2” treat when the entire CD is released in November.(5/5)

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