Microreviews – 6.21.10

The National – High Violet

Grade: A(+)

Best Tracks: “Afraid of Everyone”; “England”; “Bloodbuzz Ohio”; “Terrible Love”; “Sorrow”; “Lemonworld”; “Little Faith”; “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”

Comments: The National’s fifth album seems to be their masterpiece.  Every song has a slow-burning beauty to it, and even at the most anthemic moments, they manage to maintain a great deal of unresolved tension.  Album of the year contender!

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Grade: A-

Best Tracks: “On Melancholy Hill”; “Empire Ants”; “Rhinestone Eyes”; “Superfast Jellyfish”; “Sweepstakes”; “Stylo”; “Plastic Beach”; “Some Kind of Nature”

Comments: Gorillaz’ third album is a major sonic reinvention — for one, it’s less fixated on the whole cartoon gimmick.  The result is their strongest album yet.  Not every track pulls its weight, but the album is incredibly diverse, and the many standouts are a delight.

Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma

Grade: B+

Best Tracks: “Do the Astral Plane”; “Computer Face // Pure Being”; “Pickled!”; “Galaxy In Janaki”; “Zodiac Shit”; “…And the World Laughs With You”

Comments: FlyLo’s second album is definitely more ambitious than his first, incorporating a wider range of influences, but none of the tracks pack the pure pop punch of “Parisian Goldfish”, “Camel”, or “GNG BNG”.

~

Band of Horses – Infinite Arms

Grade: B-

Best Tracks: “Laredo”; “Compliments”; “Neighbor”; “Factory”

Comments: Band of Horses’ third album simply doesn’t live up to the passionate, heart-on-sleeve anthems pf their previous two.  Many of the songs just sound a bit thin and sleepy (however, “Laredo” is on par with their best).


~

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul

Grade: C+

Best Tracks: “Revenge (w/ Wayne Coyne)”; “Dark Night of the Soul (w/ David Lynch)”; “The Man Who Played God (w/ Suzanne Vega)”; “Jaykub (w/ Jason Lytle)”

Comments: Sort of a disappointing album given the caliber of musicians and collaborators tied into the project (even David Lynch!).  There are a few good-to-great songs, but much of this arty pop is a bit forgettable.

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~ by toren on June 21, 2010.

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