Apps & New Releases — Oct. 24, 2014

guideblogApps

B4_AppLevelMoneyLevel Money
Free

This new app is a great resource for college students. It analyzes your bank accounts to let you know just how much you can spend to stay within your budget. It has the ability to track income, bills and savings to display a spendable amount. In addition, it tracks transactions and categorizes them in an easy, color-coded interface that makes finances painless. Supported by over 2,000 banks, Level Money links to your bank account so you do not need to enter anything manually. This app effectively displays how much you can spend and is invaluable in keeping your finances on track.

B4_AppSpringSpring
Free

Ever find yourself at Yates without a good playlist to match your workout? With this new app, this is no longer a problem. With upbeat songs picked by artists and friends alike, Spring makes it easy to change the tempo of your music to match the intensity of your exercise activity. It even synchronizes movement to different songs so users never find themselves listening to a song that is too slow. The app works as a more specialized version of Spotify, as its social media integration allows users to share playlists and rate other songs to add to their own playlists.

B4_AppSkypeQikSkype Qik
Free

The issue of group video messaging on a mobile format is no more with this new app, which allows users to easily create group chats and record and share videos. A unique aspect is the ability to delete messages from the chat which erases them from the conversation. The minimalist design makes it easy to navigate, and there are no login, usernames or passwords to remember. Similar to SnapChat, this app creates a new way to send location-based messages and videos to individuals or groups.

 

New Releases

B7_Drown_RCArecords‘Drown’
Bring Me the Horizon
★★★☆☆

The British metalcore band has put itself on the punk-metal music radar with this new single. Lead singer Oliver Syke demonstrates his talent as a singer with his abrupt transitions between smooth, serenading vocals and the signature coarse screams of the genre. While its prominent and fast-paced guitar and drum parts set up the foundation for metalcore moshing, the distant chorus contrasts these elements and lends a dreamier, less harsh feeling to the song. The accompanying music video is hilarious, including several seconds of a random jazz music intermission that continues the melody of the song while an exorcism supposedly takes place.

B7_Livingwithoutyou_islandrecords‘Living Without You’
Tulisa
★★★★★

Tulisa is a woman of many talents, and her newest single is a testament to her strength as a singer-songwriter. The intro begins with an impressive display of sultry vocals that culminates in an abrupt shift to synthetic beats. It is a welcome change that brings back ’60s disco vibes, and Tulisa’s lyrics pick up the pace to add to this playfulness. The bubbly synth layers complement her voice without overwhelming it, and the song is a great sing-along song for clubs or dance parties. Overall, the single wonderfully shows off Tulisa’s powerful, flexible voice, a feature that is usually lost in the safe, restrictive melodies of other pop songs.

B7_BabyDontLie_InterscopeRecords‘Baby Don’t Lie’
Gwen Stefani
★☆☆☆☆

It seems that Gwen Stefani has fallen into the trap of formulated pop music. She sacrifices her normally sassy, unwavering singing style for a bizarre tune that consistently changes from deep, yet tolerable vocals to a high-pitched squeak. While the synthetic beats are catchy and creative, Stefani’s weak melody and superficial lyrics fail to match their adventurous mood. The song transitions into an unnecessary section where Stefani gives a short speech accompanied by a strong bass that is supposed to build up and release tension in the following chorus but falls markedly short. Stefani has succeeded in imitating the beat-focused pop music of today, but at the cost of what made her rebellious songs like “Hollaback Girl” so famous.

B7_tswift_BigMachineRecords‘Welcome to New York’
Taylor Swift
★★★★☆

This is the third single Swift has released in anticipation for her upcoming album “1989,” which will be released next week. The song begins with prominent claps and a buzzing synth pulse. Swift then takes over with her energetic falsetto voice which is subtly harmonized to produce a more unique effect. The song doesn’t incorporate her country roots, and it continues to follow the conventional layout of her recent pop hits.  While the lyrics aren’t very symbolic, they have a catchy, rhythmic flow that makes it an easy and enjoyable listen. Whether you’re a fan of Swift or not, one way or another you’ll somehow find yourself knowing all the words and singing along to this one.

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