Aug 302014

With the two musical acts today, the word electric can be taken literally, via the instrumentation and metaphorically, given the “hotness” the two possess and how they connect with their audiences. Dutchman Afrojack (due to visit Manila soon) has consistently rated among the Top 10 DJs over more than five years and he’s done collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé. Moody, smoky and atmospheric are just some of the ways Lana Del Rey’s music has been described. On her new CD, she proves her first album was no fluke.

AfrojackForget the World (Def Jam/Universal Music). On his first full album, Afrojack (Nick van de Wall) shows why he’s such a favorite as a DJ and producer across various musical genres. While classified as dance electronica, there really is so much more in the album that sees collaborations from all over the musical spectrum. While Ten Feet Tall, which features Wrabel, is the carrier single, my personal favorites are Too Wild, where Wiz Khalifa and Devin Cruise partner with Afrojack, and We’ll Be OK, wherein Sting makes a surprise appearance.

Afrojack also takes on songs from 30 Seconds to Mars and Keane, and I grinned seeing how they’re listed as Afrojack versus the band in question. Consistent on each number is his stellar production touch — bombastic and heavy on the bass.

Lana Del Rey — Ultraviolence (Polydor/Universal Music). Ever since she burst into the music scene, Lana has been difficult to ignore. You either love her or hate her. But when you love her, it’s with a passion reserved for stars and artists who have created a very unique persona that transcends their actual artistic output. For her rabid fans, she epitomizes the modern-day chanteuse, resurrecting the concept of torch singer while updating the genre so that it is a relevant, angst-driven medium of expression. On her new CD, I have to admit that I found the song Brooklyn Baby (fourth track) on the end of the album far more listenable than the longer first three tracks. West Coast, Old Money, Black Beauty and Florida Kilos also get my special nod.

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