Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 31 January 2007 09:11
Any budding garage band with a sense of humor can come up with a unique moniker, but only the ones with real talent and determination will likely see their name become secondary to their sound.
Written by Jason Green Wednesday, 31 January 2007 09:00
When Lee and Balsamo experiment, however, they almost always succeed. On "Cloud Nine" and "Lose Control," the band uses sequenced drumbeats courtesy of DJ Lethal (of House of Pain and Limp Bizkit fame) and echo-laden vocals to form airy arrangements that at times border on trip-hop, like some crazy bastard child of Korn and Portishead.
Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 31 January 2007 08:55
Williamson has a poignant, delicate approach to playing piano that often provides more of the emotional pull than her vocals do.
Written by Jason Green Wednesday, 31 January 2007 08:51
A few ballads even sneak in to shake up the tempo, which helps the flow of the album even if they aren't particularly memorable individually.
Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 31 January 2007 08:48
Waters' third album on her own label builds in intensity and curious details until the initial seeming lack of originality gives way to a much more lasting impression. This woman is a keen observer of life, a deeply empathetic soul, and a truly devoted musician.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 31 January 2007 08:44
Having assembled a diversely talented group of musicians in the Clash's Paul Simonon (bass), the Verve's Simon Tong (lead guitar), Afrobeat specialist Tony Allen (drums), and the production of Danger Mouse, Albarn never seems to fully engage any of them.
Written by Tyson Blanquart Wednesday, 24 January 2007 14:05
Sonic Youth captures this improvisation and musical weirdness on nearly every album, so much so that they are the standard by which noise music is measured.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:59
While the (past and possibly present) prom-night power of "Forever Young" is what will most likely dominate the attentions of Casino Twilight Dogs, it is by no means the high point of the album.
Written by Chris Schott Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:53
Listening to the songs on Don't Make Me Wait, one might think back to an Ed Sullivan–era Beatles. The band seems to carry that same befuddled charm the Fab Four was known for back in early 1960s.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:48
The album cover tells you a lot. Look closely, and you see all sorts of cute little details. Hey, wow, are those cars flying?
Written by Katherine Yeske-Taylor Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:41
Woozy, trashy, sexy, secretive...this band makes late-night heartbreak and alcohol-fueled mistakes sound alluring.
Written by Chris Schott Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:30
The people at Hometapes are keeping their ears to the ground, making sure we're constantly hearing something new and exciting.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:24
This record is undoubtedly Of Montreal's most cogent effort to date, and not coincidentally, contains some of Barnes' most personal songs.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:18
What the tender-voiced folksmith does best throughout Grand Forks is create an eerily pleasant, old-timey tone, blending the straight-forward dialogue of Hank Williams, Sr. with a modernized, feminized lilt in the vein of Jeff Buckley.
Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 24 January 2007 02:49
We ultimately benefit in that this Shins record, more than any before, ceaselessly moves from one mood to the next, blending darkened optimism with the glaring shadows of Mercer's lyrics, allowing the group's omnipresent sing-along ability to withstand the attention of casual enthusiasts alongside repeat listeners.
Saturday, 06 January 2007 14:40
The opening title track is an invitation to the next 11 songs and tells you all you need to know: catchy, high-energy, strong vocals, steady beat, solid harmonies.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 30 December 2006 05:04
Credit not just the group songwriting on display here, but those painfully tight, communal harmonies that decorate each song. They're a bit too dark and desperate to garner the overly familiar Beach Boys comparisons—but they're just as effective.
Written by Kate Estwing Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:42
The DFA crew goes beyond gimmick with its second gathering of remixes.
Written by Maria Kriszt Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:37
This is Jay-Z we're talking about. He's always kept it real, and he keeps on keepin' on with his new disc, Kingdom Come.
Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:30
Despite jejune lyrics that clearly reflect Shitake Monkey's social statement (that being that contemporary pop is offensively effortless in its production), Street Beef is, indeed, a very finely tuned, imaginative album.
Written by Tyson Blanquart Friday, 08 December 2006 04:08
The moods shift from gloomy to almost psychedelic to nearly joyous. But each feeling evoked has kind of a dark cast to it, as well. Perhaps it has something to do with the use of minor keys in a lot of the songs.
Written by Jason Green Friday, 08 December 2006 04:02
In what seems like a fairly obvious pairing, Damn Yankees Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw tackle the high harmonies on "Day Tripper," a song whose guitar riff was made for wank-ery, and Doug Aldritch (Whitesnake, Dio) definitely delivers.
Written by Tyson Blanquart Friday, 08 December 2006 02:59
"Right Where You Left Me" has almost an amateurish sound to it, but this somehow makes it more endearing. It's a lost-love song that's worthy of repeated playing. Gavi's voice runs across familiar territory here, but it shows his adeptness at handling this type of vocal: heartfelt, hurt, and wanting happiness.
Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 04 December 2006 14:27
If this EP is any indication, there should only be better things to come from Slim, a 26-year-old Pennsylvanian spawned from a time that no longer exists, pulling Dylan, moonshine, and sepia photos from under his dandy suit.
Written by Kevin Huelsmann Monday, 04 December 2006 14:16
The scream-heavy verses with choruses on their second album, Let Your Body Take Over, try to wring out some emotion, or at least empathy, from the listener. The problem is that they don't go anywhere.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 04 December 2006 14:14
The New York City fivesome have created a bizarre blend of virtually all things heavy, resulting in an album that is a breath of fresh air for metal fans and something that will likely send anyone else running to the hills.
Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 04 December 2006 14:10
All this drama surely raises expectations, am I right? But, unfortunately, the wait doesn't seem to have been worth it.
Written by Chris Schott Monday, 04 December 2006 14:06
Polished and hidden behind gobs of eyeliner, the band seems to be hiding their age. Taz Bentley, drummer and ex-Reverend Horton Heat member, looks the worse, completely out of place, clinging to a rock and roll fantasy haunted by being youthful and energetic.
Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 04 December 2006 14:03
The resulting effort from Bad Astronaut is a solid album of straight-rocking tunes that get through to the listener with their honest approach.
Written by Toriano L. Porter Monday, 04 December 2006 13:59
Music icon Oliver Sain and funk bands the Real Thing and the Playboys usher in the CD with St. Louis-themed funk tunes "St. Louis Breakdown," "Do the Funky Robot," and "Bumpin' Bus Stop."
Written by Tyson Blanquart Monday, 04 December 2006 13:48
It feels epic in scale, even though its only five minutes long. And the twisted, carnival-like breakdown in the middle of the song must be what going crazy sounds like.
Written by Elizabeth Feldman Monday, 04 December 2006 13:42
I actually thought the CD player had gotten stuck and I had been listening to the same song repeating.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:37
Call it a comeback album if you like, but Trail of Dead continues to dominate 12 years after their formation on their fifth LP, and in many ways shows new signs of growth.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:29
The best part of Ys is the lasting effect. The more you listen, the more you uncover and appreciate her sophisticated lyrics.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 04 December 2006 13:23
By expanding to include McLachlan's complete setlist for the tour (recorded at the final two-night stand in Portland, Ore., in the spring of 1998), this collection gives a broader picture of McLachlan's career by dipping back to her 1989 debut Touch and its 1991 follow-up Solace, as well as enhancing the live feel by including more audience cheering and stage banter.
Written by Kevin Huelsmann Monday, 04 December 2006 13:16
The songs sound like they're from some unknown past. You can never quite place it, though. There isn't a concrete tie to anything.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:06
This is the second album from the nu-folkers that back in 2004 put out Through the Sun Door, a collection of six wonderful songs including the pleasantly repetitious "One Note" and one of my favorite tracks of 2004, "Keeping the Wolves From the Door."
Written by Chris Schott Thursday, 30 November 2006 02:20
With two drummers, a flute, horns, keyboards, three guitars, just about every member supplying percussion and vocals, the sound the band produces easily becomes that of a small orchestra, sonically shattering those other quiet, more down-to-earth indie bands.
Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:17
Devine bares his political teeth on "The Burning City Sweet," opening with "Forty million refugees with no place on this earth to call home" before revealing America's secret weapon: "Atlas had those shoulders/ we've got Ambien and Jamison's and blow."
Written by Joe O'Fallon Sunday, 26 November 2006 15:16
After the amazing "When You're Not Around," Boyskout tackles "The Model" from Kraftwerk's album The Man-Machine, to good result. Boyskout manages to stay true to the song's original instrumentation, while at the same time bringing it up to date by decreasing the role of Kraftwerk's synthesizer.
Written by Jason Green Sunday, 19 November 2006 09:45
Rarely do albums come more generic and underwhelming than this New Jersey group's debut.
Written by Kaylen Hoffman Sunday, 19 November 2006 09:38
Some of their music is reminiscent of the soundtrack from O Brother Where Art Thou?: there's a more rootsy substance lurking behind the Strokes-esque lyrics and Jeff Buckley-like wailings.
Sunday, 12 November 2006 17:00
Harvey had some 60 songs to choose from and the collection is fairly balanced, offering listeners a chance to hear her perform live versions of album and unreleased cuts as well as the classic "Wang Dang Doodle."
Written by David Lichius Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:45
With a sprawling nature in both length and sound, Isis has created a bridge between those who wouldn't touch anything metal and those who would avoid any record that sniffs of indie.
Written by Chris Schott Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:27
Almost gospel in nature, the songs are quite uplifting. Also, if you're into this kind of thing, a hint of spiritual desperation and a yearn for direction seems to live in Beckler's words. But for those who have had this cup of tea before, Beckler is only skin deep.
Written by Joe O'Fallon Friday, 10 November 2006 03:14
The EP demonstrates a sophisticated sound and also exposes lyrical weaknesses.
Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 10 November 2006 03:09
With the proper intent, strain, and dedication, a good pop musician can eventually break your heart.
Wednesday, 08 November 2006 12:04
While Tea Leaf Green clearly draws on this blueprint for success in a jam scene where receptiveness is relatively stable and open-minded, they do so without any overt mimicry of their predecessors.
Written by Joe O'Fallon Monday, 06 November 2006 15:00
The Long Blondes are a modern-day band. They release songs as they create them. It doesn't matter if you listen to them out of order.
Written by James McAnally Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:22
Coney Island Baby announced Lou Reed as a career artist, skirting on the edge of avant-pop: palatable, yet still provocative to mainstream America.
Written by Chris Schott Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:19
The very next track, "Canyon," carries the same feel of vocal dryness and sloping manner from Buckner, but the music gives the style new life, forcing a new outlook upon listeners who may fear a monotonous record.
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:16
For some reason, I kept seeing brown while listening to these ten songs: the brown of muddy rivers, desert sand, a full glass of whiskey, the color of a tavern wall...
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:13
It's sort of the "post toasties" of post rock.
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:10
Standout track "Drive My Friend" is the most irresistible one here, and it's as good a case for the beauty of the minor third interval that I've ever heard.
Written by James McAnally Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:06
Like a great short-fiction writer, Jurado knows when to comment and when to step aside and let a character speak.
Written by Jason Green Saturday, 28 October 2006 05:02
The songs are short, the band is tight, and the music is, by and large, bright and enjoyable.
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 October 2006 04:57
What you find on this very unconventional 13-song platter is a haunting blend of organic, homegrown chamber pop, percolating percussion, and fairly static female vocals which, when layered or harmonized with, create a sharp-edged, captivating sound.
Written by Joe O'Fallon Saturday, 28 October 2006 04:54
Interestingly, standout tracks don't come from the suspect artists Animal Collective, Yo La Tengo, and the Hidden Cameras.
Written by David Lichius Tuesday, 17 October 2006 08:36
Hailing from Lawrence, Kan., Ad Astra Per Aspera are a difficult breed to pin down. Laying their influences at the feet of the Blood Brothers, Man Man, Nation of Ulysses, and other "avant-dark, well constructed chaotic-punk-rock".
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Tuesday, 17 October 2006 08:28
This Bright Eyes collection is worth hearing, and even solid Bright Eyes fans can appreciate studio recordings.
Written by Jason Green Tuesday, 17 October 2006 08:04
In Search Of... reaches back to the band's roots, concentrating on '70s Southern rock boogie guitars and upbeat piano-driven melodies.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Tuesday, 17 October 2006 07:51
The songs rarely deviate from their core progression, repeating that main musical phrase over and over again with slight variations, until the tune is essentially a blunt instrument for clubbing the listener into submission.
Written by Jason Green Monday, 16 October 2006 03:07
While lacking the inspired insanity of Cibo Matto's better moments, the variety is what makes Ecdysis a compelling listen.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Monday, 16 October 2006 02:50
And then the buoyant vocal harmonies kick in, dousing the tune in aching splendor; somewhere, a Belle & Sebastian fan is soiling himself.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 16 October 2006 02:45
Lines like "I guess I'm on the long list of girls that love the shit out of you" strangely bring songwriting closer to reality, and her conversational talk-sing approach lessens the gap between the audience and the musician.
Written by Toriano L. Porter Saturday, 14 October 2006 04:43
While there's nothing wrong with Chingy being proud of where he's from nor writing or rhyming about it, rap fans around the world have grown to not only love Chingy's tender side, but the high-spirited, club-hopping side, as well.
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