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by Nick Dinicola

28 Aug 2015

Ubisoft's Assassin's  Creed and Grow Home epitomize the art of the climb.

Grow Home (Ubisoft, 2015)

I was never a very outdoorsy kid. I didn’t climb trees or jungle gyms. The one time that I tried to jump from the top of a tall slide, I landed in such a way that my knee hit my jaw, and I burst into tears. The one time that I tried to jump from a swing, my shirt got caught in the chain and tore as I leapt away. Yeah, I wasn’t a very outdoorsy kid.

I bring this up because it seems the most natural explanation for why I’m so fascinated by climbing in video games. I love climbing in games. It’s part of why I always enjoyed Prince of Persia as a kid, and it’s one of the central reasons that I fell in love with Assassin’s Creed.

by PopMatters Staff

27 Aug 2015

Daptone Records usually  delivers the goods, and this is no exception.

Chris Gerard: This fantastic cover of the gospel/blues standard by Fred McDowell first appeared in 2011 on the Mojo Magazine curated Sticky Soul Fingers, an R&B tribute to the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album. The recording is getting another lease on life as part of the upcoming Daptone Gold II compilation, and it’s great that more people will have the opportunity to hear it. Naomi Shelton is a national treasure that too few people know about. Her deeply soulful voice captures the essence of the song, and the funky retro accompaniment is tight and groovin’. Daptone Records usually delivers the goods, and this is no exception. [9/10]

by PopMatters Staff

27 Aug 2015

John Talabot reinterprets  Jamie xx's "Loud Places" in this new remix.

Nathan Stevens: The pairing of Jamie xx and Talabot is an odd one, with xx obsessed with the more ethereal while Talabot completely works in the tactile. The combination works here though, thanks to Tabalot’s mutation of the original DNA. Now clocking in at over seven minutes, “Loud Places” turns into a marvelous slow burn that never bursts, but keeps smoldering over clanking percussion and slowly floating synths. It’s hard to compare it to the album version, as the brother tracks are completely different beats. [7/10]

by PopMatters Staff

27 Aug 2015

And now for  something completely pretentious!

John Bergstrom: It’s characteristically pretty and heavy on atmosphere, with some nice dynamics too. But it doesn’t hold together as well as some of their previous efforts. The chorus, in particular, sounds clunky and plodding. Enough to whet the appetite for their upcoming third album, at least. [6/10]

by PopMatters Staff

27 Aug 2015

There's a cosy  familiarity to Squeeze's first single in too many years.

Matt James: There’s a cosy familiarity to Squeeze’s first single in too many years. It’s like bumping into an old school chum and deciding to go for “One cheeky pint” ‘cos you’re “Still crazy after all these years”. “Happy Days” feels authentically ‘Squeezey’ albeit one that’s a bit slower up the stairs these days ‘cos of the knees and gets to bed early ‘cos it’s got a busy day tomorrow. Sweet and summery enough, though one listen will ensure two subsequent events occur thereafter. One, you will immediately fire up Spotify, stick on “Cool for Cats”, “Up the Junction” and “Tempted” and sing along to the lines you remember whilst reminiscing your youthful scampery over a satisfying mug of herbal tea. Two, you will for the rest of said day be visited by visions of Arthur Fonzarelli and Ralph “Malph” whilst the vastly superior Happy Days theme tune bobs around your brainbox on an infinite loop. Just be prepared m’kay? [5/10]

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"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?

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