Music

Pixx - "Waterslides" (Singles Going Steady)

Pixx has a gorgeous, dreamy voice when she has the chance to show it off, but it desperately needs editing in order to be truly enjoyable.

Mike Schiller: There's more than a little punk sensibility in the feel of "Waterslides", not to mention the aesthetic of the video, which is always a good thing when applied to synthpop. That said, there's a moment at about the two-and-a-half-minute mark where most of the instrumental track drops out and leaves only a seasick synth backdrop, which is kind of a microcosm of the whole song. It never quite gets its bearings, plowing recklessly ahead without pausing to think about what it's doing, a little bit of a mess that somehow finds itself structured like a pop song. If it were a little less dizzy and a little more catchy, it'd be a classic. [6/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Pixx has a voice like a British Debbie Harry and a style all her own. Both of those things are great, but there’s something irritating about "Waterslides", a song that’s just a little too much. Maybe it’s the overly whimsical whistling effects or the fact that Pixx sings too many quick syllables for her voice to land -- the best moments are ones in the chorus where she draws out her words -- but this song grates after a while. It certainly sticks in mind, and Pixx has a gorgeous, dreamy voice when she has the chance to show it off, but it desperately needs editing to be truly enjoyable. [6/10]

John Garratt: Aw, it looks like someone is out for attention! If you keep dancing like something is wrong with your spine, you're bound to get it. I suppose she has to do something to offset this forgettable song/lame metaphor that's been studio-processed to death. Click your mouse anywhere along the 3:55 running time and you'll be rewarded more of the same time and again. I guess the loopy dancing serves a purpose after all. [3/10]

SCORE: 5.00

In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

This week on our games podcast, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

This week, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Keep reading... Show less

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

Keep reading... Show less
3

Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

Keep reading... Show less
5
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image