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Sound Check

8/12/2015

MarKausMarKaus
“White Mans Burden”
Independent

“I’m graded at what I’m made of/I’m the realization of what Reagan was afraid of.” So goes the opening line of verse three in the track “Down to Earth.” It may be the seventh track off “White Mans Burden,” but “Down to Earth” serves as the perfect encapsulation of what the album is really all about. MarKaus has created an album that attacks political and sociological ideals from his own, very personal perspective. Sometimes it does not work perfectly. When MarKaus equates prison to slavery in one track, for example, it is not like he is breaking any new ground. But everything is delivered in a refreshingly straightforward, lyrical fashion, coupled with Markaus’ own silky, soulful flow, and the result is satisfying and completely genuine, if not completely groundbreaking. CV

 

The MynabirdsMynabirds
“Lovers Know”
Saddle Creek

An act like The Mynabirds is a delicate thing. Despite the “band” designation, The Mynabirds is really just Laura Burhenn, playing with whatever additional music suits her needs at the time. And when a group is really one person bending everything else to fit her vision, that vision had better be a damn good one. Sometimes, (St. Lucia) it works. Other times, (Smashing Pumpkins) it is more hit and miss. In Burhenn’s case, it works a lot more often than it fails. “Lovers Know” is an album that feels older than it is. As Burhenn sings about loves lost and remembered fondly, you can almost hear the songs give a world-weary sigh. Opening track “All My Heart” is given from the point of view of someone who does not care what you think — she just wants to tell this story. It is a sound that carries through the album, with remarkable effect. CV

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