Thursday, December 8, 2011

"B" List of New Releases (Music Reviews)

Take Care - Drake B
Release Date: November 2011
Thank Me Later was the most addictive hip hop album I'd heard in years.  I was afraid that Take Care would be over the top, over produced and crowded with too many guest stars.  Fortunately, my fears were mostly unwarranted.  The more I listen to Take Care, the more I like the songs I was initially less than impressed with ("Shot For Me" & "Make Me Proud") and still love the songs that stood out from the first listen ("Crew Love" & "Marvins Room").  However, I still hate the title track featuring Rihanna, and I can't help but feel like some of these songs are close to perfection, yet too overworked and glossy for my liking.  Nevertheless, Drake is still my boy and I dig his style.  File under Emo Rap. Favorite Tracks: Crew Love & Marvins Room
Crazy Clown Time - David Lynch B
Release Date: November 2011
 Much like his films, Crazy Clown Time is spooky, intriguing and weird.  The perfect album for cruising down a dark highway in the middle of the night- just you, your thoughts, and the twisted soundscapes of a Crazy Clown TimeFavorite Tracks: Good Day Today & Noah's Ark.
Modern Art - Matthew Sweet B
Release Date: September 2011
I remember when Matthew Sweet was poised to become the next big thing.  Modern Art is a reminder that he's still relevant as a solo artist and still on point.  This is not an easy listen, but ultimately I think it's refreshing and rewarding.  Sweet sounds like an man with nothing to lose, and Modern Art feels authentic and loose.  His best album (that I have heard) since 1995's 100% Fun. Favorite tracks: Late Nights With the Power Pop & Baltimore    
Ashes & Fire - Ryan Adams B
Release Date 2011: October 2011   
When I heard that Ashes & Fire was a quiet album I had mixed feelings.  I was still high from the surprising 2010 album, III/IV, and frankly I was hoping for more of the same.  Besides, Adams can crank out quiet albums in his sleep,  and at the very least they will be half way decent.  However, this one is more than half way decent.  Ashes & Fire is achingly beautiful, accessible and earnest.  It might be better than his last seminal low-key effort, 2007's Easy TigerFavorite Tracks: Come Home and Lucky Now.

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