Written by Gabe Bullard Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:08
On The Fragile Army, the still 20-plus-member Polyphonic Spree take occasional steps away from sounding like a glee club conducted by Wayne Coyne. The songs (or "sections," as the band calls them) get sadder and angrier than those on previous albums, and the instrumentation varies beyond drums, guitar, and chorus.
Written by Andrew Scavotto Thursday, 28 June 2007 06:11
This may be the heaviest White Stripes album ever, and it showcases Meg's uncanny ability to understand Jack and drive the songs.
Written by Jim Campbell Monday, 25 June 2007 09:01
I completely forgot how "edgy"—by Air Supply standards, anyway—some of their songs came off.
Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 25 June 2007 08:45
His voice is mixed upfront, which means you can't ignore it. Some may wish to; Winstrom is likely gonna be an acquired taste, as there's playfulness and tension in equal measure in his tart delivery.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 25 June 2007 08:37
The Actual's singer/guitarist Max Bernstein's pedigree also invites curiosity: his mother is famed screenwriter and director Nora Ephron, and his father is Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein.
Written by David Lichius Monday, 25 June 2007 08:29
Belleville, Ill.'s the Conformists are the closest thing the boundless St. Louis area has to Shellac.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 25 June 2007 08:21
Both "The Touch" and its companion piece "Dare" feature Stan Bush's wailing vocals—think Sammy Hagar and Journey's Steve Perry smooshed together—over anthemic, fist-pump-inducing hair metal that will give any child of the '80s the same warm fuzzies as blasting "Pour Some Sugar on Me" out of a redneck bar jukebox.
Written by Glen Elkins Monday, 25 June 2007 08:13
Church's pained delivery, coupled with somber organ, requires a double take to make sure the copy of Fevers and Mirrors you had in high school didn't accidentally slip into your stereo.
Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 25 June 2007 08:01
It takes a certain creative willfulness to not only sustain the unusual sound palette here, but to make the resulting compositions melodically fresh and emotionally satisfying.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 25 June 2007 07:55
In lieu of instrumentals, each of East's 15 tracks features a guest vocalist, 10 singers in total.
Written by James Nokes Monday, 25 June 2007 02:47
World Without End is an unforgivingly remorseless stitchwork of murder ballads that unlike the somber, sometimes repentant Murder Ballads of Nick Cave, are just, well, creepy.
Written by Paul John Little Monday, 25 June 2007 02:42
"Morning Dew" retains much of its easy swagger courtesy of a slick, uptempo swamp-rock arrangement and a throat-rending vocal that finds Ryder channeling Melissa Etheridge with uncanny accuracy in the song's final stretch.
Written by Mikey Goralnik Friday, 22 June 2007 03:47
The high marks I've given this record are really a testament to the music. While Argos seems to have regressed a tad in his writing and delivery, guitarist Ian Catskilkin has moved well beyond the power chords, and catchy yet undemanding fretwork of Bang Bang for guitar stylings that are a bit more complicated.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 18 June 2007 13:50
Tennant and McTurnan share guitar and vocal duties, creating the swirling, '90s-style distorted guitar of self-professed influence My Bloody Valentine.
Written by Sam Levy Monday, 18 June 2007 13:41
Nobody in Columbus remembers them, but for two minutes and forty seconds they become amazingly familiar. It's unpolished, but it's from the soil, and the soul. And it's wonderful.
Written by David Lichius Monday, 11 June 2007 14:36
For a rock fan, there are certain bands' names you don't want to hear mentioned alongside "pop" in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 11 June 2007 14:28
Unlike Sumday by Grandaddy, Ten Readings of a Warning never found me reaching for the "skip" button. The songs are that good.
Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 11 June 2007 14:20
Kalli is genuinely self-aware, and, like most of us, living by the age-old ethos of "Hope springs eternal," even though disappointment and lowered expectations tend to be the norm.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 11 June 2007 14:15
Upon further listens, little details begin to bubble up to the surface: catchy melodies start to stick in your head, clever turns of phrase jump out of the lyrics, and subtle musical touches start to emerge from the mix.
Written by David Lichius Monday, 11 June 2007 13:55
With this long of a layoff, it is important to stress that Excellent Italian Greyhound is a Shellac record. There are no big surprises to be found inside.
Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 04 June 2007 15:10
This is one of the few records I've ever heard that would sound great in any situation. Driving in your car. Playing it in the background at a small dinner party. Curled up at night with your headphones on.
Written by Chris Schott Monday, 04 June 2007 15:05
The songs vary in style, giving artistic dignity to the track producer while allowing Sage to share the spotlight, giving credit where credit is due—a selfless rapper, imagine that.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 04 June 2007 14:56
Like the kindergartner who refuses to quietly return the instruments to the box at the end of class time, the album ends with someone giving one last impulsive jingling of the wind chimes.
Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 02 June 2007 05:58
Small observations, self-deprecating moments (Can I get a minute of not being nervous and not thinking of my dick"), and bits of conversation fill out the rest of the lyrics, lending credence to the National's more repetitive choruses, and adding a mystery that abolishes any semblance of tedium.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 30 May 2007 08:55
From the first note of the catchy guitar riff of "Eternity Is a Long Time," it will remind you why you like indie music so gosh-darned much. Jangly guitars! Plaintive lyrics!
Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 30 May 2007 08:40
Summoning a sort of ghostly, late-night vibe, Mehlan arranges these tracks like a witch at her cauldron, stirring and stirring the bubbling brew in hopes of conjuring magickal forces.
Written by Paul John Little Monday, 21 May 2007 10:06
Smith half-speaks his songs in a ramble-tamble style that recalls both Lou Reed and Eels' principal Mark Oliver Everett in equal measure, an inherently hip and cynical method of delivery which lends credibility to his street-level vocabulary and seedy subjects.
Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 21 May 2007 09:59
Coupled with emotional lyrics and sensual vocals, the end result is masterful, melodic poetry.
Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 14 May 2007 08:52
That now-classic sound is all over Beyond. The big, fuzzy riffs flow almost seamlessly from one song to the next and the not-quite whiney vocals sound just as good as ever.
Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 14 May 2007 08:48
It's perhaps a measure of the highly evolved musical aesthetic that pervades Scandinavia that a young Swedish dude like Gustav Ejstes could better his American counterparts at recreating guitar-based psychedelic rock of the hippie era.
Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 14 May 2007 08:06
The crafting of the group's style seems more at the front of their minds than the crafting of memorable songs.
Written by Jessica Gluckman Monday, 14 May 2007 07:43
A rolling rim-tap forms a bridge over watery arpeggios in "Talking With Fireworks," a would-be tender song ruptured by hot-level salvos so overwhelming that even the vocals are forced to drop out until the barrage recedes.
Written by Sam Levy Monday, 14 May 2007 07:39
Honestly, if you're a man, and it's summer, and you have a lady, and you love her, play this song. She'll kiss you right then and there.
Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 14 May 2007 03:49
Lyricism, voice melodies, and Timony's more innovative sounds have taken a backseat in Shapes, but this filler-free record is quality nonetheless and worthy of multiple plays.
Written by Raymee Holshouser Monday, 14 May 2007 03:32
The perfect plea, "Leave Me Like You Found Me" hearkens back to the simplest sound of Wilco, a track that could seamlessly slide onto 1999's Summerteeth.
Written by Jason Green Wednesday, 09 May 2007 07:06
There aren't any real laugh-out-loud moments on Trailercana, but there's enough witty and clever wordplay to please anyone looking for a fun little poke at the trailer park lifestyle that us Midwesterners know so well.
Written by Amy Burger Monday, 07 May 2007 13:40
A soulful and unique talent, Sia has a distinctive, almost otherworldly voice.
Written by Joe Bowman Monday, 07 May 2007 13:28
With The Reminder, Feist has emerged as the most solid of the rotating female vocalists from Broken Social Scene.
Written by Jason Neubauer Monday, 30 April 2007 14:26
Songs that embody an intricate use of musical theory coupled with thoughtful lyrics make up the debut CD of this San Francisco sextet. Classic undertones of lost love and semblances of heartbreak balance out compositions of odd celebration and poignant advice for the soul-sick.
Written by James Nokes Monday, 30 April 2007 14:24
Through electro beats, synth add-ins, space age mixes, and liberating lyrics, Lesbians on Ecstasy celebrate decades of womyn's movements and lesbian love.
Written by David Lichius Wednesday, 25 April 2007 14:44
There have been fantastic records released this year, but they all pale in comparison to Traineater. This record is that solid.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Wednesday, 25 April 2007 13:58
Each artist covers another member of the SC family, with assignments determined "via the ol' names-in-a-hat method," according to the album's press sheet.
Written by Joe Bowman Wednesday, 25 April 2007 13:51
All premature snickering aside, the album is curiously listenable, if not utterly scatterbrained in electronic stylings.
Written by Maria Kriszt Wednesday, 25 April 2007 13:44
Of God and Science shows their talent off with long stretches of music in every track; you never know when they will break into instrumentals.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 25 April 2007 13:37
Whenever Illinois starts to hint toward psychedelic, they always remember to harness pop structures and rein them in.
Written by Tyson Blanquart Tuesday, 24 April 2007 15:31
Makino sings of a love lost, but it appears that she is the dump-er rather than the dump-ee.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Tuesday, 24 April 2007 15:08
Mr. Quintron—or Robert Rolston to those who knew him in Florissant—provides a basic, plain-structured EP with music that is anything but bland.
Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 16 April 2007 15:33
A double-disc comprised of previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions of songs, and studio brainstorming, The Bottom Half reveals why Umphrey's McGee is one of the most intriguing rock bands in today's music scene, not just in the jam world.
Written by Nick Main Sunday, 15 April 2007 14:49
When you look back to his last album, the two tracks RJD2 sang on are some of the best songs on the album. The simple lyrics were charming; here they're embarrassing. What went wrong?
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 15 April 2007 12:52
On repeated listens, the once charming title track comes off as a watered-down ripoff of an earlier generation (Reagonomics, anyone?), despite the fact that Scott Rinning's vocals really are quite versatile and beautiful.
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 15 April 2007 12:43
Durham's voice—stark, lonely, aching—is spot-on against bare-bones accompaniment. When he sings counterpoint with himself on vocals, it's pure heaven.
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 15 April 2007 12:40
The more I listen to The Cost, the more I have realized this: My life is the Frames, at times spiraling wildly, deliciously, passionately out of control, only to be reigned back in and tamed.
Written by Sam Levy Wednesday, 11 April 2007 14:10
For every Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin there are a hundred Syl Johnsons, a big name if you know soul, a "No, I don't think I ever heard of him," if you don't.
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:42
A blend of live DJ sets, band performance, and cabaret in an irresistible show of dance beats and theatricality
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:33
Auroras don't come with soundtracks, but if listeners could imagine themselves in Alaska staring at an iridescent sky, this would be the music playing in the background.
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:28
20-year-old Dave Mehling takes on the indie circuit with the help of his late uncle's battered Gibson guitar
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:24
Not far off, but not quite there yet, a look at another for Cave and Cohency
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:18
What listeners have with Summary is a raw, uncensored cut of what could certainly use some severe translation
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:14
A satisfying mix of discordant sounds, slurry lyricism, and frenetic chords
Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:08
Jerk-funk candy fantasias with a dollop of homoeroticism
Written by David Lichius Monday, 09 April 2007 14:56
With ex-HV comrades Manolo Turner on drums and Travis Nelson handling the guitar duties, Other Men have turned away from the fractured and discordant heaviness of HV in favor of a decidedly more poppy and compact style.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 09 April 2007 14:50
The band's self-produced, self-released third album makes it clear that Minibar never needed a big label in the first place.
Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 09 April 2007 14:42
Kings of Leon still sound like no one else, mostly due to Caleb's literally instrumental vocals, but this is their first effort to see such decided growth.
Written by Amanda Pelle Sunday, 08 April 2007 10:13
Carey's radio-ready persona projects more than just a voice that could melt Antarctica; his boy-next-door baby face will surely win the hearts of a captivated audience in this eye-candy infatuated musical era.
Written by Bob McMahon Sunday, 01 April 2007 14:19
As on past releases, Serengeti is alternately political, abstract, hilarious, and goofy. He sounds equally convincing rapping cynical critiques as he does silly witticisms.
Written by Pete Wissinger Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:54
Levy has taken the atmosphere of Belle and Sebastian's If You're Felling Sinister and combined it with the feelings of the kid who got picked last for kickball.
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