Written by Amy Burger Monday, 26 February 2007 14:02
The opening song, "Play This," is a real departure from Williams' generally laid-back, "jammy" sound, with a punk-inspired, hard guitar opening and funky, Flea-like bass riffs throughout.
Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 26 February 2007 13:41
The clearest candidate for a universal favorite lies in the Johannsson-sung "It's Alright," an acoustic-driven piece built around smooth, echoing vocals, harmonic expansion, and beautifully sincere lyrics.
Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 26 February 2007 13:36
"Faithful and blind/ You finish me off like a sentence."
Written by Kaylen Hoffman Monday, 26 February 2007 13:32
"Audience Reaction" has the quaint thoughts of, "If you go down on me/ I'll go down on you." So not the cute lyrics I was expecting. At all.
Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 24 February 2007 09:34
These five Pennsylvanian dudes are musically old souls, Cro-magnons in the midst of their psychedelic peers.
Written by David Lichius Wednesday, 21 February 2007 03:32
While Hella's previous output of no-wave guitar/drum weirdness had enough elbow room for some well-placed chirping, having Aaron Ross on the microphone full time has resulted in a major shift in the band's song structure.
Written by Aaron Brummet Wednesday, 21 February 2007 03:01
While there are no extreme departures from their bouncy modern rock norm, nearly every track shows hints of evolution.
Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:52
8. Golden Ball won the Philadelphia City Paper 2005 Choice award for "Best Weird Band." I'm inclined to give them that same commendation right now.
Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:44
we play danceable, shed rehearsed guitar music. we like to dance, drink, draw, pretend to be on a mobile phone whilst we are not, write songs, dance.
Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:37
Are "pounding drums" and "squiggly synth sounds" what come from long hours contemplating the hidden mysteries of space and particulate matter?
Written by Aaron Brummet Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:34
Shara Worden's voice could be put on top of Gilbert Gottfried and a pack of dying howler monkeys and still sound five steps past amazing.
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 06:51
Miller's just a kid, really, and he's working with former Atlantic Records president Ron Shapiro, among others. And I like him anyway.
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 06:03
With Four Winds EP, Bright Eyes' first new release since the double infusion, the multifaceted Conor Oberst has chosen sides in a resolute way.
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 05:17
Owen's latest CD is everything you've come to expect from Kinsella, and more. It's even more understated, if that's possible, with richly woven strings and chords backing Kinsella's frail yet competent vocals and revealing tales.
Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 04:20
"Save Yourself," aside from being catchy as all hell, features some of the sweetest vocals this side of Jeff Buckley.
Written by Elizabeth Feldman Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:49
From beginning to end, the record feels as though it is taking you on a ride where you stop at just about every musical genre available, leaving you dizzy as it lets you off, fumbling to find your footing.
Written by James McAnally Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:43
Plays is a world of its own, where digital noise, cut-up collage, and accordion circles collide.
Written by Dave Jasmon Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:37
His free spirit, throwback sensibilities, and unspoken respect for those who made him are all promises of a nostalgic growth that is all too welcome in a generation of egoist talking heads.
Written by Kevin Renick Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:30
"In a trance, in a trance/ I could dance this night away," sings Meisfjord, and with texture-embedded beats like this, so could most listeners.
Written by Bob McMahon Tuesday, 06 February 2007 15:55
Combining a knack for catchy melodies with a passionate performance and lyrics never too far removed from traditional rock subject, the Visitors should appeal to any garage rock enthusiast with their just-under-30-minutes, self-titled album.
Written by Dave Jasmon Tuesday, 06 February 2007 14:57
Touting their divergence from cut-and-paste radio rock, the Upright Animals form echoing, deeply cosmic ballads, anchored by suspended vocals and peppered with the subtly expansive merging of concise, space-rock guitar.
Written by Kaylen Hoffman Tuesday, 06 February 2007 14:53
As I listened, I was instantly transported to a grassy park, sitting on a blanket with my three closest friends, eating fresh fruit and laughing lightly as the sun shined down on our bare shoulders.
Written by Andrew Scavotto Tuesday, 06 February 2007 14:41
All of the 2006 hype has made Some Loud Thunder one of the most anticipated CDs of 2007, with critics and fans eager to see what singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth will do with some exposure to fame and new resources. The result is a markedly more complicated, almost maniacal experiment in track layering and production.
Written by Bradley Terebelo Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:18
Distorted vocals and guitar? Check. Repetitive bass notes? Check. Mood-moving lyrics? Check.
Written by Jason Green Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:13
The biggest complaint to be lodged against this EP is that, at 24 minutes, it's far too short.
Written by Kevin Renick Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:09
David Gould, who previously played banjo for and led the Bootleg Remedy, must clearly be some sort of nonconformist genius, so gracefully does he buck trends and come up with his own version of life-affirming modern music.
Written by Maria Kriszt Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:05
Hobex comes out with a nice, mellow funk beat and lyrics that tell you to loosen up and enjoy the sounds, which helps set the mood for the rest of the CD.
Written by Dave Jasmon Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:01
Essentially a band of collaborators in support of the songwriting of Todd Vandenberg, Heller Mason portrays a dampened soul dipping its oar in a lake of grey humilities.
Written by Kevin Renick Thursday, 01 February 2007 02:58
This is an astonishingly good record that provides an easy answer to the question, "When does pop music rise to the level of art?"
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Thursday, 01 February 2007 02:54
With the absence of all of the musical distractions that songwriters frequently employ to support their lyrics, there's really little to talk about with Woke Myself Up other than the themes expressed.
Written by Sam Levy Wednesday, 31 January 2007 09:25
We're delivered to this place we don't know, in a time we don't know, and somehow feel like we know exactly where we are. We see the grimey smiles, and the smokehouse soot doubling as sunshine. Welcome to Halifax.
Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Wednesday, 31 January 2007 09:22
Whatever comparisons one wants to apply—and jeez, there's so many trendy artists out there to name-drop—Quixoticism succeeds because it lacks any of the pretensions that so often scour records of this type.
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.
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