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.
Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:52
Havnevik has the touch, apparently, but knowing the little details about her past hardly prepares you for the vibrant, gorgeous sound of her debut.
Written by Amanda Pelle Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:29
At best, Taglieri's musical abilities, especially those portrayed in "Wide Awake & Dreaming," the album's namesake, might be suitable for a modern church choir.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:23
One only needs to look to the masterful construction of "However Many Takes It Takes" to see that Heidinger feels the genre in his bones, as his learned tone confidently suggests that Vandaveer is worth a listen, that his stories are worth being heard.
Tuesday, 27 March 2007 13:37
In celebration of the group's 40th anniversary, Epic/Legacy Records has deemed it the right time to reissue Sly & The Family Stone's seven LPs, with the usual digital re-mastering, revised liner notes, and bonus tracks included. These new CD packages provide a thorough look at the birth and death of Sly Stone's American dream.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 26 March 2007 13:45
"On Your Level," the second track on Never Been Better, has the underdog anthem qualities of classic Replacements, Matt Marka singing in a rough-throated howl over guitars that have the wild fury of Bob Stinson but the lo-fi buzz of Hüsker Dü-era Bob Mould.
Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 26 March 2007 08:43
Pocket Symphony is eminently listenable, as long as you're not expecting to rock out or looking for retreads of "Moon Safari."
Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 26 March 2007 08:25
Hammond proves plenty capable, suggesting that it may be time for Casablancas to loosen the band's collaborative strings.
Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 23 March 2007 03:48
While Bird's live performances serve as a landscape for rewriting his songs, as well as artistic experimentation, the 33-year-old Illinoisan has found stability in the studio, a place where his beauteous forms and melodies come to harbor.
Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 23 March 2007 03:37
On "Parting of the Sensory," a sleepy acoustic is held up by rhythmic claps before jumping into a hoot-and-holler romp, and "We've Got Everything" employs Mercer's yelp to bring the album's most danceable song a little light-hearted charm.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 15:24
Admittedly they have dropped some rather forgetful releases in their history, but picking out which records are their worst (my vote goes for 2002's TA) is liable to stir up arguments voicing the exact opposite opinion. Also, simply describing the band without disagreements is a true rarity. Welcome to the world of the Trans Am fan.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 15:12
The pair have sold millions of records between them, Shaw as the singer/guitarist of Styx and the writer of all that band's best songs ("Renegade," for example) and Blades as the singer/bassist of hair band giants Night Ranger, but neither has had a hit since 1 B.C. (Before Cobain), making a grasp at recapturing their glory with a covers album pretty much an inevitability.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:58
If his new band's debut album is any indication, Blink bassist Mark Hoppus didn't take the breakup all that well. "Please understand/ This isn't just goodbye/ This is I can't stand you" he wails on the dark "No, It Isn't."
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:43
Refreshingly, the Greencards are neither hidebound by bluegrass traditions nor divorced from them. Combining Anglo and American, folk and popular, the separate influences upon their sound are apparent but never dominant.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:36
Released much later than originally anticipated, the Noisette's first LP is a truly a priceless pearl embedded into a normal-looking oyster.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:31
Their undeniable talent gives them accessibility to a plethora of musical opportunities.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:25
Lead singer Michael Shepard confusingly ooohs and aaahs for about a minute, then returns to the chorus.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:19
I like it in the way I like Green Day: it's OK to listen to once or twice, but after that, I get a little overwhelmed by the brutality of what might have otherwise been a perfectly soothing song.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:14
Many Sound of Silver songs have strong lyrical content, which is pretty impressive for a dance-punk album, and an improvement from the debut - though don't expect poetry.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:09
The album starts off with its best song, "Glueman," a fantastic Fender Rhodes-driven number that bops along, getting progressively better as it goes. In this writer's opinion, this was one of the best singles of last year.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:04
It's tasteful but not terribly innovative; sweet but never cloying; endearing and enjoyable.
Written by Paul John Little Monday, 12 March 2007 03:02
Neon Bible is to the '00s what Radiohead's OK Computer was to the '90s. Quite simply, it captures the zeitgeist as only a few pieces of popular music have ever managed to do.
Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 11 March 2007 11:17
The nice balance between the clean guitars and Zac Young's cool drumming on "No Stars" serves as a perfect setting for Taylor's soft, organically pure voice.
Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 02 March 2007 09:08
Imagine if Oasis and the Libertines had a baby, and that baby didn't think he was the greatest thing in the world. That baby would probably like Hats Off to the Buskers.
Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 02 March 2007 09:02
The Fratellis embrace what most young bands try so hard to ignore: their hooky instincts.
Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 26 February 2007 14:17
"It makes me feel free to do anything," Woomble sings on "Every Line of a Long Moment," and I can't help but think, yes, that's what a good song will do.
Written by C. Saathoff Monday, 26 February 2007 14:13
...a guitar-rocker laced with social and political commentary that continues right where 2005's Okemah and the Melody of Riot left off.
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