Feed on
Posts
Comments

Category Archive for 'Rock/Pop'

Perfume Genius: Too Bright

“In some ways, Perfume Genius’ intimate, unflinching balladry reached its logical conclusion on Put Your Back N 2 It. On that deceptively gentle collection of songs, Mike Hadreas’ songwriting gained more agency while opening the door to the possibilitieshe explores to the fullest on Too Bright. With the help of Portishead’s Adrian Utley and PJ [...]

Read Full Post »

The Afghan Whigs: Do to the Beast

“Do to the Beast is an ambitious attempt to re-create the feeling of the Afghan Whigs while retooling their sonic fingerprint; the final product is intelligent and often fascinating, but it doesn’t deliver like the Afghan Whigs do at their best, and ultimately comes off as a brave but somewhat unsatisfying experiment.” -allmusic.com   Check [...]

Read Full Post »

“‘Haunting’ is an overused adjective, but it still defines Mirel Wagner’s music perfectly. It certainly applied to her self-titled debut, which brought folk and blues back to their eldritch roots with songs that fell somewhere between nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and murder ballads. It’s an even more apt description of her intensely beautiful and unsettling [...]

Read Full Post »

“With its skittish and fuzzed-out production and tendency to shift direction on a whim, the album feels as though it’s trying to re-create the feeling of hearing an album like Sgt. Pepper’s for the first time in 1967, re-creating that feeling that absolutely anything could happen at any moment. Like some of their past collaborations, [...]

Read Full Post »

Flying Lotus: You’re dead!

“An early form of You’re Dead! was the length of a double album — a large mass of brief tracks that, for Steven Ellison, possibly signified nothing more than his fifth Flying Lotus album. As the producer and keyboardist spent more time absorbing and shaping the recordings, the title, initially comic in meaning, gained emotional [...]

Read Full Post »

David Guetta: Listen

“…Guetta does the build, break, and drop thing on some cuts, while tastefully keeping other songs EDM free, but his major contribution when it comes to creativity seems to be the inspired Black Eyed Peas and township jive mashing he does on ‘Lift Me Up’ with Nico & Vinz plus Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Otherwise, he [...]

Read Full Post »

“He (Rice) whittles away the excess in his words and melody, then dresses the detailed sculpture in finely tailored accouterments of slightly sighing strings, strummed guitars, and a hint of forward momentum lying within buried rhythms. This means My Favourite Faded Fantasy may come on as a bit underwhelming at first but that’s the intent: [...]

Read Full Post »

Bette Midler: It’s the Girls!

“Bette Midler’s 2014 effort, It’s the Girls!, finds the legendary vocalist paying homage to female girl groups from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Never one to be underestimated, however, Midler also brings the homage full circle with a reworking of TLC’s 1995 R&B hit ‘Waterfalls.’ Midler’s 14th studio album and 25th album overall, It’s the [...]

Read Full Post »

Simple Minds: Big Music

“Big Music finds Simple Minds coming full circle — going all the way back to 1979 for inspiration. They’ve rediscovered the urgent, keyboard-driven post-punk futurism of recordings such as Empires and Dance and Sons and Fascination. Rather than try to merely re-create them, they’ve integrated them with the more guitar-centric classicism of New Gold Dream, [...]

Read Full Post »

Maroon 5: V

“…the vibe shifts slightly back to the soulful pop that’s remained at Maroon 5′s core since the beginning, here given an ever so slight maturation to balance the modern moves heard on the rest of the record. Sometimes, the group achieves a delicate balance between the two extremes — ‘It Was Always You,’ ‘New Love,’ [...]

Read Full Post »

Mogwai: Rave Tapes

“As impressive as Rave Tapes’ rockers are, the album’s heart lies in subtler tracks like ‘Heard About You Last Night,’ a dreamy prelude that makes the most of the delicacy Mogwai has excelled at since their early days. Similarly, the quietly anthemic ‘Blues Hour’ and vocoder-driven ‘The Lord Is Out of Control’ hark back to [...]

Read Full Post »

Joe Henry: Invisible Hour

“Joe Henry has always had a knack for excellent wordplay and knows how to find great sounds and conjure great performances in the studio, but Invisible Hour is most impressive in how spare it is; there is almost nothing here that doesn’t help set the mood or move the songs forward, and in this elegant [...]

Read Full Post »

“The reading of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Going Home’ recalls the half-spoken/half-sung delivery (with Brian Eno on backing vocals no less) and places the singer in the place of the subject’s muse, observing him without pity or condemnation. Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well’ is reinterpreted through the Weimar Republic’s cabaret musical vocabulary, too: [...]

Read Full Post »

Garth Brooks: Man Against Machine

“From its beefy arena rock arrangements to its preponderance of power ballads, this is an album constructed from remnants of the golden age of the diamond album, a cross-demographical blockbuster that’s now a bit of accidental narrowcasting. This is for audiences who wish they made country records like they used to — not when Hank, [...]

Read Full Post »

Stromae: Racine Carree

“At first look, Stromae’s pumping Euro-disco with a dash of hip-hop and world music may seem fairly indistinguishable from offerings by many others artists on the Continent. As incongruous as it sounds, what sets Stromae apart from his peers are actually his lyrics — something that you do not hear too often (read: never) when [...]

Read Full Post »

Benjamin Booker: Benjamin Booker

“As soon as Benjamin Booker’s eponymous 2014 debut kicks in with a skittish guitar run and a primal garage beat, it’s clear the guitarist — a native of Tampa Bay who spent time in New Orleans before heading back to Florida — is unapologetic for the debt he owes to Jack White. Like the Black [...]

Read Full Post »

Cracker: Berkeley to Bakersfield

“The Bakersfield tunes are the purest country music Cracker have released to date, with a rich dose of twangy soul that doesn’t negate the frequent seriousness of the lyrics as Lowery’s high-attitude vocals blend with Matt ‘Pistol’ Stoessel’s pedal steel and Luke Moeller’s fiddle. And the rock tunes sound sharp and muscular, with guitarist Johnny [...]

Read Full Post »

Colbie Caillat: Gypsy Heart

“Four albums in, Colbie Caillat decided it was time for a cool change. The singer/songwriter remains quintessentially Southern Californian — her spirit is sunny, her melodies breezy — but she no longer dresses her songs in beachwear. She’s ditched the peasant skirts for stylish black dresses; she’s no longer strumming an acoustic guitar; she’s singing [...]

Read Full Post »

“…Billy doesn’t really throw himself into autobiography here, preferring to merely write from the perspective of an old punk rocker on the verge of senior citizenship. Frankly, that’s enough to give Kings & Queen of the Underground character if not quite a kick. Idol may be posturing — that’s what he does for a living, [...]

Read Full Post »

She & Him: Classics

“While the release of another standards album doesn’t always elicit cries of celebration, some artists are perfectly suited to such a task. Taking a romp around their own bailiwick is a breeze for pop classicists like She & Him, who offer up this platter of elegantly conceived cover songs that resembles the very source material [...]

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »