Tag Archives: 2010s in Music

CD Review: Heligoland (2010)

Band: Massive Attack
Release: 2010
Label: Virgin

1. “Pray For Rain” – B
2. “Babel” – C-
3. “Splitting the Atom” – D+
4. “Girl I Love You” – D+
5. “Psyche” – C
6. “Flat Of The Blade” – D
7. “Paradise Circus” – B+
8. “Rush Minute” – C-
9. “Saturday Come Slow” – D+
10. “Atlas Air” – B

Comments: Trip hop you tell me? Since there seems to be a genre for everything, I’ll run with it. “Pray For Rain” is a R&B house jam (similar to Gnarls Barkley) that slowly improves throughout its duration. “Babel” doesn’t do anything for me mainly because it relies on too much chaos. It wouldn’t be that bad if it was slowed down. “Girl I Love You” what? What is this? “Psyche” is average, but it’s not something that’s worth listening to again. “Flat” picks up at certain points, but is relatively boring and unoriginal. I really do enjoy the female vocalist in “Paradise Circus.” Best song on this album! The man singer is mad boring except on “Atlas Air.”

Grade: C- (73)

CD Review: Stale Champagne

Band: State Champion
Release: 2010
Label: Sophomore Lounge

1. “Thanks Given” – B+
2. “Keeping Time” – A-
3. “Bite the Dust” – B+
4. “Come See What I Have Done” – B+
5. “Help Me Sing” – A-
6. “The World Don’t Need Me Around Much Anymore” – B+
7. “Just An Answer” – A-
8. “The Years” – A

Comments: Sounding like Dinosaur Jr. if Dinosaur  Jr. got hit in the face by a steel plow and was toned down greatly. This is country punk, with more country than punk. I won’t say I like country, but I don’t mind it (and sometimes thoroughly enjoy it) if  it is combined with other styles. I really like the live feel to this record. You can hear crackling and other noises you get during  lo-fi production. For a young band that’s gotten hardly any recognition (besides being signed to a very low-brow independent label), I have to give them so much respect. Their build-ups are cool, no doubt, but my favorite parts of this album are the short winding downs in between the explosions. Great use of violin in “Just An Answer.” The album closer is probably my favorite track. It’s pretty much fast paced through-and-through with occasional “breaks.”

Grade: B+ (89)

CD Review: Dear God, I Hate Myself (2010)

Band: Xiu Xiu
Release: 2010
Label: Kill Rock Stars

1. “Gray Death” – D+
2. “Chocolate Makes You  Happy” – C
3. “Apple For A Brain” – C-
4. “House Sparrow” – C-
5. “Hyunhye’s Theme” – C
6. “Dear God, I Hate Myself” – D
7. “Secret Motel” – D+
8. “Falkland Rd” – D+
9. “The Fabrizio Palumbo Retaliation” – C-
10. “Cumberland Gap” – C-
11. “This Too Shall Pass Away” – C+
12. “Impossible Feeling” – C

Comments: Xiu Xiu! Hold on a second, buddy, what is there to get excited about? I hate to label this album, but it’s almost necessary. It’s like Xiu Xiu wants to be different, but still doesn’t want to freak out people too much so they resort to a minimum layer of catchiness that will satisfy the hoi polloi of eclectic listeners. Like “Chocolate Makes You Happy.” It’s a weird ass title, but you can tell that it’s so naive there has to be some fun about it. People actually listen to this AND enjoy it? That’s depressing. “Dear God, I Hate Myself.” Really? Really?!

Grade: C- (70)

EP Review: Behave Yourself (2010)

Band: Cold War Kids
Release: 2010
Label: Downtown/Universal

1. “Audience of One” – A+
2. “Coffee Spoon” – B+
3. “Santa Ana Winds” – A
4. “Sermons” – A+
5. “Baby Boy” – N/A

Comments: “Audience of One” is pretty damn slick. The bridge is absolutely fantastic, but in general it’s a great song. “Coffee Spoon” is pretty chill with a neat drum sequence, but it’s nothing worth going crazy over. “Santa Ana Winds” is reminiscent of “Audience of One” in terms of what it has: a great flow and a great bridge. “Sermons” is the foremost soul/gospel number on this EP and is quite addicting. I didn’t really want to assign “Baby Boy” a grade because it’s over before it is started and is three sentences long. This probably will turn out to be one of my favorite EPs of 2010, but considering it’s Christmas Day 2009, it’s still early.

Final Grade: A (94)

CD Review: Sisterworld (2010)

Band: Liars
Release: 2010
Label: Mute

1. “Scissor” – C
2. “No Barrier Fun” – D+
3. “Here Comes All The People” – C
4. “Drip” – D+
5. “Scarecrows On A Killer Slant” – B-
6. “I Still Can See An Outside World” – C+
7. “Proud Evolution” – B
8. “Drop Dead” – B-
9. “The Overachievers” – B+
10. “Goodnight Everything” – C
11. “Too Much, Too Much” – B-

Comments: Based on what I’ve read about Liars, I was expecting something along the lines of No Age on this album. I hate the term “alternative rock,” but does this boil down to anything other than that? It’s the kind of freaky experimental rock that wouldn’t disappoint metal-heads or hard-rockers who appreciate sub-mainstream modern roll. I have more fun listening to Lady Gaga than this! But wait! After four miserable tunes, things brighten up for these folk who now call Berlin there home. They change-up their style from straight up eclectic to pop-eclectic (art rock). “Scarecrows” is a kind of ode to the noise-surf of Wavves. It still blows (a little bit), but it’s a very nice departure. “I Still” is the equivalent of aVeckatimest B-Side until some fuzzy noise enters. I can definitely see bitchfuck media raving about this album in the same way they did Veckatimest, perhaps hailing it as some major breakthrough experimental crossover in “chill-wave” or whatever the kids are going to call it in 20-10s since “chill-wave”  is soooo 2009. “Proud Evolution” is Liars’ best attempt at duplicating The Verve’s sound. It’s a corny repetitive ditty that is admittedly somewhat catchy thanks to it’s rock solid beat. You can only be so artsy before becoming too corny. I’ll give them props on “The Overachievers.” That’s a really catchy one. For freaks sake, they should just cut to the chase and open up with noise. Quit messing around!

Final Grade: C (76)

Sonic Youth’s Future

Sonic Youth aren’t a band who shy away from hard work; they’ve already recorded an astounding 16 albums since forming back in 1981 and they’ve told 6 Music News there are plans in the pipeline to release a follow-up to their latest offering, The Eternal.

“We’re probably going back into the studio next year,” said the band’s Lee Ranaldo.

However, before they start writing the next album, they’re working on the soundtrack for a French teen film, which Ranaldo is very excited about; “We met the director in Paris and we liked what we saw.”

The band is also securing plans for a DVD release, combining footage from their recent 2007/2008 Daydream Nations tour. It will also include historic archive footage of them playing the record back in 1988.

Sonic Youth never gets old, literally (Thurston Moore’s appearance) and figuratively.