Posts Tagged: Album Reviews

Art Brut: “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”

“Argos simply raises his voice, rambling with the articulate, impulse-driven zeal of someone who planned to use cue cards but decided to wing it.”

Art Brut: “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”

“Argos simply raises his voice, rambling with the articulate, impulse-driven zeal of someone who planned to use cue cards but decided to wing it.”

Out Hud: “Let us Never Speak of it Again”

“…her child-like voice hovering above the din like a feather over a circular saw. “

Out Hud: “Let us Never Speak of it Again”

“…her child-like voice hovering above the din like a feather over a circular saw. “

King Twist: Rock ‘n’ roll that survived the trip

“…like kissing your high-school sweetheart in her prime — instead of the one at the reunion party, hiding her wrinkles behind a Bloody Mary and too much mascara.”

King Twist: Rock ‘n’ roll that survived the trip

“…like kissing your high-school sweetheart in her prime — instead of the one at the reunion party, hiding her wrinkles behind a Bloody Mary and too much mascara.”

Gerling: “Bad Blood!!!”

“Their eclectic third LP is the kind that critics describe as either ‘ambitious’ or ‘unfocused’…”

Gerling: “Bad Blood!!!”

“Their eclectic third LP is the kind that critics describe as either ‘ambitious’ or ‘unfocused’…”

The Album Leaf: “In a Safe Place”

“…where his Nordic brethren arch achingly toward the heavens, LaValle seems content by the fire, contemplating the beauty before him through frost-tinted windows.”

The Album Leaf: “In a Safe Place”

“…where his Nordic brethren arch achingly toward the heavens, LaValle seems content by the fire, contemplating the beauty before him through frost-tinted windows.”

Kenji Jammer: “Hula Hula Dance 4”

“…a reinterpretation of Hawaiian-style steel guitar, sauntering past the luau for the sleek sofas of club-lounge culture. “

Kenji Jammer: “Hula Hula Dance 4”

“…a reinterpretation of Hawaiian-style steel guitar, sauntering past the luau for the sleek sofas of club-lounge culture. “

De La Soul: “Live at Tramps, 1996,” “De La Mix Tape”

“Only on the classic ‘Potholes in My Lawn’ does DJ Maseo sound like he’s in the same room.”

De La Soul: “Live at Tramps, 1996,” “De La Mix Tape”

“Only on the classic ‘Potholes in My Lawn’ does DJ Maseo sound like he’s in the same room.”

RJD2: “Since We Last Spoke”

“…strays further from the medium’s usual rap/soul axis and delves into arena rock, circa 1984 (Van Halen reference intended).”

RJD2: “Since We Last Spoke”

“…strays further from the medium’s usual rap/soul axis and delves into arena rock, circa 1984 (Van Halen reference intended).”

The Beta Band: “Heroes to Zeros”

“….more eclectic, off-kilter pop, but from a point much closer to the center than kaleidoscopic EPs of yore.”

The Beta Band: “Heroes to Zeros”

“….more eclectic, off-kilter pop, but from a point much closer to the center than kaleidoscopic EPs of yore.”

Sufjan Stevens: “Seven Swans”

“…his verbal sketches outline stories, characters and emotions that listeners color in with their own experiences….”

Sufjan Stevens: “Seven Swans”

“…his verbal sketches outline stories, characters and emotions that listeners color in with their own experiences….”

Savath & Savalas: “Apropa’t”

“…soft, sad and sensual, like the last embrace of a lover before a long absence.”

Savath & Savalas: “Apropa’t”

“…soft, sad and sensual, like the last embrace of a lover before a long absence.”

U.N.K.L.E. “Never Never Land”

“…a murky, cathartic ride through the smoky psyche of one of the U.K.’s biggest record junkies.”

U.N.K.L.E. “Never Never Land”

“…a murky, cathartic ride through the smoky psyche of one of the U.K.’s biggest record junkies.”

Goldfrapp: “Black Cherry”

“…the syrupy symphonic samples found in the creamy center of ‘Black Cherry’ reveal the same spy-novel ambience that made ‘Felt Mountain’ so engaging.”

Goldfrapp: “Black Cherry”

“…the syrupy symphonic samples found in the creamy center of ‘Black Cherry’ reveal the same spy-novel ambience that made ‘Felt Mountain’ so engaging.”

Four Tet: “Rounds”

“…tambourines trickle through cracks of a lumbering bass line while piano clips lifted from Tori Amos float Ophelia-like down a treble-laden tributary.”

Four Tet: “Rounds”

“…tambourines trickle through cracks of a lumbering bass line while piano clips lifted from Tori Amos float Ophelia-like down a treble-laden tributary.”

Prefuse 73: “One Word Extinguisher”

“The new release offers more choice clips of verbal origami, but now Herren’s soul seeps through the incisions.”

Prefuse 73: “One Word Extinguisher”

“The new release offers more choice clips of verbal origami, but now Herren’s soul seeps through the incisions.”

Aoki Takamasa, Ogurusu Norihide and Takagi Masakatsu: “Come and Play in Our Backyard”

“…a collection of mixed media varying from delicate to decadent…”

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Aoki Takamasa, Ogurusu Norihide and Takagi Masakatsu: “Come and Play in Our Backyard”

“…a collection of mixed media varying from delicate to decadent…”

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“Saddle Creek 50”

“To the surprise of many, the American underground’s most fertile soil is now found on the parched plains of Omaha, Nebraska”

“Saddle Creek 50”

“To the surprise of many, the American underground’s most fertile soil is now found on the parched plains of Omaha, Nebraska”

Cody ChesnuTT: “The Headphone Masterpiece”

“…he is able to breakdance, cry on your shoulder and hump your leg all in the time it would take him to squeeze into those tight leather pants he fancies.”

Cody ChesnuTT: “The Headphone Masterpiece”

“…he is able to breakdance, cry on your shoulder and hump your leg all in the time it would take him to squeeze into those tight leather pants he fancies.”

Bright Eyes: “Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground”

“Some made him out as the indie Dylan or emo-Jesus; others called him a pubescent poster-boy for Zoloft.”

Bright Eyes: “Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground”

“Some made him out as the indie Dylan or emo-Jesus; others called him a pubescent poster-boy for Zoloft.”

Mary Lorson and Billy Cote: “Piano Creeps”

“…these tracks stretch out in the back seat and stare out the window while you do the driving”

Mary Lorson and Billy Cote: “Piano Creeps”

“…these tracks stretch out in the back seat and stare out the window while you do the driving”

Concert Preview: Massive Attack

“Their collages of seductive vocals and slow, fleshy beats appears to activate all the appropriate hormones and makes that itch — to dance or something more intimate — all the more crucial to scratch.”

Concert Preview: Massive Attack

“Their collages of seductive vocals and slow, fleshy beats appears to activate all the appropriate hormones and makes that itch — to dance or something more intimate — all the more crucial to scratch.”

Baka Beyond: “Heart of the Forest”

“In Japan, ‘baka’ may be what you call your boss behind his back, but this four-letter word also denotes the pygmy tribe indigenous to the rain forests near the Cameroon/Congo border.”

Baka Beyond: “Heart of the Forest”

“In Japan, ‘baka’ may be what you call your boss behind his back, but this four-letter word also denotes the pygmy tribe indigenous to the rain forests near the Cameroon/Congo border.”

“Synkretizm: A Mountain Thinking the River Fire.”

“For the faithful, the communion of saints and shamans offers even the most piteous peasant his own sliver of paradise. But to outsiders, voodoo only conjures up images of curses, chicken blood and pin-pricked rag dolls.”

“Synkretizm: A Mountain Thinking the River Fire.”

“For the faithful, the communion of saints and shamans offers even the most piteous peasant his own sliver of paradise. But to outsiders, voodoo only conjures up images of curses, chicken blood and pin-pricked rag dolls.”

Common: “Electric Circus”

“Hip-hop and Hollywood share at least one thing in common: Star-studded lineups never guarantee a work of art. “

Common: “Electric Circus”

“Hip-hop and Hollywood share at least one thing in common: Star-studded lineups never guarantee a work of art. “

“el Christmas: The World in Winter”

“A holiday compilation album pulled from el’s catalog of aural confectionary makes perfect sense as so much of the holiday season nowadays revolves around sweets and booze.”

“el Christmas: The World in Winter”

“A holiday compilation album pulled from el’s catalog of aural confectionary makes perfect sense as so much of the holiday season nowadays revolves around sweets and booze.”

Amon Tobin: “Out From Out Where”

“…adds to a small collection of jungle/techno that still has flesh and blood beneath the circuits…”

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Amon Tobin: “Out From Out Where”

“…adds to a small collection of jungle/techno that still has flesh and blood beneath the circuits…”

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Sigur Ros: “( )”

“When Birgisson sings, his mesmerizing falsetto sounds somewhere between a choirboy and a very, very lonely whale.”

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Sigur Ros: “( )”

“When Birgisson sings, his mesmerizing falsetto sounds somewhere between a choirboy and a very, very lonely whale.”

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The Polyphonic Spree: “The Beginning Stages Of . . .”

…upon seeing this group of 25 young Texans in white robes, you might wonder how much weaponry they’ve already stored up for doomsday…

The Polyphonic Spree: “The Beginning Stages Of . . .”

…upon seeing this group of 25 young Texans in white robes, you might wonder how much weaponry they’ve already stored up for doomsday…

Mr. Lif: “I Phantom”

“…a magniloquent saga that satisfies your ears as well as what’s between them.”

Mr. Lif: “I Phantom”

“…a magniloquent saga that satisfies your ears as well as what’s between them.”

Doug Martsch: “Now You Know”

“Has Martsch traded in his ratty jeans and Gen-X sneer for dark glasses, a porkpie hat and a dingy room on Bourbon Street?”

Doug Martsch: “Now You Know”

“Has Martsch traded in his ratty jeans and Gen-X sneer for dark glasses, a porkpie hat and a dingy room on Bourbon Street?”

Manu Chao and the Radio Bemba Sound System

Manu Chao and the Radio Bemba Sound System

“…he quickly attracted a circus-like entourage, replete with trapeze artists and magicians…”

Manu Chao and the Radio Bemba Sound System

Manu Chao and the Radio Bemba Sound System

“…he quickly attracted a circus-like entourage, replete with trapeze artists and magicians…”

Hot Club of Cowtown: “Ghost Train”

“Like all good revivalists, they honor their influences without riding on their coattails.”

Hot Club of Cowtown: “Ghost Train”

“Like all good revivalists, they honor their influences without riding on their coattails.”

Julee Cruise: “The Art of Being a Girl”

“No longer a misty-eyed Alice in Wonderland, Cruise is, if anything, the Cheshire Cat, grinning, purring and slinking through tracks laced with bossa nova and acid jazz.”

Julee Cruise: “The Art of Being a Girl”

“No longer a misty-eyed Alice in Wonderland, Cruise is, if anything, the Cheshire Cat, grinning, purring and slinking through tracks laced with bossa nova and acid jazz.”

Interpol: “Turn on the Bright Lights”

“These songs escape Subterranea and ring out into the stratosphere.”

Interpol: “Turn on the Bright Lights”

“These songs escape Subterranea and ring out into the stratosphere.”

Guided by Voices: “Universal Truths and Cycles”

“TVT seemed to see GBV only for their promising pop-rock potential. The resulting attempt at clean, slick production spackled over the cracks and crevices that gave GBV its sense of careless brilliance.”

Guided by Voices: “Universal Truths and Cycles”

“TVT seemed to see GBV only for their promising pop-rock potential. The resulting attempt at clean, slick production spackled over the cracks and crevices that gave GBV its sense of careless brilliance.”

The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

“Crisp acoustic guitar riffs are sprinkled sparingly over the digital effluvium, making Coyne’s whiny falsetto sound like a sedated Neil Young being probed by aliens in an X-Files outtake.”

The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

“Crisp acoustic guitar riffs are sprinkled sparingly over the digital effluvium, making Coyne’s whiny falsetto sound like a sedated Neil Young being probed by aliens in an X-Files outtake.”

Sonic Youth: Murray Street

“There’s still enough screech and hiss in their amps to both satisfy die-hard fans and ensure no major airplay.”

Sonic Youth: Murray Street

“There’s still enough screech and hiss in their amps to both satisfy die-hard fans and ensure no major airplay.”

Azure Ray: ‘Burn and Shiver’

“…horns accentuate tracks by letting out the occasional warm sigh, but then tip-toe out before stirring anyone out of their sugarplum dreams.”

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Azure Ray: ‘Burn and Shiver’

“…horns accentuate tracks by letting out the occasional warm sigh, but then tip-toe out before stirring anyone out of their sugarplum dreams.”

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Cee-lo: ‘Cee-lo and His Perfect Imperfections’

“Cee-lo seems to be trying hard to free his mind. Now he should allow the rest of his girth to follow.”

Cee-lo: ‘Cee-lo and His Perfect Imperfections’

“Cee-lo seems to be trying hard to free his mind. Now he should allow the rest of his girth to follow.”

The Breeders: ‘Title TK’

“Those twin sisters and their spooky-yet-sensual vocals. Those guitar riffs your kid brother could play, but could never pull off like they did. This was the band that helped bring college-rock aesthetics into the mainstream.”

The Breeders: ‘Title TK’

“Those twin sisters and their spooky-yet-sensual vocals. Those guitar riffs your kid brother could play, but could never pull off like they did. This was the band that helped bring college-rock aesthetics into the mainstream.”

Wilco: ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’

“Bubbling beneath the surface, O’Rourke’s squeaks, creaks and low-key rumblings add texture and weight to the airy strings and piano. With the success of Radiohead’s ‘Kid-A,’ one would think labels like Reprise would be gagging for this kind of material.”

Wilco: ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’

“Bubbling beneath the surface, O’Rourke’s squeaks, creaks and low-key rumblings add texture and weight to the airy strings and piano. With the success of Radiohead’s ‘Kid-A,’ one would think labels like Reprise would be gagging for this kind of material.”

Sage Francis: ‘Personal Journals’

“…his prose is packed with clever wordplay (“avant-garden of Eden,” “father figure-eights,” “low self-esteem-engine”) and delivered at breakneck speed. Further listens reveal his talent for enjambment and rhythm/verse change-ups.”

Sage Francis: ‘Personal Journals’

“…his prose is packed with clever wordplay (“avant-garden of Eden,” “father figure-eights,” “low self-esteem-engine”) and delivered at breakneck speed. Further listens reveal his talent for enjambment and rhythm/verse change-ups.”

Treasure Isle: ‘Ska All Mighty’

“Give that old copy of Marley’s ‘Legend’ a rest, will you?”

Treasure Isle: ‘Ska All Mighty’

“Give that old copy of Marley’s ‘Legend’ a rest, will you?”

Reverend Horton Heat: ‘Lucky 7’

“It’s been 10 years, four record labels and endless gallons of booze since the good Reverend first introduced us to his blistering brand of deep-fried, Texas-style rockabilly.”

Reverend Horton Heat: ‘Lucky 7’

“It’s been 10 years, four record labels and endless gallons of booze since the good Reverend first introduced us to his blistering brand of deep-fried, Texas-style rockabilly.”

Seaworthy: ‘The Ride’

“The first three tracks, with their hypnotic reverb and heartbeat-percussion, gently push you from shore and into the murky waters of Joshua’s psyche.”

Seaworthy: ‘The Ride’

“The first three tracks, with their hypnotic reverb and heartbeat-percussion, gently push you from shore and into the murky waters of Joshua’s psyche.”

Boards of Canada: ‘Geogaddi’

“…warm drone melts glacially slow beats, permeated by nearly indecipherable vocal samples that leave you guessing what subliminal messages have been enclosed.”

Boards of Canada: ‘Geogaddi’

“…warm drone melts glacially slow beats, permeated by nearly indecipherable vocal samples that leave you guessing what subliminal messages have been enclosed.”

Janet Klein: 'Paradise Wobble'

Janet Klein: ‘Paradise Wobble’

“No longer dusty old records in the attic, the re-creations Klein and company serve up are as clear and sharp as the bathtub gin in a speakeasy martini.”

Janet Klein: 'Paradise Wobble'

Janet Klein: ‘Paradise Wobble’

“No longer dusty old records in the attic, the re-creations Klein and company serve up are as clear and sharp as the bathtub gin in a speakeasy martini.”

Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra

“What better place to capture that uninhibited elation they create than at Buddy’s, where the crowd has swarmed so thick and sweaty that people have very literally hung from the rafters to see them?”

Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra

“What better place to capture that uninhibited elation they create than at Buddy’s, where the crowd has swarmed so thick and sweaty that people have very literally hung from the rafters to see them?”

Monoland: 'Cooning'

Monoland: ‘Cooning’

“Sustained chords crash upon each other while the sparse, sensual vocals seem caught in the undertow, their androgynous voices pulled deep below the cacophony, like sirens dancing underwater.”

Monoland: 'Cooning'

Monoland: ‘Cooning’

“Sustained chords crash upon each other while the sparse, sensual vocals seem caught in the undertow, their androgynous voices pulled deep below the cacophony, like sirens dancing underwater.”