Rooney - Calling the World
Several years have passed since Rooney's first effort, which was quite a success due to it's connection with popular television show The O.C. After scrapping numerous amounts of material throughout the last few years they finally settled upon Calling the World. Where the first album was effortlessly breezy pop rock this time around they seem much more desperate to regain the same spark.
From a weak opening with the Weezeresque title track to the uninspiring lead single "When Did Your Heart Go Missing". Even if the album is a lapse in progression it's still a reasonably fun listen from time to time, with the blatant hooks and melodies that are occasionally executed. Sporting the very retro Beatles/Doors inspired artwork and usually wearing the Beach Boys influence on their sleeve Rooney head in the direction of a more 80's power pop groove, especially in "Are You Afraid" and "I Believe in Me" with the use of synthesizers and the cheesy knock off riffs you just know you've heard before.
It's upsetting that the band couldn't successfully follow up the likes of "I'm Shakin" and "Blueside" which are some of the best work they've produced. Not to come away empty handed in this inferior effort. Robert and the boys supply us with some pop gems in "I Should've Been After You", strings induced "Help Me Find My Way" and riff rockin' "Don't Come Around Again". Hopefully next time they don't leave it too long between sessions and return more focused.
Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me
It has to be said, ever since Twiggy left or was fired, whatever, things in the Manson camp haven't been quite the same. The quality in songs have dwindled substantially and he seems to of lost his relevance in today's music scene. Has Marilyn Manson lost his mojo? It certainly appears so, though Mike Myers ended up getting his back, being the character he is or portrays I wonder if he'll ever return to form.
With John 5 gone pursuing a solo career, ex-German industrial outfit KMFDM member Tim Skold has taken over the reins as Manson's main collaborator having the main creative output of this record. Quite a departure from 2003's Golden Age of Grotesque pop industrial feel, returning to the more traditional rocking roots of his previous efforts only lacking that suckerpunch edge which made the predecessor's so effective. This is the first record in over three years, with many stories and reports citing his ongoing personal problems. With a new muse at his side in Hollywood actress Evan Rachel wood, strangley enough he picked himself up and began writing new material.
The album sticks to a certain substance/structure leading off with "If I Was Your Vampire" almost boring but entertaining enough if you're game enough to presevere. Gone mostly is the cheesy generic riffs of GAOG exchanged for solos and more effiecient guitar work. "Heart Shape Glasses" is the catchy single while slowburning "Just a Car Crash Away" and pop fused "Mutilation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery" could be the best the album has to offer. This is a standard rock affair in which newcomers will be sure to relish, though less edgy and provocative than his 90's records, some say this is a return to form and the start of a new creative tenure.
Sadly Eat Me, Drink Me is mostly style over substance, lacking any real long lasting masterpieces. Now a shadow of his former self or persona, Manson seems to be drowning in his own post-relevance, with most of the core members of any of his strong periods either now gone or fired it's just not the same.