Posted in: 4 Stars

The Eraser – Thom Yorke

The Eraser The Eraser
Thom Yorke
:4 Stars:
2006

As a band Radiohead is one of those groups which, while my father had bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, innovated and never did the same thing twice. Radiohead has never served the same meal under a different name. Each and every album Radiohead has put out since Pablo Honey has asked the listeners to trust their vision and to accept that you have never heard anything like this before and it sounds nothing like the last album.

The Eraser, however, is a bit of a step back towards the computer-y blips of Kid A. While it may not be a complete departure from the past, this also isn’t completely Radiohead.

The album is dark, as you would expect from Thom, but also seems more personal. It sounds like one guy singing into a computer, which is trying desperately to comfort him. There aren’t too many surprises here for Radiohead fans, the album is lovely to listen to, but isn’t something you will find yourself humming on the supermarket line.

Oddly the I feel this album would do much better if it would have been release a little later in the year, closer to the fall. It’s not a great pool party, anthem driven, fist pump-fest, but then again that’s not really Thom Yorkes M.O. And you probably have Gnarls Barkley for that slot this year.

Long and the Short, pick it up. You’ll be glad you did later on.

Loney, Dear – Sologne (2006)

Sologne - Loney, Dear Sologne
Loney, Dear
:4 Stars:
2006

Scandinavians have more fun. They live longer and they eat fish in shit you really shouldn’t. No wonder that they create more pop than a milk flood at the Rice Crispies factory. Sure they have that strange pronunciation thing going on, but there is something addictive to a culture singing in a second language… shit there are some rappers who were born here and can’t even sing in English.

So in rolls in Loney, Dear a band with a name that has punctuation in the middle of it! I mean a comma?! Now those are some scandinavian balls.

The music on Sologne is quirky, but not because of the second language thing. It’s very intentional. It’s dreamy soft landscape of layered vocals that seems to work, even if a bit clunkily. The feeling of the album is very like Adem’s Homesongs. Sure there’s a bit of a vocab block with the lyrics where your not sure the singer is being simplistic or just out of words to use, but that is kind of the charm. The album is a bit of a scandinavian haiku where poetry is created in simple metaphor. The songs are dense and have a non-traditional feel to them, often containing little surprises in songs that add to the the delight of the record.

Now I’m not sure this album will make it to my years’ top 10, but it’s definitely a nice little discovery which might make mix-tape to that girl at the flowershop a bit more magical… not that I am making a mix-tape for her, I’m just saying hypothetically… you know…

The City, The Airport

Field Music – Field Music

Field Music - Field Music Field Music
:4 Stars:
2005

Now I’m not sure how you feel about Steely Dan. Some hate them because of their 70’s stylings, but if you can keep in mind how rocking their tunes are, you can quickly fall in love with each of their enchanting little songs. My dad used to listen to Steely Dan and I used to chastise him for his choice in music, but now I see that maybe I was a little young to truly appreciate their true rockitude.

Field Music is a band which comes off as a very influenced by the open and seemingly seamless blending of off-beat melodies that made Steely Dan so great, but with the edginess of Futureheads. A quick listen to the album reveals that none of their songs follow any traditional pop-rock formulas, but their melodies are infectious. from the opening track “If Only The Moon Were Up” the driving baseline mixed with spare guitar and piano creates a sound which is unfamiliar, but instantly likable.

Where this album succeeds is not doing the expected and keeping each song carefully balanced. “Tell Me Keep Me” starts off with an unattractive start that by the 8th bar has grown melodic and it’s mid song freak-out lasts only as long as it has to. This is the work of artists who know what they are doing.

This is a great little album which I would definitely recommend to anyone with a few bucks to spend. -They are also available through emusic which makes them a steal!

h4. Favorite Songs: 6, 5, 2, 12

Laura Veirs – Year of Meteors

Laura Viers - Year of Meteors Year of Meteors
:4 Stars:
Nonesuch 2005

There are just some artist that can break into your head through your ears and churn up deeply hidden memories with a well placed lyric. Jeff Tweedy, Sufjan Stevens, Nina Nastasia have this ability for me. Each of them delivers an unaffected honesty to their music which breaks through my tempered walls to my soft gooey middle.

On Laura Viers’ latest album Year of Meteors she manages to construct a dizzying barrage of heartfelt down-tempo melody. Although, I am new to Ms. Viers and have only recently started listening to her back catalog, this album seems to be the fruition of her past exploits. The sound is exceptionally mature with a solo breathy soulful tone.

Year of Meteors is a fantastic record with some incredible songs that paint an unforgettable picture of a melancholy landscape.

Voxtrot – Raised By Wolves EP

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Voxtrot

:4 Stars:

2005 on Cult Hero Records

Packing in the polish you might expect from veteran musicians, Austin Texas’ Voxtrot sparkle on their debut effort Raised By Wolves EP available for order at voxtrot.net. The 5 track EP shines from it’s opening track Raised by Wolves, it’s well manicured playing and confident vocals avoids easy formula for a complex arrangement of British pop inspired layered guitar and drum and the theme continues through the rest of the album. The 60s pop inspired Start of Something with the lead singer Ramesh’s Morresy like crooning also stands out as a uniquely catchy track while not being derivative. Each track on the EP is a truly impressive.

Voxtrot

However, the real treat is for those that attend their live shows which are truly impressive. The band is tight and has an honesty which is intoxicating. The band comes off much more like siblings than band mates. The lead singer Ramesh Srivastava has a presence which is deceptively innocent as his voice carries sweet sophisticated melodies while bunny hopping from note to note.

Check their website for tour dates.

But Don’t Just Take My Word For It:

Three Imaginary Girls

Mundane Sounds

Austin Chronicle