new-release-report

My Top 5 New Releases :: The Weeks of March 30 and April 6

1. Kintsugi :: Death Cab For Cutie

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Three-Sentence Review: More than a “break-up” album, this one seems to be about closure post-break-up, as well as a sometimes scathing look at loving among the bright lights, and stars, of Hollywood. There is a darkness here, a sadness, too, as well as a coming to terms that is not anyone’s “happy ever after“, but more of a reluctant resolution. Los Angeles seems to have its stamp all over this one, too, for better, or in most cases here, worse – yet I love the album almost as much (not quite) as I loved Transatlanticism, and that’s saying a hell of a lot.

Initial Favorite Track(s): No Room in Frame, Black Sun and You’ve Haunted Me All My Life

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Black Sun

No Room in Frame (live)

2. Beat the Champ :: The Mountain Goats

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Three-Sentence Review: The Mountain Goats have been a slow build for me, as I discovered them after reading a book where they were mentioned in, and became obsessed with a few of their songs. I love the storytelling aspect of the songs on this album, reminiscent of Bright Eyes and The Decemberists and Soul Coughing, and the way they are told, almost spoken word, yet more melodic, more rhythmic, more poetic. I just want to keep listening.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Southwestern Territory, Stabbed to Death Outside San Juan and Unmasked!

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Unmasked!

3. Ivy Tripp :: Waxahatchee

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Three-Sentence Review: A little bit early Liz Phair, a little bit Letters To Cleo (remember them?), a little bit Dum Dum Girls, a little bit Frente, a little bit Material Issue, and a lot mid-90’s Power Pop that is so addictive that it makes me wax nostalgic for the 90’s (yes, more than usual). Two listens in and I’m already knowing that this album is one of my favorites of the year. I love the sweetness in the vocals that juxtaposed with the strength, and the lyrics veer between diary page confessions to late night over too many cups of coffee conversations, make this album so utterly listenable.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Under a Rock, La Loose and The Dirt

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Under a Rock

4. What’s Real :: Waters

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Three-Sentence Review: A meet-up of Alt/Indie Pop and 70’s Rock which sometimes works brilliantly, like with the song Green Eyes, and sometimes missing the mark, like with Stupid Games, which leans too far into the not so distant Emo-Pop zone. I am reminded of Vance Joy and Young The Giant, and am curious how this album will feel to me after a few more start-to-finish listens.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Got to My Head, I Feel Everything and Green Eyes

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

I Feel Everything

5. After It All :: Delta Rae

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Three-Sentence Review: Completely cinematic, After It All feels like it needs visuals to go along with it, and dancing, and big musical number type choreography. At times, I am reminded of Renaissance Faire fare like Enya or early Sarah McLachlan, at other times I’m reminded of Indie Pop like Echosmith and Bastille, and then sometimes I get a Broadway musical feel which goes back to that “musical number type choreography” vibe I mentioned before, and there is sometimes a Country music sensibility, especially on songs like My Whole Life Long, too, though once the chorus starts, it swings back into a Pop vein. Sometimes the album is too scattered, and feels stretched too thin between genres, but there are times where the differences blend just right and become something truly listenable.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Scared, You’re the One For Me and The Meaning of it All

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Scared

7 thoughts on “My Top 5 New Releases :: The Weeks of March 30 and April 6

      1. It’s too early to choose. I need to really have a few full album listen throughs first – so far I’ve just heard the songs here and there when I come across them.

        As for the other things here, I really liked the Waxahatchee track, and it seems like it would be perfect music to listen to while working, so I’ll probably have to get that album.

        I’m not convinced I LIKED the Water track, however it definitely had a high school nostalgia feeling for me, like it would have been on the radio in the 90s or even early 2000s.

      2. Re: Waxahatchee – I’ve been listening to it at work, and I agree, it works for that (no pun intended ;-))

        Water reminds me of that era, too.

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