Music Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Now, Now – Threads

posted on Mar.10, 2012

Now, Now
Release Number: 2nd
Hailing From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Genre: Indie rock
Label: Trans Records

I’ve been following Now, Now since their first EPs in 2008. Ever since dropping the “Every Children” from their name a few years ago, they’ve made an effort to become a more mature band and with Threads, their second album, they’ve succeeded for the most part. Now, Now is from Minneapolis and consists of Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar, and keyboard), Brad Hale (mainly drums), and Jess Abbott. The trio has been around for a while and has only recently started to gain recognition, mainly after signing with Trans Records, which is owned by Chris Walla of Death Cab fame.

Click here to read the full review.


posted on Mar.09, 2012

The Jane Doze
Release Number: Debut
Hailing From: NYC
Genre: Mash-up

The mash-up genre is relatively new to the music scene and for a long time mash-up poster boy Girl Talk was the only artist who attracted critical attention. While 2010’s All Day was another great album, more artists have recently come to steal some of Greg Gillis’ thunder. In February, Super Mash Bros. released Mile(y) High Club which did a lot of what Girl Talk did and some of it even better. A few weeks later Jane Doze unleashed GIRLS TALK, their debut mix tape after a year of releasing scattered mash-ups with varying success.

Click here to read the full review.

Album Review: First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

posted on Feb.23, 2012

First Aid Kit
“The Lion’s Roar”
Hailing From: Sweden
Release Number: 2nd Full Length Album
Genre: Indie Folk
Label: Wichita

First Aid Kit is composed of Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg.  The band got their start in 2007 with the release of their first demo.  Much like many bands today, First Aid Kit acquired more recognition through their YouTube videos, predominantly their cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song”.   The group released their first full length album, “The Big Black & The Blue”, in 2010.  In early 2011, the group performed with Bright Eyes, a collaboration which may have led to Mike Mogis, of Bright Eyes, producing “The Lion’s Roar”. The acquisition of Mogis to the team has definitely proven to be a great addition and has offered the group a more polished sound with this new release. Whatever combination the Söderberg sisters have going is definitely working for them.
Click here to read the full review.

ALBUM REVIEW: Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

posted on Jan.27, 2012

Lana Del Rey
Born to Die
Release Number: Debut
Hailing From: New York City
Genre: Pop
Label: Interscope

I’m going to refrain from mentioning any of the extraneous information about Lana Del Rey (real name: Lizzy Grant). I’m going to try to ignore the months of hype leading up to Born to Die’s release, the awkward Saturday Night Live performance, and the bizarre interviews, which could be seen as either endearing or cringe-worthy. I’m going to ignore all of this because almost every review of Del Rey’s debut I’ve read so far has been populated by discussion of all these things without putting much focus on the actual music.

And the music is pretty much what all I could ask for. With expectations set so high, Del Rey was bound to disappoint somewhat, but this is still a solid pop album. This isn’t the second coming. Del Rey has the potential to be a pop star, but I’m not sure this debut album will put her over the edge into mainstream consciousness. The album is likable enough, but it still feels as though many of the songs are inaccessible – the lyrics seem to be from the fictional Del Rey persona, not necessarily Lizzy Grant. This may be because of the team of songwriters on the album or interference from the major label or a variety of other reasons. Born to Die is a very produced album, but not a bad one.

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Music Review: The Kooks – Junk of the Heart

posted on Nov.30, 2011

The Kooks
“Junk of the Heart”
Release Number: 3rd
Hailing From: East Sussex, England
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Virgin Records

The Kooks began their journey back in 2004 when Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris, Paul Garred, and Max Rafferty came together while students at Brighton Institute of Modern Music. The band was quickly picked up by Virgin Records, a mere three months after the band’s conception. The group admits they weren’t initially ready for the deal but couldn’t pass up such an opportunity. Following the recording contract, The Kooks released Inside In/Inside Out in early 2006, with favorites like “Naïve”, “She Moves in Her Own Way”, and “Ooh La”. With the release of their second album Konk, the Kooks did not receive as much critical acclaim; “Always Where I Need to Be” was the main successful track of the album. Now we get to Junk of the Heart, which has the potential to be the Kooks most successful album yet.

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