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Sound Notes

Radiohead

6/22/2016

 

“A Moon Shaped Pool”

XL Recordings

 

There is a lot about “A Moon Shaped Pool” and the events surrounding it that could be construed as Radiohead giving up. There was the complete deletion of its online presence, radioheadthe album’s alphabetical track listing and the nearly hook-less construction of each song. After 30 years of doing what they do, it could be easy to look at the surface of “A Moon Shaped Pool” and figure Thom Yorke and company are mailing it in. But that initial, desperate sheen hides the brilliant profundity that has bubbled and lurked in Radiohead’s best music. And this album is certainly among its best. Atmospheric, emotional and utterly devoid of anything traditionally radio-ready, “A Moon Shaped Pool” shows that even at its most simplistic, Radiohead is a couple steps ahead of the game. CV

HIV

 

Rae Davis

“Soul and Skin”

Independent

 

Rae Davis has made a name for herself around town with a pair of groups, The Honeybees and Cover Grrls. But “Soul and Skin” offers Davis up in her most vulnerable, stripped-down state. Rae DavisIn the past, Davis has never been afraid to sing about personal topics (can I get a “Hallelujah”?), but as a solo artist, her songs take on a higher level of personal intimacy. Whether she is singing about the life and passing of her grandmother in “Earthbound,” issuing a savage takedown of an ex-confidant (“Fair Weather Friend”), or singing odes to her own children (“Your Eyes”), Davis’ songwriting manages to come off as honest and earnestly simple. Not having a band behind her frees up Davis’ vocals to be the star of the show, and it is to the album’s immense benefit. There is the occasional clunky turn of phrase, but “Soul and Skin” is still one of the strongest local releases of the year. CV

 

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