Saturday, July 12, 2014

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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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Posted May 14, 2014in Sound Check

The White Elephant “Cocaine Love Letter” Independent After putting out two of the better roots-rock albums released in the state, The White Elephant is, in its own words, pumping the breaks a bit. Eschewing the crunchy, electrified, three-chord blues-infused rock riffs of its first two albums, “Cocaine Love Letter” is

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Posted May 07, 2014in Sound Check

Lily Allen “Sheezus” Regal/Parlophone This is a perfectly acceptable album. Really, that’s as close to the quick as you can cut. Nothing about “Sheezus” is particularly horrible — bland, maybe — but nothing here will re-invent your life, either. Lily Allen starts the album with the title track, which serves

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