Matthew Ship Harmonic Disorder:
Monkish piano interplays beautifully with a very talented rhythm section. The faster Bop workouts are strong, but are still Bop workouts. The true strength of this album resides in the slower spacious tunes where the harmonic interplay and push and pull between the trio members creates a unique tension.
Rating: 12/15 should of stuck to the cool stuff
Lonely Dear Dear John:
Indie pop heavy on wimpy vocals and outdated synthesizer sounds. Oh! and lets not forget the incredibly cheesy background vocals!
Rating: 6/15 Dear John, please stop making music
Alela Diane To Be Still:
American folk sung with a powerful voice and featuring beautiful accompaniment. Diane’s lyrics are powerful and emotive. She covers a variety of topics all guaranteed to hit home. Her voice and guitar playing are also exceptional, practically demanding attention. Guest musicians playing mandolin, cello, and fiddle never overplay, and the layered back up vocals do wonders to accentuate important lines. This is a career that will be worth following.
Rating: 14/15 dumbfounded album reviewers
The Shadow Ring Life Review(1993-2003):
Confrontational buzzing and clanging topped with strange poetry read in a monotone voice. Listening to this disk is a process in and of itself. The music will probably give you a headache, but if you work your way through it the tenseness and pressure that this music builds up provides for a great cathartic release. The mood the music will put you in, will make the lyrics seem all the more strange and poignant. Amazing, but extremely difficult.
Rating: 15/15 Tylenol recommendations
Moondog Sax Pax for a Sax:
Sax heavy jazz influenced danceable tunes, which adhere to an incredibly strict set of harmonic rules. Moondog’s compositions at once sound unique, but also lack variation due to his very set beliefs in the proper way to compose. The harmonies, progressions, and time signatures all become predictable. That being said the music is beautiful an unlike many albums by so-called “serious” composers, the music is fun. It sounds like a mix between french music and 1920′s jazz, but with some harmonies not commonly heard in either genre.
Rating: 12/15 Viking Helmets
Pauline Oliveros Deep Listening:
Accordion, trombone, voices, and found percussion recorded in a gigantic cistern with a ridiculous amount of reverberation. The subtlety of the musicians knack for incorporating microtonal elements and utilizing the natural Reverberation makes this piece an incredible listen. The droning harmonies are nothing short of gorgeous and trance inducing.
Rating: 14/15 sustained notes
Derek Bailey Pieces For Guitar:
A series of solo free jazz guitar solos. Though atonal, and often quite harsh, theres a variety of moods and textures explored on this album. Bailey sometimes sounds like Monk at his most vicious and sometimes like a contemplative Anton Webern. He experiments readily with feedback and live panning and utilizes them not as bells and whistles, but as meaningful compositional elements. Interesting for anybody who wants to here experimental music with more of a point than just breaking down pre-established rules.
Rating: 12/15 meaningful skronks
Gentleman Reg Little Buildings:
A solid pop album with fairly complex clean-tone guitar arrangements. Reg’s voice takes a little getting used to, but fits the songs perfectly once you’re used to it. Every element of the disk from the lyrics to the drumming manages to be unique and inventive, without sacrificing its catchiness. A really enjoyable album.
Rating: 13/15 Canadians
Soft and beautiful acoustic guitars and vocals betray the powerful observations found in the lyrics. Lyrically, this album focuses exclusively on relationships, and manages to never be corny. The only complaint I have about this album is the indier than thou production. Most songs sound like they were recorded with a tin can on a string. Mirah continues to release strong relevant material, surprising since Calvin Johnson signed her, but true none the less.
Rating: 12/15 Strangle worthy producers
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion:
Interesting mix of synth-pop and experimental elements. Multi part vocal harmonies emerge from dense arpeggiated synthesizer clusters. The lyrics are cool and clearly audible, and delivered with passion. Bringing out their pop side has worked wonders for this band.
Rating: 14/15 creepy masks