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Owl City

All Things Bright and Beautiful

(Universal Republic; US: 14 Jun 2011)

10



Owl City
All Things Bright and Beautiful


It’s easy to knock Owl City’s Adam Young for his own brand of innocuous feel-good electro-pop, but whereas “Fireflies” was a vaguely charming left-field hit, All Things Bright and Beautiful is the aural equivalent of getting diabetes. Young’s candy-coated laptop rave parties are astonishingly toothless, as over been-there-heard-that synth doodles, he drops too-stupid-for-words non sequiturs like “a barracuda chased our dog days away forever”, before dropping Reagan’s Challenger tragedy speech half-way through the album for dramatic effect (what?). “The silverware swam with the sharks in the sink / even so I don’t know what to think,” he muses on closing track “Plant Life”, and we are inclined to agree with him: what the hell were you thinking, Young? And—more importantly—when are you planning to go away? Evan Sawdey


 

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LMFAO

Sorry for Party Rocking

(Interscope; US: 21 Jun 2011; UK: 18 Jun 2011)

Review [3.Aug.2011]

9



LMFAO
Sorry for Party Rocking


So apparently these two goofballs are a part of some kind of crazy family that owns basically half the record industry? Well, now that explains why these idiots are popular. Devoid of even the tension-building music that might make the Black Eyed Peas seem like a good idea after a few shots, LMFAO just comes off as two lazy, trust fund idiots farting around with synthesizers. Sorry For Party Rocking is not just another terrible album, it’s the terrible album that has made them singles-sales famous in the age of iTunes (neither of their records has even gone gold). The only question that remains: If you’re dumb enough to spend 99 cents on this frivolous, nonsensical blather on iTunes, then what’s stopping you from dropping the $10 for the entire album? Steve Lepore


 

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

I’m with You

(Warner Bros.; US: 30 Aug 2011; UK: 29 Aug 2011)

8



Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m with You


Let’s make it clear, once and for all: the problem with I’m With You isn’t the lack of John Frusciante, it’s the presence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The vapid, repetitious, soulless—forget it, I’ll just quote Anthony Kiedis: “Tic toc I want to / Rock you like the 80’s / Cock blockin’ isn’t allowed / Tugboat Sheila / Is into memorabilia / Who said three is a crowd / We better get it on the go.” Who the fuck is Tugboat Sheila? Answer: the last entry under “memorabilia” in Kiedis’s well-thumbed rhyming dictionary. The President’s economic team should talk to the Peppers: they’ve produced this same dreck for over two decades now, post-Blood Sugar Sex Magik, all interminably flaccid and willfully stupid, and yet people continue to buy it in droves. The Red Hot Chili Peppers is the most recession-proof entity in existence. Maybe if Ben Bernanke wore a sock on his crotch, he’d have better luck. Or, maybe we should finally stop listening. Corey Beasley


 

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Lady Gaga

Born This Way

(Interscope; US: 23 Mar 2011; UK: 23 Mar 2011)

Review [27.May.2011]

7



Lady Gaga
Born This Way


This turkey opens with “Marry the Night” (in which Gaga calls herself a “warrior princess”, presumably with a straight face) and only gets more ridiculous from there. Gaga has little sense of originality and so the regurgitated dance beats from previous chart hits and words from the Island of Misfit Lyrics are hardly a surprise, though they certainly are grating. The Cher retread title song wouldn’t be so offensive if it were, say, used as background music in a shampoo commercial and not passed off as real music, the way that you’ll take free samples of budget pizza at the grocery store but would never actually buy it yourself. The patchwork lyrics and styles are further examples of an artist who tries to be all things to everyone, whether on the torpid, turgid Madonna rip-off “Bloody Mary”, “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)”, or the plain stupid “Heavy Metal Lover”. All this would be much easier to take if she had named herself Lady Dada as the absurdity, the sheer mindlessness of her music, would be easier to take. Painfully disposable. Jedd Beaudoin


 

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Morbid Angel

Ilud Divinum Insanus

(Season of Mist; US: 7 Jun 2011; UK: 6 Jun 2011)

Review [15.Jun.2011]

6



Morbid Angel
Ilud Divinum Insanus


Marking the return of original frontman David Vincent after a 15-year absence, Illud Divinum Insanus was the first release since 2003 for influential death metal outfit Morbid Angel. Admittedly, expectations were high, but nobody was prepared for the calamitous jumble of fifth-tier industrial metal ramblings and regurgitated, unimaginative riffs that comprised the album. Baleful howls of disapproval from fans and critics alike reflected dissatisfaction with the band’s decision to embark on a new-fangled—and frankly uninspired—journey, but also expressed frustration at Morbid’s decision to include a couple of tantalizingly killer tracks amongst an otherwise appalling muddle. Illud Divinum Insanus was a colossal misstep for Morbid Angel. While the band is clearly entitled to record whatever it chooses, the album was ultimately an affront to the majority of fans and an unsightly revelation of misdirected egos at play. It’s no surprise to find the word ‘embarrassment’ used in the bulk of reviews. Chris Hayes


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