Monday, October 2

Quick Hits

Hey everyone. A bunch of new albums come out this week. I am really looking forward to telling you all what I think of them, but before I can do that I've got to get some older albums out of the way. Rather than do full reviews for all of these albums, I'm just going to do some quick reviews to give you an idea.

Artist: Outkast
Album: Idlewild
Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Key Tracks: "Mighty O", "Morris Brown", "Hollywood Divorce"

Comments: Nothing here is as good as anything on "Aquimini", but the tracks that work are the ones that Outkast works together on. However, for the most part this album is a disappointing mishmash of prohibition-era blues and soul and mainstream 2000 hip hop. Musicals are dead anyway.

Artist: The Format
Album: Dog Problems
Rating: 6 out of 10
Key Tracks: "Matches" "She Doesn't Get It" "Dog Problems"

Comments: The Format avoid the sophomore slump with another album of quaint, pleasant pop songs about losing, girls, losing girls, and (as the title suggests) dogs. It's a nice album; nothing on here is as engaging as "On Your Porch" or as bubblegum fun as "The First Single", but The Format are holding the course.
Artist: Liars
Album: Drums Not Dead
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Key Tracks: "Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack" "A Visit From Drum" "The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack"

Comments: A moody and creepy indie rock concept album about the two sides of the creative process of song writhing, "Drums Not Dead" sounds like it should be played in outer space or at the bottom of the worlds darkest cave. Often brutal and abrasive, but also with moments of unbelievable tenderness, this album is a grower. After a first listen you may never play it again, but those willing to go back will find something worth listening to. It gets a little caught up in itself, but not a bad record.
Artist: Cursive
Album: Happy Hollow
Rating: 7 out 0f 10
Key Tracks: "Dorothy at 40" "Bad Sects" "Dorothy Dreams of tornados"

Comments: After exercising his personal demons on Cursive's dark masterpiece "The Ugly Organ", Tim Kashir returns with one less cello player, three more horn players, and a vendetta against the catholic church. This album boasts an excellent first half, but the ideas get stale after a little while. The horns intertwining with the angular guitars that Cursive are known for, and makes for an interesting, if not sometimes rough, sonic experience. Kashir is as gifted with the pen as ever. He is not as open of himself as he has been in the past, but after "the Ugly Organ" the guy deserves a break.


Artist: Tapes n' Tapes
Album: The Loon
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Key Tracks: "Just Drums" "Insistor" "Manitoba"

Comments: This album has two parents. One is the loose jam and quirky sense of Pavement, and one is the wild reckless ness and screaming into the void feel of Pixies. But as far as influences go, you could do a lot worse than those two. The album never strays far from these two parents, but still somehow manages to stand apart from them, always reminding but never ripping off. Fans of either band should pick this up, and after the second listen, you'll like it not because you like Pixies or Pavement, but because you like Tapes n' Tapes.

OK, that's it. Check back this week for reviews about:

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Decemberists - The Crane Wife
The Killers - Sam's Town
...Trail of Dead - New Album

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