Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Jorge Velez - Roman Birds Music Album Reviews

Inspired by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, this five-track ambient wonder finds the New York producer letting pulses and motifs overlap until the tracks resemble the inside of a lava lamp.
Jorge Velez has long been prolific, but that’s been especially true in the past few years. Like many underground electronic musicians, the New York producer has taken advantage of the internet’s self-publishing opportunities—in particular, the direct-to-fans platform Bandcamp—to sidestep label gatekeepers, streaming services, and crowded retailers. (Velez’s Bandcamp page currently numbers 26 releases.) Velez first gained recognition a dozen years ago with blippy disco derivatives for labels like Italians Do It Better, but his output has gradually become more esoteric and inward-looking. He’s still capable of ebullient club tracks, as last year’s excellent Forza attests, but many of his long, undulating machine jams sound like late-night missives to himself.

Flipboard

Flipboard

The Love Language - Baby Grand Music Album Reviews

After three albums packed with peach-sweet melodies, a move to the West Coast inspires one of indie rock’s most underrated songwriters to supercharge his sound and upgrade his showmanship.

It wasn’t obvious, before the release of Baby Grand, that the Love Language needed to find a new direction. Over the last nine years, Stuart McLamb and a rotating set of musicians brought his lovely, vulnerable songwriting to life with equal parts subtlety and sincerity. They could get loud (see: their charmingly noisy 2009 self-titled debut and “Calm Down” from 2013’s Ruby Red), but a certain lightning-bug placidity was their main mood, with lush horns and peach-sweet melodies that went down easy. Many indie bands past and present have spent entire careers refining elegant sounds like these, and if McLamb chose to do the same, it’d be hard to blame him—especially considering how consistently swell the results have been.

But McLamb packed up his Raleigh home while working on Baby Grand, the Love Language’s fourth full-length, ditching familiar Southern comforts for Los Angeles. (A press bio claims that work on the album began in “a cavernous Virginia hammock factory,” which adds a quirky wrinkle to this mythology.) Relocating to the West Coast to find oneself is a well-worn cliché by now, but the record’s supercharged sound suggests that the move had a profound effect on McLamb’s songwriting: From the glittery avalanche that opens the album, on “Frames,” it’s clear that he’s embraced a new level of showmanship.

The increase in energy isn’t always for the best: The charged-up burn of “New Amsterdam” recalls his former Merge labelmates Arcade Fire’s own brand of throbbing arena music, but its chugging chorus makes for the album’s weakest moment. For the most part, though, McLamb and the gang wear these changes well, zapping bolts of electricity into hidden corners of tunes in a way that livens up the band’s typically solid songwriting. “Castle in the Sky” opens with a gentle acoustic strum before bursting wide to reveal miles-long shoegaze textures and an impassioned drumbeat of the sort favored by classic-rock synthesists like the War on Drugs. “Juiceboxx” is all neon synths and pleasing falsetto vocal takes, melting into the kind of gooey instrumental breakdown fellow L.A. denizen Ariel Pink occasionally allows himself.

Even as these risky choices broaden his sonic palette, McLamb’s music retains the swaying, moonlit quality that has made him one of the most underrated indie songwriters of the past decade. At his best, gorgeousness spills from his every lyric; witness the lush balladry of “Let Your Hair Down” and the gently swaying “Independence Day,” which finds McLamb unspooling imagery about the titular holiday and sand-buried grand pianos before announcing, atop a pounding chorus, “I’d go with you to L.A. if you could just decide/Where you’re going, if you’re going that way.”

On the album’s highlight, closing track “Glassy,” McLamb is already there, and the move has given him a new sense of peace. Over swaths of horns and folksy guitar, he sings sweetly of day-tripping, before remarking, “And the City of Angels won’t save us/But maybe we’ll be famous before we die/If we’re still alive.” It’s a beautiful and nakedly sincere song, streaked with the woozy, lovestruck feeling of falling for a new city and embarking on a new phase in life. Baby Grand would be enough to make you jealous of McLamb’s contentment, if his generosity in bringing listeners along on this transformative trip didn’t elicit such gratitude. If it doesn’t send you down an Echo Park Zillow hole, the album at least makes a convincing argument that leaving your old life behind can lead you to a whole new form of bliss.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Apple iPad Pro 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Apple’s latest iPad Pros are a very tempting purchase, but should you stick with the tried-and-tested Surface Pro from Microsoft? We help you decide which tablet to buy.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Or Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)? Two very competent 2-in-1s, one running Windows 10, the other iOS 12. For many this difference alone will inform the final choice, but both are top-notch tablets. 

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

LG Gram 17 Review: Hands-on

LG’s Gram 17 was on display at CES 2019 and we got our hands on the ultra-thin, ultra-light device featuring a beautiful 17-inch display
Should I Buy The LG Gram 17?
The Gram 17 is an impressive bit of kit, but it is serving more of a niche audience than it perhaps appears.
A laptop with a display any bigger than 15 is perhaps approaching a point where it struggles to be called ‘portable’ due to it’s raw size. However, if that isn’t something that bothers you, the 17-inch display is fantastic for both working and watching your favourite films or series on.
Everything else aside the Gram is a beautiful, extremely light choice of laptop that manages to pack a lot of power and utility into an incredibly slim, slick package.

Like Fan Page