Chris Ingalls: Oh, hell yeah. The Jam made albums for roughly five years before Paul Weller suddenly broke up the band in order to form the dance/jazz/funk combo the Style Council, and the seeds of that new band were evident in later Jam songs like this one. Largely dismissing his British Invasion heroes in favor of his R&B ones, “Town Called Malice” is Weller’s love letter to soul music, and it’s a damn flawless one—probably their best single out of many fantastic ones. British working class woes are chronicled (“To either cut down on beer or the kids’ new gear”) with the help of joyous organ, Bruce Foxton’s bouncy bass line and Rick Buckler’s tight yet manic drumming. Pure perfection. [10/10]
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Emmanuel Elone: “Strange Country” is simply excellent folk music. The intricate guitar playing perfectly matches the female vocals, and the lyrics are great as well. The only off-putting aspect of this song is that Kacy and Clayton clearly have no uniquely defined sound, instead copying almost directly from ‘60s and early ‘70s folk singers like Bob Dylan, Donovan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and even a hint of some acoustic Led Zeppelin. Nevertheless, “Strange Country” is folk music at its finest, and deserves to be heard. [8/10]
Pantha du Prince has just released another new video from his new album The Triad releasing this Friday via Rough Trade Records. This comes hot on the heels of “Frau Im Mond, Sterne Laufen” released back on May 9th. The “In an Open Space” video is seriously trippy and Pantha du Prince’s warm, minimal techno pulls you deep into his imagination.
Emmanuel Elone: People who complain about the current state of pop music do not know who Grimes is. “California”, besides being a solid pop tune, has colorful and quirky electronic instrumentation that blend perfectly with Grimes’ child-like vocals. To be sure, her lyrics are still nothing particularly of note, but one has to accept the musicianship and musicality of her work at the very least. “California” may not be reinventing pop music, but it is revitalizing it. [7/10]
Chris Ingalls: A wonderful late-night chillout vibe. I like the combination of digital bleeps and organic percussion. The bass line is simple yet irresistible. And it earns that six-minute run time. The song goes through a number of different yet subtle stages that never seem forced. [8/10]