Entries Tagged as 'album-review'

REVIEW: Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic)

December 5th, 2012 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic)

Fiona Apple’s re-emergence every half decade or so is a triumphant celebration for a niche community of devotees and rather an apathetic shrug for the rest of America, which assumes (wrongly) that she’s just a Lilith Fair throwback, trying to claw her way back into the limelight. I belong to the former group, as my […]

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Tags: album-review · review

REVIEW: Cotton Candy, Top Notch & First Rate, Teenbeat

June 24th, 2010 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Cotton Candy, Top Notch & First Rate, Teenbeat

When Unrest disbanded at what I considered to be the height of its powers in 1994, my college radio-infused world was devastated. Unrest was my favorite band at the time, simply because its wildly erratic yet highly collectible records mimicked what I thought made college radio so interesting and intriguing and vital. The abrupt mood […]

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REVIEW: SLED, S/T, Lunchbox

April 2nd, 2010 · Comments Off on REVIEW: SLED, S/T, Lunchbox

It’s true that most bands rock less as they age. The few that go against the grain remain rare exceptions. Specifically, hardcore bands tend to blow up long before they can go limp. Such was the case with Assfactor 4. The legendary South Carolina quartet called it quits at the height of its powers in […]

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REVIEW: The Avett Brothers, The Gleam II, Ramseur

September 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on REVIEW: The Avett Brothers, The Gleam II, Ramseur

What are a few country boys to do? Following their defining release, 2007’s Introducing: Emotionalism, Concord N.C.’s The Avett Brothers have enjoyed what most burgeoning bands would consider one hell of a year: National TV appearances, sold out shows in mid-sized venues across the U.S., a mention on Perez Hilton, and a move to the […]

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REVIEW: Anakrid, FeverDreamFever, Stereonucleosis

September 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Anakrid, FeverDreamFever, Stereonucleosis

Inarguably, Anakrid’s music is inherently uneasy on the ears, but that shouldn’t completely scare you away, if you’re ever even slightly intrigued by what’s behind the other, less welcoming door. Anakrid’s so-called “difficult” musical canvas is an acquired taste to be sure, but it’s worth adjusting the tuning in your musical ear to appreciate the […]

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REVIEW: Band of Horses, Cease to Begin, Sub Pop

December 30th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Band of Horses, Cease to Begin, Sub Pop

On paper Band of Horses seems like it would be a hideously boring mess: mid-tempo rock drenched in gratuitous reverb all with more than a hint of twang. But Ben Bridwell’s idiosyncratic execution of such a simple formula catapulted his band to the upper echelon of Sub Pop’s prestigious roster, alongside The Shins and mentors […]

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REVIEW: The White Stripes, Icky Thump, Warner Bros.

December 14th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: The White Stripes, Icky Thump, Warner Bros.

Taking an ungodly-for-them three weeks to record the 47 minutes and 44 seconds found here, newly relocated power duo The White Stripes (Jack’s in Nashville with his pregnant supermodel wife; Meg’s off being reclusive somewhere in L.A.) have delivered their longest long-player since 2003’s Elephant. Here’s how the new guy stacks up, track-by-track:

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Tags: album-review · link

REVIEW: Anakrid, Joyfear and Pos Load Nihilsurrealisme, Stereonucleosis

December 6th, 2007 · 3 Comments

Joyfear follows Anakrid’s expansive Rapture of the Deep in kind with a tangential strain of slow, droning malevolence. Its fetishistic artwork is cold and impersonal, drab and unforgiving. A spray-painted textured cover with no discernible thematic pretense houses equally inscrutable music. The fact that it’s a one-sided vinyl-only release limited to 100 copies practically dares […]

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REVIEW: Radiohead, In Rainbows, ?

November 30th, 2007 · 1 Comment

For all their laurels, Radiohead’s kind of like the Pope – zealots claim infallibility, rationals know better. If you’re not in on the inside concept (or only had your elder brother’s Brother Word Processor 10 years ago), OK Computer is a cold, confusing mess. And Kid A and Amnesiac – both stellar portraits of a […]

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Tags: album-review · link

REVIEW: Joni Mitchell, Shine, Hear Music

October 16th, 2007 · 1 Comment

As far as hippies go, Joni Mitchell has got to be damn-near one of the brightest yet most ill-tempered ones. But you can’t condemn her wayward hippie beginnings too much because, back when she hit the folk scene, being a hippie was actually somewhat subversive- a far cry from the lame, washed up cliché it […]

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REVIEW: Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight, Warner Bros.

August 31st, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight, Warner Bros.

Rilo Kiley makes no bones about its commercial aspirations on Under the Blacklight, its fourth record and major label debut for Warner Bros. Since 2004’s More Adventurous, lead singer Jenny Lewis has catapulted to quasi-stardom as the indie it girl, showing up on everything from Bright Eyes to Postal Service records. After years of indie […]

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REVIEW: M.I.A., Kala, XL

August 31st, 2007 · 1 Comment

M.I.A. bursts out of the gate on her second album with both guns blazing. She’s not kidding around at all. Everything about Kala is confrontational. From the patronizing political self-righteousness to the relentless flurry of abrasive beats to the jagged rapping, Kala takes everything that was provoking about her exotic debut, Arular, and intensifies it […]

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REVIEW: Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Merge

August 19th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Merge

By its third record, 2001’s heartfelt and immaculate Girls Can Tell, Spoon stopped sounding like the sum of its influences (namely, Guided by Voices, the Pixies, and Nirvana) and actually created the outline of a sound that it adheres to to this day. Succinct arrangements, spiky guitars, and minimal beats have served Spoon well over […]

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REVIEW: The Maccabees, Colour It In, Geffen/Fiction

August 13th, 2007 · 1 Comment

The Maccabees certainly didn’t invent their sound. The nervous rush of jerky, angular guitar bursts, syncopated rhythms, down-stroked melancholia, and harmonized vocal melodies can be found in any number of other bands’ playbooks, namely The Futureheads’ (by way of XTC and Gang of Four). It’s not The Maccabees’ originality, or lack thereof, for which they […]

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REVIEW: The Beastie Boys, The Mix-Up, Capitol

July 30th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: The Beastie Boys, The Mix-Up, Capitol

Naming your band after something as transient as youth comes back to bite you if you try to stick around too long. And The Beastie Boys have certainly pushed the limits of absurdity, carrying their moniker into their respective 40’s. It’s beyond ridiculous when you think that these guys came out of the box flanked […]

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REVIEW: Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger, Lost Highway

July 30th, 2007 · 1 Comment

If anything, Ryan Adams knows how to alienate everyone around him. He’s a petulant and defensive interviewee, a humorless spoiled brat on stage, and an indulgent virtuoso on record. It’s amazing anyone even pays attention to him anymore. I suppose his antics work to keep his name in print, but none of it helps his […]

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REVIEW: Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris, Interscope

July 12th, 2007 · 1 Comment

To knick a phrase the NME misused with Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age is sort of a Guns N’ Roses it’s ok to like. Indie fetishists have a soft spot for Josh Homme’s muscular, psychedelic metal riffage, but so do crass Papa Roach fans. It’s a difficult line to straddle, where the wrong move […]

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REVIEW: Sian Alice Group, “Nightbird” 7″, The Social Registry

July 12th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Sian Alice Group, “Nightbird” 7″, The Social Registry

This is the second release in The Social Registry’s limited 7″ Social Club. Sian Alice Group’s “Nightbird” is an expansive pop experiment, interweaving ethereal vocals with a lush and layered musical backdrop. Sian Ahern’s voice is precariously poised on the edge of seductive otherworldliness and shadowy allure. The music has an amorphous vagueness to it […]

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Tags: album-review · track review

REVIEW: Interpol, Our Love to Admire, Capitol

July 10th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Interpol, Our Love to Admire, Capitol

The music of Joy Division, while not as overtly plagiarized as too many lazy writers carelessly assert, certainly serves as a template for Interpol’s immobile sense of dramatic enterprise. From the moment Interpol arrived on the scene in 2002, the band came fully equipped with its image and sound intact. Its presentation was so thoroughly […]

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REVIEW: Shellac, Excellent Italian Greyhound, Touch and Go

June 4th, 2007 · Comments Off on REVIEW: Shellac, Excellent Italian Greyhound, Touch and Go

Shellac of North America is a minimalist rock trio that knows what its strengths are and it plays to them with few, if any, missteps. This band is unconcerned with fame or record sales or any of the bullshit that typically accompanies the fanfare of a new release, as its self-imposed seven-year hiatus unceremoniously attests. […]

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Tags: album-review