Jun 172011
 
Rock Band DLC

A fairly sedate week of DLC, at least for me and my tastes. It’s always nice to see bundles from bands at differing ends of the music spectrum though, even if nothing can ever possibly hope to beat the brilliance that was the Disturbed/Jimmy Buffet week.

Coming our way will be three-packs from hard rockers Puddle of Mudd and pop superstars Maroon 5.

 

The Songs

* Maroon 5 – “Misery
* Maroon 5 – “This Love+
* Maroon 5 – “Won’t Go Home Without You
* Puddle of Mudd – “Blurry
* Puddle of Mudd – “Control
* Puddle of Mudd – “She Hates Me+

+ = pro-guitar/bass chart available

 

The Thoughts

Kicking off with Maroon 5, which I know will inevitably wind up in my library because my mother adores them. “Misery” is like most of Maroon 5 songs, with a solid pop hook draped over a disco/funk skeleton, all polished to a bright gleam. There’s a lot here for your plastic band: every instrument gets something to do, vocals are rich with harmonies, and the song moves at a constant pace. Unless you have a direct aversion to the song, this should be a solid addition to your library.

“This Love” is one of Maroon 5’s biggest hits and for me it suffers from Overplay Syndrome; I think I’ve heard this song quite enough for one lifetime. It has a much catchier (and prominent) piano/synth riff than the previous song, as well as a much slower tempo and darker feel, musically. Coming from their first album the song isn’t anywhere near as produced, but hearing it immediately after “Misery” it seems mostly skin and bones.

Last for Maroon 5 we have “Won’t Go Home Without You”. It’s incredibly tough to get over that “Every Breath You Take” vibe in the verses, and once you do I have to say that I don’t find a heck of a lot here. I like the melody, but otherwise the song lacks any kind of personality. At least in the previous two there’s a distinctive sound that the band owns, but here it could be a song by just about anybody and isn’t much to differentiate it from the million other love songs in rotation. (I do find it amusing how Adam Levine spends the whole song saying how he won’t leave without the girl only to finally find the girl and slink away with his tail between his legs; even the lead singer doesn’t find any substance in his song.)

Jumping to the other side of things we have Puddle of Mudd, up first with “Blurry”, another victim of Overplay Syndrome for me this week. I probably haven’t heard the song since the early 00s though and it stands up well. It has a beautiful little guitar riff throughout that helps to elevate the song to another level. The other instruments (including what sounds like it could be keys but I don’t think it is) are also kept busy with a decent mid-range difficulty.

“Control” is … oh that song. Okay another for the Overplay. (I did a lot of listening to alt/hard rock stations when I first moved to Portland what can I say.) Yeah, I have a real problem taking a song seriously where one of the chief lyrics is “I like the way you smack my ass”. Musically the drums sound really interesting in this one, but otherwise it has that unfortunate tendency to sound like just about every other song in its genre. Which is great if you love that overdriven grunge-lite sound. I’ll pass though.

Lastly for the week is “She Hates Me”, and given how I recognized the others in this pack one I heard them, I’m curious to see if it’s the same with this song as well. And ah, yes, I do! Never knew who did this though; it always sounded like a cross between Weezer and that song by Ugly Kid Joe to me. It’s a fun song, if a very familiar chord progression, and a kind of raw emotion expressed in the most basic and cathartic way possible. There’s not much here, but what there is is enjoyable.

 

The Summary

It’s a decently varied batch of DLC this week with (theoretically) something to satisfy everyone. Keys and vocals, Maroon 5 is your haven this week, and of those three “Misery” is easily my top suggestion. For drummers, I think you’ll have the most fun with Puddle of Mudd, and of those I recommend “Control”. Guitarists, you could really go either way depending on your preference, but “Misery” and “Blurry” are probably my main suggestions (with “She Hates Me” a close third). Bassists, it’s exciting to actually be able to talk to you individually for a change. Maroon 5 is where you need to look; the group has a heavy funk structure to their songs, and you know what that means. “Misery” and “This Love” are my top picks for you.

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