PJ Harvey – Let England Shake album review

It was a little after 6 as the sun began to sink here just outside of the city. With the window open and a warm air slipping past, I tried to find what would have been the perfect sealer for this already opportune mood. Unfortunately as I listened to the rest of PJ Harvey’s new tracks I received absolutely no aid in my venture towards that pleasant state…

I tend to never completely downplay an album on the effort(s) alone that it took the artist to create it, However, this album sounds like it was made… not created, and in my opinion is unable to compete with the bulk of female leads who currently hail from America, not England.

With the likes of Victoria Legrand and Jenn Wasner, along with a handful of others currently laying down furious amounts of newness, I would feel bad for anyone trying to squeeze into the cracks of such a weighty scene, but given PJH‘s posterity (or so it was somewhat thought to be), I expected a somewhat seamless transition into their usual space, perhaps not directly into the same levels as the girl’s currently state side, but at least into a pocket of her (their) own making.

The last living rose resembled so clearly a track from Gorillaz that I am surprised that they dared put their own title to it. The colour of earth strikes out as the best song because it had him and not her taking the lead on vocals (the singular change up on the record )  Hanging on the wire features an instrumental that could have been very chill if left alone without any vocals, perhaps Girl Talk could sample it for a back line for some type of soft afternoon trance melody On battle ship hill for a moment sounds cool with its rust like strum and initial break down but soon turns useless and suddenly nothing lasting is really conjured up. The glorious land – I can’t believe that they actually tried to resemble a battle scene (or lack thereof) with the horns, not because it couldn’t have worked, but because it was so poorly mashed in. The effect was dismal and seemed to lack any real emotional discharge.

Bottom line, with so much good music from emerging artists and artists who are proving that they wish to remain important and vital by pushing ahead with big follow ups, this album sounds lazy and very second rate. I highly recommend a listen to any who might want to see for themselves just how little effort was put into the making of this, at least from a listener’s point of view.


TV on the Radio & Nine types of Light album review

I occasionally see Mr. Malone at a certain North side book shop; he seems undoubtedly chill and I wish I could freeze frame his presence because it is refreshing when held up against what the media might have you think, as it outlines what it is America is looking for while it hunts down the next recognizable artist for all to be hyped by forgotten sounds.

Almost displaced amongst the other tracks while reminding me of Beck with its downerish/ uninspired purpose, there is a feel of silver lake or some other urban late afternoon LA Haze hanging over my head. Repetition oddly enough makes me think of Dave Mathews when he attempts to be both a little funky and a little dark. “Love How I`m Livin” is the closest thing to hip-hop narcissism with it’s Micro swagger in tow New Cannonball Blues (Pornographic adulation?) The down beat is hard and has a way of keeping an illusion of flow going even as certain changes abruptly get in the way, the break down is nice and strung out much like past TV, (rhe horns bring a subtle surprise to the mix). Killer krane drom the take-off creates a feel of expectation, of a need to hear what will follow in a very stoned Beatles style as it has a way of slowing down the rest of everything else, especially if you look up quickly while listening inside of a busy place.

Keep your heart comes off like an Appalachia type moan, the music beneath is calm and does not distract from the vocal heights being stabbed at, I wish the little blues note that kicks in around 2:25 would have stretched out a bit more ( perhaps an acoustic version?) the fade out is very brooklynesque as it reminded me quickly of how clearly modern the guys are. Second song comes out more like a beatnik slang as the words cut ahead and lead in front of the music which seems to be nothing more than a chunk of instrumental for the tongue to sit on. Will do sounds sexual in a meaningful & personal type of way, almost like a sort of preaching, the kind actually intent on bettering any who hear it while not wasting the time of those who wish to take it very seriously as a love song.

Overall, I think the word accessible is the wrong description for this album; my guess is that it was simply made from a different perspective than the previous ones which for some reason many wish to solidify as simply “art rock” records. As it seems to always be, there is the usual chaotic cascade smoothed over by a consistent sound, a weightless enough sound for those who wish to celebrate just the poetical lyricism taking place above.


The Raveonettes – The Raven in the Grave album review

The first moment of sound is the most important, the most needed in order to adapt to what is being presented. If one wished to anticipate for what was done on past work, I then doubt that the many new visitations and interruptions will be found inside of (The Raven In The Grave)

Like an eccentric Cobain without the need for any blatant and vulnerable conviction, each song seems to cling to it’s story as if it were first and foremost written for the writer him/her self.  Had they survived long enough to experience the current onslaught of high end anti depressants, perhaps the grateful dead might have steered the tail end of their jams towards similar fog induced sneers and break downs.

War in heaven reminded me of a show a while back by six pence none the richer (back when their music really did represent a healthy vision of C.S. Lewis). Whereas while listening to Apparitions I thought of Joy electric, but thankfully most of it stayed deceptive and out of reach unless you wished to join and  lash out within its upper level type sound. and although The guitar storm is brief, it is  perhaps in the same ranks as down boy.

As for the darkness of let’s say, Evil Seeds I find that its type more resembles a spiritual darkness that you might find while listening to Timber Timbre (Who is coming to seek revenge?) Truly his best song.

Summer moon I imagine was written long ago and left on a bed side following some all night dinner party which lasted until dawn, and as lovers parted summer moon was left behind, when the band awoke they quickly put it to music.

The sounds stay suspended while never seeming to drift into diametric opposition to it’s overall purpose. It’s a hard break down from song to song because it’s more of an instillation piece, but even with the very atmospheric scene all ready present in much of the current musicology, the fuzz remains unique and the distortion gentile and well placed. There is a true elegance to these tracks, one to be appreciated as it is taken out and put away, taken out and put away…