review Archive

Hundred-word Reviews: September 2017

Time for some more hundred-word reviews; new music from many different genres. Linsey Alexander – Two Cats (Delmark) A lot of modern-day blues has a sterility that makes it the sonic equivalent of a museum display: too perfect, too slick, soulless. Linsey Alexander is having none of that on Two Cats. The 75-year old blues

EP Review: DJ Audio — Shut it Down

The advent of low-cost, do-it-yourself recording technology has put the power to create music in the hands of a wider group of creative musicians. Knocking down barriers to entry has meant that the virtual stranglehold the corporate music industry has exerted is now far less absolute. But alongside those advances, these seismic changes in the

Album Review: Various Artists — Songs, Bond Songs

Andrew Curry‘s label has released an impressive clutch of tribute-type albums, including ones focusing on 80s pop, “lite rock” and so on. For the most part, the artists involved tend to fall at least loosely into the power pop subgenre. Curry Cuts’ latest project is Songs, Bond Songs. And as the title (and wonderfully clever

Album Review: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo — Mozartistic

At its best, kid-hop is a family friendly version of hip-hop, with lyrics full of universal appeal. Because while not everyone can identify with slice-of-life reality depicted in some rap and hip-hop, everyone has been a kid. Many still are. And at its best, kid-hop takes the form of the music made by sometime Asheville

Album Review: The Bye Bye Blackbirds — Take Out the Poison

The Bye Bye Blackbirds’ fourth album, 2015’s We Need the Rain was characterized by a seeming desire to exemplify the best of what makes powerpop appealing while moving beyond its relatively confining parameters on some of the album’s material. While We Need the Rain was an excellent record, the presence of those twin goals made

Album Review: Gel-Sol — Horse Head Bookends

It’s inevitable: the first thing one notices about Horse Head Bookends, the latest album from Andrew Reichel (d/b/a/ Gel-Sol), is its stunningly original album artwork and packaging. The vinyl LP is housed in a black, die-cut sleeve with a front window that serves as a frame for a 12×12 full-color art. There’s a collage for

Six New Jazz Reviews

Gerald Clayton – Tributary Tales (Motéma Music) Clayton has an impressive family pedigree in music, but hs own career deserves serious attention. As Musical director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, Clayton rubs elbows with some of the biggest names in jazz. But the pianist’s work holds up – and quite often towers above – that

Boogarins’ Soundtrack for the End of the World

English language-speaking countries haven’t cornered the market for swirling, deeply textured psychedelic rock. Led by the multi-talented Gustav Estjes, Sweden’s Dungen has amassed a tidy catalog of boundary-pushing, progressive psych. Originally from Argentina and now based in Spain, Capsula makes heavy psychedelic power-trio rock. And from Brazil comes Boogarins, a quartet that spins out dizzying

Three More New Album Reviews

Cody ChesnuTT – My Love Divine Degree File next to: D’Angelo, Shuggie Otis Atlanta-based Cody ChesnuTT is the kind of artist who frustrates and fascinates – in equal measure – both critics and fans. His 2002 debut, The Headphone Masterpiece was roundly praised for its quality, all the more remarkable for having been a lo-fi,

Three New Album Reviews

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte with Iggy Pop – Loneliness Road File next to: Stooges, Tony Bennett Popular music has seen some unlikely pairings: Bowie and Bing Crosby, Lou Reed and Metallica. And beyond the marquee value of the artists involved, such collaborations don’t always work. On the face of it, a project