Musicality - Miratti, Justin Utley, Panic! at the Disco
(Pabanor Music Works)
This pop/dance/Latin crossover from Kansas City, Mo., is one energetic and catchy foursome. Though I’ve only heard the single, I feel as if seeing them live would be a blast. This danceable, rhythmic song is fast-paced and stays in your head. You don’t have to know Spanish to enjoy it. I’m pleasantly surprised that Kansas City has a group like this. Miratti has performed at Latino Gay Pride in the past and is scheduled to do so again this year. Don’t miss them. They are also active on Facebook, so be sure to follow them at Miratti.
Nothing This Real
My review for Justin Utley has been long overdue. He began his career as a Mormon singer-songwriter with a musical theater background, and his style of music is alternative country infused with folk. Utley’s voice is more on the pop end of the spectrum, but not over the top. My favorite songs are the slower ones like “State of Loneliness.” The faster songs are good, but there is something genuinely sweet about the more thoughtful songs. I especially enjoy the subtle bass line in “Guided Back to You.” If you are a fan of country or folk, check out this lighthearted album. Other favorites are “Moment for Me,” “Behind My Eyes” and “In July.”
Panic! at the Disco
Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die
(Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen)
I’ve always been a closet Panic! at the Disco fan, but it’s time I came out. They are alternative rock with pop elements. I’ve definitely noticed an evolution in their sound, but I’m not complaining. They started off a bit more eccentric and on the pop-experimental side. Now they sound a bit more like Fall Out Boy. The album jumps around a bit in style. Most of the songs are drastically different from one another. “Girl That You Love,” which is alternative techno glam, surprised me. “Nicotine” is my favorite because of its funky bass line, paired with a perfect drumbeat that wakes you up. Another good one is “Girls/Girls/Boys,” which touches on the subject of love not being a choice. “Casual Affair” is on the harder alternative side, and I could see it accidentally getting played on a metal radio station. This is a good album all around for alternative fans.
Laura Love and Big Bad Gina on Sept. 27 at UMKC
This one is for the ladies. Big Bad Gina is a frequent show-stopper and a two-time winner at Kansas City’s HRC Battle of the Bands. Now the band is on tour with Laura Love, who has been making music since the ’90s. Love’s music is as colorful as her background. She is African American, Caucasian, and Native American, and her style is a mix of lots of genres. Her website describes her sounds as “folk-funk.” Wikipedia says it is Afro-Celtic, influenced by bluegrass. She definitely has a bluesy folk sound. I really enjoy how she sings. When she belts it out, she sounds a bit like Jewel. She also rocks out as a bassist. Lady lovers, do not miss this one. "