Tag » album
Actual pyramids are bottom-heavy, just like Brightest Darkest Day, the debut from a duo made up of vocalist Drea Smith and OK Go’s Tim Nordwind. The two concoct a range of sonic textures which sometimes captivate and other times get lost in the fray. Album closer “Nothing I Can Say” staggers under a feedback loop as dreary as a rainy day in Manchester. About half the album is bogged down in these kinds of post-punk genuflections—a pity, because Smith’s voice smoldered in the less forbidding climate of 2011’s Human Beings, the band’s poppy EP. Read More
  It wasn’t so long ago that Charles Bradley was a struggling James Brown impersonator, but after Daptone Records—Brooklyn’s answer to Motown—discovered him, the 64-year-old soul singer’s career finally achieved liftoff. On Victim of Love, the follow-up to his dazzling 2011 debut No Time for Dreaming, the R&B crooner sounds undeniably confident, trading his heartache for love and channeling Al Green more than the Godfather of Soul. Read More
  Lisa Germano’s albums always remind me of a car accident—her lyrical stories contain elements that both attract and repel, like she can’t stop picking at certain wounds, even if it hurts a little. Her newest album No Elephants is rife with similar dualities. Germano’s breathless voice is simultaneously ecstatic and on the verge of a meltdown, especially when she sings lyrics like, “All is not well outside.” A multi-instrumentalist, she accompanies herself on piano on many songs, and demonstrates her skillful violin work on “Diamonds. Read More
   Since its beginnings in 2002, Los Angeles band the Bronx has incorporated a sunny element within its version of hardcore. Maybe it’s a California thing, but it’s hard to describe their explosive, melodic, pump-your-fist music, other than to call it pizza-party punk. Their latest effort The Bronx (IV) is lacking any form of anger, which feels weird for a band of their ilk. Still, songs like “Along for the Ride” and “Ribcage” are loud, brash, and annoyingly infectious. Read More
Wanda Jackson may be approaching her 75th birthday, but the Queen of Rockabilly shows no signs of slowing down. On her 31st album, Jackson goes back to her roots with the signature mix of rockabilly and country that made her famous in the late 1950s. Unfinished Business features five new tracks and five covers of tracks by artists from Etta James to Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones. Produced by established folk musician Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle), this LP sticks to classic country ballads and upbeat R&B tunes. Read More
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