Will Love’s monthly music memo
Panic! at the Disco
Viva Las Vengeance, which marks the seventh studio album from Panic! at the Disco, is a breath of fresh air. Brendon Urie describes the album as “a look back at who I was 17 years ago and who I am now with the fondness I didn’t have before,” and it shows. There is a sense of nostalgia coupled with freshness simultaneously on this record.
Viva Las Vengeance is a good balance of new music with influences from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Influences being the keyword, as it is not a carbon copy of music from that era compared to that of a lot of pop music trending today. “Middle of a Breakup” is a highly relatable track lyrically and infectious musically. For those who recently experienced a breakup, this is a highly relatable track. “Don’t Let the Light Go Out” is a perfectly produced rock ballad, while “Local God” is about local talent who never got the chance at fame, sympathizing with many small acts in the music industry hoping for a come-up. This is an album that is going to be amazing when performed live on tour this fall.
Unwanted marks the third studio album by UK import band Pale Waves, who recently concluded opening for 5 Seconds of Summer and is now embarking on their first United States headlining tour. Pale Waves is known for their in-depth lyrics, and this album, recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, is by far the band’s most vulnerable effort thus far.
While Pale Waves’ previous albums contained influences from the 80s and 90s, musically, this album is a more current infusion of alternative and pop-punk. “The Hard Way” delves into feelings of guilt following a classmate’s suicide and is excellent at addressing the problem of bullying. “Numb” is an emotional, stripped-down, moving track that addresses depression, while “Lies” is a Paramore-esque anthem about dealing with torturous betrayal. This is an underrated effort by a band to keep on your radar.
Madonna came up in the club scene before becoming one of the biggest artists in the world and always integrated dance music throughout her catalog. This latest album pays homage to her roots. Finally Enough Love is a welcome effort by the queen of pop who selected her favorite remixes, which includes various reworked renditions.
While the album has been criticized for its odd selection, critics and fans alike need to keep in mind these are Madonna’s favorites, and it is an interesting look at what she appreciates most within her own work. This first edition of the album is 16 tracks, while the second edition features a whopping 50 tracks, which pay homage to Madonna’s 50 Billboard chart-toppers. This album features a wide array of DJs, from John “Jellybean” Benitez, the resident DJ at Fun House in New York, where Madonna used to dance, to Pet Shop Boys. At the end of the day, this is a remix album every fan will appreciate, and non-fans can even enjoy it to a certain degree, given the variety of dance sounds incorporated.
At this point, shock value has become Demi Lovato’s Achilles’ heel. Demi is an exceptionally talented musician and actress. Nevertheless, recently she has been in the press for everything from acronyms (she dropped the “they/them” and is back to “she/her”) to her “shroom room” real estate.
Holy Fvck, which marks Demi’s eighth studio album, already kicks off with an eye-roll due to the title. However, lyrically and musically, this is a solid piece of work, and pop and rock listeners alike should give this album a chance. Demi has battled with addiction, mental illness, and multiple rehab stays, the latter of which she addresses straight out of the gate on “Skin of My Teeth.” Between the metal guitar and screaming fits, “Freak” illustrates how well Demi’s vocals compliment a more authentic rock sound. “29” is about the mind fuck of being involved with a narcissistic older man who knows what he is doing, something myself and I am sure many others can relate to. “Wasted” likens the intoxicating feelings of new love as a drug. In 2008, Demi Lovato expressed her interest in metal to Rolling Stone, and this new album feels like Demi is finally able to showcase her vision musically, and the punk vibe fits her perfectly.
Concerts at Prudential Center:
Post Malone Friday October 7th 8pm NCT 127 Thursday October 13th 8pm We Outside Comedy Tour Friday October 14th 8pm Iron Maiden Friday October 21st 7:30pm Mary J. Blige Sunday October 23rd 7pm Disney On Ice November 2nd – 6th Various Millennium Tour Friday November 11th 8pm Blackpink November 14th – 15th 8pm AEW Rampage / Full Gear November 18th – 19th 8pm Ateenz November 27th – 28th 7:30pm Casting Crowns with Cain & Anne Wilson Wednesday November 30th 7:30pm