Be Here Now: First Takes On New Album Releases 9-9-14

Written by | September 9, 2014 6:50 am | No Comments

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ALBUM OF THE WEEK

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Goddess – Banks – If Fiona Apple tapped into r&b and was born in the 1990s, she would sound like Banks, whose moody modern tech sound is skittish but strong on this good debut – B

ICONoclast – Clinton Sparks – Longtime DJ takes rap songs and layers hooks and pop maneuvers on top of them – B

The Physical World – Death From Above 1979 – Nine years after their last release, these Canadian rockers are cutting edge modern kids with a taste for synth manipulations and a grungy guitar attack – B

Into The Wide – Delta Spirit – Soaring guitars mixed with alt country side bars and when they get the right song it is original and anthemic and when they don’t quite get the song right, the arrangements pull em through – B

El Pintor – Interpol – New York boys so we’ve got to be kind, right? I’ve always found their deep enriched doom rock a little on the ho hum side for me, though the vocalist sure can say a lot through tone of a voice. The National stole their lunch though this has moments – B-

Souled Out – Jhene Aiko – “Lyin’ King” sounds exactly like Drake if Drake was a woman from L.A. who sang soul. A compliment sure, but the rest of the album doesn’t match and is hip hop production qualities added to new r&b mood tracks – B-

Kids These days – Judah And The Lions – Americana-folkies it says here, what it doesn’t say is how strong “Kickin’ DaLeaves” with its faux Beatles intro or “Twenty Something” -an ode to their generation is. Consider them Hurray for The Riff Raff without the back story – B+

Single Mothers – Justin Towne Earles – Considered slight because it holds its depth close to its vest, this is a perfect album on every single level, in less than half an hour and no more than 10 songs, JTE nails every single song with flawless every single thing – ALBUM OF THE WEEK – A

Crush Songs – Karen O – This would be country if it had a twang to it, instead it is Yeah Yeah Yeah’s lead singer going lo-fi in an experiment that would’ve worked if there were more songs as good as “Ooo” – B-

Listen – The Kooks -Luke Pritchard has a great voice for classic UK rock but somewhere along the way they went from wanting to be the Kinks to wanting to be Arctic Monkeys -the second law of thermodynamics in action.”Westside” is a great song about love and friendship – C+

The Avenues – Lera Lynn – More Americana, this is sometimes swampy (“Comin’ Down”) and sometimes folky (“Out To Sea”) and mostly alty but wins out through a persistence of tasteful playing and a voice filled with feeling – B+

I Don’t Dance – Lee Brice – Bro Country with a taste for ballads, not bad as these things go – C+

Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet) – Loudon Wainwright III – “Brand New Dance” might prove itself to be the best song of the year and the rest of this album if not as great as Older Than My Old Man, certainly is the next best thing: more songs about growing old gracelessly – B+

Title – Meaghan Trainor – Four songs, all excellent, quirky, funny and catchy. With a top notch first tier production team behind her, this woman might continue, might have another “All About The Bass” in her – A-

In Return – Odesza – When you start your career remixing Pretty Lights, you are gonna continue it here – C+

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams – At its best, this is exactly as promised: Ryan goes classic rock. But elsewhere, there is too much blues riffs without the requisite song – B+

Relax – Sief7e – Young Puerto Rican popstar plays with Western pop forms and adds them to Latin American pop – B

Ritual In Repeat – Tennis – Indie popsters who broke big a coupla of years and here have a certain soulfulness which seems born to get lost in the shuffle – B-

Adrian Thaws – Tricky – The Tricky kid is getting less tricky as he gets older, this sounds like mainstream new r&b and that’s a good thing, it is present tense and smart but not earth shaking or world changing… which he once was – B+

Dream Your Life Away – Vance Joy – Very very pretty singer songwriterly folkiedom from Australia – B+

 

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