Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

New Music Tuesdays

By Nick Romanow

OK Go – Oh No – Capitol Records


OK Go first stepped onto the national music scene in 2002 with their self-titled debut. Lead by a boisterously anathematic single, “Get Over It,” OK Go seemed poised to take over Weezer’s throne as the top power-pop band in the country. OK Go’s best moments are born out of the fact that they are just as literate as Weezer but Rivers Cuomo’s insane genius is replaced by frontman Damien Kulash’s playful energy. On “Oh No,” OK Go maintain their lively pop sensibilities but kick up the rock factor by many notches.

“Oh No” still sounds like the same band; there are handclaps and backing harmonies and calls scattered all over the album, but now Kulash is more prone to let out a scream then a whimper and the guitars screech and bend in between big power chords. The band sounds like they strive to fall somewhere in between The Cars and The Pixies – or perhaps a 21st-century version of the latter raised on the former – but despite the added gritty production on this album, a sharp contrast to the heavily polished feel of the self-titled album, “Oh No” still sounds a little too calculated to make a real statement.

The songs are all generally strong – “Invincible” is a strong jumping-off point and “Oh Lately It’s So Quiet” is OK Go’s take on old-school soul music – but the album starts to wear fairly quickly. OK Go may be more interested in making their guitars sound like Steve Albini’s but it is undeniable that they thrive on big stadium-sized hooks. “Oh No” is definitely the sound of the band flexing their wings rather then simply trying to recreate the best parts of their first album. The beginning of “Oh No” announces that power-pop is a genre that can still be accounted for but the middle of the album is weighed down by a lot of similar sounding songs – however, the last few songs are more experimental and interesting than anything the band has done before. OK Go may not have the mystery – or the credibility – that Weezer has, but that is part of their charm. “Oh No” isn’t groundbreaking, but it is full of fun, simple, and catchy rock music; an antidote for radio-friendly corporate power-pop.

By David Pessah, Collegian Staff

Tony Yayo: Thoughts of a Predicate Felon 8/10

When 50 Cent’s crew G-Unit first hit big a few years ago, Tony Yayo was biding his time behind bars. Rocking prison wear instead of the newest G-Unit hoodie, Yayo worked on his raps while his friends on the outside chanted “Free Yayo” on their songs.

Now, after the prison system released him, he can finally release his music to us.

As we know from 50 “I got shot nine times” Cent’s image, G-Unit is not above gimmicks. Therefore it is unsurprising that “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon” opens with a completely unnecessary jail skit of a prison guard barking instructions to an inmate we assume to be Yayo. This intro affirms to us that Yayo has been in jail. The bark is all Yayo’s though once the first track “Homicide” begins and his lyrics pack more bite than those of many of his peers (this includes his fellow crew member 50 Cent.) While Yayo’s G-Unit crew has been enjoying their success, Yayo has been locked up and his mind is still attuned to the street life. While 50 doesn’t sound gangster anymore, we can now be scared because he’s got Yayo as his back.

It pays to be a G-Unit soldier these days; you get equipped with some of the best beats around. On “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon,” executive producer 50 Cent is supported by Eminem and a group of lesser known producers who deliver hardcore beats sure to bump through your speakers. Standout tracks here are “We Don’t Give a F*ck,” “Drama Setter,” and the lead single “So Seductive.” Yayo’s voice is gravelly enough to hold him up when he shares songs with the likes of Eminem and 50. His flow is also distinctive enough and he rides the beats he is given well. Like the rest of G-Unit, Yayo is all about drama in his lyrics. He tears into Fat Joe and other snitches on “Tattle Teller” and talks about the numerous ways to commit “Homicide.” No new thoughts here, but Yayo twists each theme and adds his own signature to them. defines the word predicate to mean “to base or establish.” Therefore, this title should establish Tony Yayo as a felon. Maybe he is trying to steal the rap game? The beats are excellent and his lyrics deliver. This is another solid album from the G-Unit camp.

By Tim McCallThe All-American Rejects

“Move Along”

Interscope Records


The All-American Rejects have followed a common pattern in today’s music world. The pattern is as follows: band releases album on independent label, major record label re-releases album, song becomes hit, and band disappears to write follow up and major label debut.

Three years later, The All-American Rejects have returned with the release of a new album. The new album definitely differentiates from their self titled debut and their hit single “Swing, Swing” – the band returns to the radio with a new sound to recapture their audience.

The result is an album easily classified as catchy pop rock similar to their other album, but much more produced and stripped down. Fans of Simple Plan, Wakefield and other similar acts will enjoy this album because for what it’s worth, it’s a solid album, but it’s not that good.

Stripped away is the organ sound of “Swing, Swing,” the very piece that made the band fun in the first place.

In its place is a pop punk anthem, “Dirty Little Secret,” that is by far the best song on the entire album and also coincidentally the first song on the album.

The rest of the album is just full of filler; sadly, 11 tracks of filler do not make a good album, despite the fact that the album is full of hook guitars and simple drum beats. It’s pop punk – what do you expect?

The next single will most likely be “It Ends Tonight,” a ballad of some sorts that starts with lead singer Tyson Ritter on piano, but ends with the full band joining him, creating a pop rock ending.

This song will put the band back on the map and sell them a fair amount of albums so that Interscope will not drop them and send them back to their original label, Doghouse.

However, demoting the band back to Doghouse might not be that bad – the band could go back and rediscover their music roots like Nada Surf did years ago after they were dropped from Elektra Records when they made an allegedly unmarketable album.

Either way, it might be a long time until we hear from The All-American Rejects again. The band have a lot of growing up to do and so does their music.

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