Reviews: Miley Cyrus, Cage the Elephant, A Day to Remember & more

The album artwork for Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" (FILE)
The album artwork for Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" (FILE)

By Brad Belemjian& John Connor Coulston // Staff Writers

Cage the Elephant – Melophobia

Cage the Elephant’s third album takes several listens to sink in. While its predecessor bled ’90s alternative, Melophobia combines sounds from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s into an ambitious full length. Even though it isn’t as accessible as their previous work, it shows that Cage the Elephant is one of the few mainstream alternative acts continuing to expand their sound. – JC

Danny Brown – Old

Since the release of his acclaimed XXX album, Danny Brown has been surrounded by hype and his latest release justifies the buzz. The two-sided LP tells Brown’s story of growing up in the slums of Detroit to becoming one of rap’s most charismatic figures. The album balances straightforward rap cuts with crowd pleasing bangers, making it one of the best hip-hop releases this year. – JC

A Day To Remember – Common Courtesy

ADTR’s sixth studio release begins with a heartfelt tribute to their hometown with “City of Ocala” and concludes with a nostalgic look back on their career with “I Remember.” However, don’t assume they’ve gone soft. Jeremy McKinnon can pack a punch with his ferocious screams on tracks like “Dead & Buried” and “Violence (Enough is Enough).” In other words, A Day To Remember is ‘right back at it again.’ – BB

Diplo – Revolution

Major Lazer member/twerking music pioneer Diplo returns with his follow up to last year’s Express Yourself EP. Revolution contains four original tracks and two remixes that deliver his trademark sound of trap beats, EDM melodies and bass drops. Tracks like “Biggie Bounce” and the Mike Posner-featuring “Crown” are sure to be included on many party soundtracks this fall. – JC

Korn – The Paradigm Shift

Korn plays it safe this time around, unlike on 2010’s dubstep/metal mash-up The Path of Totality. From aggressively melodic songs like “Prey For Me” and “What We Do,” to the electronic infused ballad “Never Never,” Korn’s 11th studio effort is as solid as ever. However, after a few listens each track will start to sound like the last. – BB

Mayday Parade – Monsters in the Closet

Aside from a couple of memorable songs like “Ghosts” and “Demons,” Mayday Parade’s latest release, Monsters in the Closet, does little to progress their aging sound. Vocalists Derek Sanders and Jake Bundrick have great vocal chemistry, however by the end of the album their boyish charm begins to tire. Not even impressive guitar work from Alex Garcia and Brooks Betts can help this by-the-numbers album. – BB

Miley Cyrus – Bangerz

After hearing Bangerz, it’s clear that Miley’s transformation album will only be remembered for the controversy surrounding it. While it isn’t a horrendous pop album, it most definitely isn’t a good one. It has catchy singles in “We Can’t Stop,” “Wrecking Ball” and “Love Money Party,” but that’s about it. The quality of the rest of the songs ranges from bland, to absolute trash. – JC

Panic! at the Disco – Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!

It’s been a bumpy road for Panic! since their debut album shot them into the spotlight eight years ago. With Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, it appears that the band has regained its traction and is starting to increase their fan base yet again. But while the new album is enjoyable and sees the group work with more electronics, it lacks the fun and energy that made their debut such a great release. – JC

Pusha T – My Name Is My Name

Pusha T’s proper debut album features an excellent set of beats and guest features. The problem is that these factors out shine him on most songs. While it’s a good hip-hop release, a majority of the tracks don’t live up to the singles “King Push” and the Kendrick Lamar collaboration, “Nosetalgia.” – JC

Waka Flocka Flame – From Roaches to Rollies

Waka’s latest mixtape is another set of tracks in his signature hyped up party style. Although it isn’t as memorable as his studio albums, songs such as “Obituary,” “Heavyweights” and “7 Days of the Week” make it worth fans’ hard drive space. – JC

Follow John Connor Coulston on Twitter at @JCCoulston.

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