BAND OF HORSES Cease To Begin LP / CD
*** "The songs on Cease to Begin are strikingly beautiful, if less elliptical and more straightforward, dealing with the reconciliation of attachment and detachment, the strength that’s found through suffering, and the understanding that we are as significant as we are insignificant. It’s also a great rock record."
BEIRUT The Flying Club Cup CD
*** "Six months of recording led to an homage to France's culture, fashion, history, and music. Two years ago, Zach Condon immersed himself in Balkan folk, absorbed sounds, scales, styles, and the sonic joys of a skeletally structured, cacophonic ensemble and moved west. Soaking up the likes of Francois Hardy, Charles Aznavour, and, most notably, Jacques Brel (a huge influence on both Scott Walker and Mark E. Smith), Condon has been articulating his conversational French for this new platter."
CELEBRATION The Modern Tribe CD
*** "The Modern Tribe is an album of sublime colours, rich textures and glorious, ascending melody. And if tracks like "Pony" and "Fly The Fly" have the dense groove and full-throated impact of past classics, they're balanced by the swooning swirl of "Evergreen", the heady gospel of "Heartbreak" and the cosmic, chanted "Tame The Savage". It's a development which has to be heard to be believed, and one that establishes Celebration as one of the most distinctive bands at work in the world today.
DUKE ELLINGTON Meets Coleman Hawkins CD
*** Remastered and made to look nice.
ENON Grass Geysers... Carbon Clouds CD
*** "Enon are back with their long-awaited 5th album, and this time they brought the can of whoop ass! Blasting through 12 tunes lodged between your conscience and the red lights, this is their most consistent and striking work yet. It builds you up from 'Mirror on You' before burning you down in 'Ashish'. A manic and fast paced punch in the neck."
ENON Believo CD
*** "Long, long ago, at the beginning of the new millennium, the world begot Enon. It was before Willliamsburg was, like, totally over, before beards made you cool, and just at the cusp of all this modern computer recording tomfoolery. This record makes a bridge between the 20th and 21st centuries full of effects, samples, pop sensibilities, and a complete respect for and disregard of The Rules."
FIERY FURNACES Widow City 2xLP / CD
*** "The sixth album (and first for Thrill Jockey) from the FIERY FURNACES. While Widow City is rooted in the Furnace’s aesthetic of challenging conventional notions of timing and song structure, the record is absolutely unlike any other in their expansive repertoire. Sixteen tracks that are among the finest and catchiest they’ve written to date."
KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus CD
*** Surely, the original "early mornin' stoned pimp" needs no introduction. Rolling Stone gave it four (4!) stars.
JENS LEKMAN Night Falls Over Kortedala LP / CD
*** "JENS arduously labored over these songs over the last three years. It's characterized by a vague musical pop sound with hints of tropicalia, it has more in common with PAUL SIMON's Graceland'."
CASS MCCOMBS Dropping The Writ CD
*** New! and quite tuneful.
SCOUT NIBLETT This Fool Can Die Now CD
*** "Recorded at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini, featuring Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) on vocals. Mournful pleas, plaintive cries, and guitar-driven indignation over 14 songs that traverse a spectrum of charged emotions from yearning and grief to resignation and acceptance."
ROBERT POLLARD Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love CD
ROBERT POLLARD Standard Gargoyle Decisions CD
*** "In the universe where Bob Pollard explains the Freudian divisions of his psyche he calls Coast his id; Standard his ego; and himself his super ego. A psych 101 course might change that order a bit -- but it's one good explaination for his continued prolificacy."
SHE WANTS REVENGE This Is Forever CD
*** "With no intention of playing it safe this time out, the boys continue on the path of creating thought-provoking and emotional dance music both challenging and compelling."
SUNSET RUBDOWN Random Spirit Lover CD
*** "The woven lyrics and singular songwriting style heard in SUNSET RUBDOWN invoke a mythological world, where magical narratives and tiny metaphors give shape to ordinary objects in the room; sometimes beautiful, sometimes beastly. Twelve songs that bleed in and out of each other, mixing portents with theatrics, confusions with conversions."
TRENTEMOLLER Chronicles 2xCD
*** "His best songs and remixes, 2003-2007. Includes new and unreleased material and his remixes for ROYKSOPP, MOBY, THE KNIFE, etc."