Thursday, February 20 2014
Building on the strength of last year’s stellar White Buffalo, the songs of Dark Night of the Soul are as equally impressive as anything the 47-year-old Mathus has delivered before, if not more so.
With its reliance on minimal beats to build up its sound, the album is less something destined for the dance floor than something you can appreciate on the hi-fi in your living room.
Nadler's first album for new label Sacred Bones is also her best. July is an assured, confident artistic statement from someone who we'll be talking about for years to come.
Overall, the effect of the album is mostly jarring. Gusty, but jarring. It is music that moves me more to fascination than appreciation.
Loping tempos and cryptic sonorous vocals mesh with jaggedly beautiful washes of sound, fostering auditory earworms that will burrow Wrath of Khan-style into your brain.
There are plenty of grinding riffs and pummeling beats here for those searching for them. Listeners satisfied with that, and with a few vaguely shouted, anthemic refrains against, y’know, oppression, will like this record just fine.
Wednesday, February 19 2014
The truly remarkable thing about Olsen's sophomore album isn't just its wide musical palate or the huge leap forward in her songwriting, but also the way it questions the very nature of sad songs.
Almost every single song on All Love’s Legal delivers some sort of message about gender, sexuality, and Rostron’s desire to tear down the demarcations and hierarchies that arguably imprison them.
The intimate and lovey feel of Acoustic at the Ryman is very becoming to Band of Horses.
Free-ish Finnish jazz guitarist alludes to ecstasy, makes solid album.
The artists tend to work with a grand palette and paint the obvious tropes so that even those in the cheap seats can hear what’s happening. The result is a lack of subtlety and fuzziness.
Tuesday, February 18 2014
Bad Self Portraits is another outstanding release from a really crucial and important group who is on the cusp of shedding its relative anonymity for bigger and better stages.
The bad-ass New York duo comes out with their strongest work yet.
While there is something ethereal about Dawn Landes's music, it also has substance and physicality.
Water Liars is the band’s strongest outing, formalizing their distinct sound.
Spartan, supportive, and never obtrusive, Phelps and The Downer Trio alternate between pastoral acoustic tracks and more excoriating fare on Gala.
Monday, February 17 2014
Motivational Jumpsuit may be the most fitful and impatient and exciting album since the "classic" Guided By Voices line-up returned.
With a graceful and gradual shift, Loveless has been carving a path toward a distinct sound. On Somewhere Else, she hits the sweet spot between where she came from and where she’s going.
A soul-jazz Blue Note debut for Jose James's trumpet man. Tasty if somewhat samey.
The prolific Virginia power trio delivers an album stocked with enough potent guitar riffs to overcome a few less than inspired ballads.