The new music keeps coming, and I can only cover so many albums at a time, so let's take a look at a few more recent tracks.
Taylor Swift - ...Are You Ready
The first song released from Taylor's new album was awful, and this one is just slightly less awful. Turning to pop was one thing, but now Taylor has gone fully into the dark world of trap percussion, which renders her meaningless to her own music. There is no space for her to actually sing, so she wades through the mist of this 'song' looking for something to do. It might be catchy like a sickening virus, but it's certainly not good.
Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft
Kelly Clarkson is perhaps my favorite pop performer. Her voice is fantastic, and "Breakaway" is a flawless pop album that is one of my all time favorites. It's always nice to see her return, but this time I can't say I'm excited. This song, like Taylor before her, goes so far into the modern 'percussion and nothing else' approach that what made her earlier music great is missing. She sounds great, as you would expect, but there isn't a melody to anchor the song. The hook is a repetitive mantra, and not up to par.
Europe - Walk The Earth
These guys were a huge surprise to me with their last album, which was amazing. The first single from their follow-up is now out, and it's once again pretty good. They have matured into a full-on Deep Purple styled band, with huge organs and organic guitar tones. I absolutely love that sound, even if this composition isn't quite as strong as the better songs from the last record. This is still good, and bodes well for the album.
Sons Of Apollo - Sign Of The Times
Mike Portnoy's new progressive metal band is making grand proclamations, and this is the only song we have so far to judge them on. They talk bigger than they should, but their first effort is very good. It's a nice blend of modern and classic prog metal, with plenty of heaviness, melody, and instrumental prowess. It's the best platform Bumblefoot has ever had, and this song piqued my interest. I wasn't keen on the idea of the band when I heard about it, but I'm certainly going to check out the record now.
Skarlett Riot - Break
We finish off with the best of the bunch. I've already heard the entire album (a review is upcoming), but with the single just being released, we need to talk about them now. Skarlett Riot are able to toe the line between modern rock and heavy metal, with solid guitar riffs and great vocal melodies. Skarlett Riot fall into the same category that Forever Still did last year; heavy and catchy music that retains an energetic appeal through sing-along hooks. This is just the first taste of an album made up of ten songs of this quality.