It’s been a very long time since I last wrote up any sort of review. What used to be a staple of my blogs back in the AsianAvenue, Xanga and Livejournal eras slowly faded out since I moved my blog here. To re-introduce it, I thought it only made sense to set it off with Far East Movement’s new album, “Free Wired”.
Now before I begin, let me just make it clear that I acknowledge everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so this review is strictly my personal opinion. Before you agree or disagree with me, drop by your local record store to pick up your copy of “Free Wired” and have a good listen…then we’ll talk ;)
Overview A lot of people only recognize FM by their success of “Like a G6″ and don’t realize they’ve been around for a long time. Unless you’re familiar with their previous work, it’s natural to expect Free Wired to be an album full of dance tracks that have the same kind of impact as G6. You’d be surprised to learn that isn’t the case. Free Wired offers quite a variety of teasers for your ears. It’s feel good music that just…well, makes you feel good.
 Girls On the Dance Floor I’m glad they put this track on the album because it’s a song that’s extremely significant to their success. It’s been around for a while already so I’m not going to spend too much time talking about it.
 Like a G6 Another song that’s been around; it’s one I’ve listened to repeatedly for almost a year now. What can I say…it’s only gone platinum and #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100! If you haven’t heard it yet, you must be living in a cave.
 Rocketeer I had seen a small clip of them recording this song in the studio earlier in the year, and just from hearing “up up here we go” I said I had to hear this song. Sure enough, it’s become one of my favourite songs on the album. Different from your typical uptempo FM style, it’s a nice “love song” that’s a bit out of the norm. I like the fact that the lyrics are well written and easy to understand.
 If I Was You (OMG) When I first heard the name of this song, I was worried that it was going to be somewhat of a knock off of Usher’s “OMG” (I was never crazy about it). Once I heard it, I breathed a sigh of relief. The beat was definitely more FM style. And the wonderful thing about this track is not only did they get Snoop Dogg on it, but they actually have him singing!
 She Owns the Night I quite like this song. For once I just can’t seem to put my finger on why I like it though.
 So What? To be honest, I didn’t like this song during my first listen. When I failed to skip it while playing the whole album a few times over, it started to grow on me. The beat is catchy, though not quite the same way as G6.
 Don’t Look Now I LOVE this song! I can literally play it repeatedly for hours and still not get sick of it. When I first heard about a collabo with Keri Hilson, I was skeptical. I’ve been a fan of Keri’s and the music on her album was great. But all the collaborations that weren’t on her album led to disappointment (at least for me) so I was fairly worried that this one wasn’t going to work out either. Luckily it turned out nicely and, judging by the feedback, it looks like a lot of people are bumpin’ this track. I really like FM’s playful lyrics and I think Keri’s voice worked perfectly on this easy-going tune.
 Fighting for Air A mellow track, but it just has this way of capturing your attention. It has more of a melody compared to the other tracks. The only thing that bothers me a bit is the panning at the beginning of the song (where the sound is juggled between the left and right speakers). I like how the idea was used, but the execution of it just feels a tiny bit off to me. Unless you’re listening to it with headphones though, it’s barely noticeable.
 White Flag This song didn’t do much for me at first, but again it grew on me with time. For some strange reason, it reminds me of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. I’m not too crazy about it, but it’s easy listening.
 2gether I prefer to hear this song performed on stage with all the high energy and excitement, as opposed to through my headphones.
Overall I give it 8.5/10. Anyone who is newly introduced to FM should be able to easily enjoy it. I think the eclectic mix of sounds on the album allows everyone to find at least one song that they like. As for those who have been following FM over the years like myself, you’ll like it regardless. I loved their “Animal” album (it’s still my ALL-TIME favourite cd) because I liked every single track on there, so that’s pretty hard to top. But once I learned to approach Free Wired with an open mind, everything was A-OK.
There’s nothing I really dislike about the album, but I will admit that I do kinda miss the old FM sound. Songs like Get That Money, Fetish, and Lowridin’ were among my ultimate favourites from their “Animal” album. And if we go further back, I’m still listening to songs like Knock Knock, Boomshake, For the City, and Sapphire Blue. I’ve included them on the playlist below if you want to check them out.