CD Reviews: Hot Chelle Rae, Adele, Trey Songz and more
Hot Chelle Rae
Cruising in the wake of its soaring single "Tonight Tonight" ("There's a party on the rooftop, top of the world / Tonight tonight"), the second album of savvily produced pop from this young, Nashville-based dance-rock quartet is an assembly of insipid, unsophisticated, suburbs-cruising singalongs of the sort played before movie trailers ("... that was Hot Chelle Rae featuring Demi Lovato with their new smash hit 'Why Don't You Love Me' ... ") and faintly heard in shopping malls. In other words, it's exactly what it aims to be. With its All-American Rejects-style emo shadings and bevy of inoffensive guest raps (because singing along melodically is difficult, but anyone listening can passably rap - just be the first of your friends to remember the words!), HCR's latest has all the hallmarks of prime release-date filler - but then it never aspired to anything more.
The third record from this Brooklyn indie-rock trio (also known as the band on the Oneida-run local label Brah who aren't Oneida) shows them turning more toward the harmony-focused psychedelic '60s, injecting bright notes into the jagged wall of fuzzed-out guitars and meter-jumping drum patterns that comprised their previous works. The closer they edge to that more animated, more coherent source material, the better they sound, but it seems unlikely they will relinquish their love of harsh complications anytime soon.
A quick five-song hit of Songz's sultry R&B stylings just in time for the holidays.
"Siamese Dream"/ "Gish" Deluxe Edition CD/DVDs
The Smashing Pumpkins
The twin early '90s Pumpkin classics get the full-on archival treatment, with rarities and live show recordings.
"Live at the Royal Albert Hall" CD/DVD
Recorded at the storied London venue prior to her recent vocal-cord surgery, this queen-making concert shows the Brit sensation in fine form.