Friday, May 7, 2021

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Sound Check

Iggy Azalea


“Digital Distortion”

Def Jam


Iggy Azalea has not collapsed into a black hole of her own suck just yet. After her first release, “The New Classic,” was certified platinum off of what one can only assume were mostly hate-purchases, IggyAzalea embarked upon a 2015 headlining stadium tour, which was promptly canceled because people will only indulge their guilty pleasures so far. “Digital Distortion” is an album that attempts to follow up the success of her previous album by doing exactly the same thing. There is no evolution and no growth as an artist. If anything, the album serves as a step backward, as there is no single track with the morbid popularity of 2014’s “Fancy.” Lead single “Azillion” comes the closest and at least has the good sense to be self-aware. But “Team” is much more indicative of the rest of the album: tone deaf, tuneless and painfully drawn out. CV


Prep Iowa


“Strange Little Birds”



Garbage is back. 2012’s “Not Your Kind of People” marked the band’s return from decade-long hiatus and served as a nice reminder of the things the band did with greater aplomb in the late ’90s. GarbageBut “Strange Little Birds” finds Garbage attempting to do more than just remind you of what it was, and for the most part, it works. Shirley Manson still sounds as great as she ever did, and this album’s mix provides the cleanest, boldest look at her abilities yet. It is an opportunity that she takes full advantage of, as she takes good tracks like “If I Lost You” and makes them far better. Garbage remains the band that fans remember from the post-grunge ‘90s, but “Strange Little Birds” is a great indicator of its desire to grow artistically without alienating anyone who has come with it for the full ride. CV

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