Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ashlee Simpson and Alicia Keys new cd reviews

Ashlee Simpson/ I Am Me

I’ve nothing against Ashlee. It’s absolutely okay to me that she sucks at singing live. You can’t get every artist out there to be a good singer. What matter more to me are the lyrics and the melodies. So that's what I expect to get when I listen to her sophomore album, because I know her vocals can never get better. Unfortunately, she doesn't really have much to offer this time. Yeah, she tried to make the lyrics personal and deep, tried to make the tunes rocking and catchy but in the end, most of the stuff just passes you by. More balladry but unmemorable songs (with an 80s vibe track called 'Say Goodbye'), a hip-pop, catchy song called L.O.V.E., 2 songs she mourns about her SNL accident (one of which is 'Beautifully Broken', whose intro and verse sound almost exactly like those of Oasis's 'Wonderwall'!) and the outstanding 'Boyfriend' with great guitar intro. However, this is a typical pop rock album for teenyboppers out there, which probably won't be listened to no more by the end of next year. At least she tried to express herself through music, and she's got fans that love what she does. She's got the strength to stand up and make a second effort, and I give her credits for that.

Rating: 2,5/5 stars
Trackworthy: Boyfriend, In Another Life, Beautifully Broken, L.O.V.E., Coming Back For More, Catch Me When I Fall, I Am Me.

Alicia Keys/ Unplugged

What would you do if your current album sell so well but you just lack inspriration (or feel way lazy) to go back to the studio? You'd release a live album! In Alicia Keys' case, she takes it to a higher level when revived the MTV Unplugged series. And she pulled it off so naturally and effortlessly. Previous hits were sung with new songs and new guests. If you really like her old hit singles, then you can hear them again in the unplugged style. Keys's really got the key to burn up the audience's energy and blow them away, get them so involved in her performances. The new songs sound fine enough (especially the inspirational 'Unbreakable'), the covers are also nice ('Wild Horses' got Adam Levine from Maroon 5 collaborated). Everything's expected. You can surely groove into the tracks. But if you're not that big a fan, maybe you should wait for a dvd release and buy it (although her hair in the show looked ridiculous!).

Rating: 3/5 stars
Trackworthy: Heartburn, Every Little Bit Hurts, Wild Horses, You Don't Know My Name (this live version is really different), Stolen Moments.

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