Music » Album Reviews

Sound Advice

comment
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah  -  - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah  - Self-released The drunken-circus intro should - neither deter nor fool potential listeners. The rest of - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sounds nothing like - it. Singer and guitarist Alec Ounsworth must have spent - his entire childhood locked in a closet with nothing but - the Talking Heads at his auditory disposal. He sounds so - much like nasally, warbly David Byrne that it's a little - creepy, but like the famed Big Suited One, he's not - without a lot of charm. "Over and Over Again (Lost and - Found)" is a relaxed bopper, and it's a only a tad ironic - that a lyric proclaims, "You look like David Bowie / But - you've nothing new to show me." Others are just good ol' - fashioned enigmatic lyrics, open to interpretation as the - largely feel-good, often quite beautiful music propels - the album along. -- Kara Luger
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    Self-released

    The drunken-circus intro should neither deter nor fool potential listeners. The rest of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah sounds nothing like it. Singer and guitarist Alec Ounsworth must have spent his entire childhood locked in a closet with nothing but the Talking Heads at his auditory disposal. He sounds so much like nasally, warbly David Byrne that it's a little creepy, but like the famed Big Suited One, he's not without a lot of charm. "Over and Over Again (Lost and Found)" is a relaxed bopper, and it's a only a tad ironic that a lyric proclaims, "You look like David Bowie / But you've nothing new to show me." Others are just good ol' fashioned enigmatic lyrics, open to interpretation as the largely feel-good, often quite beautiful music propels the album along. -- Kara Luger

Devendra Banhart   -  - Cripple Crow  - XL  On Cripple Crow, Banhart invites - many fellow folk explorers along. The mystic, Sgt. - Pepper-in-the-woods ambience of the cover art is - true to the record's loose, communal feel; it's Banhart's - most accessible work to date. Songs like "I Feel Just Like - a Child" and "Chinese Children" have an undeniable and - instant attraction. There are deftly crafted Latin songs, a - track with an Eastern drone, and the sparse folk of his - earlier work. But, in Banhart fashion, the lyrics have - teeth. ("Little Boys" is a prime example.) At 22 tracks, the - album could stand to be cut down a bit. But, as it is, - Cripple Crow is eclectic and - inconspicuously complex. It's the first Banhart recording - that makes you want to dance. -- Elliott - Johnston
  • Devendra Banhart

    Cripple Crow
    XL

    On Cripple Crow, Banhart invites many fellow folk explorers along. The mystic, Sgt. Pepper-in-the-woods ambience of the cover art is true to the record's loose, communal feel; it's Banhart's most accessible work to date. Songs like "I Feel Just Like a Child" and "Chinese Children" have an undeniable and instant attraction. There are deftly crafted Latin songs, a track with an Eastern drone, and the sparse folk of his earlier work. But, in Banhart fashion, the lyrics have teeth. ("Little Boys" is a prime example.) At 22 tracks, the album could stand to be cut down a bit. But, as it is, Cripple Crow is eclectic and inconspicuously complex. It's the first Banhart recording that makes you want to dance. -- Elliott Johnston

John Vanderslice  -  - Pixel Revolt  - Barsuk Is it really possible to cozy up an - innocuous little pop ditty about a lost pet bunny next to - the instantly sobering tale of a soldier catching the - wrong side of a tracer bullet in Iraq? In a word, yes. And - it's because Vanderslice possesses two qualities that - most of the whiny, emo, MTV-drain-clogging set lack: - brains and perspective. Vanderslice's fifth studio album - looks outward at a sad, war-torn world with clear and - critical eyes -- and is still able to pluck out bits of - whimsy. The production on Pixel Revolt is - crisper than ever, with keyboards and strings and all - manner of noises, pops, hisses and loops high in the - mix. But what really binds this excellent collection of - songs is Vanderslice's brilliantly literate storytelling. - -- Bethany Kohoutek
  • John Vanderslice

    Pixel Revolt
    Barsuk

    Is it really possible to cozy up an innocuous little pop ditty about a lost pet bunny next to the instantly sobering tale of a soldier catching the wrong side of a tracer bullet in Iraq? In a word, yes. And it's because Vanderslice possesses two qualities that most of the whiny, emo, MTV-drain-clogging set lack: brains and perspective. Vanderslice's fifth studio album looks outward at a sad, war-torn world with clear and critical eyes -- and is still able to pluck out bits of whimsy. The production on Pixel Revolt is crisper than ever, with keyboards and strings and all manner of noises, pops, hisses and loops high in the mix. But what really binds this excellent collection of songs is Vanderslice's brilliantly literate storytelling. -- Bethany Kohoutek

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast