Battle Studies

The first single "Who Says" from the forthcoming album by John Mayer titled "Battle Studies", left me wondering what he had done. The track strongly hinted at guitar riffs from one of his previous tracks "Heart of Life" unfortunately accompanied by weak-minded lyrics. You can't deny his talent as a song writer and guitarist, in many ways he is the best we have. The dedicated and close eye of drummer Steve Jordan is apparent throughout the album, laying down absolute bedrock for Mayer to work his melodic magic.

Aside from the disappointment in the first single, this album is full of great tunes like "Assassin", "Edge of Desire", and the echoey guitars of "Heartbreak Warfare". Mayer's vocals come across stronger and smoother than in previous albums. Battle Studies is an experiment gone right. Despite the less than perfect reviews, time will certainly afford Battle Studies what it does all great art, a crescendo of appreciation.

Chutes to Narrow

I first heard this song by The Shins while watching the movie Garden State. Obviously, they owe much of their commercial success to Zach Braff. There is a scene in Garden State where Natalie Portman's character claims "You gotta hear this one song, it'll change your life I swear" referring to a song by  The Shins.

The quintessential  indie\alternative band, a unique sound, as far as one can be unique with a traditional band lineup. Many songs are very modern and trendy, while other tracks including Saint Simon dipped to a 60's Beatles sound.