Saturday, July 2, 2022

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Sound Check


Courtney KrauseCourtney Krause
“Thoughts and Sound”

Virtually everything about Courtney Krause is delightful, and you can now add her debut album to the list. “Thoughts and Sound” is a lovely bit of work, in a genre that is woefully under-represented in Des Moines’ musical landscape. “Thoughts and Sound” avoids the common debut album pitfall of everything sounding the same, and, in fact, shows a remarkable amount of variety, something it owes in no small part to the seven years worth of material that the album encompasses. The songs show genuine depth and emotion, but the true star of the album is Krause’s voice, which is gorgeous and reason enough for a couple of listens. Some tracks are more parochial than others, but none are so out of place as to make the album uneven. Opening track “Subtle Motions” is a winner, but “Move” is the track that packs the biggest emotional punch. CV

“Vulnicura Strings”
One Little Indian

The biggest problem that Björk has is that she might be genuinely insane. Luckily, it is an issue that has been little more than a trifle for her in the past. But lately, more often than not, Björk’s increasingly convoluted sense of who or what she is has gotten in the way of what she is actually trying to do. This leaves us with albums where the most interesting thing about them is the outfit she wears in the video. “Vulnicura Strings” is not one of those albums. In fact, if you grew up loving the Björk — who gave the world songs like “Big Time Sensuality” — you are going to enjoy this album. It doesn’t sound anything like 1993’s “Debut,” but it might be the first time in nearly 15 years that Björk has gotten out of her own way and allowed the more brilliant voices in her head to shout. CV


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