Saturday, January 22, 2011


Happy New Year to visitors of the blog. I've never done mini reviews before but here goes:

Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink that Fucker (Des Ark) (2011)

Des Ark is a band but Aimee Argote is the only one that matters on Don’t Rock the Boat…, a pop album that has tons of lyrical depth and melodic intrigue. Argote’s voice is warm and inviting no matter the tempo it’s caught up in. This shows confidence even though the songs aren’t necessarily epic. Competency guides her through Ashley’s Song, perhaps the finest testament to her credentials. I feel there is much theoretical work here in the band though where practicality should be but once they find a steady focus for their range or mix it up musically like on Girls Get Stuff, then we’ll see the real good stuff pouring through them to get them on level with a band like Metric. 7/10

Kaputt (Destroyer) (2011)

Dan Bejar can really do no wrong and Kaputt continues his amazing streak. For once though, he’s not overtly relying on his gorgeous vocals to get by, but instead jazzy, lush textures. Saxophones reign supreme here as well as the female backing vocals. Savage Night at the Opera is the brilliant lull that propels everything else afterwards it. Song for America follows, and it too is similarly tropical. Bejar has always been able to pull these results off in his sleep but he’s never explored the themes on Kaputt so broadly. It’s not a hugely risky album but it is one that perfects the art of hugeness in scope defining an artist. Bejar may have much more left in him but it is here at this point we will always remember as his springboard. 8/10

Native Speaker (Braids) (2011)

An early contender for best new artist, Braids soars under the vocal work of Raphaelle Standell-Preston as she tackles Sylvia Plath (Plath Heart) to life’s little fucked-up moments (Glass Deers). Lammicken starts nicely out as if deep in the clubs before worming out from under synths to reveal the sheer beauty of her voice. At such moments she recalls a younger Bjork but the backing music isn’t as intense. But this is a debut so there is lots of time to improve upon greats ideas like Same Mum…just as long as they don’t, in the future, continue to end up with the same results. 7/10

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