Monday, July 28, 2014

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Posted July 23, 2014in Sound Check

Red Wanting Blue “Little America” Fanatic Records Depending on how you look at it, Little America’s opening track, “Hallelujah,” is either the best or worst track to start the album. On the plus side, it’s a tremendous table-setter with its huge, sweeping sound and frontman Scott Terry’s Marcus Mumford-esque vocals.

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Posted July 16, 2014in Sound Check

Morrissey “World Peace is None of Your Business” Capitol The title track of Morrissey’s 10th solo album is one of the most eye-rollingly pretentious things he’s ever done. If you’re even slightly familiar with Morrissey’s work, you know what a tall order that is. Once he gets that out of

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Posted July 09, 2014in Sound Check

Robin Thicke “Paula” Interscope I don’t know if Robin Thicke is really a horrible person or not, but there’s no doubt he’s got a bad habit of ruining everything he touches lately. “Blurred Lines” was bad. Not necessarily as bad as it was made out to be, but then Thicke

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Posted July 02, 2014in Sound Check

Phish “Fuego” ATO Records People don’t tend to care much about Phish’s studio albums. There’s just something about that “live jam” feel that the band has never really been able to translate into a studio cut. But, you know, hope springs eternal. So is “Fuego” the album that makes people

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Posted June 25, 2014in Sound Check

Cerebral Ballzy “Jaded & Faded” Cult If hardcore skater punk is your thing, Cerebral Ballzy is your band. The longest song they’ve ever written is just over three minutes long, and lead singer Honor Titus carries a kind of lyric drawl that’s somewhere between Joey Ramone and Mike Muir. “Jaded

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Posted June 18, 2014in Sound Check

Lana Del Rey “Ultraviolence” Polydor There’s a school of thought that says “Ultraviolence” is an unnecessary album. Del Rey herself seemed on the fence about making any more music after 2012’s “Born to Die,” and, indeed, many people found that album to be nothing more than a one-trick pony, albeit

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Posted June 11, 2014in Sound Check

Chrissie Hynde “Stockholm” Caroline I was never the world’s biggest Pretenders fan, but I’ve always enjoyed Chrissie Hynde. This is admittedly a hefty paradox because, more than any other component, Hynde WAS the Pretenders. As the years progressed, Hynde wrote more and more of the band’s output on her own,

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Posted June 04, 2014in Sound Check

Echo & The Bunnymen “Meteroites” 429 The “personal approach” taken by Ian McCulloch in the 11th Echo and the Bunnyman’s album is, quite simply, sublime. The liner notes talk about McCulloch’s “complex relationship” with his father, which seems like tired ground for a band as established as this. But instead

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Posted May 28, 2014in Sound Check

Buzz Osborne “The Machine Kills Artists” Ipecac Osborne, legendary front man of The Melvins, has picked 2014 as the year to come forth with his first solo acoustic album. And, ever after 30 years of work to look back on and draw comparisons to, King Buzzo manages to come out

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Posted May 21, 2014in Sound Check

Conor Oberst “Upside Down Mountain” Nonesuch Though just 34, Conor Oberst has been playing this game for 20 years now. All those miles reflect in the construction of “Upside Down Mountain,” Oberst’s sixth solo effort. Oberst’s solo work has always eschewed most of the over-wrought melodramatics that punctuated his Bright

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