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Sound Check

2/26/2014

cd Love Songs For Lonely MonstersLove Songs For Lonely Monsters

Self-Titled

Independent

After a couple years of delays and issues, LSFLM’s studio debut is here with some surprising results. For starters, the album’s a triumph of production: It’s the best they’ve ever sounded. LSFLM’s live shows are often hit-or-miss affairs, but with all the levels properly balanced, the band reveals nuances its live shows don’t allow for. Additionally, being in the studio allows the band to play around with different effects (see the vocal doubling on “Ganglion Sister”). Guitarist and primary songwriter Nick Parks has always taken a high-minded approach to LSFLM’s lyrics, and the cleaner studio sound allows the listener to more genuinely consider what’s being said. But the best revelation comes from lead singer Amy Badger. Freed from the fight to be heard, she comes off sounding more than a little bit like Liz Phair (“Phone Calls From Beyond the Grave”), and if you wind up giving LSFLM repeated listens, she’ll be the reason why. CV

Love Songs For Lonely Monsters plays a CD-release show on Saturday, March 1 at Vaudeville Mews.

HIV

 

cd BeckBeck

“Morning Phase”

Capitol

In the 21 years since “Mellow Gold,” Beck has been willing to explore (some would say “mess with”) his sound in ways that few artists would have the guts to replicate. He’s never been afraid to follow his whims, and it’s allowed him a phenomenal amount of room to grow as an artist. “Morning Phase” is meant to act as a spiritual successor to 2002’s “Sea Change.” And, while the former clearly shares a lot of genetic material from the latter, “Morning Phase” owes much more of its accessibility to Beck’s forced semi-retirement of the past four years. Beck takes his time here, easing listeners into beautifully nuanced tracks with a deliberateness we’ve rarely seen from him. It’s not as flashy as “Mellow Gold” or “Odelay,” but it’s better than both and ranks among the best work he’s done. CV

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