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Album Reviews

The Avett Brothers “The Carpenter”: Too Much Polish, Not Enough Spit

Universal Republic (2012)

I have to say that listening to The Carpenter, the latest release from The Avett Brothers, left me with mixed emotions. Although all the basic elements are in place that contributed to the band’s breakout success with I And Love And You, it just feels like there is too much of some things, and not enough of others. As far as what has stayed the same, The Avett Brothers are […]

David Byrne & St. Vincent “Love This Giant” –Album Review

4AD (2012)

A collaboration between a 60-year-old vocalist from the 80’s new-wave era and a twenty-something art-pop singer-songwriter doesn’t necessarily look good on paper. But when former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne meets up with St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) for Love This Giant, it’s apparent that these two are kindred souls from different times. For this record, at least, the pair have happened upon a common ground that works very well. […]

Deadmau5 “Album Title Goes Here”–Album Review

Ultra Records (2012)

Canadian producer/DJ Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, appears to have been going out of his way to stir up trouble lately, blasting Madonna for an apparent reference to MDMA during her appearance at the Ultra Music Festival, as well as claiming that the likes of David Guetta and Skrillex do little more than press play on their iPods when DJing. Having recently stated he intends to ‘take some time out to […]

DMX, “Undisputed” — Album review

Seven Arts Music (2012)

I can buy that the title of Undisputed, DMX’s long-delayed seventh studio LP, promotes an aspirational sentiment, but even in a genre largely dependent on outsized self-promotion, the assertion that DMX’s supremacy in the hip-hop world is “undisputed” strains credulity. It’s been six years since we last heard from the Dogman, and in that time, DMX has had a rough time of it. There have been arrests, threats of retirement, […]

The xx “Coexist”–Album Review

Young Turks (2012)

London trio The xx may be renowned for their unassuming low-key manner, but since winning the Mercury Music Prize with their debut album back in 2010, they have attracted the attention of some rather glamorous names, from Rihanna (who sampled “Intro” on “Drunk On Love”), to Shakira (who covered “Islands” on Sale el Sol) to Drake (who invited beatmaker Jamie Smith to produce the title track on Take Care). However, […]

Little Big Town Arrives Like a “Tornado”

Capitol Nashville (2012)

World, meet Little Big Town. With their fifth studio release Tornado, this four-part, previously underrated country vocal act is finally hitting their stride with a record that is certain to take them all the way to the top. Apparently, the fifth time’s a charm. We’ve seen promise from this band for years. Despite having a clear lead vocalist to help drive the public image, Little Big Town’s harmony-driven sound has […]

Bob Dylan Unleashes a “Tempest”—Album Review

Columbia (2012)

One thing I’ll say off the bat about Bob Dylan’s new record Tempest—I’ve never heard an album by a 71-year-old musical icon sound less like someone trying desperately (and in vain) to hang on to past glories. At the very least, the 35th (!) album by America’s dark troubadour presents the listener with the same amount of passion, color and oomph as the early work that first established Dylan as […]