North Texas Daily

Fresh Beats: Skrillex, The Kooks and “Fever”

Fresh Beats: Skrillex, The Kooks and “Fever”

Fresh Beats: Skrillex, The Kooks and “Fever”
April 01
01:43 2014

Nicholas Friedman // Staff Writer

Skrillex – “Coast is Clear (ft. Chance the Rapper)”

After staying quiet and cryptic about work on a new studio album for quite some time, Skrillex released a mobile game called “Alien Ride” on iOS and Android platforms in early March. With this, many fans were left wondering what Sonny Moore had really been up to this whole time if not making music. What they found in this app was “Recess,” a brand new studio album in its entirety, hidden within the game after being unlocked by reaching a certain score.

One of the more talked about tracks is that of an unlikely collaboration with Chicago-hailed Chance the Rapper. The track steers clear of rap and hip-hop tropes, instead favoring a fast-paced, upbeat rhythm carried along by the crooning of Chance and his signature squawks. Those expecting something akin to Skrillex’s previous rap collaboration with A$AP Rocky will find something different here, contributing to its unusual style. Skrillex may not be at his peak, but Chance the Rapper is, making this song worth a listen.

+ Chance the Rapper is front and center

+ Different from “Wild for the Night” with A$AP Rocky

+ Doesn’t depend on tropes

–  Skrillex is not at his best

Rating: 4/5

The Kooks – “Down”

Sometimes a band will return from hiatus and regurgitate old sound in hopes that everyone who was a fan of them before is still around to form a crowd. Luke Pritchard and his brit-rock blokes don’t seem to be having that problem this time.

“Down,” the new single from highly revered and publicly controversial British rock group The Kooks takes the band’s sound to a whole new plane – and it works well. Pritchard powers a loud, soulful and melodic voice through a track reminiscent of early Rolling Stones songs. The Kooks capture an essence of music that is in your face, annoying at times and as vulgar as anything, but you just can’t help but tap your foot along to it. After two mildly disappointing outings from its previous releases, the Kooks may be on track to match the greatness of its first release “Inside In/Inside Out” (2006). Look for a new album this summer.

+ The Kooks are back, for real this time

+ Early Rolling Stones influence

+ Loud and proud

–  Sound mixing is a little odd

Rating: 4.5/5

The Black Keys – “Fever”

Garage rock duo The Black Keys have been making music since 2001, but its popularity has only just recently reached critical mass. Following the release of two Grammy award-winning albums, “Brothers” (2010) and “El Camino” (2011), The Black Keys are back with the lead single, “Fever” from the upcoming album release “Turn Blue.”

The good news is the song is exactly what you’d expect. The bad news is that it seems a bit stale. The Black Keys are known for a deep, blues-influenced piano rock style, but this track doesn’t take any chances. It’s solid, it’s complete and it serves its purpose, but fans of the duo’s earlier work may want something more from “Fever” since it has been three years since the band has released anything new. While the entirety of “Turn Blue” can’t be judged before the album is released, it’ll be interesting to see if the trademark Black Keys style can be shaken up and made new again before fans move on to something else.

+ Solid and complete track

+ Emulates what was good about earlier work

– Style may be getting stale

– Boring at times

Rating: 2.5/5

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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