All posts by theclassiclifesite

Greatness and Mortality in “The Man” and “Run For Cover” review

On September 22nd, The Killers will be releasing their fifth album Wonderful Wonderful. Fortunately, they have already put out two singles, “The Man” and “Run For Cover” to give a brief taste into what we should expect.  Each explores two contrasting ideas, grandiosity and defeat, that the veteran band has earned over a decade of success.

The Killers consist of front man Brandon Flowers, guitarist Dave Keunig, bassist Mark Stoermer, and drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. Their music effortlessly combines American folklore with human potential, creating a sort of invincible joy in the listener. Through the years, they continue to evolve their music style in each of their albums.

Hot Fuss (2004) gave us their youthful rebellion through glam rock; Sam’s Town (2006) delivered an intimate and daring look into young love via hard rock; Day And Age (2008) used pop rock to explore the legacy of joy and destruction that we all create in our lifetime, and Battle Born (2012) beamed loud anthemic rock, fighting off the band’s mortality against the growing market of soft-singing and auto-tuning rock bands.

The Killers also mastered inserting strong lyrics and far-reaching instrumental into their final verses, inspiring the listener, like a second wind energizing a fallen boxer. There are great songs, with captivating final verses, like “All These Things That I’ve Done” (2:31 – 3:27), “When You Were Young” (1:55 – 2:33), “A Dustland Fairytale” (2:14 – 2:47), and “Flesh And Bone” (2:15 – 3:05).

Wonderful Wonderful is a possible return, in music and style, to Sam’s Town and Day And Age. But now, The Killers feel established, accepting their greatness and, without apology, their mortality.

The Man

Verse 1

I know the score like the back of my hand / Them other boys, I don’t give a damn / They kiss on the crown, I carry the crown / Nothing can break, nothing can break me down / Don’t need no advice, I got a plan / I know the direction, the lay of the land / I know the score like the back of my hand / Them other boys, I don’t give a damn

I’m the man, come around / Nothing can break, nothing can break me down / I’m the man, come around and / Nothing can break, you can’t break me down

The Killers immediately bring out their swagger in this pop, chorus-heavy single ready for the radio. The first verse showcases the band’s established stature in the rock genre, knowing the ins and outs of success, with their self-esteem intact against the number of upstart bands ready to dethrone them.

Chorus

I got gas in the tank / I got money in the bank / I got news for you, baby, you’re looking at the man / I got skin in the game / I got a household name / I got news for you, baby, you’re looking at the man

The chorus establishes the fact that The Killers have nothing more to prove. They have gained everything possible: endurance, wealth, sacrifice, and popularity. This single teases the idea that the Killers are going after something more lasting.

Verse #2

When it comes to Friday, I always earn / Don’t try to teach me, I got nothing to learn / Cause baby I’m gifted / You see what I mean? / USDA certified lean

I’m the man, come around / Nothing can break, you can’t break me down

The second verse, layered with two chorus parts, felt a bit forced but it reinforced the idea that this band is talented and commercially successful. Ultimately this section could be something the average listener hums along to

Verse #3 (aka Second Wind)

Right hand to God / First in command / My testimony, but I take the stand

The third verse could be a solemn oath that the band will use to stake their future success, not on material gains, but on their music every time Brandon flowers steps on the stage. “The Man” is simple and catchy enough for the radio, ready to show The Killers’ brazen greatness.

Run For Cover

Verse #1

What have you gathered to report to your progenitors? / Are your excuses any better than your senator’s? / He held a conference and his wife was standing by his side / He did her dirty, but no-one died

I saw Sonny Liston on the street last night / Black-fisted and strong singing ‘Redemption Song / He motioned me to the sky /I heard heaven and thunder cry

Chorus

Run for cover / Run while you can, baby, don’t look back / You gotta run for cover / Don’t be afraid of the fear, that is a played-out trap, man / You know you’re not the only one / And don’t look back, just run for cover

“Run For Cover” is nuanced and layered, exploring the theme of fear and mortality.  I want to credit Atwood Magazine’s article “This Just In: The Killers ‘Run For Cover’ With A Restless Urgency” for their analysis. While we agree with their review, we will provide a more in-depth critique.

 

Related image
– The Killers, from left, Ronnie Vannucci Jr, Brandon Flowers, Dave Keunig, and Mark Stoermer.

 

The moment the song starts, the guitar strums with a rush that promises something epic. The first verse possibly questions our legacy as hypocrites, no better than adulterous leaders, with excuses too empty to bequeath to the future.

Like all tainted men of power, Sonny Liston was the first vision Brandon Flowers witnessed. The boxer, notoriously known as “The Champ that Nobody Wanted”, famously fell at the hands of Muhammad Ali and was set for eternal defeat in boxing lore. Sonny, attempting to escape such a fate, is singing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”, only to have the chorus explain that even champs should be brave to run away to fight their doom.

2nd Verse

What are you waiting for, a kiss or an apology / You think by now, you’ll have an A in toxicology / It’s hard to pack the car when all you do is shame us / It’s even hard when the dirtbag’s famous

I saw my mother on the street last night / All pretty and strong, singing “The Road is Long” / I said, “Momma I know you’ve tried” / But she fell on her knees and cried

The second verse continues the story of tainted men of power always seeking forgiveness, especially if these leaders are inherently noxious. The Killers show that shame may not be enough of a powerful motivator for these poisonous men to change their behavior.

Even Brandon’s vision of his mother, who is possibly singing Neil Diamond’s “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, teaches that altruism and selfless love is the goal of every human but it may be necessary to run away from these vile men and accept that may be the bravest choice.

Final Verse

And there was nothing she wouldn’t give / Just to trust him with her nightmares, with her dreams / She’s running, she’s running / Just to trust him / He’s got a big smile, he’s fake new / Just run for cover, you’ve got nothing left to lose

In the nuanced final verse, the guitar silences its aggression and the listener lands on hallowed ground. The “she” could be Brandon’s mother, or an innocent associated with these powerful corrupted men. Mentioning “he’s fake news”, one could think of Trump as an example. The listener could feel a sting of pain when “she” isn’t running away from such men, but running fatally towards these false idols.

“Run For Cover” is a strong example of The Killer’s forte, but it was the surprises that will please any fan. As a rarity, it referenced our political climate, directly noted two popular songs, and most noteworthy, it described Sonny Liston’s skin color without the band having to look sideways for any internet outrage. I appreciated The Killers daring to go into uncharted waters.

Both songs were about The Killers growing up. Realizing that they were still a great band, The Killers no longer had to prove it. No longer had to fight every battle. Ultimately, these two singles are hinting that the album will be their most intimate in-depth look at how The Killers views their hard-earned success.

 

Image result for the killers album cover run for cover
– Wonderful Wonderful album cover, releasing on September 22, 2017

 

Korean Hip Hop Star Jay Park Signs with Roc Nation

On July 21st, the news of Jay Park’s signing with Roc Nation was announced extending their roster of talented artists.

66jay-park-jay-z-roc-nation

Jay Park was a member of the K-pop group 2 pm before launching a successful solo career in 2010. Park is the first Asian American to sign with Roc Nation. He took to Instagram to share the news stating, ” This is a win for the Town This is a win for Korea This is a win for Asian Americans This is a win for the overlooked and underappreciated This is a win for genuine ppl who look out for their ppls This is a win for hard work and dedication This is a win for honesty and authenticity Thank you for the acknowledgement and recognition”

In 2013 Park founded his own independent hip hop/urban record label called AOMG, short for Above Ordinary Music Group. Using his label to support artists and producers so that they can develop their craft as individual artists first, without the restrictions of commercialism.

Since then Park has become a multi platinum artist releasing four studio albums, including his bilingual album Everything You Wanted. Jay Park has helped lead the K-pop phenomenon becoming an international icon in the Hip Hop and R&B community. He has stayed true to his culturally American roots, and his Korean roots, as the multicultural styles can be found throughout his music.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington: My Personal Heartbreak

By now many, if not all fan’s know that Chester Bennington, lead singer of one of the most iconic alternative rock bands took his own life. It’s been a week since the news broke and It hasn’t been easy revisiting the horror and shock of what’s happened. For many teenagers, Linkin Park was the voice that helped us out of the darkest places. Above all Chester’s voice was the beacon of light that guided us through.

The first time Linkin Park entered my life was through their first single “Numb”. Watching their debut music video on MTV was an experience that changed the way I listened and felt the music. This was a new genre for me as I figured out where I belonged in my adolescent world. I owned every album leading up to ‘The Hunting Party’. My favorites being Hybrid Theory, Meteora, and ReanimationI stayed committed even though their sound started to change. Afterward, I stopped listening as much and revisited their hits periodically. When news of Chester Bennington’s suicide broke, I felt numb. Memories of that first song and the lyrics came rushing back to me all at once and the feeling was almost overwhelming.

I fought to understand what had happened and mourned that he was gone and I would never get the chance to see him perform live. I missed the opportunity when they came to Brooklyn and their show was canceled. I was so hurt by the realization that he was in fact truly gone, that I decided to pay my own personal tribute and face my personal heartbreak. After gathering my equally heartbroken friends together, we arranged a karaoke session, sang all of our favorite Linkin Park songs, and did our best Chester Bennington impersonations. I can’t say now that I’ve gotten over it, however, Chester will remain an important part of my life experience. Helping to mold me into the person I am now.

Chester’s legacy will forever live on in all the lives of the people he’s touched. His family, friends, fans and all who were touched by Linkin Park’s music. He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

LP_BAnn_960x300linkin-park-foto-por-nimiroff

PSY New Album and M/V Release

Mega K-Pop idol PSY released his new Album on Wednesday, May 10 followed by two new M/Vs “Luv It” and “New Face”. Sticking to his signature quricky and outrageous shinanigans. In “New Face” Naeun of Apink, plays Pys’s love interest as he tries, by playing different roles, to win her love. The album and M/Vs are filled with collabs of well-known stars including, Lee Byung Hun (Terminator), Singer Pikotaro of “PPAP” (Pen-Pinapple-Apple-Pen), BigBang’s Taeyang and G-dragon, and IU(아이유). Typical of Psy’s albums is a signature dance-pop feel with encorparated EDM. He’s also worked with well known Korean producers JY Park and Zico. 

Check out “Luv It” below ft Lee Byung Hun and Pikotaro, all of which show off their most effortless dance moves.

 

New York City: Welcome Back Grammys

New York welcomes the Grammys for the first time since 2003 hosting the Grammys at none other than Madison Square Garden on Jan 28, 2018. Next year will be the 60th anniversary of the award show. It’s no surprise considering New York is a major music city that artists from all walks of life come to live their dreams and make it big. Spike Lee, Q-Tip, and Grandmaster Flash in conjunction with the ceremony have released a video to make the announcement.

Mayor Bill Deblasio of New York has been outspoken about hosting the event stating ” It is incredibly exciting that Music’s biggest night return to the world’s greatest city”

“Playing host to the music industry’s marquee awards show is a unique creative, artistic and economic boon to the rich cultural fabric of our city, we welcome the Grammy Awards back to New York City with open arms and we look forward to continuing to partner with music a industry that supports access and empowerment in the arts.”

G – Dragon ACT III, MOTTE

g-dragon-posterYG Entertainment

 

V.I.P’s REJOICE! Big Bang leader G-Dragon is touring North America and Canada. Tickets for the event are now on sale at Ticketmaster and  VIP Nation.

July 11 Seattle, WA Key Arena
July 14 San Jose, CA SAP Center
July 16 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
July 19 Houston, TX Toyota Center
July 21 Chicago, IL United Center
July 25 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena
July 27 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
July 30 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre

 

KYLE – iSpy (feat. Lil Yachty)

When it works it works. If the video leaves you happy but confused, it’s ok you’re not alone. The duo, KYLE, and Lil Yachty are seen as toddlers (CGI) playing in a sandbox while innocently or not so innocently playing at make believe while bikini-clad women prance and lounge around the beach.  In his interview with FADER, KYLE explains his ideas behind the music video stating, “This song is fun. The video needs to be twice as fun.” Check it out.