Monday, March 8, 2010

New Releases - March 8, 2010

1. Broken Bells - "Broken Bells" Ok - what if you had something that sounded like a cross between Danger Mouse and the dude from the Shins (James Mercer)? Oh wait - IT IS them! Well, I bet they called each other and said - just bring your best song idea and we'll just wing it from there. It's not my bag, but I can sense some merit here, so I'll cut them some slack. But just this once! (7.4 out of 10)

2. Gorillaz - "Plastic Beach" Noel Gallagher said it best when they asked him what he thought of Gorillaz. "Music for 4 year olds," he said. Now, who could say that they couldn't find SOMETHING to like on their first 2 releases - well, HIS first 2 releases - we'll give Damon Albarn his due. In fact, I was a bit sad when I heard that Gorillaz had disbanded. But they are back...but. alas, not as we had hoped. You can either pretend that this is deep, profound, fun and inspired...or you can tell the emperor to put his clothes back on. "Plastic Beach" is like a scrap heap of all the ideas that didn't work on the first 2 Gorillaz cd's. And they tried to spray-paint it gold. I mean, seriously, when you are reduced to having to trot Lou Reed out for a guest appearance to liven things up, you are truly sunk. Off the shore of plastic beach I suppose. And 15 songs - are you joking me? (4.0)

3. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Beat the Devils Tatoo" Let's give them some credit here: at least they TRY to rock. If T-Rex and Jack White had 3 boys - this is their band. And it does have its moments, including the great title cut which opens things up. But "Sweet Feeling" sounded just like "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," and I couldn't figure out if that was a plus or a minus. (7.1 out of 10)

4. Morning Benders - "Big Echo" Well, it starts off with a Big Bang that raised my expectations way too much with "Excuses," whose recording was featured on Pitchfork for a while. But, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie....the album fizzles the rest of the way. I can't tell if they are trying too hard to be derivative or are too self-conscious or what. My fault on that one, but I don't have the energy or interest to figure it out. It sounds like The Shins on a bad day. And please don't name a song "Pleasure Sighs" and then proceed to sing it with complete earnestness. Ugh. (5.5 out of 10)

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