Album Reviews

 Chris Shalom

Not Quite Classic

Not Quite Classic

Album Review - J. Cole - Born Sinner (June 18, 2013 on Roc Nation / Columbia Records).

J. Cole’s not there yet. Every track of the North Carolina rapper’s second studio album Born Sinner oozes discordance. Not in the sound — the tracks, for the most part produced by Cole himself, have a smooth, cohesive feel — but in the artist’s obvious uncertainty. Where in the rap game does J. Cole belong? Cole’s clean [...]

 Garin Fahlman

Dang! It’s Raw, Futuristic Surf Rock!

Dang! It’s Raw, Futuristic Surf Rock!

Album Review - Tera Melos - X'ed Out (April 16, 2013 on Sargent House).

Schizophrenic rock trio Tera Melos has a reputation of making wild, explosive music with an unchained creativity that makes them hardly accessible but hardly forgettable. In 2010, the band restructured, and released Patagonian Rats, an album the band claims they’ve wanted to make for a long time.Patagonian Rats mixed their musical abandon with a more accessible structure that made [...]

 John Mohan

Grab Onto the Current

Grab Onto the Current

Album Review - Vondelpark - Seabed (April 2, 2013 on R&S Records).

Seabed is a piece of work probably best listened to in some sort of isolation tank somewhere with a built-in subwoofer sound system. It is such a defined record, and such an intricate sounding record, that it can take you to another world, albeit only if you allow it to take you there. I imagine this [...]

 Leslie Ken Chu

Dazed and Confident

Dazed and Confident

Album Review - Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze (April 9, 2013 on Matador Records).

Wakin on a Pretty Daze… “Wakin on a Pretty Day”… I don’t blame Kurt Vile for not being able to pick just one of these titles. Both describe exactly how listening to the many long, psychedelic passages on the Philly-born songwriter’s fifth full-length album feels. Coming off of his most concise album yet, 2011’s Smoke Ring For My [...]

 Jennifer Ruffelle

A Familiar Comfort

A Familiar Comfort

Album Review - Depeche Mode - Delta Machine (released March 26, 2013 on Columbia / Sony / Mute).

Continuing 2013’s apparent theme: “Remind me again, Doc Emmet Brown – what year is it?” Depeche Mode have once again managed to narrowly avoid break-ups, lawsuits and overdoses, releasing their thirteenth studio album – albeit a few weeks behind schedule, and with a moderate amount of record label drama. Thirty-five years into their career, having [...]

 Jennifer Ruffelle

Flume Keeps Rising

Flume Keeps Rising

Album Review - Flume - self-titled (February 19, 2013 on Mom + Pop Music).

As a global community, we tend to reserve a special place in our hearts for anyone who has the honour of taking a chart-topping position away from Justin Bieber. This special place teeters on the verge of gilded shrine when the same artist has a proven history of doing the same to One Direction. This [...]

 Jon Martin

Autechre Push On

Autechre Push On

Album Review - Autechre - Exai (March 5, 2013 on Warp Records).

Autechre don’t care what you think. They’ve been doing this for years. With 11 albums and over 19 singles and EP’s under their belt, Mancunian duo Rob Brown and Sean Booth have continuously and relentlessly forced their heavy-duty assault on the public, making you feel violated like that first evening you stayed back after school. Pushing [...]

 Thomas Creery

Surf the Couch Wave

Surf the Couch Wave

Album Review - Mister Lies - Mowgli (February 26, 2013 on Lefse Records).

A year after the release of his debut EP, Hidden Neighbors, Chicago-based producer/artist Mister Lies, aka Nick Zanca, has delivered his first full-length album. Mostly mixed at his family cabin in Vermont (à la Justin Vernon), Mowgli displays this young producer’s tremendous maturity as a developing fixture on the music circuit. The forty minute, eight-track album hits you in waves; [...]

 Danielle D'Entremont

Variable Lacking Variation

Variable Lacking Variation

Album Review - Millionyoung - Variable (February 12, 2013 on Rix / Old Flame Records).

Millionyoung is an artist who you probably haven’t heard of, but should definitely start getting into. Or don’t. Do what you like.* But if you were to choose to get into this music, it could be on the sole basis that he reminds listeners of how electronic and synth beats can be beautiful and don’t always [...]

 Jordan Mounteer

Get Stuck In This Rain

Get Stuck In This Rain

Album Review - The Memories - Rainy Day (tape) (February 14, 2013 on Burger Records).

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s often a bitter reminder of subsequent Valentine’s Days that consisted of too many beers, grocery bags full of comfort food, and lonely nights watching sappy television shows by myself. Yes, it’s a corporate window to commercialize on idealized versions of romance. And yes, it almost always [...]