Steve Horowitz: “Twin Cities, bitch!” Rhymesayers do it again. Atmosphere captures the humor and pathos of just trying to succeed when the deck is always stacked against you. The rap is grounded in the reality that failure really is funny, and as a fellow Minnesotan once said, “There’s no success like failure.” You don’t have to be as famous as Kanye to realize this. [8/10]
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Chris Ingalls: The title track from DJ Shadow’s first album in five years is the sound of an old pro showing the kids how it’s done. He does an admirable job of sounding current in a genre that is constantly evolving. The bed of synths that lies under the entire track provides a soothing atmosphere and blends nicely with the loud, jittery beats that swoop in. Spacey keyboard noodling gives the track a lovely, warm sci-fi vibe. Not the best thing DJ Shadow’s ever done, but a comforting reminder that he’s still with us. [8/10]
Pryor Stroud: Fearless, corrosive, and smoking with Jeff Beck’s singularly expressive flamethrower-riffs, “Live In The Dark” is taken from the guitar icon’s LP Loud Hailer, his first in six years. The track conscripts vocalist Rosie Bones for its lyric, but, throughout, she seems to be grappling head-to-head with the wild electricity of Beck’s guitar. The tension this creates is a spectacle to behold: here, there is not one singer but two, a singer of flesh and blood and a singer of crackling feedback-figures. It may not be sonically inventive or lyrically deft, but its unadulterated, pyrokinetic take on rock is refreshing in a time when genre-bending has become something of a prerequisite for new artists. [7/10]
Steve Horowitz: Very nicely done! The Strokes take a low key approach to the music, and it pays off handsomely. The guitars shine through the haze, the drummer keeps the beat lively and the vocals are unpretentiously delivered with a smile. The band’s musical chops turn what could be an ordinary song into something special. The video has some fun moments as it plays with the conventions of heist films and greedy Wall Street pigs, but the “Threat of Joy” offers its own rewards. [9/10]
According to the singer herself, Kendra Erika updates the Bond-girl framework to 21st century terms, an embrace of glamour and sexuality as an empowering tool. The video to “The Truth Never Lies” does just this, Erika flirting with the camera in a half-dozen different outfits as an anonymously-driven car makes its way through a glitzy downtown. Musically, the piece is similar: noir Eurotrance pumps through Erika’s breathy vocals, a track headed straight for the clubs. Whether Erika can fully carry her vision of the ideal modern Bond girl has yet to be seen, as her career is as yet still nascent; that said, “The Truth Never Lies” is certainly a good start.
"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.READ the article