1098020_590278617691481_763010643_nGenuine & Countrtfeit – William Beckett
Since the split of The Academy Is… in 2011, former frontman William Beckett has been on the grind. As an old fan of TAI, I’m pleasantly surprised to say his first full length, Genuine & Counterfeit, has absolutely no trace of his musical past. Beckett makes a point to introduce his listeners to his experimental, vibrant poppy synth style in “Benny & Joon” and slows it back down in vocally soothing “Caught In the Middle.” With guest vocals by Max Bemis of Say Anything and Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade, this album is a combination of bold, bright and acoustically beautiful.
Check Out: “Time for a Sign”


1336_10151735836016797_179643300_nAmerican Dream – Woe, Is Me

Atlanta, Georgia titans Woe, is Me transfix upon early metalcore and throw in a touch of early 2000s nu metal on their nightmarishly sounding American Dream EP. The group plans to record a new album with former A Day to Remember member Tom Denney, and American Dream provides a factory-sized foundation for what’s to come in October. American Dream’s sound teeters between lion and lamb ferocity in songs like “Stand Up.” According to the group’s personal manifesto posted on their Facebook page, you don’t turn around and stab someone in the back, “you go directly to face,” a philosophy certainly evident on American Dream.
Check Out: “Stand Up”


john-mayer-paradise-valleyParadise Valley – John Mayer
Though John Mayer has always dabbled in folk rock, his new album Paradise Valley sounds straight out of Nashville. The country sound is new for Mayer, but he pulls it off effortlessly. The plucky acoustic guitars and storytelling lyrics are what make Paradise Valley a traditional John Mayer record, but the presence of extra voices is new for the musician. Frank Ocean lends his voice to “Wildfire,” where Mayer’s sometimes girlfriend Katy Perry sings with him on “Who You Love.” It’s hard to imagine Mayer spent the better part of the last few years battling vocal issues, because his pipes are as smooth as ever.
Check Out: “On The Way Home”


Written by Catherine Powell

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