Album reviews: Louis Tomlinson, Nada Surf, Green Day and Meghan Trainor
THE former One Directioner finally delivers his long-awaited solo debut – and the time and effort Tomlinson has clearly put into this album really pays off.
Its best song is arguably Fearless, with a positive message of ignoring the opinions of others and living life without fear. Another great track is Don't Let It Break Your Heart because of its honesty and how Tomlinson, who lost both his mother and his sister within the space of three years, reflects on growing from trauma and how he's "doing better", the drum-powered build-up to the chorus giving it an optimistic, hopeful vibe.
On the other hand, Perfect Now echoes Tomlinson's One Direction days with the lyrics "you don't feel pretty" and "just keep your head up", perhaps resembling 1D's hit What Makes You Beautiful.
Walls is a thoroughly decent first album, proving the former X Factor star has the talent and passion to be a solo artist.
Never Not Together
TRY listening to So Much Love, the opening track on Nada Surf's ninth studio album, and not smile. It's nigh on impossible. And Never Not Together has another eight tracks just as good or even better.
The music is the same as Nada Surf have been making for a quarter of a century: Beatles-esque power pop, with an emphasis on pop (although Crowded Star has a dynamite guitar solo).
Looking For You is an almost orchestral waltz which then explodes into Technicolor. It should be played on radio stations across the world, but probably won't be.
Singer/guitarist Matthew Caws is also a great lyricist, particularly here on Mathilda, a heartbreaking song of growing up looking and sounding different and how cruel children can be – "My voice was kinda high, not a typical guy, they used to call me Mathilda, I was never sure why." It's brilliant, as is this album.
One day, Nada Surf will be recognised for their greatness.
Father of All Mother******s
DESCRIBED as being filled with the grungy, gritty rock sound we know of Green Day, Father of All Mother******s isn't the angry, rampant guitar music that I remember them for.
This is a well produced, glam-punk pop album. The grit from the American Idiot and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams-era has been rounded out. Father Of All is all guitars and muted mics, the glam rock is apparent from the get go, dipped into some early 80s glitter and reverb.
Ready, Aim, Fire feels like a White Stripes track but mixed with a hint of The Hives. However the glam is at its most rampant in Oh Yeah's chorus, which will make it a live performance favourite, while the classic 12 bar blues of rock 'n' roll belter that is Stab You In The Heart makes for a surprise moment.
An awesome progression for the Californian natives offering another aspect on modern Americana.
ORIGINALLY set for release in August 2018 but delayed until now while the US singer wrote more songs, Treat Myself has been worth the wait: it's full of the vocal powerhouse's trademark nostalgic-infused pop sound – a little bit retro and a little bit sassy, but with a more rounded and grown-up energy compared to her earlier work.
A mix of R&B, doo-wop, pop and funk, and with duets with the likes of Nicki Minaj and Pussycat Dolls, it has a largely positive narrative, reflecting where she is in her life right now, while giving listeners an excuse to dance and smile.
Stand-out tracks include album opener and single Waves, a moody-sounding pop track with an epic choral backing, Funk, a pure delight of a song that sounds almost like a Bruno Mars number, and the fun Evil Twin, where she sings about the side to herself she doesn't like.