Cartel – Chroma

My most recent CD purchase was Cartel’s new release titled Chroma. Priced under $10, I am willing to buy the actual CD rather then the digital download off of iTunes. Their music is classified as Alternative, just what I like.

Chroma contains 12 songs. Of those 12 there are at least 7 great songs. Rather then describe the entire CD to you, I will glance over a few of the songs to give you an idea of what to look for.

Say Anything (Else) – The opening of the CD gave my a smile. I knew I would get decent music. One of the upbeat songs, they had a nice recurring theme and unique melody. Cartel seem to produce really catchy choruses, this is no exception.

Runaway – The third song on this CD is one of my favorites. One of the aspects I think Cartel does very well is their choruses are almost always phenomenal. In my opinion, the first verse and chorus make or break a song, followed by an excellent bridge somewhere in the song to bring some life back into it. Runaway does just that, the first 30 seconds show Cartel has the ability to create a compelling introduction. This song does not disappoint as it continues. The vocals, another aspect I regard highly, are very well done.

Save Us – Resisting the urge to listen to the next engaging song, I skipped to Save Us, song number 6. Showing a different side of the band, Cartel has a softer song. Less driven by guitar and drums, this song has a piano background and masterful vocals. Solid all the way through, this song is a nice break from the rock and it gives the CD some balance.

The Minstrel’s Prayer – The most unique song on the CD. The beat, harmony, and lyrics make this one of the most entertaining songs. Here is the second chorus, I wouldn’t dare ruin the chorus for you (but iTunes would…):

All these minstrels through the ages
That is really all we are
Simply singing for the girl
That makes us try so very hard
To craft the perfect limerick
To wield unending woe
To write such silly songs
And the difference never known.

I hope you take some time to listen to the clips for these songs. If you check out the iTunes previews for these songs I will gladly tell you that they are decent clips. I am glad that their preview of Save Us does not reveal the best vocal. I deliberately avoided their single, Honestly, which I had heard before I bought the CD. I don’t think that is anywhere near this CDs best songs.

Also, I reviewed four songs, two of which were the slower songs on the CD, which is rather unusual for a review of an alternative band. The top downloads are of the upbeat songs, and I would have to say those are the expected top downloads from this genre of music. Overall a great CD, worth the $10. As I mentioned, I listen to alternative for both the vocals and the fact that they keep their music interesting all throughout. Alternative shines in that category and this CD keeps me happy and entertained.

Augustana – Boston

My first music post will be one that hopefully everyone would like. If you are not hooked after the first chorus of this song, then I failed. The piano is a nice addition to the solo voice, and it carries the song nicely, but its not song that would put you to sleep while driving. Although I prefer Alternative music, this song does have a great appeal to me. It reminds me of Danial Powter’s “Bad Day” which had the ability to appeal to all ages and music genres.

I will point out that I will not post downloads to songs, although occasionally I will provide a link to a preview of the song. I would just rather you get a preview of the song through iTunes or your favorite music program, to get a taste of the song.