Music

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.

   

Rusted Root | Runs Rampant

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Written by Tyson Blanquart Tuesday, 31 May 2011 17:54

"Expect the best of Rusted Root and expect the unexpected,” Glabicki says, with a smile in his voice.

 

Jimmy Eat World | All Over the World

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Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 25 May 2011 21:12

In a lot of ways, business decisions are really similar to creative decisions. We operate as democracy.

   

Foo Fighters | Wasting Light (Roswell/RCA)

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Written by Brett Berliner Thursday, 19 May 2011 10:33

The band made some changes with this record, most notably by recording it entirely on tape in Dave Grohl’s garage with legendary Nirvana producer Butch Vig.

 

Dawes | Analog Love

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Written by Jen Mettzler Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:30

“It was definitely a more lo-fi thing and this album is more professionally done analog, whereas the last one, while analog also, was a scrappy experiment done in two weeks.”

   

Sasquatch! Music Festival ’11 | Top 10 Most Eagerly Anticipated

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Written by Tony Van Zeyl Monday, 16 May 2011 19:09

In honor of its 10th year, here are the 10 performers I am most excited about seeing at this year’s Sasquatch! Music Festival.

 

Yelle | Yelle est arrive

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Written by Jenn Metzler Thursday, 05 May 2011 14:49

“I want to give something more to people, being on stage must not be a casual thing, it’s something special.”

   

Raekwon | Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (ICEH20)

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Written by Brett Berliner Wednesday, 04 May 2011 09:25

Every song features quality lyrics and flow from the Wu-Tang member, making the rhymes the true strength of this album.

 

k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang | Sing It Loud (Nonesuch)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Monday, 02 May 2011 09:42

Much as I like lang's voice in and of itself, I like it even better when she's singing a great song, and the material on Sing It Loud doesn't always live up to her vocal chops.

   

Cornershop | Cornershop & The Double 'O' Groove Of (Ample Play)

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Written by Sarah Boslaugh Monday, 02 May 2011 09:31

I didn't understand one word of it (I think the lyrics are in Punjabi), but I really don't care—the sound by itself is enough to keep me listening.

 

Yelle | Safari Disco Club (Cooperative USA/Downtown)

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Written by Jenn Metzler Monday, 02 May 2011 08:59

Yelle takes those signature elements soaring to a much higher level—one that’s more mature, but upon first listen nowhere near as fun.

   

Blue October | Stripped Bare

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Written by Laura Hamlett Friday, 29 April 2011 20:35

It’d be so boring to just play one style of music for the rest of your life. Why not try everything, but do it with a passion?

 

Colin Hay | Working From the Heart

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Written by Jim Ousley Friday, 29 April 2011 10:08

“It originated from having to call tech support late at night. We wrote the song about the human condition and the importance of human contact in the least likely of places.”

   

Jessie J | Who You Are (Lava Music/Republic Records)

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Written by Ashley White Thursday, 28 April 2011 08:30

I initially underestimated her talent based on her punkish appearance, but Jessie J has completely surprised me with her vocals, production, and song composition.

 

I’m From Barcelona | Forever Today (EMI Music Distribution)

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Written by Alex Schreiber Thursday, 28 April 2011 08:11

With nearly 30 people singing, it’s hard not to believe them that not only will everything be alright; with some effort, it’ll be extraordinary.

   

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