Adrian’s Comfort Playlist Pt. I

I have a saying: “When in sheer agonizing self-doubt… put on music.” Music has been an extremely therapeutic tool for me (like, actually sitting down and listening to music and nothing else), even more so nowadays. Sometimes music weathers the mood, other times encompasses it. These are some very solitary days we have ahead of us and so full of uncertainty. If we’re gonna be stuck in our homes for a while, then I’ll need a soundtrack to blot out the gloom of the news.

Fortunately, I freakin’ love making playlists full-stop. (Back when we used to burn CDs, I was your guy.) I’ve stuck by a select set of songs these past two weeks that I’ve since dubbed as my Comfort Playlist and I felt like passing them along. Not to brag, but I’ve been told I have TERRIBLE taste in music. Here’s a current collection of songs that have helped me allay some of today’s dread. Continue reading

PVRIS – ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ Review

There’s nothing more perilous for a band on the rise than the dreaded sophomore slump. You’ve had a successful debut and are now expected to replicate that success. That pressure can either be debilitating, or liberating. PVRIS (pronounced “Paris”) came into the alternative spotlight in 2014 with White Noise – a lush, atmospheric fusion of electro-pop rock (think Evanescence’s gothic style, with Paramore’s catchy hooks). Their second effort, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, refines their rough edges and explores a deeper, far more cutting emotional terrain. If White Noise hinted at the band’s scars, All We Know is them peeling away the bandages and revealing their wounded souls.  Continue reading

Nobody Puts ‘Baby Driver’ in a Corner

When Baby and Debora first meet, they fret about who’s got more songs based off their name. “You’ve got us beat,” Debora remarks of Baby. “You’re in all the songs!” She’s not wrong. Baby Driver takes its name from a Simon & Garfunkel song, while Debora, referencing a 90’s Beck song, notes that the track isn’t even about her, but a sister named Jenny, the lead singer wanting to get with the two of them. Neither Baby nor Debora need to spin themselves in circles about their namesake because writer-director Edgar Wright spins an ode to genre cinema and jukebox nostalgia, one so rhythmic and catchy that we’ll be singing to the tune of Baby and Debora while gleefully soaring down the highway. At a reasonable speed, of course.  Continue reading

Blink-182 – ‘California Deluxe’ Album Review

No other band has been more influential in pop-punk than blink-182. Their trademark verve spawned a slew of imitators, none nearly as innovative as Blink was in their prime. Last year’s California was a bold reintroduction and a promising sign of life in the wake of one member’s unfortunate departure. Rejuvenated, it appears the band is taking in a victory lap with an encore-reissue of California. Spoiling us with 11 new tracks, California Deluxe proves that their collaboration with Matt Skiba was no fluke, and the re-release has arrived just in time for another round of summer.  Continue reading

Linkin Park – ‘One More Light’ Album Review

There are two sides to every fandom: the “die-hard” and the “true” fan. The former sticks with a band through thick and thin, while the latter longs for the good ol’ glory days. With the release of Linkin Park’s seventh studio album, the rift in fandom has never been more potent, or hostile. While fans (including myself) are fretting over where they stand, either with this new poppy iteration of the band or the one that gave them Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park has made a firm commitment on where they reside artistically with One More LightContinue reading