Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Young

Dub Egg


I can’t get enough of this album. Hans Zimmerman and Kyle Edwards are amazing guitarists, reminiscent of the work Joe Walsh did with the James Gang; Television, and Karl Precoda of the Dream Syndicate. Vocally and lyrically, Zimmerman sounds a little like Scott Miller of Game Theory and the Loud Family, although his guitar playing is a lot more fuzzed out than what Scott played. And the lyrics also speak to frustration with romantic relationships, and “been down so long I think it’s up.”

The Young were one of the best bands on the Austin, TX comp Casual Victim Pile, while sounding like two totally different bands, as their cut on Casual was straight up 80s post-punk. The album’s title comes from a dream Kyle had about eggs, the master tapes for this album, and King Tubby’s music. That this dream sounds cosmic sums up The Young perfectly, a great alternative to the mush that is so much of today’s music, and one of the best albums I’ve heard all year.[ ]

Andrea Weiss

Pop Ect.


Rough Trade

Anyone remember the Morning Benders? Pop Ect. is the band under a new name and a new sound created by digital technology.

Musically they aren’t dreadful, just slick and processed to the point where it becomes obvious the band wants a top 40 hit. That’s not a problem. The nicely buoyant melodies, crisp production, and timely use of auto-tune and other digital studio tricks would have gotten them on the radio anyway.

Lyrically, while this is romance with a capital R, these lyrics are smart, knowing, and self-aware, which is the real saving grace of this album. And lead singer Christopher Chu’s voice is right for the radio. I had heard The Morning Benders’ last album, Big Echo, on offline radio, WXPN, and he and they sounded great on it. So even though this album can be irritating in spots because it’s so slick, it’s not bad--perfect for a pool party or anything else during the summer.


Bobby Womack

The Bravest Man In The Universe


Womack, Damon Albarn and Richard Russell fashioned the sound and style of this album as an electronic secular gospel album, a blend of old and modern R&B and soul. It was a great idea, and a treat to listen to this blend of old and modern R&B, this melding of old and new soul. The best song on the album “If There Wasn’t Something There,” has a great, flowing melody to it, and is also the best example.

This is a love song to God, to a person, to something. Womack’s voice is rougher and gruffer now, which suits him well, conveys an ache, a longing for something,, or for God. And longing is the lyrical theme of the album, but the closer “Jubilee (Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around)” makes clear that he’s found whatever he is looking for.

Elsewhere, Lana Del Ray is very sultry on “Dayglow Reflection” and Gil Scott-Heron makes a joke about God from the grave. These are added incentives to a terrific comeback, and a logical move from “Stylo,” as “Stylo” is a good indication as to what was up Womack’s sleeve on this album. It is a great batch of songs.


Andrea Weiss

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