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[Dead Oceans, 2007]
Rating: A-

Like so much of Pride, “Wolves” perfects the Irish-wake celebration— raise-a-pint and pick-a-fiddle in the presence of death and windy, grey-black things. It’s a record certain to provide an instant’s getaway, sure—from your desk or your deadlocked car at the hour o’ five. But more simply, it’s one of 2007’s most knee-bucklingly beautiful records... [Continue Reading]

[Derek Miller]

Maybe it’s that legendary dichotomy that Jones has internally reinvigorated with 100 Days: Motown’s pop melodies versus Stax’s raw power. Where Naturally was laced with catchy gems like “How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?” and “Natural Born Lover,” 100 Days is more stripped down, replacing the sing-a-long ballads of her early work with unadulterated emotion. Now, Jones is more Otis Redding than the Supremes. More heartbreak. More longing. More soul... [Continue Reading]

[Chris Gaerig]

2007, despite its breadth of textures, sounds one-note compared to the variety of rhythm and idiosyncrasies on Fabric 36. If 2007 was busy stumbling and scraping itself on concrete sidewalks, then Fabric 36 is a drunken party-host that introduces herself as “Moist”... [Continue Reading]

[Nate De Young]

Spin the rock cheese-meter past Spinal Tap, past the Darkness, past Turbonegro, even past loincloth beefcakes Manowar, and the dial circles back around to “awesome.” This is where 3 Inches of Blood reside. Fire Up the Blades is that metal karaoke party where you’re standing up and shouting with Dio, you’re screaming for vengeance with Judas Priest, and you’re kicking so much ass that you tear a hole in your pants and are actually rocking out with your cock out... [Continue Reading]

[Cosmo Lee]

Recorded with Do Make Say Thinker Ohad Benchetrit and Charles Spearin over the last two years, and featuring most of Broken Social Scene scattered in bits and spots when they could make it, Spirit If... is at once just as roughly symphonic and visual as the best of the group’s past material. But it’s stripped and slivered in a way that reflects its birth—two, three, sometimes four guys in a house recording wide-eyed songs with lots of cotton and lo-fi noise around the edges. While it’s tempting to pick through the album by just where you can hear any given member’s influence, clearly Spirit If... is Drew’s baby, and Papa oughta be proud... [Continue Reading]

[Derek Miller]

Echospace has been operating as a shadowy entity for some time now. Now with this, their highest profile and best-distributed release to date, the pair have stepped up and released their masterwork. Judged on its own merits, The Coldest Season should stand as one of the best electronic releases of the year, and one of the best dub techno releases in the last decade... [Continue Reading]

[Todd Hutlock]
Rating: B+

Somehow, in this confusion, Good Arrows is still a series of beautiful songs for that part of us all that just wants to stay in bed all day. In fact, with these smudged narratives, Genders is offering you an out: simply let me flow through you and pretty is all it has to be. It can still be picnic music. Just don’t listen too closely... [Continue Reading]

[Derek Miller]
[Merge, 2007]
Rating: A-

Sing it with me: Skyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Pie-lit. If on the first few listens to Caribou’s fourth album Andorra, you’re tempted to break into a shrill rendition of Eric Burdon and the Animals’ 1968 hit, forgive yourself. It took me weeks to get past that stage... [Continue Reading]

[Derek Miller]

Prins Thomas hates roofies. He loves the chase too much. Drugs are for cheaters, so dude’s gotta do it au naturale, and Thomas, tired of playing wingman to the crafty Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, is ready for his chance to try his hand at seduction. Which is precisely what Cosmo Galactic Prism Mix does: it lures you in with strange, oozing come-ons, coaxes you into trying things that might normally make you squeamish, and then works on you slowly until you suddenly find yourself spent, bleary-eyed, confused, and then you realize you’ve just been fucked by Prins Thomas... [Continue Reading]

[Tal Rosenberg]

God knows why Get Physical tapped Dixon to guide their latest Body Language mix, but let’s give thanks that they did. Otherwise, we’d probably be sitting here debating which of the many interchangeable minimal mixes to anoint as crossover fodder for the masses. Body Language Vol. 4 cuts right through the debate, complete with Thom Yorke’s “Eraser,” and settles it once and for all... [Continue Reading]

[Nina Phillips]

Dancing is pretty fun.” Lead singer of Tigercity, Bill Gillim, apparently made sense of how to apply this shocking discovery sometime between Tigercity and Pretend Not to Love. The difference between the two is immeasurable. Whereas Tigercity was a tentative step into the world of synthpop, Pretend comes 5/6 formed, a mission statement to the uninitiated that posits the question: what happens when Hall and Oates is fronted by Barry Gibb?[Continue Reading]

[Charles Merwin]

Emotionalism doesn’t sound or feel like a perfect album, because it isn’t, and doesn’t have to be. It’s merely the latest masterwork of Americana in the lineage of rock-era pioneers Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Will the Circle be Unbroken and modern classics Being There and Heartbreaker. [Continue Reading]

[Andrew Casillas]

 
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