Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Music Box - January 2015 Review

The Music Box has three options for subscription, all of which are ridiculously reasonable for music. The first is "The Envelope," which is simply a 20-song sampler. They also have "The Box," which includes a few CDs and random goodies. Finally, there's "The Bundle," which combines "The Envelope" and "The Box." This is January's "The Bundle." (When you sign up for either "The Box" or "The Bundle," you are asked for your favorite three genres.)

My box contained wristbands from Heart & Soul Radio and The Truce Initiative. I also received a download code for Heart and Soul Radio's full album, Thieves, which is great low-fi alternative (almost pop-punk) that reminds me of American Hi-Fi or My Friend Steve. I love the Truce Initiative wristband because the quote is, "Stay Alive, Stay Alive for Me." So I looked them up. They're not a band, actually, but an international organization with the belief that music heals ("music is medicine for the soul") and they provide concert tickets to teens and young adults at risk for suicide and self-harm. This is a cause I am such a huge advocate for, so I am going to be wearing this band all the time! The box also contained a string of red Mardi Gras beads.

I also received some stickers from bands Rival Knives and Morning Fatty, but neither had a CD included (and were not featured on the sampler), as well as my monthly sampler. The sampler included 21 songs from 10 bands. The music was all alternative/indie/rock, which is definitely perfect for me. The bands were (for reference) Lost in a Name, The Assembly Line, Bittersweet Machines, Epic Season, Skytown, The Oversight, The Capital, Almost Alien, Stealing Heather, and Radioactive Red.

Now, I didn't add my genre preferences because I originally just wanted the sampler. Then I decided I might as well try a month with both and added the extra later. Without even getting my preferences, I have to say The Music Box did an amazing job!

Aside from Heart & Soul Radio and the full CD download, I received three CDs. I loved Heart & Soul Radio, which was a good start. Now, it's important to note that most of these CDs are not the bands' most recent albums, which is okay with me. It's a chance to discover new artists and music, something that feels harder and harder to do these days (I used to be a music journalist actually - random tidbit). I hate sounding like an old person, but honestly... kids today, right? ;) (Not really, but I just don't seem to like most "popular" music.)

The next featured album was from Dan Wolff. This is folky and indie and right up my alley. I also received a full length album from The Lively, who are moody and experimental (and in my neighborhood! Yay!), as well as a great album by a pop rock band from the UK, The Sons. Sadly, it seems The Sons broke up fairly recently, but maybe The Music Box will net them some more fans and they'll be able to keep playing. (I know it doesn't work like that at all, and one thing about this subscription I love is that I can find bands I know I would never hear of otherwise. On the other hand, it bothers me that this music is all really good - and in many cases better - than 90% of what's on the radio, and yet I'm not hearing it!!)

My only complaint (which is minor) is that the out of all this music, only one band on the sampler had a female vocalist. I love female-fronted bands, but that's really not a commentary on the box. It's simply the state of things.

I will definitely be keeping this up - and I'm sticking with "The Bundle." I need more music in my life, and if The Music Box does this well next month, I'm going to be so happy!

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