This hip-hop outfit from Down Under has two brothers, John Len Ruela Pearce and Len John Ruela Pearce, who were born in the Philippines.
The Sydney-based group won the 2010 edition of "Australia’s Got Talent" more for their awesome dancing skills. From there, the group has expanded to an advocacy of giving free dance lessons.
Now down to 7, Justice Crew collects their singles and selected remixes in an EP that sums up the initial attractions of the dance-savvy troupe.
Lead-off track title is a bouncing pop tune highlighted by a David Gueta-like rave-up. “And Then We Dance” features quick shuffles between simple singing and vocoder-treated vocals, while “Friday to Sunday” has that familiar uptempo beat that can get any party started.
Demi Lovato, an "X-Factor" judge, has the x-factor that took the likes of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus (prior to current controversy) to the top the charts. Lovato sings with stress on an extended vibrato that sticks to the eardrums like mildly echoing melodies. She also has a fine diction so that the emotions she unravels in words resound clear and unmistakable.
There are just a couple of slow movers on her fourth album bearing her name. Lovato prefers to go gung ho whether he’s trashing a guy (“Really Don’s Care”) or celebrating her freedom from personal attachments (“Without The Love”). She spits out “I’m a badass moving off a moving train/I’m a Jane Bond putting all them guys to shame” on “Fire Starter,” putting on the image of a man-eating tigress.
It’s a little difficult to hear her conclude the album screaming “I’m a warrior” on a bed of quietly building piano and mournful cello. It’s as if the daring love crusader of earlier songs still wants be loved the same old way—swept off her feet to happy ever after.
It may be a misstep on an otherwise good to excellent dance-pop album. One thing is sure: The pretty Ms. Lovato has new thrills to entice old and new fans to her fold.
A two-CD bundle, "Acoustic 2" is as far away from anyone’s best notion of acoustic/folk singing and songwriting as the idea that acoustic icon Neil Young can rock.
Yet, rockers Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie, as well as R&B hotshots Regina Spektor and Craig David, do acoustic very well in this compilation. Add the real acoustic guitar-driven tunes from Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran and K T Tunstall plus the psychedelic tunings of M. Craft’s “Butterfly” and some gems await the plucky listener.
These discoveries are tucked among the samba of Lisa Ono, the piano pop of Ben Folds & Nick Hornby and the Kings of Convenience’s hushed ballad.
"Acoustic 2: is catchy, elegant, sometimes epic and just plain cool.