Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Basement Recordings...A Review
Alexz said, in a recent interview with @robbyfischer, that she is releasing The Basement Recordings because she feels the songs didn't get a proper release and everyone else was releasing it for her, so why not release them the right way...I say go Alexz, you keep doing what you are doing.
Here is my thoughts on The Basement Recordings...
THAT GIRL was originally released for Instant Star. I loved that song, it was always my favorite. This version is by far my new favorite. It is very powerful. The lyrics were changed from this version to the ones we heard when it was on Instant Star. My favorite part had to be near the end of the song when Alexz sings "I'm the chord on your guitar, I'm gonna shut you up." The way she sings it, it's powerhouse.
SKIN was another song originally released for Instant Star. I really like the acoustic version on this album. The guitar sounds darker, a sound that fits the song well. Also, Alexz's vocals sound more hollow. The lyrics were changed a bit from the song we know and love. "Nevermind the consequence, my tears you'll taste." and "A little little white lie, a little little white lie, just a little white lie, I'll be alright, just a little white lie." was at the end and it should have been in the released version. It works so well. You can feel the hurt in her voice when she sings "just a little white lie, I'll be alright."
CHICAGO is originally released when Alexz and Brendan were with Epic/Sony. The worldly drums and the background vocals are amazing, as is Alexz's vocals. My favorite part of this one has to be, about halfway through when Alexz sings, "I'm leaving you behind, one step at a time, I'm gonna do it cuz I said so, I'm gonna make it cuz I said so..." I really like the shutting you out in the backgrounds near the end.
RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL I love the guitars in RWTD. The released version of this song is beautiful, but this one is EPIC (No pun intended...it was an Epic/Sony song for those of you who don't know.)
TAKER the beginning, "Hold me up, hold me up, hold me up, stop stop" is unique to the demo. It is different, but I like it. I like the strings a lot. The whispered and repeated "this is all I, all I, ever wanted" is also unique to the demo as well. It goes well with the strings behind it. It builds up to the final verse and then is whispered through the end of the track.
SWALLOWED was another song originally recorded for "Weight", Alexz's Epic/Sony album. This version has lighter beats, which suits it well. I really like the sound of the vocals. There is something about them, I can't pinpoint it though. It is probably the echo-like sound. It's perfect for this song, especially the ending.
SAVING THE TRAIN is a spiritual and powerful song recorded during the "Weight" album. My favorite part is the "sha la la la I don't know" that is through out the entire song. The beats behind the vocals make a person want to move around.
LOST & FOUND It's a good song. I love the strings and the snaps during the entire song. (Epic/Sony)
THE AFFAIR (MR. JONES) The jazzy feel to this song makes you want to snap along. One can almost see Alexz singing it in a small club with the cellist playing behind her in an old black and white movie. There is a tinge of darkness mixed in with a whole lot of mystery felt when listening. Alexz compares Mr. Jones to a piranha and it is a vivid visual.
EASY AIN’T SLEAZY The extra harmonica in the begging adds to this song. There were some in the released version, but it's a little different in this version, and I like it a lot. This version is more acoustic than the released version and I like that it has a bit more snap worthiness than the released version. (Epic/Sony)
SPIN is a fun song that starts out with whistling and jingle bells that goes on through the song in it's entirety. Add the strings and you have the perfect melody for this song. The whistling stops at 2:38 when Alexz sings stop and everything goes silent; that is repeated before a quiet cymbal is played until she continues into the last verse and chorus.
I JUST WANTED YOUR LOVE was released on Instant Star as well. The cymbals in the beginning give it a jazzy feel and then as it rolls into the chorus the guitars come out and give it more of a rock feel. This song makes me want to dance. It is really fun. Near the 2:20 mark the guitars go out and leave Alexz's voice to build suspense "lettin' you go..." before the rock edge comes back with sirens blaring (Literally...sirens are there too...) It was a perfect sound for the song.
LA MADE ME The quick beat in this song is really neat. Alexz has a few of her signature sounds, like the hooh and the ha-oh. Us as fans have come to recognize and love.
WEIGHT is a beautiful song. The xylophone sounding melody fits perfectly with Alexz's vocals. I loved this song the first time I heard it. The powerful vocals are something you can't ignore. (Epic/Sony)
RUNNING BACK (BONUS TRACK) the piano and guitar create the melody to this inspiring song. Alexz's strong voice is showcased through out. The "I know you can make it, just try not to fake it. Don't give up." is like a sucker punch. It's beautiful. This is another song many fans have been waiting years for the full version. I, for one, am very happy that it is the bonus track. It almost brought me to tears the first time I listened to this version.
Now, go listen and develop your own opinions.