Reviews > Music

14 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Sparkwood: Jalopy Pop!

A fine collection of sweetly pleasant melodic pop, recalling the past yet updated with lyrics that address modern lovers' dilemmas.

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14 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Heavy Trash: self-titled

Gotta love a band that can affix faux-substance to slummin'... and still garner a chuckle. JSBX (now BX)'s Jon Spencer and Speedball Baby's Matt Verta-Ray take a stroll down musical lane, littering the aisle with the honkiest honky-tonk.

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	Ella Fitzgerald: Sings the Jerome Kern Song Book

One of the final pieces in the laudable songbook project, this disc reveals its own lack of interest. Fitzgerald may be pitch-perfect, but emotionally it falls a little flat.

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14 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Crazy Caribs: Dancehall Dub

Who are the Crazy Caribs, and why are they so crazy? Do they need therapy? Perhaps some Thorazine? These questions and more are answered...

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	Vic Chesnutt: Ghetto Bells

One of Chesnutt's very best. The nuanced production is akin to Silver Lake, but the songs are 10 times as memorable.

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	The Blind Boys of Alabama: Atom Bomb

The oldest active band learns some new tricks to spread the message of the Lord. They still know how to deliver.

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	Various Artists: The Times We’re Living In: A Red House Anthology

The independent folk label Red House Records' latest compilation disc features all the usual suspects, including Greg Brown, Guy Davis and newly signed The Wailin' Jennys and Jimmy LaFave. No big surprises here, just a generous sampling from the recent catalogue.

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	Various Artists: Harold Arlen Centennial Celebration

Some magical playing and singing, an exemplary exhibition of co-operations between jazz and a great song-composer, recorded during the hi-fi decades of the century since his birth.

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	Robert Wyatt: Nothing Can Stop Us [remastered]

What do a Chic song, a barbershop quartet tune about Joseph Stalin, and a Bengali protest anthem have in common? I mean, besides the fact that they all make great make-out music. That's right, they're all on this reissue of Robert Wyatt's classic, politically charged covers album.

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13 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	22-20s: self-titled

The Next Big-- wait a minute! That kind of hype could only distract from the solid but less-than-groundbreaking blues rock of these young Brits' promising debut.

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	The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Origin Vol. 1

TSOOL went back to the studio pumped up by years on the road and recorded a leaner, faster, and all-round more muscular set of songs.

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13 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Little Barrie: EP

Four-song teaser from London-based trio is fun and rambunctious, but leaves many doubts as to what can be expected from the band.

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	Klute: No One’s Listening Anymore

The album is a revealing statement in a scene that often prides itself on conformity.

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	Robert Wyatt: Dondestan (Revisited) [remastered]

One of the more overlooked albums in an overlooked artist's discography, this reissue features Robert Wyatt in a semi-successful collaboration with his poet wife. Plus: a Sesame Street style children's song about Palestine.

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	Brooke Valentine: Chain Letter

There's a new she-riff in town, and her name is Brooke Valentine.

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12 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	Soulive: Steady Groovin’

Steady Groovin' is an excellent primer for anyone unfamiliar with Soulive's imperfectly-conceived yet satisfying career.

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	Point Line Plane: Smoke Signals

On synth and drum trio Point Line Plane's sophomore effort, they are shown up by their own album artwork and one sheet.

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	Ocean Colour Scene: A Hyperactive Workout for the Flying Squad

Imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery and somebody needs to tell Ocean Colour Scene.

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12 Apr 2005 // 10:00 PM

	The National: Alligator

Pretentious, unimaginative and a complete waste of time, this Alligator should be put out of its misery and turned into a stylish wallet/belt combo immediately.

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	The Frames: Burn the Maps

The Frames sound like a folk band at heart, but they structure their songs around steady builds, employing crescendos, electronics, and stadium dramatics to outsize their music.

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