Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Album Review: Ratatat – LP4 (XL)

Monday, June 14th, 2010

My biggest concern after hearing the first two full-lengths by Ratatat was that this band was going to ride into oblivion their catchy combination of ’70s rock guitar, space case synthesizer noise, and programmed beats that hinted at hip-hop, glitchy electronica, and cornball disco. Luckily, Evan Mast and Mike Stroud, the two multi-instrumentalists that make [...]

Album Review: Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here (XL)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of wannabe Rick Rubins try to grab a hold of an iconic artist from the past – someone whose career had stagnated commercially and creatively – and helping bring them back into the spotlight with an updated sound and a few well-chosen covers. The latest is XL Recordings [...]

Album Review: Vampire Weekend – Contra (XL)

Monday, January 4th, 2010

The weight of expectations could do some damage to cursory listeners of Vampire Weekend‘s second album. Likely the band expects this though, considering the heaps of praise and press laid upon them following the release of their 2008 self-titled debut. And truth be told, that album was always going to be a hard act to [...]

Album Review: Via Tania – Moon Sweet Moon (The Hours)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

For her second full-length, Tania Bowers doesn’t mess with the captivating formula that made her an underground success story. She and her collaborators stick with a lush backdrop of reverberating downtempo beats and electronically-processed atmospherics that comfortably cushion her warm kitten’s tongue of a singing voice. The audible shifts are more for clarity and volume, [...]

Album Review: Medeski Martin & Wood – Radiolarians: The Evolutionary Set (Indirecto)

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

After building up a healthy amount of cred among jazz, indie, funk and jam band aficionados, Medeski Martin & Wood have spent the last decade dabbling in various ways to reshape their already well-formed funk/jazz fusion, as well as stretching their own muscles as players and composers. They’ve pulled in vocalists and turntablists, knocked out [...]

Album Review: Tom Waits – Glitter And Doom Live (Anti-)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Live albums are a tricky proposition for any artist. No matter how dynamic or fiery the band was, there’s always that essential disconnect: you aren’t there, drinking in the atmosphere of the venue and feeling the power of a full PA blast in your sternum. Few are the live albums that capture the lightning in [...]

Album Review: Annie – Don’t Stop (Smalltown Supersound)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Unless a major sea change takes place in the hearts and minds of the mass populace, Norway’s finest electropop diva Annie could end up with a career much like Kylie Minogue’s. That is: superstardom in almost every country in the world apart from the States. Though if Annie and her collaborators have any indication that [...]

Album Review: Cold Cave – Love Comes Close (Matador)

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Some bands try their hand at a late ’70s/early ’80s synth pop homage with tongue planted firmly in cheek, others revel in the experience of updating the sound of their influences with modern day trappings. Then there are the rare few acts, like the Philadelphia by way of New York quartet Cold Cave, that capture [...]