Monday, November 29, 2021

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Sound Check


“Suicide Songs”
Bella Union

If you’re unfamiliar with Manchester-based Money, the first thing you should know is that they have some of the most annoying song-naming habits this side of Of Montreal. “Suicide Songs,” the band’s second full-length album, has songs named “A Cocaine Christmas and an Alcoholic’s New Year,” “I Am the Lord,” and “You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky.” If you can look past the navel-gazing, however, “Suicide Songs” is a well-constructed album that shows Money’s ability to stretch itself and try new things on for size. The title track is haunting; the previously mentioned “Sad Painting…” is a melancholy, acoustic ballad; and “Hopeless World” winds up being the most memorable track on the album with its bittersweet ruminations and lovely guitars. The album jumps around a lot sonicly, but for as solid as the album is, it’s not the kind that you will put on at parties and show your friends — unless you put on terrible parties where nobody likes being happy. CV

“Jet Plane and Oxbow”
Sub Pop

Shearwater has undergone some renovations in recent years, with “Jet Plane and Oxbow” being the first album to showcase the band’s retooled sound that borrows heavy from ‘80s new wave and synth-heavy acts. With the new album, Shearwater shows just how far you can get in life on little more than brilliant artistic sensibilities. Nothing about any of the songs on “Jet Plane and Oxbow” feel gimmicky even though there is plenty here that could fit the bill. The band recorded entirely on ‘80s-era instruments and borrows heavily from inspirations ranging from David Bowie to Jan Hammer. But Shearwater does not dwell for too long in any one place, which keeps any of it from wearing out its welcome. CV

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