Saturday, August 20, 2022

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Sound Check


packshotStephen Malkmus and The Jicks

“Wig Out at Jagbags”


With the release of “Jagbags,” Malkmus has now released more albums with the Jicks than he did with Pavement. It’s a fact Malkmus himself may or may not be aware of, but either way, “Jagbags” serves as a nice way to mark that milestone. Always creative, The Jicks’ work has a tendancy to swing from jammy and unfocused to concise and clever. “Jagbags” is definitely in the latter category. Lead single “Lariat” is a ‘60s-pop throwback, featuring twee guitar riffs and clever wordplay that’s one of Malkmus’ many hallmarks. The rest of the album doesn’t get quite as high, but tracks like “J Smoov” and “Independence Street” clearly illustrate what make Malkmus’ such a tantalizing artist: He’s such a creative talent, that you don’t want to miss anything. His best work might just be the next thing you hear from him. CV


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cd Angel-Haze.jpgAngel Haze

“Dirty Gold”

Island Records

“Sorry to Island/Republic records, but fuck you.” That was rapper Angel Haze’s tweet sent out right before leaking her own album two weeks ago. Apparently upset over the way the label was dragging its feet on a release date, Haze was more than happy to let the album stand on its own two feet and, frankly, it’s pretty easy to see why she was so eager to get this into fans’ hands. She’s got a marvelous flow to her lyrics and, after an early stumble (“Sing About Me” and “Echelon” both suffer from over-production), she absolutely crushes “A Tribe Called Red” out of the park. There’s a lot on the album that’s worth repeated listens: “Planes Fly” is a Rhianna-esque, hook-heavy groove, while the title track is a sexy, driving track. “Dirty Gold” is certainly helped by the litany of heavy-hitters who get production credits, but Haze is the star of this show. CV

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