Saturday, November 21, 2009

Short Cuts (2009): Part 2

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls

Power-pop from Edinburgh that aims high in emotive regards, but brings significant force when it comes to rock resonance. Loudness and brashness don't always go hand in hand. There's an elegance on display here behind all of the theatrics, and it's powerful and snappy and damned satisfying. A-

Grizzly Bear -Veckatimest

Definitely a quiet beauty. Contemplative works as well. However, I don't go back to it much, I find. Probably because there is so little mystery to it once you get the basic equation; and you kind of feel like there should be. Still, it has probably three of the better songs of the last few years scattered in there. B+

Mos Def - The Ecstatic

Curious soundbites aside, it's hard not to find the perfect moments. Everywhere from the crisp to questionable production choices, maybe his most down to earth, completely enjoyable LP in years. When things can get so superficial, this is one of those rare, human experiences. A

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

A fuzzy, swampy production slows down their usual raw/punk edge, but actually adds another dimension that doesn’t necessarily sound more mature--this band would never take themselves quite so seriously--but it certainly comes across as older. Unfortunately, though, this is hardly an album without filler. Humbug can realistically end up being either a terrible mistake, or, quite frankly, a revelation. C+ (read the full review here)

The Antlers - Hospice

It has the ability the be completely devastating and then utterly superfluous, but doesn't have the ability to wear out it's welcome. It's like shoegaze with none of the style. These tones, however, are unmistakably pop, and irrefutably lovely. One of the best of the year, without a doubt. A

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