Let It Rock: They’re Back!

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None of the artists with new releases are new to me this week. I’ve loved them all in the past and now I’m coming back for more. Actually, they’re coming back to give me more and I’m taking it all with wide open arms. And I’m pretty psyched to hear some new stuff from some of my old favorites. It makes me feel at home and right where I belong. I’m so happy to have my old friends back again!

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A Fine Frenzy- Bomb in a Birdcage

I fell in love with A Fine Frenzy the first time I heard “Almost Lover.” Actually, it brought me to tears almost instantly. Now, I’m a pretty emotional person, so I guess that isn’t saying all too much, but really, if you haven’t heard this song yet, listen to it yet. I’ve had a rather emotional weekend as my sister just got married, so I was both excited and nervous to listen to the new album from A Fine Frenzy, Bomb in a Birdcage. But after my first listen-through, I realized that this was a much happier A Fine Frenzy then I remembered.

“Swan Song” is beautiful, as are many other tracks, but there’s nothing on the album quite like “Almost Lover.” I am totally loving “What I Wouldn’t Do,” which is a bit more upbeat and has the lyrics from Fine Frenzy that I crave. They’re so sweet and cute that they make me want to frolic in a field and have a picnic with my lover. Plus there’s whistling involved, and who doesn’t love whistling? “If I were old, my dearest, you would be older/But I would crawl upon your lap/Wrap a blanket ’round our frail little shoulders/And I’d die happily like that/Oh what I wouldn’t do/If I had you, babe, I had you/Oh what I wouldn’t do/If I had you, babe, if I had you/So lace your hands ’round the small of my back and I will kiss you like a king/I will be your bride, I’ll keep you warm at night/I will sing, I will sing.” So maybe, a Fine Frenzy didn’t get me crying like they did with “Almost Lover,” but I’m still happily singing along to their new album.

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Boys Like Girls- Love Drunk

Boys Like Girls isn’t the typical kind of music I listen to, but I have to admit I have a very soft place in my heart for them. It could partially be because I went to high school with the lead singer, but that’s not the only reason. I hadn’t really heard much about them until I met them at Warped Tour a couple years ago and realized they were from my hometown and Martin Johnson was a couple years below me in high school. So then I listened to their big hit single, “Great Escape,” and I totally loved it. And then I discovered there were lots of awesome tracks off their first self-titled album. So, I was dying to hear their sophomore album Love Drunk.

And, I’m going to be honest here, what was I most excited for in their new album? Their duet with Taylor Swift. Not only do I love Taylor, but I was really interested to see how they would pull this off. And “Two Is Better Than One” is a completely beautiful song. I actually walked into the room as it was playing and I thought it was Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova for a second (from the movie Once). It’s that beautiful! If this song hits the spotlight, which I hope it does, I really think it’s going to launch Boys Like Girls into something huge.

On a totally different note, “Real Thing” sounds like an 80s hit, in the best way possible. Even the lyrics are 80s-sounding: “Jamie’s in love/She’s got the summer blowing through her hair/She turns it up/She says tonight you take me anywhere/Bobby’s in luck/He got a fire burning in his eyes/He turns it up/And he says girl you better hold on tight.” And of course, I’m a fan of “Love Drunk,” the album’s title track. And the remix with Mark Hoppus, one of the bonus tracks, is pretty fabulous too. I believe this second album from Boys Like Girls is really going to get them far!

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Howie Day- Sound the Alarm

I’ll admit I became a Howie Day fan long ago. I saw him live before he was known at all and he was extremely good looking with a beautiful voice. How could I not fall in love right away? He even agreed to let me snap a picture with him, which I still have to this day. That was about 10 years ago. From then, he started to get bigger, but then got in some trouble. I think he was accused of assaulting a girl on his tour bus and maybe threw a fit in on an airplane too. Whatever. All I know is that I like his music, so I’m excited he just released a new album, Sound the Alarm. And now that he’s a bit older, hopefully he’s become a bit more mature too.

And he is! At least when it comes to his music. His voice even sounds a bit different, maybe a bit more commercial, but still Howie Day-ish. I remember one of the first things I liked about Howie Day’s music was its lyrics, and they’re still there as perfect as ever. I was immediately obsessed with “Longest Night” and its words: “Is it dark where you are?/Can you count the stars where you are?/Do you feel where you are /A thousand miles from home/Maybe there’s a point to this/Could it be something its I have missed/Here we are set into motion/Steal a car, we’ll crash in the ocean/You and I are caught in the fading light/On the longest night…” But “Be There” and “40 Hours” are also pretty amazing. I can’t get enough of the title track’s lyrics: “I don’t know if I could last/When I couldn’t rescue you/And I don’t know if my best/Is enough for me anymore.” But Howie Day makes me feel like everything’s OK by singing, “You know we’ll be alright.” Howie makes me feel at home again.

And it’s good to be home with Howie.

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