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Friday, February 22nd
Music Reviews: Albums
Civic pride

Amanda was on hand for the Honda Civic Tour's stop in NJ. Check out her review overall.

Triple pleasure!

Curtis Peoples, Keatons Simons, and Tony Lucca rocked the Bitter End in New York. Cris has her take on the concert.

Opening act steals from main attraction in Florida

Meagan was on hand at the Boca Raton, FL stop for Jonas Brothers. Read her take.

JT makes rousing return to Chicago

Two guest writers caught Justin Timberlake's tour stop at Chicago's Allstate Arena.

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Third effort shows many musical sides

Alan reviews the third album from still yet unsigned Five Times August.

Long wait results in a mature third effort

Cristina reviews the long awaited second album from Simple Plan.

Full circle comes about on 6th album

Alan reviews the latest LP from Sheryl Crow.

Chicago native proves true music worth on debut

Alan reviews the album debut of Chicago-area native Sarah VonderHaar.

Singer-songwriter crafts one of the strongest indie debuts of the year

Alan reviews the full-length debut from Nathan Morris.

Transplated Colorado outfit dreams up dreamy major-label debut

Alan reviews the debut album from OneRepublic.

Disney star debuts strong on first album

Spencer reviews the 'High School Musical' star's debut album.

Musical tour de force sparkles in major-label debut

Ashley reviews the major-label debut from the Rocket Summer.

More reviews

The Last Goodnight
The Last Goodnight- Poison Kiss

CT rock band crafts great major-label beginning
Poison KissEven though The Last Goodnight is still an unknown band, their first major label album will definitely bring them the fame they deserve. ‘Poison Kiss,’ the bands fourth album will not disappoint its fans. It is a great beginning to the bands major label career.

The album opens with the piano driven melody of the title song. The strong music and catchy lyrics make this song one of my favorites. During the chorus, the starting piano part is greatly complemented by a strong guitar part. The slow bridge almost gives this song a great jazz element. Throughout the song, there is a great balance between Kurtis’s voice and the rest of the instruments. The background vocals also give a great addition to the piece. The only problem I have with it is the first few seconds in the beginning; the song would be stronger if it immediately went into the main melody.

Next is “Back Where We Belong.” This song has a great guitar part, but it does not match the harmonies from “Poison Kiss.” The main vocal part is too similar and the music is not that strong. It is a good song yet it is weakened by the expectations created by the strong opening song.

“Pictures of You” is the band’s single for this album. During the chorus, the Last Goodnight once again creates an amazing balance between the instruments. The vocals and the lyrics and great. The beat and the harmonies are probably one of their best. The only problem I have with this song is that the beginning verse could be stronger musically. Yet, this is an amazing song that will definitely have you repeating the chorus long after it is over. It is already making its way up the Itunes Pop chart and I expect great things from it.

Following the single is “Stay Beautiful.” The song has a great beat and melody. The chorus is very catchy and the balance between the instruments is once again impeccable. I only have a problem with the vocals in the bridge; they seem to break the overall pattern of the song. But again, the song is great and has a lot of potential.

“This Is The Sound” starts slower and darker than the rest of the song. The first chorus proves that the band can create a great ballad and still maintain the great melodic balance. Chilling lyrics such as “this is the sound of a broken heart beating” make this a nice slower change to the rest of the upbeat songs in the album.

Starting with a strong musical intro, “One Trust” already proves to be a strong, great song within the first seconds. The vocal part in the verse is a great combination between low and high notes. The chorus is very catchy, both in its lyrics and its strong beat. The background vocals in the bridge complemented by the beat of the piano part make this a great song. Although at first listen it does not sound as strong at first listen, it does get better with time.

“Return To Me” is another ballad. This song is too strong vocally and the instrumental does not really take over until the chorus. Yet the haunting melody of the background melodies is neatly placed throughout the song. The whispering part in the chorus is something to get used to. Also, this song gets better with every listen. But at first impression is a nice, honest, chilling ballad.

“Good Love” picks up the pace of the album once again. The chorus has a nice jazzy element due to its vocals. The piano part in the bridges give a nice touch to the song. Yet, the band only achieves their great instrumental balance in the bridges and loses it in the chorus.

Slowing down again, “If I Talk To God” is a nice honest ballad. The chorus is a great both instrumentally and vocally. Finally, the band achieves their great balance in this song. The lyrics of this song are very honest and relatable. The background vocals complemented by the guitar part in the last part is very chilling, and the solo piano part only adds more to it. It is clearly their best ballad in the album.

“Push Me Away” begins right away with a great piano beat and vocals. I love the vocals in the chorus. The balance once again is great, even though the vocals are too strong during the verses. But this is overall a great catchy song to listen to.

“In Your Arms” immediately starts with very honest lyrics and a slower beat. The vocals have been better in some other but they get better in the last bridge. And the balance is broken this time by the instrumental part. The song is not too strong compared to their other ballads, but it is still a great melancholic song.

Starting out with strong lyrics and instrumental part, “Incomplete” is a great album closer. The vocals are greatly complemented by a piano heavy melody. And the lyrics are very chilling. The drum solo in the bridge is very neatly placed. This song only gets better with the second verse. One of my favorites, this a great strong song to close an album. It will definitely haunt the listener moments after it is over.

The Last Goodnight first major label album does not disappoint. Its great songs will make this something you cannot listen to only once. However, there are some songs that could be a little better. Still, each one of them is great and different yet at the same time they have a touch that only the band can add. At first listen, some people might have an issue with Kurtis’s deep raspy voice. But trust me, with time you will learn to love it. Overall, I would definitely recommend it and I am sure the band will have a lot of success with it.

Name: "Poison Kiss "
Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: August 28, 2007
My rating: 4.3 out of 5

A week before ‘Poison Kiss’ was released, I caught up with lead singer Kurtis John. Due to bad cellphone connection, our interview was cut short. Yet, I still had a chance to ask him what he expected from his fourth album and what he wants his fans to get away from it.

Cris: First of all, for someone who hasn’t heard of The Last Goodbye, how would you describe your music.
Kurtis: I guess our music could be considered pop rock with some soul.

C: What is your philosophy when it comes to music? Your dad was blind and you always mention that music was the way you two connected. So has that influenced what you want your fans to take away from your songs?
K: oh definitely, growing up there was always that connection between us. He would always play me some blues and jazz; mostly Ella Fitzgerald. He educated me by making me listen to different styles of music from a young age. He was the one that broadened my definition of music. I got my first drumset when I was five and my first guitar when I was eight; and the piano was always around the house. Because he couldn’t read music, he taught me to listen to it. He helped me to use my ear and always keep it simple. From there I would struck a chord and be amazed at how it could translate emotion.

C: And I guess all those genres you mentioned have all really shaped your music in a way
K: Absolutely. When we were making the record we wanted there to be rhythmic tracks, soulful tracks, and then just ballads. We tried to capture all the aspects of music and emotion that we knew. So definitely those three elements.

C: “Poison Kiss,” your fourth record, comes out August 28th. What do you want your fans to expect from The Last Goodnight’s first major –label debut?
K: Making the record was a lot of fun. We tried to incorporate old pieces of equipment; 70’s and 80’s synthesizers We definitely achieved a unique, organic sound but we always have to have that radio-liking element on there too. We also want to make music that connects with people. Music has helped and changed me through my life, so I want our songs to have the same effect.

C: Your band was formed over eight years ago. How has your music evolved since your first record.
K: Before we had songs that were just vocals and piano, and then just guitar. Now, we are trying to combine those different sounds. I guess there are songs on the record that can be related to songs we wrote eight years ago, but the melody behind them has evolved. And I would say our music is more melancholic now.

C: Now that the band is signed, are there any specific goals you guys have with this record?
K: Every day there’s a new goal. But mainly, we just want to make this record as successful as possible. We want people to learn and appreciate what we do

Cristina Cristina Carrazza is a staff writer with Musiqtone. You can reach her at cristinacarrazza@musiqtone.com.
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