Mini-Beats – January 2010

Real EstateReal Estate (2009, Woodsist) ♥♥♥
-can’t say this one is quite deserving of all the praise heaped upon it on the blogs but it had its saccharine, summertime moments like ‘Suburban Beverage’ and ‘Fake Blues’-
Eternal SummersEternal Summers (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥
-hazy, summer-fi pop with a lion’s share of hooks but lacking any kind of real depth to make it stand out from this heavily-tapped sound-
Tom McRaeTom McRae (2000, BMG) ♥♥♥½
-you begin to see the initial stages of McRae becoming one of the greatest unknown songwriters of the 00’s-
DeastroSpritle 7-inch (2009, Five Three Dial Tone) ♥♥♥½
-less sparkly than anything found on the Keepers album but still enough hooks to please-
Final FantasyHe Poos Clouds (2006, Tomlab) ♥♥♥
-Owen fiddles his way into the hearts of many; changes name-
Je Suis FranceFantastic Area (2003, Orange Twin) ♥♥♥
-Athens, GA staples creating mostly short, garage-pop bursts of fun-
The Felice BrothersThe Felice Brothers (2008, Team Love) ♥♥½
-the brothers folk draw obvious comparisons to Dylan…the fun kind of ends there-
Unsparing SeaIn The Diamond Caverns (2009, Broke Tusk Collective) ♥♥½
-US wed the intentions of backporch folk with dreary pop sensibilities; i expected more from this release based on their momentous debut-
Brilliant ColorsIntroducing (2009, Slumberland) ♥♥♥½
-short, melodic post-punk influenced tracks sung by the throaty Jess Scott-
Ben NicholsThe Last Pale Light In The West (2009, ) ♥♥♥½
-full-time Lucero member steps out and releases 7 songs of earthy, Americana; great pipes on this lad-
Vic ChesnuttAt The Cut (2009, ) ♥♥♥½
-a powerfully premonitious and gloomy effort; this was just how we liked Vic R.I.P.-
Langhorne SlimBe Set Free (2009, Kemado) ♥♥♥
-Slim has toned his shtick down a little – he now has that ‘mature’ sound going on; RIYL Josh Rouse
WeinlandBreaks In The Sun (2009, Badman) ♥♥♥
-mellow folk that reminded me of Damien Jurado or the quieter moments of Pedro The Lion
Cass McCombsCatacombs (2009, Domino) ♥♥♥
-a couple brilliant tracks like the retro 60’s feel of the opener but the rest of the album is peppered with some seriously cheesy moments…uncomfortably cheesy-
Golden ShouldersGet Reasonable (2009, Welcome Home) ♥♥♥
-the revolving cast of musicians including members of Cake and Joanna Newsom spit out another ‘eh’ LP that would have been a great EP-
LissieWhy You Runnin’ EP (2009, Fat Possum) ♥♥♥½
-Lissie’s soulful voice alone makes this EP special; she gets help from Ed Harcourt and Band Of Horses members; bring on the full-length follow-up-
Vampire WeekendContra (2010, XL) ♥♥♥½
-definitely much less fun than their debut but there are still plenty of moments to warrant repeated listens-
JapandroidsPost-Nothing (2009, Polyvinyl) ♥♥♥
-I hear equal parts 90’s Chicago-style emo and slower-paced Built To Spill-like dirty guitar jams-
Thao and The Get Down Stay DownKnow Better Learn Faster (2009, Kill Rock Stars) ♥♥♥
-it’s nice to see Thao cheer up a bit; the faster paced songs are top-notch-
Passion PitManners (2009, FrenchKiss) ♥♥♥
-that dancey thing that focuses on perfectly placed electronic beeps and sugary, sweet harmonies; nothing groundbreaking but worth a listen-
Bat For LashesTwo Suns (2009, Astralwerks) ♥♥½
-Natasha clears out a space between Tori Amos and Portishead/Massive Attack; i’m not sure what the ‘folktronica’ tag is all about here, its really fairly organic sounding to these ears-
Portugal. The ManThe Satanic Satanist (2009, Equal Vision) ♥♥
-my initial experience with this buzzed about band leaves me confused and wanting; hopefully this isn’t wholly indicative of Equal Vision’s m.o. nowadays-
Neko CaseMiddle Cyclone (2009, Anti) ♥♥½
-the familiar calm associated with Neko’s vocals is intact but there are no standout tracks to be found here-
SymeModern Love EP (2006, Karisma) ♥♥½
-really loved their LP but this side-dish of a few covers and remixes isn’t all that worthwhile-
James BlackshawO True Believers (2006, Important) ♥♥♥½
-instrumental open-tuning odes in the same vein as Jack Rose; this would have gotten a higher rating but the 18-minute Middle Eastern homage slows the album’s momentum down-
HussaloniaKnow Your Eastern European Anthems EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-see upcoming front-page review-
The Turn-OnsLove Ruined Us EP (2002, Bop Tart) ♥♥♥
-mellow Velvets inspired sounds; this is pretty much the pre-cursor to their excellent East album-
Andrew Cedermark/Family PortraitSplit 7-inch (2009, Underwater Peoples) ♥♥♥
-features the excellent ‘Mega Secrets’ track; one of my favorite singles of ’09-
Make Your ExitMake Your Exit EP (2008, self-released) ♥♥½
-i felt a jazzier American Analog Set vibe here with the occasional horn flourish-
Murder MysteryMurder Mystery EP (2006, Detroit Sounds) ♥♥
-angular indie/garage rock with shouty vocals that unfortunately comes off a little amateurish-
Lemon Fresh KidsReason to Believe (2004, RockMePopMe)
-power-pop that likely means well but comes off sounding like your favorite local bar band-
Yo La TengoPopular Songs (2009, Matador) ♥♥♥½
-this is the first YLT album I’ve enjoyed in quite some time; equal mix of catchy psyche pop and lengthy introspective instrumentals-
Fred ThomasFlood (2007, Magic Marker) ♥♥♥½
-was never a big fan of Saturday Looks Good To Me but when Fred goes it alone he lets his freak flag fly and the results are psyche-pop bliss-
Black Joe Lewis & The HoneybearsTell ‘Em What Your Name Is! (2009, Lost Highway) ♥♥½
-standard fare garage-stomp rock much like King Khan but with less oomph-
The Life and TimesTragic Boogie (2009, Arena Rock) ♥♥♥½
-you’d think these guys would have lost their touch after all these years; not as good as their debut but give it time…-
Owl CityOcean Eyes (2009, Universal Republic) ♥♥♥
-this one got universally ragged upon for its blatant thievery of sounds; I look at it as the sophomore Postal Service album that we lkely will never see-
SpoonTransference (2009, Merge) ♥♥♥½
-a surprise consider several trusted sources beat their fists off this one; love the syrupy post-punk feel of ‘Got Nuffin’-
Tap TapLanzafame (2006, Catbird) ♥♥♥
-not as strong as their recent album reviewed a few months ago; Shins fans can still gape at how similar the vocals are to James Mercer’s-
Beach HouseTeen Dream (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥♥
-for whatever reason I loathed Devotion but this effort hit me in all the sweet spots, like all great dream-pop should-

One Response to Mini-Beats – January 2010

  1. Pingback: 2010 › Beat the Indie Drum

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *