Reviews - Page 197

Here We Go Magic, ‘Here We Go Magic’ (Western Vinyl)

It's a risky proposition when a largely unheard artist wraps himself in a newidentity that's clearly evocative of two trendy styles -- Panda Bear's Beach…
Barry Walters / February 2, 2009

B-Real, ‘Smoke N Mirrors’ (Duck Down)

Los Angeles' Cypress Hill, with their G'd-up-stoner-dude-meets-Beelzebub aesthetic, always represented an exceptional sonic mélange. And on his solo debut, Cypress frontman B-Real exemplifies his group's…
Will Dukes / February 2, 2009

Asobi Seksu , ‘Hush’ (Polyvinyl)

This Brooklyn group's previous albums established them as shoegaze confectioners, molding candy swirls out of Yuki Chikudate's soaring, translucent voice and guitarist James Hanna's Kevin…
Jessica Suarez / February 1, 2009

Beirut/Realpeople, ‘March of the Zapotec/Holland’ (Pompeii)

Thank God for that voice. Without such caramel pipes, Beirut's Zach Condon would never be able to own his shape-shifting styles -- elegant French pop…
Jessica Suarez / February 1, 2009

Alela Diane, ‘To Be Still’ (Rough Trade)

This small-town California-reared singer could hypnotize forest critters with her mournful, oddly serene voice, which seems to be a timeless element of nature. To Be…
Barry Walters / February 1, 2009

The Drones, ‘Havilah’ (ATP)

Taking cues from Australian forebears the Birthday Party and the Scientists, with touches of Dirty Three's dusty rage, these country-tinged post-punks would be bookish if…
J Gabriel Boylan / February 1, 2009

Robyn Hitchcock, ‘Goodnight Oslo’ (Yep Roc)

Hitchcock's second album with the Venus 3, who include R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, is less dazzling than 2006's Olé! Tarantula, yet still pretty compelling. Curiously, his…
Jon Young / February 1, 2009

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, ‘Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’ (Lightning Rod)

Southern rock is a minefield of rebel flags, drinking songs, and dudes yelling "Free Bird!" With Drive-By Truckers, singer-guitarist Jason Isbell learned to embrace some…
David Peisner / February 1, 2009

Eleni Mandell, ‘Artificial Fire’ (Zedtone)

Eleni Mandell's musical coordinates obviously include sultry sirens Chrissie Hynde and PJ Harvey, but she also possesses an uncanny knack for sweetly sinister, heartsick vignettes.
Shannon Zimmerman / February 1, 2009

Telepathe, ‘Dance Mother’ (IAMSOUND)

Conjuring a chillier Bananarama transplanted to Brooklyn, this female duo's debut album is the latest intriguing art-pop indulgence produced by TV on the Radio's David…
Shannon Zimmerman / February 1, 2009

These Are Powers, ‘All Aboard Future’ (Dead Oceans)

Blipping and thumping through nine tracks, These Are Powers' debut album cross-wires art-damaged difficult listening with skewed rock swagger. The result is a thrilling, hyperpercussive…
Shannon Zimmerman / February 1, 2009

Various Artists, ‘Dark Was the Night’ (4AD)

Produced by the National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner, the latest in the Red Hot series of AIDS benefit albums plays like a musically and thematically…
Barry Walters / February 1, 2009

Vetiver, ‘Tight Knit’ (Sub Pop)

Vetiver's music sounds like it was written in midday sunshine, yet longs for a dark bedroom in the dead of night. Andy Cabic's balmy folk…
Jessica Suarez / February 1, 2009

William Elliott Whitmore, ‘Animals in the Dark’ (Anti-)

Consumed by outrage at malicious politicians, sadistic cops, and other dirtbags, Iowa's William Elliott Whitmore unleashes tirades in the growl of a crazed backwoods preacher…
Jon Young / February 1, 2009

Jim Jones, ‘Pray IV Reign’ (Columbia)

Whether spitting some of Lauren Conrad's broken language while airing out an ex-homey in the oddly touching "Frienemies" or extolling the healing properties of women's…
Chris Ryan / January 31, 2009

Living Things, ‘Habeas Corpus’ (Jive)

In 2005, Living Things' debut album, Ahead of the Lions, felt like a cathartic call to arms for a war-weary country that had sold its…
David Peisner / January 30, 2009

Thursday, ‘Common Existence’ (Epitaph)

These Smiths-loving, post-hardcore pioneers most likely recruited Flaming Lips and MGMT producer Dave Fridmann to finally disassociate their sound from the second- generation emo they…
Kenny Herzog / January 28, 2009

Thievery Corporation Kick Off U.S. Tour

Thievery Corporation began their U.S. tour in Washington, DC, last night with high spirits -- and the energy never waned.
Jasmine Zick / January 28, 2009

Morrissey, ‘Years of Refusal’ (Lost Highway)

Pop music doesn't allow for many third bites at the apple, but here's Stephen Patrick Morrissey chomping away. It's the Dr. Dre career path: Both…
Joe Gross / January 28, 2009

Dan Auerbach, ‘Keep It Hid’ (Nonesuch)

Black Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach opens his first solo outing with an acoustic country blues ("Trouble Weighs a Ton") that sounds utterly authentic but signifies…
Shannon Zimmerman / January 28, 2009
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