Beirut - The Rip Tide

Reviewed by yewknee

Something about The Rip Tide feels more contemporary, more up-to-date, than the prior records. The same instrumentation is present throughout (though, occasionally some new surprises pop up), but it seems less forlorn, less evoking of some time gone by. It's tough to tell if this is good or bad at the moment, but it's fairly safe to say that if you enjoyed the previous Beirut albums that this will fit squarely into the same pleasure center for your ears.

Dec 5 2011

CANT - Dreams Come True

Reviewed by yewknee

It's a pretty gracious compliment to listen to this record and not be immediately reminded of Grizzly Bear. It would have been so easy for Chris Taylor to take some of his rejected or half-formed ideas and just toss them together, but this record definitely has its own identity. There's almost an R&B vibe to the whole thing; thick sounds, sweet vocals with an urgency around them that's hard to pin down. It's dancey, but in that way that reeks of sex. Every time I listen to this I like it more and more.

Dec 5 2011

Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania

Reviewed by yewknee

I am told this is Thee Oh Sees most accessible album; a good sign for me given that I've not really listened to much of them before. I have a good feeling that the higher production values and instrumentation on this one is a bit of a divergence from their prior works, so it may not sit well with the longtime fans, but, assuming one can move beyond that, there's a nice energy throughout and a definite weirdness. Not my favorite thing I heard all year, but glad I heard it.

Dec 5 2011

Big Black Delta - LP1

Reviewed by yewknee

I'm a sucker for weird and distorted vocals. You put a vocoder on a song, I'm probably going to enjoy it ten times more than I would without it. With that in mind, it's hard not to enjoy this record because the vocal styles are all over the place. There's crazy electro-speak, ambient vocalizations, plenty of oohs and ahhs, smooth crooning, gospel style revelations and even squelching proclamations... all on top of incredibly thick electronic instrumentation. If you liked Mellowdrone, it makes sense for this to be the next evolutionary step.

Dec 5 2011

Wilco - The Whole Love

Reviewed by yewknee

I do not count myself among the hardcore Wilco fans. I don't scrap up every little thing they put out or go out of my way to see them in concert or busy myself with dissecting the arc of their recorded outputs style. So, I am not one to wax philosophic about where this record stands in their pantheon of releases. However, I can say that Tweedy's voice never gets old to me, and the crazy guitar outbursts from Nels Cline are always welcome. In other words, it's a great record. That is, Another Great Record from Wilco.

Dec 5 2011

Liam Finn - Fomo

Reviewed by yewknee

Occasionally, you encounter an album that you know will grow with time. Fomo seems to fall into that category. It is immediately memorable, catchy, et al, but each additional listen increases the enjoyment levels from start to finish. It's probably very difficult to step out from your father's shadow when you're in the same business, but I can't imagine anyone saying that this isn't an incredibly strong piece of work on its own merits. I am a total sucker for his voice - particularly the way he so effectively layers them. Highly recommended.

Aug 11 2011

White Denim - D

Reviewed by yewknee

Love it when a band makes a slow progression through various styles and sounds without losing their original charm. While the energy and enthusiasm of the first records is definitely still present here, it's a lot less manic and frantic. The underlying '70s rock vibe still persists ever so subtly, but it's more breezy this go around. In the end, it's proof that quality rock records can still exist. Oh, and it's got a flute solo that actually works - who knew that was even possible?

Aug 11 2011

Pete and The Pirates - One Thousand Pictures

Reviewed by yewknee

If Pete and The Pirates had a different (better) band name, they would likely get a ton more credit for writing the phenomenal songs that they do. I adored their first record and was highly skeptical that they could keep the same balance of energetic rock songs soaked with a wash of melancholy but, much to my pleasant surprise, they absolutely did. The guitars are big, the lyrics are clever, the songs memorable - everything a good Rock Song should be.

Aug 9 2011

Colourmusic - My ____ is Pink

Reviewed by yewknee

I really have no clue what to make of this. It's aggressive, it's dark, it's part rock, part electronic, it's anthemic and equally experimental. It blends all these things well, but it's still a fairly crazy listening experience. It doesn't seem to be catchy in the traditional way, but it's certainly got some engaging, fist-pumping moments.

Aug 9 2011

Menomena - I Am The Fun Blame Monster B

Reviewed by yewknee

The first album of Menomena remains my favorite era of the band. It had a bit more of a rocking edge to it and the production was a bit crappier than it is now, a perfect fit for what they were doing. While I understand these songs were cut for a reason - and rightfully so, the album wouldn't have worked as well with them - they still fill that part of my aural brain that loves their production values. Definitely a Must Procure for the Menomena completionist.

Aug 9 2011