Thursday, October 23, 2008
2 Quick Record Reviews
so what is it with cool New York bands and their 3rd albums? the Strokes and Interpol both put out incredible freshman and sophomore releases that remain some of my favorite records and this decade, but when it came for album number 3 i was left with a big, "uhhhhhh". in the Strokes case they misfired by trying to write a record that would appeal to modern rock radio and with Interpol it was just more of the same shit as before with worse songs. and so now TV On The Radio joins this group of failed 3rd records with their new album Dear Science.
i wouldn't exactly call this a bad record. actually the first 3 tracks are all pretty good and could have fit in on any of their previous albums but after that this album takes a dramatic turn for the bland. with the exception of track #5 "The Golden Age", which sounds like a lost song from Off The Wall if Michael Jackson suddenly developed a deeper voice and Quincy Jones suddenly got influenced by Kraftwerk and Suicide...seriously with a little remixing this could be the dance party jam of 2008, there aren't any standout songs from there on out. mostly the rest of the album sounds like throwaway songs and left over b-sides from their last 2 albums. after 1 amazing EP and two very solid LPs, TV On the Radio have gone from a band that i declared would be the next Radiohead to a band that no longer excites me at all. who knows though...maybe it'll grow on me.
a record that has already grown on me after about one listen through is Jay Reatard's latest singles collection Matador Singles 08, which is a collection of...duh, singles he did for Matador records. Jay Reatard continues to be my favorite writer of poppy and catchy indie/punkish songs. but where Reatard has mostly in the past conjured up new-wavey and LA punk-ish cuts, some of these newer singles are calling to mind one of my favorite sub-genres of all time...low-fi 80s Indie Pop. bands like the Clean, the Tall Dwarfs, and Go Betweens all can be heard as influences on a number of these songs. "No Time", "You Were Sleeping", and "I'm Watching You" being the strongest tracks that carry that low-fi influence...which also happen to be the final cuts on the album and one could assume his next record might explore that sound a little more (crosses fingers and hopes for the best). either way Jay Reatard has unleashed another set of perfect pop that my itunes gladly gives a home to. if you liked Blood Visions or the early singles collection that came out this year then it's a safe bet that the Matador Singles collection is right up your alley.