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Sound Check

9/23/2015

Holy White HoundsHoly White Hounds
“Sparkle Sparkle”
Independent

There are few bands in the metro that have grown as much and as quickly as the Holy White Hounds. Three short years ago, the group — then a three-piece — seemed like a fun but nondescript bar band. Since then, the group has significantly tightened its songwriting, added a new drummer and a second guitarist and jumped its live shows from good to great. “Sparkle Sparkle” is the next step in that evolution. Established Hounds fans will recognize nearly half the tracks (four titles, to be exact) from the band’s “Oh Mama” EP. But with the sound that the band has been peddling for the past year, few people are apt to complain. “Switchblade” remains the group’s best song, but tracks like “Gaver Water” and “Black Lust” show enough promise to think that we are looking at the band’s ground floor rather than its ceiling. CV

Lana Del ReyLana Del Rey
“Honeymoon”
Interscope

Lana Del Rey was seemingly everywhere last summer and not without good reason. “Ultraviolence” was a fantastic album with an inescapable sound. This year’s follow up, “Honeymoon,” is heavy on the violin and piano, as Del Rey couples them well alongside synthesized beats. But the vocals have always been the driving force behind Del Rey’s albums, and “Honeymoon” is no different. She clearly has the capacity to belt with big voices like Florence Welch but instead opts for a gloomy, stylized restraint. Ultimately, “Honeymoon” is an album that will not change many minds. Del Rey is still depressing and a little weird, while still having one of the loveliest voices in the game to work with. If you come in as a fan, you will still be one when the album ends. But if “Ultraviolence” did not convert you, “Honeymoon” will not do the trick, either. However, for added fun, “Salvatore” features a few lines in Italian, along with a bridge that I am pretty sure is the saxophone hook from “Careless Whisper.” CV

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