Skip to main content



Featured Post

Four Tet - Live at Alexandra Palace London, 8th and 9th May 2019 Music Album Reviews

Kieran Hebden’s new live album reminds us that he is a stellar performer, not just a producer.
The British producer Kieran Hebden has one of the most distinctive signatures in electronic music. First, a gravelly drum machine; then, some jewel-toned synth pads; and, finally, a strip of harp or chimes or wordless cooing, unspooling like wrinkled ribbon.





Phosphorescent - C’est La Vie Music Album Reviews

For his first album in five years, Matthew Houck puts fatherhood and a move to Nashville to good use on songs that are sly and wry and allow his voice to cut through intricate arrangements.

Maybe it was Pro Tools. Perhaps it was the post-Napster access explosion. Or it may have been the slow spread of Neutral Milk Hotel, Wilco, or even Bright Eyes. But at some point after the turn of the millenium, every block and every burgh seemed to sprout its own home-recording, achy-voiced strummer, ready to reorient their tunes with field recordings, hip-hop edits, swirling arrangements, Max/MSP processes, or a personal Wrecking Crew of session musicians. It was all personal and wonderful—or, sometimes, simply forgettable.

Matthew Houck emerged into into a moment seemingly glutted with often-bearded songwriters eager to deconstruct and expand themselves, from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam. Houck arrived with a thin but instantly recognizable creak, somewhere in the neighborhood of Will Oldham, and an Elephant 6 auteur’s sense of scope. For the past 15 years, Phosphorescent’s discography has pivoted among arrangement concepts for that voice, from the spare colors of his 2003 debut to the ambitious countrypolitan landscapes of 2013’s much-loved Muchacho. Houck’s tone and songs could disappear into his well-built, tasteful atmospheres. At least for me, Phosphorescent often fell safely in the realm of perhaps-incorrect stereotypes—enjoyable, but ultimately failing to stick.

But on C’est La Vie—the first Phosphorescent studio album in a half-decade and since Houck left Brooklyn for fatherhood in Nashville—his voice cuts through inventive settings with a confidence, clarity, and sensibility that can vividly and unexpectedly recall 1980s Paul Simon, minus the global beats and entitled boomerness. “New Birth in New England” bounces irresistibly, not too far removed from Vampire Weekend, either, but counterbalanced by Ricky Ray Jackson’s luminous pedal steel. Though nothing else on the album quite sounds like that first single (or hits the same giddiness), the Simon similarity runs deep. Houck’s narrator is often sly, wry, and conversational. “‘C’est la vie,’ she says/But I don’t know what she means,” he sings on the chorus of “C’est La Vie No.2.” Like Simon, Houck casts himself as a slightly befuddled subject, his internal monologues tumbling into melody.

As far removed from Phosphorescent’s bedroom folk days as Simon’s 1986 Graceland was from his singer-songwriter debut, C’est La Vie is a mirror of Houck’s own maturation, its similarities to Simon perhaps as structural as they are sonic. In places, it sounds like a late-30s check-in for Houck and his listeners, as “My Beautiful Boy” attests. The type of open-hearted daddom that might make a younger songwriter sneer (or blush), it floats on a cloud of gorgeous ambient percussion that keeps the arrangement from drifting into nebulous string-synths. Though Houck has relocated to Nashville, C’est La Vie’s most compelling music is perhaps its least C&W, finding new uses for all that pedal steel. Some of the album’s best moments are more Lambchop than George Jones, especially the vocoder-touched R&B float of “Christmas Down Under.” It would have been unthinkable on Houck’s earliest work.

Sometimes _C’est La Vie _is a bit too on-the-nose, much like 2010’s middle-of-the-road Here’s to Taking It Easy. “These Rocks” recalls Daniel Lanois’ work with Bob Dylan. Serving as a piece of late-album heaviness, with Houck condensing life’s battles into a refrain, the music seems to strain to match the gravity of the central lyric—“These rocks, they are heavy/Been carrying them around all my days.” But it does underscore the bittersweet, top-loaded sense of fun possessed by the rest of C’est La Vie, exemplified by the moment that Jackson’s pedal steel locks into the kosmische pulse of “Around the Horn.” The music suddenly soars beyond the land of songs. It’s the kind of turn on the kind of album that might even make a previously unimpressed listener reevaluate how Houck arrived here. Maybe it was Pro Tools. Or maybe it was daddom.

View the original article here



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Once Upon a Hollywood Movie Review

Say Goodbye to "Hollywood"

Moments of Quentin Tarantino's new movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" suggest a calmer and more reflective side of the filmmaker. Tarantino is known for his unrelenting violence and rapid-fire dialogue exchanges, but early scenes in his latest movie show him taking a bit of a breath. It's a nice touch, but Tarantino cannot help giving into his worst indulgences as a director; the movie ultimately succumbs to those, and it erases all hints of goodwill that may have been built up earlier in the film.

Spinach, Asian Pear & Chicken Salad

Fragrant, crunchy Asian pears add a refreshing melon-like flavor to the healthy chicken salad recipe. Look for the large, brown, apple-shaped fruit in well-stocked supermarkets near other specialty fruit.

2020 Subaru Outback Review

Outstanding capabilityGenerous 11.6-inch touchscreenSpacious interior29 mpg combined with base engineComfortable rideDISLIKES
Styling isn’t a huge leapBase engine isn’t overwhelmingSmall-item storage lackingBUYING TIP
The Outback Premium offers the best value with creature comforts and outstanding ability off-road.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Samsung has quietly announced the Galaxy Tab S6, but is it a worthy upgrade over 2018's Tab S4? We compare the two tablets, highlighting the key differences to help you decide which is best for your needs.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Or Samsung Galaxy Tab S4?
It’s hard to say without going hands-on with the tablet ourselves, but based on the specs, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 offers a range of upgrades over the Galaxy Tab S4, but if you’re a casual tablet user that doesn’t need blistering speeds or a huge amount of storage, the Tab S4 is still a great option.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 vs Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G: Head-to-Head On Vodafone’s 5G Network

Should you upgrade to 5G? We compare the 4G and 5G variants of Mi Mix 3 running on Vodafone’s network to see whether it’s worth taking the plunge.
Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3?
The Mi Mix 3 5G is faster and has a higher-capacity battery than the standard Mi Mix 3, yet weighs only 8g more. And while Vodafone’s 5G network is patchy right now, by the time you’re even halfway through your 24-month contract we should be in a completely different situation in terms of coverage. But are you prepared to pay double dollar for the priviledge of future-proofed connectivity and slightly better performance on an already fast phone?

Like Fan Page