Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 17 Releases

Today’s new releases with be served up with a tune from one of my top 10 albums of 2011: Billy in the Lowground from Chris Thile & Michael Daves’ Sleep With One Eye Open. If you haven’t listened to this album at least 50 times, do.

3 Pill Morning – Black Tie Love Affair

2 of 5 stars

Generic modern hard-rock instrumentation, complete with over-processed drums. Overall, not good or bad, just entirely forgettable.

Alberta Cross – Songs of Patience

4 of 5 stars

Complex and very catchy tunes. The bass really does a great job here of laying down a solid foundation for everything else that goes on.

Baroness – Yellow & Green

4 of 5 stars

While producing music that is markedly metal, they add touches like beautiful counter-melodies and real locked-in rhythm section groove. So many bands in this market never stray from the same idioms which quickly become cliche, but Baroness is making music that brings in ideas from outside music that somehow manage to make it more and not less metal. The only thing preventing a five here is that the album as a unit wasn’t as strong as the individual tracks.

Dennis Bovell – Mek It Run

4 of 5 stars

Groove after groove. Perfect record to just have going on in the background of life. It’s not a record I think could ever capture my full attention, but I doubt there was ever any intention of that.

The Drowning Men – All Of The Unknown

4 of 5 stars

Wildly original music. Great arrangements bring out fundamentally strong songwriting.

Icky Blossoms – Icky Blossoms

2 of 5 stars

Dark and catchy dance pop. Starts with great promise but falls short as the album progresses.

Milo Greene – Milo Greene

4 of 5 stars

Fits right in with the latest trend of indie music: sweet timbres, driving rhythm (heavy on the one), full slightly non-western harmonies, ambient texture, and occasional use of acoustic instruments—banjo even—for extra texture. Pleasant and well executed, but nothing that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Old Crow Medicine Show – Carry Me Back

5 of 5 stars

Ambassadors for old time and surrounding styles of music to the rest of the world bring it again. I have a soft spot for Appalachian music, so it should come as no surprise that this album, being executed well, gets a 5 star review from me. On a related note, anybody else think that Wagon Wheel has become what Stairway to Heaven is in a guitar shop at a campsite jam?

Angus Stone – Broken Brights

5 of 5 stars

Head-bobbingly good folk rock. Dynamic arrangements really create movement in the songs to create an emotional response in concert with the songwriting. I could go on about the production for far too long, but I’ll hold back. The only aspect that doesn’t capture me is the just slightly over-Dylanesque vocal style; the vocals are on the edge of being more style than person.

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