Tuesday, April 24, 2012


SpiritualizedSweet Heart, Sweet Light 
J. Spaceman aka J. Pierce and his cosmic band return for their best album since their breakthrough Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Outer Space. Drugs, pain, heartbreak have always been at the center of every Spiritualized record, yet, Sweet Heart, Sweet Light hears the band hanging onto something they have never discussed – hope. The album plays like a symphonic masterpiece over electronic blips and beats with Spaceman’s signature vocal style, the album is so lush in sound, it is hard not to play it as loud as possible. Much like Ladies and Gentleman, Spiritualized reteam with the legendary Dr. John for a number and prove to have created one of the years best.

The Heartbreaks Funtimes
We introduced you to Morcombe, England’s seaside sensation’s The Heartbreaks over a year ago and now after all the waiting and wondering, they finally released their fantastic debut LP, Funtimes. Produced by Orange Juice’s Edwyn Collins, Funtimes brings the perfect combination of pop, rock, soul, doo-wop all together on the years best debut release. Fans of all kinds from The Vaccines to Bruno Mars will love this album, it is the perfect pop record about love, loss and romantic confusion. While the wait for the record may have been long than anticipated, it was well worth it. Funtimes will be one of your favorite records of the year by one of your new favorite artists.

Alabama Shakes Boys and Girls 
The blues-rock buzz band give us their debut and it lives up to the hype. In the door opened by artists like Jack White and The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes give us roots rock at it’s finest. Singer Brittany Howard has proven she is one of the best new voices in rock and roll today and Boys and Girls is record worth embracing.

Screaming FemalesUgly
The New Jersey DIY punk trio return with mega producer Steve Albini on a record worthy of praise. One of the most perfect punk records released in years, Screaming Females have been a favorite with us since we saw them open for Arctic Monkeys in 2009, the band have gone on to win audiences around the country and now with Ugly, this will be the record that will put them over the edge and make them critical darlings the world over.

Geoff Barrow of Portishead assembles an all-star indie hip-hop line-up for a massive genre defining record. A 41-track album qualifies more for listening marathon but Barrow brings for Smif N Wesson, Guilty Simpson, Coin Locker Kid and many more for something fans of indie and hip-hop should listen to.

The Dig Midnight Flowers
New York City indie sci-fi rockers return with their sophomore release and do not suffer the ill fated “sophomore slump,” most bands get into. Following the 2010 release of their debut, Electric Toys, The Dig bring more atmosphere and curiosity, romanticism and mysteriousness to their sound with Midnight Flowers. A solid release and shows the band progressing in all the right directions.

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives Throw It To The Universe
Sweden’s space / psychedelic ensemble return three years after the release of their ambitious double album, Communion with a solid and conscious new album. Throw it to the Universe is everything we have come to love about TSOOL over the years, it is a perfect record for fans, while it sustains the sound they have crafted and mastered for so long, it does not venture into too distant territory, it is still a solid release.

Miike SnowHappy to You
Sweden’s favorite dance masters return with a new album and lighter sound but still show how much fun they can have. While, Happy to You is a much more mellow release in comparison to the band’s self-titled 2010 debut, it still is a pleasure listening to, especially when Lykke Li collaborates on “Black Tin Box.”

On his third album, Rusko still brings dirty, hard hitting beats and enough movers and shakers on one record to create an instant dance party.

The U.K. electronic duo arrive in a new era where dance music seems to have taken over the world and DJ’s are the new rock stars, yet Wonky still shows that you can never mess with an original. Bringing the Madchester scene back to life, Wonky is Orbital flexing muscle and years of work to the new generation.

Jack White Blunderbuss
Jack White goes solo for the first time and makes a Jack White record. Blunderbuss is a unyielding blues-rock record from a man who helped usher blues rock back into the mainstream, however, much like his work with The White Stripes, Racontours, Dead Weather it has his musical imprint all over and is not too diverse for someone who we all hail with such regard.

Plug 1 and Plug 2 Present First Serve
De La Soul’s Plug 1 and Plug 2 bring team up for a departure from their main outfit and bring us First Serve – a concept record that plays like a conversation more than it does a hip-hop record. Speaking about social issues, life and how to live, First Serve is a throwback hip-hop record of sorts that makes us remember 90’s glory days of hip-hop.

Civil Twilight Holy Weather 
The South African three piece with inspiration from Coldplay and Keane showed much promise early in their career, yet their latest record just sounds like a generic pop-rock radio-friendly album to gain commercial attention.

Our Lady Peace Curve 
Sometimes band’s peak early in their career and then later on they fall apart. Canada’s Our Lady Peace were one of those band’s that saw some of their best material arrive in the 90’s, then as the turn of the century happened, they got better with records like Spiritual Machines and Gravity. As they got better, they also got bigger commercially and released Healthy In Paranoid Times in 2005 and for purposes of this review, we will say it was the last good OLP album. After 2010’s disappointing Burn Burn, the band comeback with a new record that almost makes it embarrassing to ever say you were a fan. Curve is as generic and as flat and dull as it gets, it hears a band trying their hardest to stay relevant and fail miserably.