Playlist: New Releases 04.21.09
Art Brut - Art Brut Vs. Satan
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
The problem with Art Brut is you can only experience the first time only once, and that's still a compliment. When they came on the scene (Bang Bang Rock & Roll) with all their exuberance ("I've seen her naked... twice!") it was a revelation, but it also made for a hard act to follow. Second album Its a Bit Complicated suffered from trying not to follow it logically, maturing ever so slightly to move on from having just "formed a band" to a band dealing with minor fame, similar to what Mike Skinner's The Streets did. With Vs Satan, Art Brut return a bit back to the arrested development of their debut, even starting and ending the album with drunken exploits (starting with the hangover of "Alcoholics Unanimous" and ending with "Mysterious Bruises" - I fought the floor and the floor won). The middle is all for the music geeks, though, with a trilogy of songs that play a bit of lyrical Inside Baseball. "Demons Out!" laments the record buying public's lack of taste and "The Replacements" pinpoints the joy of discovering a band with back catalogue of worthy releases. But it's the song that's sandwiched between that is getting most the airplay in my house. "Slap Dash for No Cash" is an ode to lo-fi that also has a bit of lyrical fun at the expense of U2 and it's producer, a lyrical highlight:
Why is it everyone's trying to sound like U2?It's a funny lyric, but the song (and album) are hardly lo-fi, thanks to the punchy production of Pixies' Charles Thompson/Black Francis/Frank Black. But yeah, you're not going to hear any Eno-esque sound design in an Art Brut song anytime soon. Not until they move on from "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake" (hopefully never).
It's not a very cool thing to do.
Why would you want to sound like U2?
Just press record and play it straight through.
They call it lo-fi, if you say so.
Cool your Warm Jets, Brian Eno!
Tinted Windows - Tinted Windows
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
When you package up power pop like this, it's bound to have it's detractors, but taken for what it is, Get the Knack 2.0, Tinted Windows works just fine, thank you very much. Sure the lyrics are forgettable, but that's what this project requires (I'll again refer you to The Knack). Having written a song for the Jonas Brothers' debut album ("I Am What I Am,") Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger had to have been paying attention to the success of what was essentially Hanson 2.0. I already wrote a bunch Monday on the band, so I'll just point out the opening songs are surefire singles, and the album ends even better ("Nothing to Me" and "Take Me Back" - the first song Schlesinger and Hanson wrote together).
Free AOL Album Stream
More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Super Furry Animals - Dark Days / Light Years / "Inaugural Trams" [mp3]
The Breeders - Fate To Fatal
Booker T - Potato Hole / Free AOL Album Stream
brakesbrakesbrakes - Touchdown
Chester French - Love the Future
Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe / Free AOL Album Stream
Pet Shop Boys - Yes / Free AOL Album Stream
Asher Roth - Asleep In The Bread Aisle
Allen Toussaint - The Bright Missippi
Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing / Free AOL Album Stream
Jane's Addiction - Cabinet of Curiosities / Free AOL Album Stream
King Khan & The Shrines - What Is? / Free AOL Album Stream / "Land of the Freak" [mp3]
tags: music, album review, art brut, tinted windows, indie rock, new releases, rhapsody