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CocoRosie – Tales of a GrassWidow album review

Different. Is the word you are looking for. This kind of music, slightly reminiscent of certain Animal Collective phases and earlier Grizzly Bear, (although CocoRosie seems to be more grounded in consistent beats) asks that you participate in the act of sitting down and listening to music. There are lots of interesting subtleties that the common listener probably won’t be willing to digest.  It is definitely something you have to go out of your way and give a chance, but they won’t disappoint you. The sisters choose interesting arrangements. They…

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Poor Young Things – The Heart. The Head. The End. album review

Something tells me Poor Young Things are meant to be seen live. As far as instrumentation goes, the five piece band sticks very closely to the rock and roll format that has done so well for the past fifty years. It is because their act is so bog standard, that it surprises me, and almost arises suspicion that Poor Young Things is being considered as one of those indie bands on the rise. They do have knack for putting together catchy riffs, but while everything is done very solidly, there…

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The Abramson Singers – Late Riser

Damn it Canada. You’ve done it again. All the dorky American boys who made up girlfriends in Canada probably had someone like Leah Abramson in mind. If her musical color is any indicator of her personality, she would probably be described as “delightful.” Your overbearing, self-esteem smashing parents would have approved. I’ll bet she’s the kind of person who got along with the french horn section in her youth. She must have, because parts of her music have a horn section. The music is framed in simple arrangements adorned with soothing…

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The Features – The Features album review

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again and I’ll say it seven thousand more times, a four piece rock band does not need amazing production values. That which makes them charming (that can do, garage spirit) is bastardized through filtration and distilled into a sound of manufactured fury. It means nothing. Maroon Five can get away with nonsense like that because after ten plus years of doing their thing, they’ve chased themselves into a corner, but that hyper-perfected world of studios and VEVO channels leaves little room to grow,…

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Sharks – Selfhood album review

Have you ever been sitting around thinking, “God I wish I could listen to Greenday without being caught listening to thirty-eight year old men who wear make-up, spike their hair and rage against the machine while playing at the Grammys?” Well I think I may have a solution for you… Sharks is as four piece punk rock band from jolly old England. Their music offering in Selfhood indicated two things. The first thing I can point out is that these boys have been busy. Since their formation in 2007, they…

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Laura Stevenson – Wheels album review

Here are some words Stevenson uses to describe herself on her website: “My mom would find me in my room, looking out the window, out at the street, singing by myself, sometimes crying,” she laughs, “I was a weird kid.” “An unfunny Woody Allen.” “…she spent her afternoons singing in four different choral groups, exploring a growing love for acapella. “Big time nerd stuff,” as she recalls, lamenting that there wasn’t a show like Glee around to validate her when she was in the thick of it.” I like her…

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Hey Marseilles – Lines We Trace album review

Hey Marseilles are a seven piece band from Seattle. Lines We Trace is their second release. It is a typical indie pop band that has the benefit of strength in numbers. The group has a large instrumental repertoire. The album itself has good production value. There is something slightly reminiscent of The Decemberists, the only difference is when The Decemberists came onto the scene, their schtick was new and refreshing. Somehow this more placid rendition that is Hey Marseilles doesn’t quite do it for me. No risks are taken. It’s…

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Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll album review

They’re back! In their first collaboration since the their 2010 hiatus, Fall Out Boy has returned, and they’ve brought Elton John with them. The boys have managed to keep their sound with the times. It is absolutely something engineered to be remixed into other pop hits.  The title track which features Her Majesties Sir John happens to fall into that 90ish BPM power anthem range. That being said, it does drag on for about one minute too long.  One gets the sense that one of the principle aims of the…

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Telekinesis – Dormarion album review

Last week, I reviewed an album and gave it high marks because I knew what the artist was trying to achieve. It was difficult, but commendable. I was surprised with how good it was because of all the things that could have gone wrong. Telekinesis’s album Dormarion receives high praise because it is simply surprisingly good. This is the third album from Seattle native Michael Benjamin Lerner. He uses lead melodies that are different, without being different for the sake of being different, if that makes sense. Even the seemingly…

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Steve Mason – Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time album review

Let it be known: Steve Mason has some mighty balls. When I talk to my musician friends, they hold this familiar notion that you should try to refrain from releasing a double LP. Its a feat that is generally more impressive to the musician than the audience. Its a nice pat on the back. “I just wrote twenty songs. Listen to them all in a row.” It can be overwhelming as a whole, and it underwhelms each song which may have found a brighter spotlight in a normal 10-14 track…

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