Soundoffs 27
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Last Active 07-03-16 3:29 pm
Joined 07-03-16

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The Antlers Burst Apart
Burst Apart is a haunting reflection on some of the most twisted and tortured emotions the lack or refusal of love can make us feel. It is unrelenting in its existential darkness, but quite beautiful in its mostly gentle, comforting sound. The emotion break through Peter Silberman's gorgeous vocal melodies, and the eerie, engulfing atmosphere is build with incredible skill.
Against Me! Shape Shift With Me
Produced with instrumental balance and flair, Against Me!'s seventh LP is centered around the destructive nature of relationships and all the regret that comes with said stories, and Laura Jean Grace treats these themes with emotional potency and brutal honesty. The music itself is exciting and straightforward, Grace's performance as stunning as ever, and the set both diverse and consistent. I do not know what we could want from them at this point of their career which is not in this record. A really impressive rock album.
Algiers The Underside of Power
This record is absolutely fantastic. By bringing more electronics and industrial influences to their already idiosyncratic gospel-tinged post-punk sound, the band increases the urgency of their music and avoids the trap of the sophomore album. I guess the revolutionary, brutal and extremely left-leaning lyrics are an acquired taste, but Algiers' worldview is far from being a fantasy, and Franklin James Fisher's words add necessary context to the darkness and the mayhem happening around them. This feels much more like an album experience than the self-titled, which perhaps had better individual songs, never hesitating to throw a desolate piano
Gorillaz Humanz
This is somewhat of a disappointment, but I still think it got way too much shit it did not deserve. Most of the songs are well thought-out, the record is consistent from a thematic and musical standpoint, and drives home well the idea of a dance party on the verge of the Apocalypse. Frankly, it is inventive and interesting, but I just cannot stand the production for the most part. The electronics sound so thin and lifeless in my ears, and I supposed that Albarn and co. really wanted to make a record that sounded vital. So, yes, there is plenty to like here, but sonically there is definitely something lacking.
Lorde Melodrama
A testament to the power of pop songwriting when done right. Lorde is self-aware of the melodramatic nature of the music she is making here, but she is going all the way nonetheless. She brings all the intensity she can to her vocal performance, and her collaboration with Jack Antonoff creates a tasteful, textured and gorgeous electronically-tinged musical backdrop. Melodrama is admirably consistent, varied and emotive, reveling in the torments of young adult life and relationships, with a great sense of detail and observation.
Bleachers Gone Now
This is definitely an interesting follow-up, and yet it feels less accomplished than Strange Desire, and kind of reminds me of fun.'s Some Nights due to its messy, overblown production, and sometimes plain weird stylistic choices. Still, it is undoubtedly worthwhile, there are great songs on here, and I am a big fan of the way Antonoff closes the record. Speaking of him, I am actually fond of his unprocessed intensity here, but enjoy his attempts at autotune crooning far less. I hope this will grow on me during the year even if the lack of thematic and musical diversity kind of wears on me after a while.
Jason Isbell The Nashville Sound
Isbell continues on his streak of excellence : this is a diverse rock record with the singer-songwriter's usual country flair, both socially conscious and introspective lyrics which are filled with empathy, and consistently strong melodic songwriting. This may be some of his most immediate work to date, yet it contains enough instrumental and emotional depth to guarantee that you will be returning to it again and again. You could make the argument that it is not as lavish as Something More Than Free or as raw as Southeastern but this is another great piece to add to his discography.

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