On "You Are a Tourist," Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard offers hope to a friend who no longer is happy with his or her life. Backed by a catchy guitar melody, the single off Codes and Keys argues that we can always change our situation, resulting in a song that's both extremely comforting and impressively tuneful.
At first, this lead single from Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest platter, I'm With You, sounded too much like a lot of their earlier hits. And while there definitely is a familiarity to the cut, the freshness of its melody and rhythm make it fiendishly catchy. For a band whose principal members are nearly 50, they've still got a lot of bounce left in them.
Seether proved on their last record, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, that they knew how to write inspiring up-tempo rock tunes. They do it again on Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray, particularly on this track where frontman Shaun Morgan vows to stop complaining "about a beautiful life" and embrace those small moment of happiness.
A Cage the Elephant song is usually marked by two qualities: a loose garage-rock energy and Matthew Shultz's nasal-whine vocals. Both of those come to the fore in "Shake Me Down," a nicely ramshackle tune about trying to find a better tomorrow when everything around you is terrible.
The Black Keys get funky on "Howlin' for You," a sexy, swaggering blues song about one of the oldest lyrical themes in all of music: lust. But frontman Dan Auerbach seems more frustrated than enchanted by his latest crush, who doesn't seem to share his feelings. But while "Howlin' for You" may have been inspired by an unsatisfying romantic attraction, the super-catchy track is pure pleasure for the rest of us.