Chris Cornell Scream:
A pleasant enough radio friendly album. The whole album, was produced by Timbaland, who largely sticks to the pop beats that have become his signature. Cornell’s voice is in good shape, and he sounds more enthusiastic here than on much of his work with Audioslave. He plays the role of pop singer surprisingly well, spitting generic pop lyrics with gusto. Anyone looking for any hint of the vitality in Cornell’s albums with Soundgarden, or even Audioslave’s stronger singles will be disappointed. Anyone looking for a radio friendly dance album, whose vocalist happens to be Chris Cornell, will probably be pretty satisfied.
Handsome Furs Face Control:
1980′s worshiping indie-rock. Drum machines and fuzzy guitars provide a backdrop to poetic lyrics, delivered like Bernard Sumner. Not the best thing out there, but it is a fun and danceable record.
Condo Fucks Fuckbook:
Loud, obnoxious, and fuzzed out. The Condo Fucks have produced an album of garage rock covers, so intentionally sloppy it sounds like each member of the band is trying to play a different Kinks song at the same time. Undeniably a blast live, I can’t get through the album in one sitting. Theres no weak tracks, theres just not a whole lot variation going on here. Overall, it a pretty solid release, from a band which must kick ass live.
Extra Golden Thank You Very Quickly:
The funky grooves found on this album, could wake someone from a coma, and get their ass grooving, right there in the hospital. The group consists of an ethno-musicologist some Chicago based musicians and some Kenyan musicians who specialize in a musical style known as benga. The resulting sound reminds me of latter day Talking Heads, but more fluid and jammy. The vocals are enthusiastically chanted, and whether or not the lyrics are good (I don’t have the slightest idea what they’re saying) they are sung amazingly well and with conviction. This album is fun and funky in the best ways possible.
Tom Rush What I Know:
A healthy balance between up-tempo fun folk songs, and mournful country ballads. Theres an abundance of covers here, but Rush writes songs as well as he interprets them. His guitar playing is reserved but tasteful as is his clear voice and his simple guitar playing. A pleasant record without any dud tracks, but theres nothing here that will blow your mind.
Rating: 11/15 creepy album covers
Mystery Girls Incontinopia:
Garage-rock with a strong blues influence. The singer likes to holler about sex and drugs. Its obvious these guys love what they’re doing, I’m sure live all of these songs hold up. On the album, the non-stop Blues barrage gets a bit tedious, but there aren’t too many weak tracks.
Rating:11/15 Drunkin’ yellins
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
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
A.C. Newman Get Guilty:
Solid indie rock, fairly diverse song arrangements keep this album interesting throughout. Not my favorite album, but its fun and there aren’t any bad tracks.
Rating: 12/15 Catchy tunes