Addie Brownlee – East of Leaving EP
It is part country, it is part folk but it is all heart. Pouring everything she has into a nice succinct EP with some heavy hitters such as Martha Wainright and Doveman as guests, Addie Brownlee is a name that you will have to remember. After blowing me away at a recent performance at The Living Room, Addie’s EP is a nice way to get to know her and become obsessed.
FINAL GRADE: A-
Sting – Symphonicities
The master of Zen returns with an album of orchestral arraignments of his biggest hits from The Police and his solo career as well as under the radar songs from his catalogue. Backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sting’s brilliance is in the rearrangements of his tunes, yet it would have been great for a few originals with this record.
FINAL GRADE: B+
Scissor Sisters – Night Work
New York City’s favorite flamboyant dance-rock troop is back and still going strong. Much like other American acts that hit it big in Europe before really cultivating a fan base throughout all of the US, Scissor Sisters are ready for commercial glory after already getting critical acclaim since their major label arrival in 2004. Night Work is a fun effort with no surprises to most Scissor fans; they just keep the adrenaline and sex up all night.
FINAL GRADE: B
Devo – Something forEverybody
They were weird 20 years ago and still bizarre today, however, just as ahead of the musical curve they were back in the day they still are right now on their triumphant return. Everyone’s favorite Toppleheaded band is back and still having fun and cranking out beats that leave most contemporary favorites such as Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem and Hercules and Love Affair in awe. Something for Everybody is just that!
FINAL GRADE: B
The Rescues – Let Loose the Horses
This is a band I have introduced you to and have grown to enjoy. The Rescues arrive gracefully on their major label debut, Let Loose the Horses. A band comprised of solo artists from the LA area have come to make beautiful music together. This is a band and album not to sleep on.
FINAL GRADE: B-
We Are Scientists – Barbara
Another band that can fit into the Kings of Leon, Scissor Sisters mold – an American act bigger in the UK and Europe than their native country, on We Are Scientists third album not much has changed in their sound and style. The California via Brooklyn duo now have former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows making the beats and cultivated themselves as a trio, with Barbara the quirky garage rock band is hoping to finally crack it on their native shores.
FINAL GRADE: B-
Chatham County Line – Wildwood
North Carolina is not really known for any particular music scene and not really known for many acts to break out of that state. So when you are a band kicking around for 10 years like the men in Chatham County Line have, making your art and doing your thing, the biggest risk is risking it all. On the band’s fifth release, Wildwood, they poured everything they had into the creation of this record; money, pride, passion and the result shows. Self producing Wildwood, the acoustic / alt-country quartet are bound to get noticed once you give a listen.
FINAL GRADE: B-
Kele – The Boxer
The anticipated solo debut from Bloc Party’s front man Kele Okereke finds him venturing into bizarre and very new territory. It does take a much, how would you say it – balls to do what Kele is doing. Adopting a new sound and persona, if you look at the man he is nowhere near a shadow of his former self. Kele has transformed himself both physically and musically with The Boxer, an electric escapade of futuristic and wild sounds. Gone are his trademark dreds and skinny frame, now he has bulked up and cut his hair to show he is shedding from his cocoon. This is a record that may take fans a while to wrap their head around or just loathe from first listen. The Boxer is not for everyone, but certainly worth a listen to see and hear where Kele wants to go.
FINAL GRADE: C
MIA - /\/\/\Y/\
MIA will always be a singles artist for me. It was great to see her have a hit with “Paper Planes,” and cross over into the mainstream and become a household name. However, her records as a whole I never really fully digested. Now with her latest, /\/\/\Y/\ she is weird for the sake of being weird. It is a unlistenable pop record with no hooks and no idea what it or she wants to do. Much like MGMT throwing as much shit on the wall to see what sticks with Congratulations, MIA does the same thing. Do yourself a favor and hit skip on this.
FINAL GRADE: D