Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:50
The songs touch heavily on themes of heartbreak, infidelity and failure to commit; compositionally, they range from sparse and simple to fully orchestrated and swelling.
Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:47
This is truly an aural pleasure, a distinct and engaging listening experience more than a lyrical discovery.
Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:44
I hate to think that contentment kills creativity—really, must all artists be tortured and miserable?—but numerous listens to Some Mad Hope have left me uninspired.
Written by Jason Neubauer Monday, 20 August 2007 14:47In their 17 years together, they have seen and done just about everything a late-breaking musician would name as an aspiration.
Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:43
The songs here aren't retro, they're timeless—but not in a classic way. This album will never be irrelevant, but it won't ever really fit, either.
Written by Sam Levy Monday, 20 August 2007 14:39
The Numero Group is brilliant at capturing stories that share a common, forgotten-by-time legacy. Michael Jackson is the only surviving member of Kid Soul, a genre that exploded, and imploded soon after.
Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 20 August 2007 14:34
I love the various textures of the male voice and Mark Ferrino's is pure and interesting. He adds emotion and creates a radiant pop/rock vibe.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:30
The International is guitar-driven, jagged and danceable, right from the declarative first track. I started singing along right away, always a good sign.
Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 20 August 2007 14:24
The album opens with "That's What Lovers Do," evoking the image of a passionate couple making love by the fire, snowflakes drifting outside the window and shadows dancing on the walls.
Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:20
The band used to quote Gary Numan when referencing relationships; now they sing about listening to Nat King Cole. The irreverence is there, but the attitude isn't.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:18
Their bandmates didn't appreciate Light and Blonde's makeout sessions during practice, so the duo became The Lovemakers, and built itself a following from Oakland to San Francisco.
Written by Alex Hodschayan Friday, 10 August 2007 08:24
More energetic then most of their material, "Transistor Kids" has something for everyone, with a resonance to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while the drums in the background rage on like battle drums.
Written by Mike Tangaro Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:54
Calgary's The Cape May's sophomore album, Glass Mountain Roads, has a lot in common with a fresh box of warm, soft donuts.
Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:05
Man in Gray, boasting high-volume, pop-structured sounds encased in a crunchy shell of volume and confusion debuts with I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing, a polyamorous union of soul, British folk, and hardcore punk.
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:03
Such a record better at least evoke the search for the American dream, love and loss in the heartland, the feel of traveling on vast, open stretches of highway, the hope of an immigrant searching for a better life, etc.
Written by Brian Potts Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:01
Sayles and Co. have obviously never heard of the phrase "verse, chorus, verse, chorus." Rarely in their songs do parts repeat more than once.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:59
The Go should be recognized as more than the band Jack White played with in the '90s.
Written by Glen Elkins Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:53
Nine Lucid Dreams, sounds like it escaped 1997 and somehow found its way into this century.
Written by Katie Herring Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:50
She is oozing with potential and my prediction is that her next album is going to kick Don't Look Away's ass, after she gets a little bit more life experience and a little bit more love and loss under her belt.
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:44
As you draw closer to the source, you hear that it's some kind of lush, strange music with a female singer. You're captivated, even at this distance.
Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:40
Strange and surprising, the sophomore release from Angel and the Love Mongers, The Humanist Queen, despite its peculiar titling manages to capture a catchy mish-mash of Depche Mode-like vocals and a sound reminiscent of The Cure, Morrissey, and Pulp.
Written by Mike Tangaro Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:38
Each song changes direction without notice. Vocals flutter in and out of the mix, trumpets flare and then disappear into quiet, and drums pounce vibrantly before settling into a soothing beat.
Written by Jason Green Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:35
This is heavily intricate, wildly experimental instrumental jazz that rocks with punk-like abandon.
Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:27
This six-piece psych-tinged Americana ensemble, headed by songwriters Phil Weinrobe and John-Paul Norpoth, just seems to know something other bands don't. Or maybe they care more.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:19
They sing as one, allowing for a constant, delicate interplay between the two. The result is often folk music at its most enchanting.
Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 19 July 2007 07:07
In "Be Good or Be Gone," Regan embraces the best things about the singer/songwriter genre, creating a sincere, honest depiction of a man and his songs.
Written by Amy Burger Wednesday, 18 July 2007 08:25
The album is a celebration of one of the greatest American rock bands playing at one of the greatest venues in America.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Tuesday, 17 July 2007 09:03
Girls and boys, your prayers for yet another emo-goth-punk band of black-haired, pierced-lipped lads to feverishly adore and befriend on MySpace have been answered.
Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:28
Not only is the energy notably lacking on each track, the production quality of the entire album falls flat. It fails to pop, sizzle, or even appear interesting.
Written by Gabe Bullard Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:25
For a "greatest hits" of sorts, it doesn't showcase Buckley's talents. Instead, it goes for the obvious appeal. The tracks chosen for this collection show Buckley's most commercial and instantly appealing side, the side that I grew to dislike over the years.
Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:23
I was hoping "Commercial Break" would be interesting, full of eerie rhythms and non-sequitur lyrics, but once again the song seemed to ramble on with no point or meaning.
Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:20
That afternoon, I ejected the CD I intended to review first and popped in the sophomore effort from Great Lakes Myth Society. "OK, indie band I've never heard of," I thought to myself, "wow me."
Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:19
Among indie bands, Spoon's CD structure often feels the most like Top 40 bands, insofar as their CDs tend to have two or three really good songs, and then a lot of filler.
Written by Mike Tangaro Monday, 09 July 2007 15:06
If imitation is the best form of flattery, consider The Kinks flattered after a spin of You're My Lover Now.
Written by Amy Burger Monday, 09 July 2007 14:07
If you're not a fan of horns, this album may not be for you, as it is saturated with them. If you are a fan of them, as I am, it will quite literally blow you away.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 02 July 2007 09:17
Like the White Stripes' Icky Thump, Oh Perilous World finds Rasputina staying true to its fans and prior work, with fewer turnoffs to the less experimental fan.
Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 02 July 2007 09:13
When I got my hands on The Brag and Cuss, I was looking for the new rock song, and I can safely say there isn't one.
Written by Mary Beth Hascall Monday, 02 July 2007 09:08
"Serious" has a steady, fast beat with Dempsey fighting himself as a tempting heroin dealer trying to sell himself a fix.
Written by Charles Evans Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:41
When all is said and done, this will inevitably be seen as the "I didn't know what else to do" album: that point when a musical artist is backed into a corner, most of the band has drifted away, and middle age begins to interrupt the fabled rock 'n' roll lifestyle. But this will also be remembered as one of Marilyn Manson's best albums, maybe even the best.
Written by Jim Dunn Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:33
I distinctly remember sitting outside K-Mart, pulling the plastic off the latest album and examining lyrics and artwork.
Written by Raymee Holshauser Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:21
Rollicking soulful songs like "Good Night Rose" and "I Taught Myself How to Grow Old" have such a rich quality, it's nearly impossible to deny the singer's evolution.
Written by Jason Neubauer Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:15
It's like a rock fishing lure. You hear something in the music of the Ants that draws you in, and then once you're among it, you realize it isn't what you thought. Yet you can't let go. Subtle subversives crafting pieces of melodic and principled commentary, the Ants speak softly but carry big ideas with their third full-length release, Ideabreaker.
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.
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