Sunday, May 24, 2015


Posted March 11, 2015in Sound Check

Madonna “Rebel Heart” Boy Toy   “You’re gonna love this,” Madonna claims in the first line of the song, “Bitch I’m Madonna.” But despite her seemingly confident proclamation, love never really blooms. The Diplo-produced track is almost completely uninspired and quickly devolves into a mish-mash of EDM ear-barf. The rest

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Posted March 04, 2015in Sound Check

Brandi Carlile “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” ATO   Brandi Carlile hasn’t gone anywhere. After breaking through with 2007′s “The Story,” Carlile has settled into what can comfortably be described as “her sound.” She has not shown the capacity to grow and evolve in quite the same fashion as, say, Ani DiFranco

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Posted February 25, 2015in Sound Check

Imagine Dragons “Smoke + Mirrors” Interscope Part of what made Imagine Dragons’ first album so much fun was its ability to be everybody and nobody all at once. You could hear smatterings of Killers, Arcade Fire, Dragonette, even Coldplay in their songs, but only the best bits of all those

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Posted February 18, 2015in Sound Check

Angle “Definitive Bedtime Stories” Independent   Des Moines does not have a great hip-hop scene. It is not for a lack of trying, it is just difficult to grow a scene organically with no major label backing and no breakthrough commercial talent, ala Slipknot or The Envy Corps. There is,

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Posted February 11, 2015in Sound Check

Mint “Murder” (EP) Independent This winter, after its annual hibernation period, Mint returns to the local music forefront with a new EP. Consisting of three new songs and an extended version of the title track, “Murder” serves as a small reminder of everything about the band that excites and frustrates

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Posted February 04, 2015in Sound Check

Bob Dylan “Shadows in the Night” Columbia   Bob Dylan must be getting bored with just being a legend. Seemingly bereft of any good, new ideas, Dylan has chosen to package together a series of Frank Sinatra covers for his latest album. Consisting mostly of deeper cuts from Ol’ Blue

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Posted January 28, 2015in Sound Check

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard “I’m in Your Mind Fuzz” Heavenly/Castle Face/ Flightless   There is a lot about this band to feel dubious about. With a name like that and a lineup that consists of two drummers, three guitarists and a dedicated harmonica player, it can be easy

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Posted January 21, 2015in Sound Check

Meghan Trainor “Title” Epic Meghan Trainor’s 2014 single, “All About That Bass,” is this generation’s “Mambo No 5.” It is catchy, it has a good hook and was everywhere for a while. And in two years, people will wonder why they listened to it at all. If “Title” has a

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Posted January 14, 2015in Sound Check

Sleater-Kinney “No Cities to Love” Sub Pop The fact that we are now living in 2015 and there are still people in the world who don’t know about Sleater-Kinney makes me sad. Now, after a nearly eight-year break, the Olympia, Washington, trio is back from a new location (they live

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Posted January 07, 2015in Sound Check

Charli XCX “Sucker” Asylum Records The odds are that if you know of Charli XCX, it is for her credits on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” You can decide whether or not that is the kind of thing that will get you interested in hearing more

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