Saturday, January 22, 2022

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Sound Check


Charli XCXCharli XCX


Asylum Records

The odds are that if you know of Charli XCX, it is for her credits on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” You can decide whether or not that is the kind of thing that will get you interested in hearing more from her; I am not here to steer your ship. But if you do happen to find yourself in the market for a good, synthey, dance-pop album, you can do a hell of a lot worse than “Sucker.” The most easily recognizable tracks off the album are big single “Boom Clap” and follow-up “Doing It.” But from the first beats of the overpowering title track, the whole album grabs you by the dancy bits and doesn’t let go for 40 minutes.



Justin Townes EarleJames Townes Earle

“Absent Fathers”


If it seems like yesterday that Justin Townes Earle was releasing an album , it is because it was. “Single Mothers” came out in September of 2014 and was one of the more underrated beauties of the year. “Absent Fathers” was recorded in the same session, and the two were originally planned for release as a double LP. While the two albums clearly strive to have their own identity and make their own statements, there is a lot of similarity, if not direct overlap. Earle is one of the masters of contemporary Americana, and “Absent Fathers” is lush, full-bodied and beautifully showcases Earle’s smokey, tortured vocals. How much mileage you get from the album will be dependent upon how much you liked “Single Mothers,” but most people will find this to be a great way to kick off the new year.


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