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Sound Check

CD REVIEWS 03.07

3/6/2013

CD They Might Be GiantsThey Might Be Giants

‘Nanobots’

Idlewild

It’s scientifically impossible to dislike They Might Be Giants. Over the past 30 years the duo has made a living out of clever lyrics and hooks that are catchier than the common cold. The result has become the band’s trademark: Its particular style of novelty tinged indie pop is easily palatable no matter how old the audience. And that’s its true strength; while “Nanobots” isn’t a full blown children’s album like 2005’s “Here Come the ABCs” or 2008’s “Here Come the 123s,” there’s nothing here that a parent would think twice about listening to with their kids. Some of it (“Tesla”) could even be considered educational. The album is rife with sunny pop riffs like “Stone Cold Coup d’Etat,” while tracks like “Black Ops” offer up the kind of intelligent wordplay that harkens back to its “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” glory days. CV

 

HIV

CD Madeleine PeyrouxMadeleine Peyroux

‘The Blue Room’

Decca

Madeleine Peyroux has a voice that’s been compared to Billie Holiday. It’s heady praise, but the Georgia-born singer has earned the comparison. “The Blue Room” reunites Peyroux with producer Larry Klein, and the pair has set out to blaze new ground in Peyroux’s catalogue, specifically by looking backwards. “The Blue Room” is a cover album that borrows most heavily from Ray Charles’ seminal “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music” but also features tracks from artists as diverse as Buddy Holly, Warren Zevon and Randy Newman. The results are a little schizophrenic: “Changing All Those Changes” is a jazzy re-invention of the Holly original, while “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is a near note-for-note homage to Charles’ classic. Peyroux’s vocals continue to be gorgeous, but “The Blue Room” has a difficult time convincing you that it was necessary. CV

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