September 26, 2010
Mini-reviews: Fall music
The Hundred In The Hands The Hundred In The Hands
Slick electropop with a ribbon of indie cool, partially produced by the legendary Richard X. Opening with Young Aren't Young, a pulsing night-driving anthem, this debut album is a cross between Uh Huh Her and Miike Snow, more consistent than the former, but lacking the sublime highs of the latter. There are some surprisingly tough tracks like Gold Blood and Dressed In Dresden that betray their New York roots. This debut is pleasingly unshowy and grows with repeated plays.
Download Commotion, Pigeons, Young Aren't Young, Lovesick (Once Again), Dead Ending
Ben Folds & Nick Hornby Lonely Avenue
At its best, this is like classic 70s AM pop, lush and clever and full of harmonies. Lyrics by Nick - usually narratives, appropriately - with music and vocals by Ben. A total singalong.
Download Belinda, Picture Window, From Above and the hilarious Levi Johnston's Blues
The Pipettes Earth Vs. The Pipettes
The loss of vocalist Rose Elinor Dougall – aka Rosay - could have been catastrophic for these polka dot obsessives, but this album is salvaged by solid, relentlessly melodic tunes. Stop The Music is characteristic of Earth’s tracks, many of which feature multiple choruses. I Just Need A Little Time is wowsers, with the section from 2:00 to 2:53 one of the most thrilling minutes in pop music this year. But is it really The Pipettes? Doesn’t matter when you’re dancing...
Download: Stop The Music, I Just Need A Little Time, Thank You, the Blondie-esque I Always Planned To Stay
Badly Drawn Boy It's What I'm Thinking (Photographing Snowflakes)
My first impression was "Hurrah! A beautiful fall record." It's very adult this one, and the vocals have a lush reverb that adds to the moodiness. I Saw You Walk Away is one of Damon's most romantic moments... "I've seen the rain coming down and snow fall on your eyes / Seen the sun pouring shapes through your window a thousand times." After a few plays of the album, however, one yearns for an All Possibilities or some other uptempo to break the flat pace of the record. And try as I may, I cannot remember the album title, which cannot bode well.
Download Too Many Miracles, This Electric, I Saw You Walk Away