All Female Week!
The Pussycat Dolls, "PCD"
Okay, by now you've definitely heard the song "Don't Cha?" The song has become the "this is my song!" anthem of single girls in clubs all over the country. It has also become your early morning jam as you look for a parking spot and try to sing along without any passer bys catching you sing along. Ha! Caught you! Either way, the song is everywhere and chances are if you haven't gotten entirely sick of hearing it, it still holds a special place with guilty pleasure.
The Dolls have a song for pretty much every genre on their album, but is that to be trusted? Often if a group has been created with the intent of making lots and lots of quick money, the band doesn't need to have a distinguishable sound, just a bunch of hit singles. The hits make the money with the quickness, then like other manufactured groups, the band slowly decays from never being able to top their first single.
The main singer, Nicole Scherzinger, is the only part of the sextet that is not expendable. She is the lead and background singer of every song; the other five are background singers. This is already a formula for band breakup and lead singer solo album, so only time will tell. Nicole also gets mad props for singing on Days Of The New's second album, which was in no way a pop album, so props for playing the field.
The song "Beep" features the Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am, which is cool, but has these obnoxious beeps actually beep out the naughty language peppered about the song. The beeps are part of the song, not part of radio edit. Isn't that weird? Beeps, ha!
The Dolls do a really cool cover of "Tainted Love," and the song "How Many Times, How Many Lives" turns out to be a rather well done R&B track. The song "Right Now" is big-bang style with a fast beat and lots of horns. This will be a hot album for the pop scene for quite some time, with its diverse sound, and chances are that there won't likely be a sophomore album, so hopefully these ladies will have fun keeping things crazy while they've got the spotlight.
Antigone Rising, "From The Ground Up"
Here is a very powerful group of badasses. All female, all rock n' roll, this band is out for more than just the number one spot on the charts. Their faces are stern and their eyes are serious, which already separates this quintet from the usual and popular female music scene characterized by scandalous clothes, pouty lips and innocent-looking eyes.
Fans of Ani DiFranco, Sheryl Crow, and the Dixie Chicks should all check this album out – it's available at Starbucks, strangely, but record stores probably have it for those who support the cause – and fans of female country music will enjoy the Southern drawl without the accents.
They have a sound that is probably not distinctive among other female contemporaries, but mellifluous vocals arrangements and the folk crafting of their songwriting. Two guitars is rare in any band, but Antigone Rising's Henderson sisters, (Kristen and Cathy), slay the six strings like a jam band. There are scales and solos on every song and it is obvious that this band has taken their time to perfect each song – which are all live, by the way. Live music is the ultimate test of a band's grandeur; these women have proven their integrity with this album.
The hardships that these women have endured through their career are powerfully shown through their music. The opening songs lyrics are simply: "Hello, it's good to see you again/my friend," but the singer uses her terrific voice to morph the song into a sustaining message for the enthusiastic audience. Their lyrics celebrate the strength of women working together and collectively, each song tells a story of how they have all become survivors and soldiers of femininity.
The song "What?" is a raging blast at belligerent boys: "Rage is getting fatter/empty as your beer can/crush me you're a mad man/hanging on to history of hate in your hand." The song "Happy Home" reflects on unrequited love, unhappy relationships and a crush on someone new, … uh oh! The song "Longshot" is about a one-night stand that lasted five days (what?), and changed the approach of future relationships.
You will not catch Antigone Rising on the television and you'll be lucky to hear them on the radio. You best chance to hear them, besides buying their album, is to see them live. Based on this album it appears to be a phenomenal show. The singer and the rest of the band's relationship with the crowd sounds like a revolution. Pretty powerful stuff here, so best of luck to these anti-divas; they came from the ground up and it doesn't look like they will be feeling gravity for quite a long time.
Nicholas LoFaro is a senior studying English writing.