beefy track Made of Stone. To sum it up for you, it’s beyond the chills at the back of your neck with its tasty down-tuned riffs. The Change is in Lee’s favourite style, a classic orchestral while My Heart is Broken slowly rises from a gorgeous piano accompanied by haunting and vibrant vocals, propelling into a new direction as the drums kick in. The Other Side and Erase This are both embedded with ethereal heaviness – swirling synths, anthem choruses and heavy riffs. This band never played it safe and they stuck to that in this album. One of the tracks to look out for is Lost in Paradise. It’s the record’s centrepiece, the anticipated elegant dark ballad that follows in the footsteps of the all time favourite My Immortal. On the other hand, the record also holds more edgy songs like Sick, End of the Dream and Never Go Back coming from a slightly more metallic background. It’s impossible not to feel the band’s unique style with the presence of Lee’s strong and haunting harmonies making an entrance at the precise moment you think they can’t possibly kick it up another notch. The final two tracks on the record – Oceans and Swimming Home – are unlike anything Evanescence have ever written before. The former is a pianoless ballad (for once) and the latter an electronic piece, leaving a lot of space for the vocals to fill the void, accompanied by sensitive and heart warming lyrics. Overall, Evanescence explores the entire musical spectrum in this album, but that’s the whole beauty of the band. There’s always an Evanescence song that seems to be written for each one of us. Critics might say they are all over the place but perhaps the band just refuses to stay in one place. I’ve waited a long while for the new record and I think it was absolutely worth it.
Metals Album Review by Matthew Cattin
The lovely and gorgeous Leslie Feist is back on form for her third album, Metals, and what a treat it is! Since breaking into the music scene, she has done rather well for herself. She educated children and parents alike with her Sesame Street appearance, wooed Apple fans with her iPod adverts and won the hearts of sensitive men everywhere with her charming voice. If my review seems biased, I apologise. I have a crush. Like any Feist release, Metals delivers diversity, superb instrumentation and loads of surprises – a sure combination for repeated spins. You’ve got the usual double bass and piano combo so typical of her music, but sprinkled on top are horn sections, strings, percussion and great guitar work. Metals draws from a range of genre influences (jazz, blues, pop) but still manages to remain distinctly Feist, proving her prowess at making borrowed music her own. Opening track The Bad in Each Other is a pounding bluesy tune with just a smattering of badass. You can picture it well in a gritty woman film like Erin Brockovich. It begins with a stomp clap rhythm which breaks into a mean guitar riff before filling out with string and horn sections and a male counterpart singing harmony. It’s about as heavy as Feist gets but my goodness it’s a fun song. Graveyards is one of those songs that reminds you just how good Feist is. It displays so well the power and control she has in her voice but also the vulnerability and emotion she can evoke with the flick of a switch. It’s a bit of a creepy, dark song really, finishing with a chorus pleading “woah oh oh, bring ‘em all back to life”. As the album winds down, it’s time to whip out the ballads. The last three tunes are back to the sweet, chilled Feist we know and love; the rain on the window-pane, wine in hand kind of music that seems to stop the world for a few minutes. The beautiful harmonies and whimsical humming are sure to slow down your heart rate and make you pine for something you don’t have. Love it. Feist is an absolute gem. If you don’t know her music, get amongst it. In my humble opinion she is leading the way when it comes to female musicians. She’s super talented, super lovely and has a knack for surprising you with clever twists in every song. Brilliant album, brilliant artist, bring on Laneway.
Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty
Written by Andrew Bolton with Susannah Frankel and Tim Blanks Published by Yale University Press Book Review by Sophie Putze
When Lee Alexander McQueen passed away in 2010, a crater-sized hole was left in the heart of the fashion world. It was at the peak of his career that McQueen left his empire behind, which he’d spent extensive time building up, yet what an extraordinary body of work and inspiration he left lingering for us in the present. This book was published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name that ran at the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this year. With no definitive plans for this exhibit to travel internationally, this book is an even rarer gem for the many fans that couldn’t get to New York to see his clothes in person. There are hundreds of colour images of the garments, which were featured in the exhibition photographed by Sølve Sundsbø. These photographs perfectly capture the stunning beauty in the ugliness McQueen sought to convey through his work. Along with essays, quotes by McQueen himself concerning his collections, designs and creative process as well as an interview with Sarah Burton (the brand’s new head designer and most widely known for creating both Kate and Pippa Middleton’s royal wedding gowns) very few stones are left unturned. Burton’s insight in particular provides light into how the late designer worked and developed his fashions from someone who knew him perhaps better than anyone else, having been his assistant for 13 years prior to his passing. This book is perfect for fans of the late designer, anyone with interests in art, design and fashion or even those merely seeking creative inspiration. Read it and be amazed.
issue 25 2011
Welcome to the final issue of debate for 2011, brought to you by AuSM.