I'll edit my opinions into this post as I listen to the albums in question. My rating scale: 1-3 is horrid, 4-5 is subpar, 6 is decent, 7-8 is great, 9 is brilliant, and 10 is mindblowing.
The Lateness of the Hour by Alex Clare (7.5/10)
A collection of fun, dubstep-influenced soul / pop, this is a great lighthearted listen. "Up All Night" and "Too Close" are particularly fun; the last pair of songs provide some welcome balladry. The lyrics aren't deep, but the singer's voice adds some extra emotion, and they're sound enough for soul and pop.
The Inevitable and I by Harvard (8/10)
Harvard must have taken an awful lot of pages from Circa Survive's book: the airy guitars, the lead vocals, the prevailant moodiness... it was all in Juturna and On Letting Go, and this album sounds a lot like a combination of those two albums. I would not call this album progressive rock but indie rock / post-hardcore with some experimental influences. The only problem with this album is that every single song tries to be moody and thoughtful in basically the same emotional fashion; as such, my favorite songs in the album are the ones that inject welcome energy into the song lineup -- "On With Disease", "Ghost", "Hands to Hesitate", "What We Had", "Hallucinating the Horse", and "The Creative" -- though title track "Inevitable and I" isn't a half-bad acoustic track.
Black Ice by AC/DC (7/10)
Straightforward rock / classic rock makes for a fun, refreshing listen. I can't decipher the lyrics -- the singer's voice makes the task difficult -- but as far as I can tell, they're your typical rock 'n' roll lyrics about girls and rock 'n' roll and rebellion and not much else. They aren't the highlight, though; the crunching electric guitars are, and they perform well in the limelight.
On the Way to Wonderland by Sunrise Avenue (7/10)
Normally, I would enjoy the cross between pop rock and alternative rock that defines On the Way to Wonderland, but considering the entire album is based around that same radio-ready feel and (in my humble opinion) the lyrics are subpar, the album loses some of its enjoyment value. The songs in this album are best listened to by themselves or in small bunches; that's not to say the album as a whole is bad -- it isn't -- it just could be better if there were more variety. The songs that stood out to me were "Fairytale Gone Bad", "Into the Blue", and "Wonderland".
The Heart of Everything by Within Temptation (8/10)
Musically, this album is fantastic; I'm a sucker for symphonic rock / metal, and Within Temptation is no exception. Lyrically, however, the focus is on failed relationships, which wouldn't be bad if whoever wrote them hadn't insisted on using the most dramatic descriptive words he / she / they could find -- I got the impression of lyrics written to sound as grand-sounding as their music was. That said, this album was worth a listen just for the music, and the vocalist's voice (if not the lyrics she sings) is great. The songs "The Howling", "What Have You Done", "The Truth Beneath the Rose", and "Forgiven" stood out the most to me musically, though that's probably due to their accessibility. I would love to hear an instrumental version of this album.
Last edited by Legolover-361 on 16th May 2012, 11:14 pm; edited 24 times in total