Music

Ptarmigan | The Forest Darling (s/r)

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Written by Glen Elkins Tuesday, 11 October 2011 18:10

The group breaks the mold of what you’d expect from a three-minute pop song by twisting and turning through hip-bending hooks and heart-warming verses.

 

Arctic Monkeys | Suck It and See (Domino Records)

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Written by Jennifer Manjarez Wednesday, 05 October 2011 12:05

I drool at the thought of what this album could have been had it been filled with harder rock tracks like these.

   

Helmet | 10.02.11

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Written by Nicole Madden Friday, 30 September 2011 22:26

Metal legends Helmet bring their unique style to St. Louis on Sunday.

 

Blue October | 10.01.11

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Written by Jim Ousley Tuesday, 27 September 2011 16:57

“Charismatic” doesn’t begin to describe Justin Furstenfeld, stalking the stage like it’s his own personal psychiatric ward.

   

Frank Turner | England Keep My Bones (Epitaph)

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Written by Mike Koehler Monday, 26 September 2011 20:45

 The music itself is grand and fitting, an excellent blend of folksy acoustic guitar-driven tracks to harder-rocking, punk-like tracks.

 

The Damnwells | Love and Doubt and Wasted Time

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Written by Teresa Montgomery Monday, 26 September 2011 20:38

It is hard to imagine him doing anything other than making art in one form or another.

   

Yuck | s/t (Fat Possum)

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Written by Justin Curia Friday, 16 September 2011 17:43

Follow the album all the way through, and it ends up as a ’90s nostalgia ride with a confident, effortless songwriting ability.

 

Colin Stetson | Those Who Didn’t Run (Constellation)

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Written by Glen Elkins Friday, 16 September 2011 17:31

This EP is a slow burn, with a huge payoff.

   

The Features | Salvation in the Wilderness

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Written by Jenn Metzler Monday, 12 September 2011 14:48

“One of the worst things about being on tour is the amount of downtime you have and being in a vintage arcade is a nice way to kill it.”

 

Glasvegas | Euphoric Heartbreak (Columbia)

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Written by Mike Rengel Thursday, 08 September 2011 08:16

Admirably, Allan wants to reach every single person in the world, but in attempting to do so he loses sight of the small stories that connect single lives into a greater web.

   

Jon Anderson | Life After Yes

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Written by Jim Ousley Thursday, 08 September 2011 08:05

“I know what I did for the band, I know the songs I wrote for the band, and it's just time for me to make my own way."

 

Black Lips | Arabia Mountain (Vice)

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Written by Brett Berliner Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:28

Mark Ronson’s influence has pushed the band even further into the realm of retro for this album; most of the best tracks sound like something straight out of the 1960s.

   

Gillian Welch | 09.03.11

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Written by Christopher Sewell Wednesday, 24 August 2011 12:02

Welch and Rawlings seem like one unified, artistic amalgam as their voices and playing styles blend seamlessly and beautifully.

 

Matt Nathanson | Modern Love (Vanguard)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Tuesday, 16 August 2011 20:36

 

“Room @ the End of the World” introduces us to Nathanson’s lovely falsetto, a delectable sound we’ll hear more of before the album’s through.
   

Blue October | Any Man in America (Up/Down)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Tuesday, 16 August 2011 11:36

 Justin Furstenfeld’s got one of those voices that works across a range of genres, conveying strength, anger, pleading, pain, and acceptance.

 

Marissa Nadler | Marissa Nadler (Box of Cedars)

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Written by Mike Rengel Saturday, 06 August 2011 09:58

I’m not one to badmouth sincerity, but there’s a fair bit of too-precious warbling going on here.

   

Sarandon | Sarandon’s Age of Reason (Slumberland)

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Written by Jim Dunn Saturday, 06 August 2011 09:39

Short, sharp songs alternate with and illuminate the ruminations of Big Trev, a man thoroughly disillusioned with the world yet harboring a secret wish to be accepted by it.

 

Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues (Subpop)

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Written by Tony Van Zeyl Wednesday, 03 August 2011 15:11

This struggle could come off as cliché in different hands, but the self-effacing, conversational tone of the lyrics and the varied musical ideas keep things fresh.

   

Ben Harper | Give Till It’s Gone (Virgin)

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Written by Brett Berliner Thursday, 21 July 2011 06:10

By now, you should have a pretty good idea what you’re going to get with each Ben Harper release—his style is his style.

 

Blitzen Trapper | Road Hardened

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Written by Teresa Montgomery Wednesday, 20 July 2011 15:12

“These are songs I care about quite a bit, more so than the last couple records.”

   

Incubus | If Not Now, When?

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Written by Bruce Matlock Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:01

Standouts like “Switchblade”, “In the Company of Wolves”, and “Thieves” more than save this album from what quickly could have been the Brandon Boyd show.

 

 

Dawes | Nothing is Wrong (Ato Records/Red)

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Written by Jenn Metzler Monday, 11 July 2011 14:21

Taylor Goldsmith and the gang perfect and fine-tune their sound, not to mention the art of analog recording.

   

Manchester Orchestra | Simple Math (Columbia Records)

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Written by Tony Van Zeyl Monday, 11 July 2011 13:57

My notes from initial listens were generally favorable; however, when I listened to it again I found it generally annoying.

 

Duran Duran | All You Need Is Now (Tapemodern)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 07 July 2011 19:58

Such a clever, classic approach; I appreciate it anew with every listen.

   

Jon Benjamin | Has a Van

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Written by Bruce Matlock Wednesday, 22 June 2011 19:32

“I’m really good at doing cartoons, and I’m really not good live, or showing my face, but how do you resist this face!”

 

Man Man | Life Fantastic (Anti-)

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Written by Jenn Metzler Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:53

Regrettably, pristine production is one of a (very) few highlights to glean from Life Fantastic.

   

Architecture in Helsinki | Moment Bends (V2 Records)

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Written by Alex Schreiber Monday, 20 June 2011 16:03

Moment Bends combines all the strengths of previous efforts and molds them into an incredibly delightful whole.

 

Okkervil River | I Am Very Far (Jagjaguwar)

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Written by Alex Schreiber Monday, 20 June 2011 15:55

Mid-song a filing cabinet can be heard being thrown across the room while Sheff sings about the world shaking and breaking.

   

Matthew Morrison | Matthew Morrison (Mercury)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Monday, 20 June 2011 15:47

Morrison's Broadway credentials attest that he has the goods, but you won't find evidence on this album of anything that would set him apart from any number of other sweet-voiced pop performers.

 

Tyler, The Creator | Goblin (XL)

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Written by Brett Berliner Friday, 17 June 2011 13:58

I believe Tyler intentionally made Goblin hard to listen to all the way through, as if it would be a badge of honor to succeed.

   

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | Belong (Slumberland Records)

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Written by Christopher Sewell Tuesday, 14 June 2011 14:46

There are plenty of catchy melodies to be found here, a wealth of warm analog-sounding synths, and solid production courtesy of Flood and Alan Moulder.

 

Kylesa | Spiral Shadow Tour

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Written by Joe Witthaus Thursday, 09 June 2011 11:47

“This time we decided we wanted to get a little trippier with it and experimented a little more.”

   

The New York Dolls | Dancing Backwards in High Heels (429 Records)

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Written by Jim Ousley Thursday, 09 June 2011 11:32

It’s clear that Johansen and the gang are thrilling us with the same music that thrilled them so many years before.

 

The Cars | Move Like This (s/r)

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Written by Jason Neubauer Tuesday, 07 June 2011 10:00

The 10 tracks serve as a litany of classic new wave styling that may well have sounded at home in their catalog 30 years ago.

   

Bright Eyes | The People’s Key (Saddle Creek)

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Written by Mike Rengel Tuesday, 07 June 2011 09:51

You get a sense throughout this album that these are songs transcribed from glyphs on the walls of recently excavated pyramids, with attendant tricks and sonic mysteries attached.

 

Elbow | Build a Rocket Boys! (Fiction/Polydor)

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Written by Mike Rengel Tuesday, 07 June 2011 09:45

It’s a yearning, stretching paean to youth, partially imploring hangabouts to do something magnificent with those meandering, formless teenage moments.

   

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