Reviews

They Might Be Giants | The Else (Idlewild/Zoe/Universal)

Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Monday, 03 September 2007 13:58

cd_tmbgThe biggest detriment to The Else is that it merely settles for being clever, instead of aspiring for that heady ingenuity that has kept TMBG relevant for so long.

 

 

 

 

 

Fjord Rowboat | Saved the Compliments for Morning (s/r)

Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:18

cd_fjordFjord Rowboat package a strong, vibrant sound into a collection of indie-rock tunes more along the lines of Doves or Interpol. And they do so impressively.

 

 

 

 

   

The Panic Division | Songs From the Glasshouse (The Militia Group)

Written by Tracie Tomlinson Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:07

cd_panicdivColton Holliday sings with such passion and conviction that it's hard not to believe every word he sings. No matter the tone of the song or the subject of the lyrics, he is able to convey its idea.

 

 

 

 

 

RadioRadio | Watch 'Em All Come Running (s/r)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:54

cd_radioradioI'm struck instantly of the amazing power of music. This song makes me want to cry: that's how deeply the voice and the notes combine, drawing a swell of emotions, of experiences, of memories and living life and feeling completely connected to all that surrounds me.

 

 

 

   

The Good Life | Help Wanted Nights (Saddle Creek)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:50

cd_goodlifeThe songs touch heavily on themes of heartbreak, infidelity and failure to commit; compositionally, they range from sparse and simple to fully orchestrated and swelling.

 

 

 

 

Eastern Conference Champions | Ameritown (Suretone/Fontana)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:47

cd_easternconfThis is truly an aural pleasure, a distinct and engaging listening experience more than a lyrical discovery.

 

 

 

   

Matt Nathanson | Some Mad Hope (Vanguard)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:44

cd_nathansonI hate to think that contentment kills creativity—really, must all artists be tortured and miserable?—but numerous listens to Some Mad Hope have left me uninspired.

 

 

 

 

The Pietasters | All Day (Indication)

Written by Jason Neubauer Monday, 20 August 2007 14:47

cd_pietastersIn their 17 years together, they have seen and done just about everything a late-breaking musician would name as an aspiration.

 

 

 

 

   

Kaz Murphy | Home for Misfits (s/r)

Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:43

cd_kazThe songs here aren't retro, they're timeless—but not in a classic way. This album will never be irrelevant, but it won't ever really fit, either.

 

 

 

 

 

Numero 016 | Kid Soul: The ABC's of Kid Soul (The Numero Group)

Written by Sam Levy Monday, 20 August 2007 14:39

cd_numero16The Numero Group is brilliant at capturing stories that share a common, forgotten-by-time legacy. Michael Jackson is the only surviving member of Kid Soul, a genre that exploded, and imploded soon after.

 

 

 

   

Black Before Red | Belgrave to Kings Circle (I Eat Records)

Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 20 August 2007 14:34

I love the various textures of the male voice and Mark Ferrino's is pure and interesting. He adds emotion and creates a radiant pop/rock vibe.

 

 

Arks | The International (Highwheel)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:30

The International is guitar-driven, jagged and danceable, right from the declarative first track. I started singing along right away, always a good sign.

 

   

Anna Wilson | Time Changes Everything (Transfer)

Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 20 August 2007 14:24

cd_anna-wilsonThe album opens with "That's What Lovers Do," evoking the image of a passionate couple making love by the fire, snowflakes drifting outside the window and shadows dancing on the walls.

 

 

 

 

 

The Rentals | Last Little Life EP (Boompa)

Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:20

cd_rentalsThe band used to quote Gary Numan when referencing relationships; now they sing about listening to Nat King Cole. The irreverence is there, but the attitude isn't.

 

 

 

 

   

The Lovemakers | Misery Loves Company (Fuzz)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:18

cd_lovemakersTheir bandmates didn't appreciate Light and Blonde's makeout sessions during practice, so the duo became The Lovemakers, and built itself a following from Oakland to San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

The Foundry Field Recordings | Fallout Stations EP (Emergency Umbrella)

Written by Alex Hodschayan Friday, 10 August 2007 08:24

cd_foundryMore energetic then most of their material, "Transistor Kids" has something for everyone, with a resonance to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while the drums in the background rage on like battle drums.

 

 

 

   

The Cape May | Glass Mountain Road (Flemish Eye)

Written by Mike Tangaro Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:54

cd_capemayCalgary's The Cape May's sophomore album, Glass Mountain Roads, has a lot in common with a fresh box of warm, soft donuts.

 

 

 

 

 

Man in Gray | I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing (Serious Business)

Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:05

Man in Gray, boasting high-volume, pop-structured sounds encased in a crunchy shell of volume and confusion debuts with I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing, a polyamorous union of soul, British folk, and hardcore punk.

 

   

Romantica | America (2024)

Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:03

cd_romanticaSuch a record better at least evoke the search for the American dream, love and loss in the heartland, the feel of traveling on vast, open stretches of highway, the hope of an immigrant searching for a better life, etc.

 

 

 

 

The Rats and People | City of Passersby (s/r)

Written by Brian Potts Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:01

Sayles and Co. have obviously never heard of the phrase "verse, chorus, verse, chorus." Rarely in their songs do parts repeat more than once.

 

   

The Go | Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride (Cass)

Written by Joseph O'Fallon Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:59

cd_goThe Go should be recognized as more than the band Jack White played with in the '90s.

 

 

 

 

 

Two Loons for Tea | Nine Lucid Dreams (Sarathan)

Written by Glen Elkins Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:53

cd_twoloonsNine Lucid Dreams, sounds like it escaped 1997 and somehow found its way into this century.

 

 

 

 

   

Kate Voegele | Don't Look Away (MySpace)

Written by Katie Herring Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:50

cd_voegeleShe is oozing with potential and my prediction is that her next album is going to kick Don't Look Away's ass, after she gets a little bit more life experience and a little bit more love and loss under her belt.

 

 

 

 

Bat for Lashes | Fur and Gold (The Echo Label)

Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:44

cd_batforlashesAs you draw closer to the source, you hear that it's some kind of lush, strange music with a female singer. You're captivated, even at this distance.

 

 

   

Angel and the Love Mongers | The Humanist Queen (Disgraceland)

Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:40

lovemongerStrange and surprising, the sophomore release from Angel and the Love Mongers, The Humanist Queen, despite its peculiar titling manages to capture a catchy mish-mash of Depche Mode-like vocals and a sound reminiscent of The Cure, Morrissey, and Pulp.

 

 

 

Bodies of Water | Eyes Will Pop & Ears Will Blink (Thousand Tongues)

Written by Mike Tangaro Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:38

cd_bodiesEach song changes direction without notice. Vocals flutter in and out of the mix, trumpets flare and then disappear into quiet, and drums pounce vibrantly before settling into a soothing beat.

 

 

 

   

The Gang Font feat. Interloper (Thirsty Ear)

Written by Jason Green Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:35

cd_gang-fontThis is heavily intricate, wildly experimental instrumental jazz that rocks with punk-like abandon.

 

 

 

 

 

Butane Variations (Achord Recordings)

Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:27

cd_butaneThis six-piece psych-tinged Americana ensemble, headed by songwriters Phil Weinrobe and John-Paul Norpoth, just seems to know something other bands don't. Or maybe they care more.

 

 

 

   

Chris and Thomas | Land of Sea (Defend Music Inc.)

Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:19

cd_christhomasThey sing as one, allowing for a constant, delicate interplay between the two. The result is often folk music at its most enchanting.

 

 

 

 

Fionn Regan | The End of History (Lost Highway)

Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 19 July 2007 07:07

cd_fionnreganIn "Be Good or Be Gone," Regan embraces the best things about the singer/songwriter genre, creating a sincere, honest depiction of a man and his songs.

 

 

 

 

   

Jefferson Airplane | Sweeping Up the Spotlight, Live at the Fillmore East, 1969 (Legacy)

Written by Amy Burger Wednesday, 18 July 2007 08:25

jefferson-airplaneThe album is a celebration of one of the greatest American rock bands playing at one of the greatest venues in America.

 

Driver Side Impact | The Very Air We Breathe (Victory)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Tuesday, 17 July 2007 09:03

cd_driverGirls and boys, your prayers for yet another emo-goth-punk band of black-haired, pierced-lipped lads to feverishly adore and befriend on MySpace have been answered.

 

 

 

   

Tesla | Real to Reel (Tesla Electric Co. Rec.)

Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:28

teslaNot only is the energy notably lacking on each track, the production quality of the entire album falls flat. It fails to pop, sizzle, or even appear interesting.

 

 

Jeff Buckley | So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley (Sony)

Written by Gabe Bullard Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:25

sorealbuckleyFor a "greatest hits" of sorts, it doesn't showcase Buckley's talents. Instead, it goes for the obvious appeal. The tracks chosen for this collection show Buckley's most commercial and instantly appealing side, the side that I grew to dislike over the years.

   

Circus Diablo | Circus Diablo (Koch)

Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:23

circusdiabloI was hoping "Commercial Break" would be interesting, full of eerie rhythms and non-sequitur lyrics, but once again the song seemed to ramble on with no point or meaning.

 

 

Great Lakes Myth Society | Compass Rose Bouquet (Quack!Media)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:20

greatlakesmythThat afternoon, I ejected the CD I intended to review first and popped in the sophomore effort from Great Lakes Myth Society. "OK, indie band I've never heard of," I thought to myself, "wow me."

 

   

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