Thursday, July 22, 2010

As demanded by my daughter, the jokes stop here. For today, at least.

Maya's been nagging me the last few days to "stop always making jokes" and we've effectively agreed to a one-day moratorium on my silliness.  Granted, the terms of this brief cease-fire are squishy.  She can't really define what a joke is, but she knows it when she sees it.  Kinda like the Supreme Court and obscenity.  So in the interest of honoring our agreement, I'll post a few quick shots at some new albums I've had in rotation.  If you find anything funny herein, don't tell my daughter.

The debut from LA band Local Natives came out a number of months ago, but I just got around to picking it up.  If you like the sort of lush sound that made Grizzly Bear such a breakthrough act, you'll certainly hear the apt comparisons in what Local Natives offers.  They sound like what I always thought bands would sound like if you took the performance and the need for original shtick off the bill.  My rating for "Gorilla Manor" is a very pleasant B-minus.  No epic standouts, but well worth a mention because the band is so chuck full o' talent.

Like too many people, I am a fan of Outkast.  And while I generally couldn't have cared less, I heard about the extended period of time that it took Big Boi (the less flashy half of that duo) to put together his recent solo release.  We're talking years.  The result is especially surprising not because it's good.  But because there's so little depth there.  Lots of sexy tawk.  Most of it pretty damn juvenile.  The thought of cutting and remixing all of this over and over constitutes some incredibly dull staying power (if you know what I mean).  So I have to lower my rating to a missionary-style B-minus.  The beats are good, the sound can be juicy.  But the spontaneity is pure high school, if you take into account how long we've been waiting for something to happen.

The opposite type of output comes from Wolf Parade, in terms of quickly prolific releases (please veer away from the sexy in following my train of thought in this refrain).  These Quebecois doods crank out the new stuff faster than the paint dries on their past projects.  I'm not dismissive - this is a good roadtrip album if you're talking over the top of it in the car with someone you actually enjoy rambling along with.  But it's a thin sort of paint that doesn't really stick to much.  My rating is an appreciative but still looking for the really tasty hook C.  If you're jonesing like me for the upcoming release from their fellow Canucks, Arcade Fire, this will probably help get you through the next few weeks, though.

Hope your backlog of pop culture worth mentioning is also lessened today.  Rock on.

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