By Philip Moreno
Sorry kids, I took in new job in the Traverse City area and the reviews have ground to a halt. To make it up to you, here are some snapshot reviews of albums that have come out within the past few months…
Trent got the band back together!!! While the early reviews called this a throwback to “The Downward Spiral” this great new album is actually a fit between the sprawling double disc “The Fragile” and maybe the most underrated NIN album “With Teeth”. Its pulsing beats and wicked word play are an oasis in a pop filled landscape of recent albums. If you’re new to the band this is a great introduction. Also if your an old pro with NIN then you will not be disappointed, check them out on tour when they hit up The Palace in Auburn Hills with special guest Explosions in the Sky October 7th.
Hard for me to be objective about one of my favorite bands but I will try. I have been rocking the first single, “R U Mine” for a while now after they closed their set with it when they opened for the Black Keys last year at Van Andel. Other songs like “Why’d you only call me when your high” and “No. 1 Party Anthem” are slow burners in the vein of “Riot Van”.In fact the album as a whole is a little more down tempo. Yet its still has the sneer and groove of other Arctic Monkey albums.
This album is purely 80’s synth magic. A great debut album from the Scotish band. Songs like “Guns” and “Lungs” remind me of the best of the roller skating anthems of my youth (yes I am old). If you have been jonesing for some fresh new pop music that sounds refreshing and familiar at the same time this is your band.
Another debut, another great english artist. Just wow. How is this guy only 18? Featuring what might be my favorite song of the year “Easy Easy” this thrilling romp reminds me of a Clash album. I know that might be blasphemy but hear me out. Its not easy to pigeon whole King Krule’s sound. He is not afraid to try anything, and often on this album does. Electronic sounds, dance-hall rhythms, daring lyrics. Its all here, like classic Clash albums. Add that with one of the best new voices of the year and you have an instant classic.
Albums like this new album from Placebo tend to be overlooked. Having been crimanly underrated their whole career they continue to put out amazing new music. Just listen to the song “To Many Friends” or “Rob the Bank” two new songs that are vastley different but each sound exactly like classic Placebo. This is a good jumping off point for new fans, but make sure you go back and find their early albums, especially “Without you I’m Nothing”
I really wanted to love this album. Like most everyone else with a radio, I absolutely loved the smash single “Royals”. Add that song up with the fact that she is only 16 and I hoped that maybe pop music was in for a new wild ride. But, alas, when listening to this album as a whole you get the sense that the A&R guys are really trying to push the artist into a box instead of letting her find herself. I am hoping that in a couple of years we get the first of many classic albums from this young New Zealander, but for now this will do.