Album Review: Karen O – “Crush Songs”

Karen O is best known for her work in the art punk band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but has also sang on a number of film scores, and wrote, directed, and starred in the musical Stop the VirginsCrush Songs is Karen’s first solo album, and is comprised of a collection of songs written and recorded in 2006 and 2007 at her NYC apartment. Enjoy.

karenz

I have adored Karen O ever since the first time I heard Fever to Tell. I knew Crush Songs wasn’t going to be Karen at her most bombastic, but the other side of her voice, the gentle, sometimes comforting, sometimes heartbreaking side that we first fell in love with on “Maps,” shines throughout the album. “Rapt,” “Beast,” and “Other Side” showcase Karen’s somber coo that is both eerie and touching. When we do catch a tiny glimpse of her animalistic self, at the zenith of “Body” or on “Native Korean Rock,” the juxtaposition feels explosive.

Most of the pieces on Crush Songs’ are incredibly brief; they feel like quick diary entries that we have sole pleasure to read. Although the majority of the album consists only of Karen’s voice and light guitar, this incredible closeness makes up for any lost elements.

Of the 15 small sketches, my three favorite appear in the middle, one after the other. “Days Gone By” is a moving picture of everything that is love. “Body” has a love-yourself-before-loving-someone-else message that climaxes with primal screams directed at our world’s heinous view of body image. Finally, “King” is beautiful ode to Michael Jackson containing charming lines like, “Is he walking on The Moon? I hope I don’t find out too soon.”

The album’s closer “Singalong” evokes the part of any memorable evening in where everyone’s feeling more than a little drunk, and way more than a little sentimental. A metaphor I find fitting for the entirety of this album. Because Karen’s Crush Songs’ home isn’t an extravagant discotheque, nor is it a sleazy basement party, instead the album’s aura is like the cluttered New York loft in which it was made. And although it’s no massive event, it still feels great to be invited inside.

Karen O – “Rapt”

As a self-proclaimed Yeah Yeah Yeahs fanatic, I was enthralled when I heard Karen O was releasing a solo album. The first single from that album, titled Crush Songs, is here. “Rapt” is a brief glimpse into Karen O’s home. She invites us into her mind, and with only a guitar strumming in the background, she shares with us the feelings of a lost love. Enjoy.

Crush Songs comes out on Sept. 9 through Cult Records.

Videos to Pee your Pants to.

It’s Halloween. Time for some scary music videos. That’s all I got. Enjoy.

Want to know what I dressed as this Halloween? Head over to The Vinyl Warhol’s Twitter, and find out.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Y Control”

 

Children ripping out their innards, and cutting off their appendages. Spike Jonze really knows how to direct a music video, and this is downright disturbing. Also Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an incredible band, and this is probably my favorite of their songs.

Kanye West ft. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj – “Monster”

 

Kanye as Indiana Jones, Jay-Z as The Godfather, Nicki Minaj as Dracula, and Rick Ross as Snorlax, this video has it all.
Note: I can rap this song in it’s entirety.

Tool – “Schism”

 

I could have picked any Tool video, their all unsettling. Fuck this video and the way it makes me feel.

Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”

 

“Bad Romance” isn’t that scary, but I think it’s good for Halloween. The costume design is amazing, and the coreography is perfect. It’s about Gaga being sold as a prostitute, and she ultimately burns someone alive with her sex. Happy Halloween!

Welcome! You’re in for a treat.

Hello friends, colleagues, Vinyl Warholians, allow me to welcome you to The Vinyl Warhol. First, let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Matthew Weller, and I am a third year Junior at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Adverting and Public Relations. Once I graduate, I’m hoping to get a job doing publicity or promotion for a independent rock record label or for a company that I’m passionate about.

Now on to the important stuff, The Vinyl Warhol. I’m starting this blog because music is what means the most to me. This blog is going to contain music news, music reviews, along with something special. A segment that I’m going to start is going to be directed at anyone who wants to get into a band, but isn’t quite sure where to start. Just sit back, Matt’s going to do all the work for you. I’m not going to give too much of it away, just check back soon to find out.

So if you’re into garage rock, pop, indie, folk, hip hop, R&B, rock&roll, surf rock, top 40, or all of those things, please check back for when the action really starts.

But I wouldn’t leave you with nothing, here is some music news to get you pumped:

Eric Clapton is reissuing his classic Unplugged:

If you’ve never heard any of Clapton’s six-time Grammy Award winning Unplugged check out “Tears in Heaven” and cry yourself to sleep tonight.

Rollingstone.com’s list of The 10 Most Killer Cover Songs of the Past Decade:

Do yourself a favor and check out Franz Ferdinand’s dance-guitar cover of “All My Friends” (originally performed by LCD Soundsystem), and Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) with Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross’ industrial crunch take on Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”.