Musicality - Lady Gaga, Summer Osborne, Grenadina, Rudimental

Lady Gaga
“Applause” The Single
(Interscope)
By the time you read this, you might already be sick of Lady Gaga’s new single, fresh off her yet-to-be-released album. However, that hasn’t happened yet for me, so I’m feeling mostly positive. At my first listen to the single, about halfway through, I realized I was enjoying the sound. However, it definitely did not elicit the same feeling I got when I was first introduced to “Bad Romance” off The Fame Monster, where I was blown away into another dimension and then brought back again. I think most Lady Gaga fans are desperately looking for that feeling. It’s hard to tell whether they will find it from this album by listening to one slice. There seems to be a teeny-tiny glimmer of hope, though, because I like “Applause” more than most of the songs on her previous album, Born This Way. So comparatively, things are looking up for this Gaga fan.
Summer Osborne
As I Am
The beginning track explains it all — Osborne tells it like it is. She has a positive attitude and she is supremely talented. Osborne is soul to the bone and honest. When I was a judge for HRC’s Battle of the Bands, I saw Osborne do those riffs live. They are complicated to play, and Osborne pulls it off while singing at the same time like she was born to do it. Saying I was blown away is an understatement. Lyrically, the song “Stand” is my favorite. It’s empowering in every way, and every LGBTQ person can relate to it. This album is riddled with so many great and catchy songs, but if I had to name some favorites, I’d choose “Battleground,” “Follow the Love,” and my absolute favorite, “Solution.” Osborne will be in Kansas City for her CD release party from 8 to 10 p.m. Sept. 13 at the LIKEME Lighthouse — check it out!
Grenadina
Get Shallow EP
The members of the Lawrence, Kan., band Grenadina once again prove that they can rock like the big boys. As if we need to be reminded. Get Shallow is their sophomore album, and though it’s a bit stronger and clearer than their previous EP, the ambiance is similar. The guitar riffs are stellar — no surprise there — but the bass is more flavorful this time around. That, combined with clear vocals and tight drums, really rounds out the sound in this one. The vocals are meatier lyrically and melodically, as well. I really enjoy that they can get away with writing serious songs alongside more upbeat songs. It can be hard for alternative bands to pull it off, but these ladies do it with drama and grace. My favorite songs off the EP are “Locomotion,” “Tina Needs a Girlfriend,” and “10 o’clock.” Look for Grenadina at noon Oct. 5 at the Out in the Crossroads festival in the 1900 block of Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City, Mo.
Rudimental
Home
(Big Beat Records)
The first few songs of this album confused me. I did zero research before I popped this one in, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Though it’s classified as electronica, the style of song changed for every track, which made my head spin. Every song sounded like it could be a different artist, like I was listening to an awesome new Pandora station. But no, this is Rudimental. Who are these guys? The genres I hear the most are R&B, soul and techno. My absolute favorite song, “Waiting All Night,” is a wonderful mix of the genres that they represent the most — R&B vocals with a fast techno beat, featuring a great, yet subtle, horn melody that stays in your head. It’s just fantastic. This is definitely one of the most dynamic albums I’ve heard in a long time.

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