Posts tagged "cd review"
Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines: Album Review

Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines: Album Review

“Blurred Lines” is the song of the summer. That’s not mere conjecture; that’s almost scripture at this point. “Blurred Lines” is a big old Smash Hit, the kind we only get a couple of a year, the kind that everyone knows the words to. They know T.I.’s vowel-heavy guest rap, Pharrell’s every “whoo!”, the sly way Robin Thicke himself barely conceals a chuckle as he croons “what rhymes with hug me?”… the song’s massive, and why shouldn’t it be? With [...]

Jay-Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail: Album Review

Jay-Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail: Album Review

If you’ve grown up with Jay-Z as a consistent presence in your life, it’s difficult to be critical of him. That might have to do with his fairly remarkable record – although he’s only released a handful of stone-cold classics (Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint unimpeachably, and I’d argue for The Black Album too), he’s released plenty of good albums, with few (if any) clunkers in the bunch. I mean, sure, Kingdom Come and American Gangster weren’t really what anyone [...]

Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City: Album Review

Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City: Album Review

There was a time that Vampire Weekend perched, perilously, on the precipice of being one of the great one-album wonders of the ’00s. Like Cannibal Ox or At the Drive-In or Bloc Party before them, the Ivy League pop-rockers seemed poised to turn heads with one masterstroke of a record, and then retreat into either obscurity, oddity, or simple irrelevance. That album was 2008’s Vampire Weekend — the one with “Oxford Comma” and “A-Punk” and basically all the Vampire Weekend [...]

Mikal Cronin, MCII: Album Review

Mikal Cronin, MCII: Album Review

Mikal Cronin is making music to get addicted to. The Ty Segall sideman and solo artist is far from a household name. Google searches and Rateyourmusic keywords seem to suggest that the singer-songwriter exists in the realm of “garage rock”, although that hardly seems like a fair shake for a guy responsible for some of the most addictive, giddy pop music of 2013 yet. Mind you, the multi-instrumental’s sophomore set, MCII, does occupy the same headspace as, say, Guided By [...]

She & Him, Volume 3: Album Review

She & Him, Volume 3: Album Review

She & Him’s charm used to seem a little… Starbucks-y at times. You know what I mean: it’s fine for what you need, but both the band and the big-box coffee chain seem a bit like mainstream, inoffensive versions of their respective wares masquerading as hip versions of the same. (Also, She & Him sound like they probably get played at Starbucks a lot.) And yet, with three proper albums and a toe-tappin’ Christmas record under their belts, the Zooey [...]

Natalie Maines, Mother: Album Review

Natalie Maines, Mother: Album Review

A Dixie Chick goes solo…check out our review of Natalie Maines’ “Mother.”

Guided By Voices, English Little League: Album Review

Guided By Voices, English Little League: Album Review

If the year 2012 conditioned music fans to anything — other than the fact that “Call Me Maybe” is inescapable, and the only way to mount a true offense is to just give into its charms already — it’s the cultural inevitability that is the re-formed mid-’90s lineup of Guided By Voices, and the Pavlovian sense that, every four to six months, GBV will be releasing another record, so pull on your Bee Thousand t-shirt and prepare your mind for [...]

Os Mutantes, Fool Metal Jack: Album Review

Os Mutantes, Fool Metal Jack: Album Review

Consistency is an appealing trait in an album. Versatility is, of course, encouraged, but the best records have a common unifying thread linking one song to the next. Nudge too far in one direction, and your record is disjointed, schizophrenic; too far in the other and it’s staid and unexciting, and some jack-off music critic is tut-tutting your artistic vision. Reformed Brazilian psych-rock band Os Mutantes’s new record, Fool Metal Jack, threatens to careen off the rails several times. Perhaps [...]

Frank Turner, Tape Deck Heart: Album Review

Frank Turner, Tape Deck Heart: Album Review

If English singer-songwriter Frank Turner’s heart is a tape deck, it’s a severely used one; it warps the tape in your favorite cassette, and everything sounds scratchy and worn, cloaked in a layer of tell-tale hiss. It doesn’t matter, though, because it’s got one of your favorite songs lurking deep within its recesses, and if Guided By Voices have taught us anything, it’s that a great song is a great song, period. Frank Turner’s new album, on the other hand, [...]

Snoop Lion, Reincarnated: Album Review

Snoop Lion, Reincarnated: Album Review

Snoop Dogg? Snoop Lion? Whatever the hell you call him, he has a record out.

Phoenix, Bankrupt! : Album Review

Phoenix, Bankrupt! : Album Review

“List-o-mania, my testes, see ‘em grow… like-a-rhi, like-a-rhino!” These are, the internet tells me, definitely not the lyrics to Phoenix’s breakthrough hit, “Lisztomania”. I never actually thought that the Parisian indie-rockers were narrating a peppy, Kafka-esque tale about growing rhinoceros balls, mind you — but the absurdist image never failed to make me chuckle, and anyway, why futz with something that was probably way cooler in my brain? (Actual lyrics: “Think less, but see it grow; like a riot, like [...]

The Shouting Matches, Grownass Man: Album Review

The Shouting Matches, Grownass Man: Album Review

Musical anonymity can be a funny thing. Justin Vernon, the neo-folk mastermind behind Bon Iver, isn’t going completely incognito by stepping out with a few friends to record a loose-limbed garage-blues record, but it’s something of a musical disguise nevertheless; his ethereal, crooning falsetto replaced with a gnarled, expressive wail, one could easily mistake his vocals on The Shouting Matches’ Grownass Man for the work of… of anyone else, really. Take your pick. But that’s not to say that Grownass [...]