Saturday, December 8, 2012

One-sentence reviews #4

Traversed through Pitchfork's "Best New Music" certifications for the latter part of the year, plus some other things that slipped through. Rolled my eyes a lot.

Lupe Fiasco
Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1
(2012)
(Atlantic)

!! CAUTION !! - An improvement, but only slightly; none of the bewildering sonic embarrassments of Lasers but more than enough of the same weird musical apathy, dressed up in the pretension of the Everclear-like title.

***

Royal Baths
Better Luck Next Life
(2012)
(Kanine)

!! CAUTION !! - As sardonic VU imitations go, "Faster, Harder" is near the top of the recent heap, but the drone of the album becomes repetitive and fatiguing; the thing with "Lady Godiva's Operation" is that Reed and Cale sounded like they sort of cared.

***

Metz (2012)
(Sub Pop)

!! CAUTION !! - This actually is your father's indie rock, or at least not mine -- heavy, pounding, screamy, thrashy, annoying, everything this blog is unqualified to judge.

***

Muse
The 2nd Law
(2012)
(Warner Bros.)

!! CAUTION !! - An amusingly unrestrained comedy album, the kind that contains lines like "now I have seen the light" and comes on like a local Battle of the Bands "Bohemian Rhapsody," probably hosted in the At the Hop Ice Cream Shop.

***

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend
(2012)
(Constellation)

!!!!! AVOID !!!!! - I have no clue how or why people listen to / worship this shit (fun game for the Junior Jumble: which song title is Muse and which is Godspeed? -- "Strung Like Lights at Thee Printemps Erable" vs. "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-Pollination)"), but it's really none of my business, yeah?

***

Bat for Lashes
The Haunted Man
(2012)
(Capitol)

It's boring, but it's Kate Bush boring, which makes it difficult to really dislike; Natasha Khan's voice bears the scars of a child who once suffered mightily through vampiric Miss Sjlaka's middle school music lessons.

***

Andy Stott
Luxury Problems
(2012)
(Modern Love)

I could see loving this, as the rhythms are loose and challenging, but the looping / sampling designed to melt it all into something vaguely conceptual just gripes me, like Jim Morrison-level relationship drama; we've firmly established by now that I'm not the electronic music connoisseur of my youth.

***

Mac DeMarco
2
(2012)
(Captured Tracks)

Another branch of your dad's indie, the singer-songwriter dork with the electric guitar in the power pop bargain bin (also interestingly, a record you actually can gauge very accurately from its cover art); more Jonathan Richman or Ben Vaughan than Ariel Pink, this seems just the right side of being a bit too juvenile and tossed-off, but the tunes are solid and the guitar playing fine, the singing deadpan.

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