Album Reviews (Quickies): Les Savy Fav, Ray Lamontagne, Jukebox the Ghost

Root for Ruin by Les Savy Fav

Les Savy Fav’s stage presence is that of legend and they continually are near the top of my list of bands that I need to see live. “Root for Ruin” is a pretty decent angsty punk(ish) album. ‘Let’s get out of here’ is one of the best ‘scream at the top of your lungs songs’ I have heard all year. It’s got like twelve words and half of them are “oooh lets get out of here now”. I love when bands don’t over think it. ‘High and Unhinged’ is another really great track. It’s one of those songs that is really good for justifying a break up that probably wasn’t decided on your terms. In a weird way it kind of reminds me of Third Eye Blind’s ‘Never Let You Go’ except not as poppy. Some of the songs just felt like fillers, but overall it had good guitar and raw emotion which is all I can really ask for.

Let’s Get Out of Here MP3

Root For Ruin: 3.5 out of 5

God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise

This is one of those albums that I have had on my computer forever but never really felt overly compelled to listen to. I mean Ray’s Joe Cockeresque vocals are some of the best out there today but he might be kind of hard to get ‘excited’ about. Kind of falls into that brand of music that Starbucks frequenting early thirty somethings tend to love. I guess just cuz a guy won’t be headlining at Pitchfork next year probably doesn’t make him bad. ‘God Willin’ probably isn’t Ray’s best album but it is certainly his most embedded in Americana roots. The opener ‘Repo Man’ is a straight up blues track, and while not all that gritty, still pretty well executed. My fave song is probably ‘Beg Steal or Borrow’. It almost has a folksy Simon and Garfunkel type feel except with too much steel guitar, which continues to be one of my least favorite instruments. Anyways, mark this one down as another solid, if not all that mind blowing an album for Mr. Lamontagne. We all need music to listen to while reading the Wall Street journal and sipping a cappuccino…I guess.

Beg Steal or Borrow Mp3

God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise: 2.5 out of 5

Everything Under the Sun by Jukebox the Ghost

Saw these guys open for Mr. Folds a couple years ago. They are a playful ‘kooky’ keyboard based trio. Their music is usually fun but frequently feels ‘immature’.They also have that kind of annoying dual lead singer dynamic (see Yeasayer or Stars). It’s especially painful because the keyboardist is significantly better than the guitarist at holding down that position. Without a doubt the standout track is “Summer Sun” it is the most mature the band has ever sounded, yet they don’t lose that playfulness that makes them them. It’s one of those songs that ends too quickly. While it is certainly no Cat Stevens’ ‘the Wind’, I’m certainly guilty of having it on repeat on more than a couple of occasions. Unfortunately songs like “The Sun” bring you right back to the Disney Channel. I feel like this is a band that needs to find out who it’s target audience is.

Everything Under the Sun: 2.5 out of 5

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