Hello Stranger: Hello Strangers
I gave a copy of this album as a Christmas gift to my older sister and also to a former friend in 2006, and glad am I that I did. Great music is timeless, and I consider this album as one to remain a classic. I play it whenever I need a different kind of boost in a day needing a stimulant other than the usual coffee, tea, candy, and, yes, even friends—you get the point. It’s a treat for one’s self on a personal retreat. It’s a different kind of chocolate. It’s music that evokes inner strength during difficult times, less the sophomoric angst. It exudes youthful fun, yet is lyrically mature. It’s profound and inspiring, minus the gloom. It’s laidback without the stupor. It’s a fine cup of tea without the English pomp. (Anyway, this is a group from L.A., I thought I might add, but you might have known that already.)
This album is coherent from track to track and the solid vocal, which is simultaneously angelic and raspy, is nicely complemented by melodies that are upbeat enough to dance to, or soothing enough to serenade and carry you away. The point is this: Hello stranger is as cool and comforting as a breeze and, of course, a box of fine chocolates like Lindt’s, sans the calories of course. My favorite is “Learn Again to Feel”, along with “Robody”, “Her in These Lights”, “Which Side Is Mine”, “Plain and Simple”, “Dancing for No One”, and “Let It Ride”.
Shiny Toy Guns: We are Pilots (v3)
This is another album I still listen to, though it debuted in 2006 also. While this music is a bit angst-ridden, it’s definitely armored with an ample supply of funky, electronic beats to counter the anguish being sung about. Their music, supported by poignant lyrics and strong vocals, grants integrity to what the group wants to portray in their looks. This band’s offbeat style (image), music, and message are cohesive. It’s convincing. I bought it and, surely, many others have too.
Apparently, the band has released their new album, along with a new muse. I don’t know the story behind it, which is definitely somewhere out there on the net just clicks away for the curious. My take is this: This album is another awesome music to have around, especially when one is thirsting for a louder self-expression, literally. Shiny Toy Guns screams the message that it’s okay to voice out what you think every now and then, with or without a latte, or an Earl Grey for that matter. My favorites are “Don’t Cry Out”, “Jackie Will Save Me”, and “Shaken”.