Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quick Spins

The Horrors Luminous
The career of The Horrors has been a gradual incline and alteration in sound from when they first appeared on the music scene back in 2006. Back then, with their debut, Strangehouse, they looked like a poor mans version of My Chemical Romance. Then, in 2009, they returned with Primary Colours, a record that heard them channeling the angst into art and a contemporary Joy Division. Then, in 2011, they released the groundbreaking Skying, a record that heard them take the best of 80’s cold and new wave and giving it a modern spin. Now, with Luminous, they don’t transition too much from Skying but still manage to mature in all the right ways. Luminous is dark, cavernous, but also melodic and angelic. Luminous shines as another highlight in the magnificent career of The Horrors and only makes us excited for what is to come.

Robyn & RoyksaapDo It Again EP
Sweden’s favorite pop acts are hitting the road this summer and to celebrate their joint venture, they release an EP of perfect pop. An EP from two careers birthed in a country that have given the world nothing but the best to dance on their own to.

Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain
The greatest voice of America’s current generation returns with his latest solo album. Recorded in Tennessee, Oberst, never a stranger to the American frontier, takes a deeper look into his folk roots and American style with strong Nashville and Memphis influences on Upside Down Mountain.

The Heartbreaks We May Yet Stand A Chance
What if Frankie Valli fronted a flamenco band? That is what English lads The Heartbreaks have done with their sophomore album. Gone are the polished guitar licks but what is kept are the raging rhythm sections and catchy hooks and spicy acoustic guitar licks are added to make this record stand out from any album any English band will release this year.

BluGood To Be Home
The Los Angeles rapper returns with a bold double album about his upbringing, family, his roots, but most of all, the real side of Los Angeles that never gets mentioned in the media. While the record is a bit too long and loses some touch with a handful of filler tracks, Blu still manages to spit his heart out and give it all to showcase why he is one of the best rappers around today.

The Minneapolis hip-hop duo return with their latest album and bring forth, yet again, their raw, in-your-face, and personal lyrics about life, love and the persuit of happiness.

Lily Allen- Sheezus
The spunky hip-popper, Lily Allen, returns after nearly seven years away from music so she could start a family. Sheezus is Allen returning to form and speaking her mind about the current state of pop and pop culture since she has been away. With that being said, she knows how to craft a great pop tune but what the record lacks is production. The beats and sounds on Sheezus sound more like something made on Garage Band or a basic Casio keyboard that hold the record back from being a truly memorable comeback.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Days of Abandon
The Brooklyn hipster band come back with a great summertime album that gives Smiths fans a reason to rejoice with a jangly guitar sound and catchy hooks.

Duck Sauce – Quack
EDM heros Armand Van Helden and A-Trak team-up for a record of exactly what you would expect – nonstop, floor slamming dance tracks that are enough to be an instant party starter no matter where it is played.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela 9 Dead Alive
The jaw dropping Mexican guitar duo fire back with a new record that pays homage to those who have gone before us. Each song is a representation of loved ones that have passed that the duo have known and loved. A tribute record of sorts, it once again has the duo speaking with their fingers instead of their tongues.

ColdplayGhost Stories
During the making of Coldplay’s sixth record, Chris Martin’s personal life began to unravel. While the world found out in March that he and wife, Gwyneth Paltrow were “Consciously Uncoupling,” he seemed to have known for a while, and that is all reflected in Ghost Stories. Taking influences from artists like Bon Iver and Elbow, Coldplay return with a very somber and heartbreaking record that at some points is reminiscent of Beck’s Sea Change, but nowhere near as original.  Ghost Stories may be one of the most anticipated albums of the year, however, tends to be lackluster in sound but is kept alive thanks to Martin’s heartbreaking lyrics. However, for a band like Coldplay to craft a record like this at this point in their career, a certain amount of respect has to be given. They clearly could have repeated the radio-friendly bullshit that Mylo Xlyoto had, but picked to walk this path.

The Black KeysTurn Blue
The Nashville via Ohio blues rock titans return with their latest record and bring back Danger Mouse to helm the project. Turn Blue is a Black Keys record with a twist, if you look at their previous work, think of it as rock and roll before the 1960’s, this album is now then venturing into the decade that gave us The Doors, Pink Floyd, and Zeppelin. With a trippy influence on the overall album, The Black Keys change it up a bit the only way they possibly can.

The Roots - ….and Then You Shoot Your Cousin
The hardest working band in music return with their latest record and it is sure one to divide fans. The Roots who are constantly busy may find it hard to focus on themselves and their own work. …and Then You Shoot Your Cousin is a result of that. The legendary Philly crew comeback with a symphonic rap record that features more lush instrumentals that it does vocal aggression. The Roots, who have always taken their time to perfect the beat, look to break ground on a new vision and sound for them, yet, it seems to be focused more on what is new than what has gotten them to be who they are.

Sharon Van Etten Are We There
The Brooklyn singer / songwriter returns with her latest album, yet, it just adds to her talented collection of songs without doing anything too diverse.

Lykke Li I Never Learn
The dark Swedish songstress returns with a record that takes such a personal turn, by the end of it, you feel as if you have just gone through a therapy session with her. I Never Learn is minimal in it’s sound but grand in it’s lyrics. Lykke Li’s ability to tell a story through song is one to admire and hear.

EelsThe Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
The 11th record from Eels is a mouthful in both it’s title and sonic ability. The record is an understated minimal record that does so much, while in fact, doing so little. It is an Eels record through and through, but channels a personal connection as the singer of the band, Mark Oliver Everett centers the songs around himself and his persona.

Guided By Voices Cool Planet
The indie rock legends return with their “original” line-up again and release their 21st album and second record before the second half of this year. Cool Planet is GBV record, just like Motivational Jumpsuit, for fans of this band it is another to add to the collection.