Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Series of Quick Reviews

The Raveonettes / "Lust Lust Lust":
I love the Jesus and Mary Chain enough that "Psychocandy" is one of my 15-20 favorite albums of all time. My love for JAMC, however, pales in comparison to that of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo of the Raveonettes. They love the band enough to make an entire album (and career, for that matter) out of making sound-alikes of the band. It all sounds good enough musically, especially if you'd never heard the source material. Unfortunately, it obviously ultimately lacks creativity. My recommendation is that any perspective listeners of the Raveonettes skip out on this (or any of their other albums) and instead invest their time in "Psychocandy" and "Darklands" instead. (Rating: 4.8)
Download: "Aly, Walk With Me"

Les Savy Fav / "Let's Stay Friends":
Les Savy Fav faces a similar situation to the Raveonettes. They have had to suffer through comparisons to another legendary band throughout their entire career, in this case Fugazi. However, here's the difference between Les Savy Fav and the Raveonettes: Les Savy Fav is much more original in their compositions and especially their songwriting. "Let's Stay Friends" is packed from front to back with catchy pop-punk tracks. In fact, there wasn't a song on this record I didn't enjoy. Les Savy Fav may not be reinventing the wheel, per se, but when the tunes are this solid should anyone really mind? (Rating: 8.6)
Download: "What Would Wolves Do?"

Burial / "Untrue":
Burial is an enigmatic figure. So enigmatic, in fact, that he's an anonymous dubstep artist, known seemingly only through his music. Even his music seems to carry that sense of mystery. He mixes genres and styles effortlessly, applying Indian music, traditional dubstep tunes, ambient instrumentation, and glitchy electronica to form hypnotic and intriguing miniature dance epics. While there are times when it is absolutely captivating, there are other times when it fades out sonically and causes the listener to lose attention, or else adds one additional element that spoils the sound as a whole. It's bizarre, but I feel the album actually would've worked better as a non-dubstep album. The consistent and heavy bass actually subtracts more than it adds, as do the vocals. Remove these two elements and it could've been a masterful instrumental record. As is, it is a good, though not great, dubstep album that is garnering more praise than the music itself truly warrants. (Rating: 7.3)
Download: "Near Dark"

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