Microreviews – 7.14.10

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening

Grade: A(+)

Best Tracks: “Home”; “Dance Yrself Clean”; “Pow Pow”; “Drunk Girls”; “One Touch”; “You Wanted A Hit”; “All I Want”; “I Can Change”

Comments: My current favorite album of the year and possibly LCD’s best.  On their 3rd (and last?) album, James Murphy stretches his songwriting even further, incorporating new sounds, and growing more personal (“All I Want”, “Home”), which still unleashing the occasional “Losing My Edge”-style rant (“Pow Pow”).

Delta Spirit – History From Below

Grade: A

Best Tracks: “Bushwick Blues”; “White Table”; “Scarecrow”; “Vivian”; “Golden State”; “Ransom Man”; “Salt in the Wound”; “Devil Knows Your Dead”; “9/11”

Comments: Delta Spirit write plain, simple songs rooted in the tradition of folk, blues, and conventional rock and roll.  But something about the emotion in singer Matt Vazquez’s vocals and the economy of their energetic arrangements has instantly appealed to me on both of their albums.  Plus, this one offers a great variety of styles, and more practiced studiocraft.

The Books – The Way Out

Grade: A-

Best Tracks: “Thirty Incoming”; “Beautiful People”; “Free Translator”; “The Story of Hip Hop”; “A Cold Freezin’ Night”; “All You Need Is A Wall”; “Group Autogenics I”

Comments: Another wonderful set of thought-pop songs approached from the standpoint of conceptual art.  More varied than their earlier work, but still definitely meant to be heard all at once, and still composed of those same elements — folk instrumentation, electronic manipulation, and found sound.

The Chemical Brothers – Further

Grade: B+

Best Tracks: “Escape Velocity”; “Swoon”; “Another World”; “Dissolve”; “K+D+B”

Comments: Efficient, interesting dance music on this seventh album for the British electronic duo.  It also marks a somewhat new direction for them, which consists of a freshening up of the formula that was growing old over the course of their past few albums.

~

The New Pornographers – Together

Grade: B-

Best Tracks: “Moves”; “If You Can’t See My Mirrors”; “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk”; “Crash Years”; “Your Hands”

Comments: Probably exactly what you expected from “the fifth New Pornographers album.” Their pop songcraft is still strong, but personally I’m getting a little bored of their same-old sound.  If you loved them before, you’ll enjoy some of these songs, but don’t expect to be blown away.

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~ by toren on July 14, 2010.

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