Trying to make up for my period of inactivity during the last couple of weeks. Too much new stuff out to write full length reviews of everything, so here are a few thoughts and tentative reviews on four albums that I gave a quick listen: Avi Buffalo (Self Titled), New Pornographers Together, Fionn Regan Shadow of an Empire , and Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record.
Felt like this album was super hyped up for a debut. Thinkin’ that people wanted them to be the next ‘XX’ because they are a bunch of super talented teenagers. Other than that don’t think there is much of a comparison. The XX seem significantly ‘better’ and more unique. Felt like it was kind of hard to distinguish one song from the next on this album and the lead vocalist’s falsetto grew tiring/annoying by the end. I did enjoy the single: “What’s in it for”. Also I felt like a lot of the guitar work was pretty interesting and impressive, especially considering that these are a bunch of 18 year-olds. Overall, this album is just whatever.
2.5 out of 5
New Pornographers: Together
“Together” by the New Pornographers is the first of two reviews of ‘cool parent bands’ in this four pack of reviews. Overall, I felt this album was just really delightful, unpretentious, 90’s style pop rock that was slightly more mature than the type of stuff that was coming out 15 years or so ago. Not really sure there is any one track that we are gonna remember years from now, but as a whole the album is the type that you can just let play through and enjoy every track. The first couple songs, “Moves” and “Crash Years” were particularly up beat and fun. Very good stuff.
4.5 out of 5
Fionn Regan: Shadow of an Empire
A couple years ago I first heard Regan’s album “The End of History”. It was a surprising little folk rock gem. I expected “Shadow of an Empire” to be about the same. But really this was one of those crash and burn complete clusterfucks of an album from a typically respectable artist, that you only stumble across once in a while. There was nothing quaint or folksy about this. It was basically overproduced faux-punk garbage, with some sort of silly political message shoved down your throat. Even the album art kind of looks like a Green Day cover. FUCK!
0.5 out of 5
Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record
The long awaited return of Broken Social Scene is finally here. The album opens with “World Sick” the type of over the top 7 minute opus that we have come to expect from these guys. Feel like you have to expect songs like “World Sick” if you are listening to a band with like 20 or so guitarists. The whole album feels like it was masterfully crafted and is surprisingly ‘catchy’ at times. “Texico Bitches” is a personal favorite and maybe the song title of the year thus far. At times though Broken Social Scene still seem to be a little over my head. Not sure I completely ‘get’ a lot of their giant instrumental tracks. Not sure whether I am to blame for being an uncultured listener or if these songs are just genuinely weird. Either way, there is a lot more good than strange on this album even for me.
3.5 out of 5