We haven’t retro-reviewed anything for quite some time, so yesterday I went mining through some of the older albums I have been listening to decide what was worthy and interesting to write about. Then, I stumbled upon something new (Just Tell Me That You Want Me, the Fleetwood Mac tribute out in 2 weeks in honor of the band’s 45th anniversary), and I knew exactly what kind of old I wanted to review.
The Antlers have been a pet favorite of mine ever since the release of the exceptional Hospice in 2009. The release of Burst Apart last year further affirmed my believe The Antlers are one of the most exciting bands to be following in the world of music right now. Where The Antlers have thrived and found their success on Hospice and Burst Apart lies in the almost compulsive production. Peter Silberman, the band’s main creative force, has made a mark on The Antler’s two proper albums by delving into the most minute details of the band’s sound.
That being said, the release of last year’s EP, Together, left a lot to be desired. The execution of Together made me a little nervous about how their newest EP, Undersea, would turn out. Together is a completely different animal compared to Undersea though. Together was a collection of alternate versions of songs from Burst Apart, along with one unreleased track from those sessions and a completely unnecessary cover of “VCR” by The xx. Together just didn’t bring a lot new or interesting to the table, other than maybe the addition of Nicole Atkins vocals on the Burst Apart track “Hounds”. Undersea, on the other hand, is a cohesive collection of four new tracks in a nice little package.
We have had a wealth of album and shows to cover this past month and a half, and unfortunately in the hustle and bustle of things, we weren’t able to review Channel Orange, the debut album from new R&B sensation Frank Ocean. Suffice it to say, I am in love with the album and Frank Ocean himself who comes off as a wonderfully mix of Stevie Wonder, Prince, and which is interesting since I was only luke-warm on his debut mixtape nostalgia, ULTRA and I really don’t care for Odd Future, the young, brash Los Angeles hip hop collaborative he is from. I think Odd Future are mostly novelty for their shock and awe antics and are more media sensation than lasting talent (even if there is no doubt some there). But Frank Ocean has more honesty and soul than the rest of Odd Future combined, free from the showy behavior and disturbing lyrics. So here are five Frank Ocean tracks to highlight this young promising talent.
In a concerted effort to make it seem we do not take ourselves too seriously, perhaps out of a fear of taking ourselves too seriously sometimes, we like to mix up our more scholarly lists with those that make us out to be a handful of nerdy jackasses. This is one of those lists. There has been a lot of hysteria surrounding superhero movies this summer. I mean, damn, a Batman, Spiderman, and Avengers movies all in the same summer. We are all extremely partial to Batman, especially those of the Nolan/Burton persuasion, and decided to save this dopey collection for around the time The Dark Knight Rises was released. As comic-book/superhero movie fans, we thought we could fantasize a little bit about which musicians would make the best superheroes, and speculate a little bit about their key attributes. For awhile there, we considered doing a joint heroes/villains list, but ultimately decided to make two separate lists, with the heroes list today, and the villains list coming at you next Thursday. Enjoy.
I still remember the last few months of my college career like it was yesterday. Lots of friends, lots of “last times”, a lot of avoiding school work, too much of fun, a shit-ton of dancing, and a copious amount of drinking. Somewhere in the mix Passion Pits little EP found its way into my routine. Mostly correlated with the drinking/dancing. Chunk of Change was a pretty overly intense amount of fun to pack into 6 songs, but it really did the trick and made its mark. It also built expectations extremely high for Passion Pit’s first LP, which Manners did not live up too in many ways. Between the disappointment of Manners and the hideous excuse for a live performance I witnessed at Coachella 2 years ago, I was certainly expecting to be able to simply write this new album off the moment I hit play. Much to my dismay (I was really rather hoping to rip this album for some reason) I’ve seemed to have gotten a bit “carried away” by this album … very unexpectedly.