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Cut Chemist  - The Audience's Listening  -  -  -  - Warner. Bros.  -  - As a master turntablist, Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5 and - Ozomatli) has spent the past decade turning people's - heads and rising to the top of the underground rap - game. While 1998's Live at Future Primitive Sound - Session earned hip-hop credibility, Cut Chemist - (born Lucas Macfadden) bided his time before releasing - The Audience's Listening. The wait was worth it, - as this Los Angeles DJ creates a psychedelic roller- - coaster ride using freaked-out loops, off-the-wall lyrical - samples and catchy hooks. This release confirms not - only his skills, but, more importantly, his unique vision, - which will require audiences to listen for years to come. -  John Benson
  • Cut Chemist

    The Audience's Listening

    Warner. Bros.

    As a master turntablist, Cut Chemist (Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli) has spent the past decade turning people's heads and rising to the top of the underground rap game. While 1998's Live at Future Primitive Sound Session earned hip-hop credibility, Cut Chemist (born Lucas Macfadden) bided his time before releasing The Audience's Listening. The wait was worth it, as this Los Angeles DJ creates a psychedelic roller- coaster ride using freaked-out loops, off-the-wall lyrical samples and catchy hooks. This release confirms not only his skills, but, more importantly, his unique vision, which will require audiences to listen for years to come. John Benson

Jim Noir  - Tower of Love  -  -  - Barsuk / Release: Aug. 8  -  -  - Jim Noir's debut album, Tower of Love, sounds - like a slightly computerized descendant of Sgt. - Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, or a more - instrumentally layered relative of Donovan's feel-good - and quirky Mellow Yellow. Noir shamelessly - employs poppy riffs and head-bouncing, toe-tapping - melodies while maintaining freshness with waltz-time or - oddball lyrics, such as "I want to be in the key of C / It's - easier to play it / Right next to B / Looking up at me." - Some tracks conjure memories of off-kilter carnival - sounds and beepy merry-go-round soundtracks, while - others are punctuated by thunder and rain or crashing - waves. Noir's album has received rave reviews in his - native UK, and Adidas used "Eanie Meany" as a theme - song for this summer's World Cup ad blitz. - Taylor Wiles
  • Jim Noir

    Tower of Love

    Barsuk / Release: Aug. 8

    Jim Noir's debut album, Tower of Love, sounds like a slightly computerized descendant of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, or a more instrumentally layered relative of Donovan's feel-good and quirky Mellow Yellow. Noir shamelessly employs poppy riffs and head-bouncing, toe-tapping melodies while maintaining freshness with waltz-time or oddball lyrics, such as "I want to be in the key of C / It's easier to play it / Right next to B / Looking up at me." Some tracks conjure memories of off-kilter carnival sounds and beepy merry-go-round soundtracks, while others are punctuated by thunder and rain or crashing waves. Noir's album has received rave reviews in his native UK, and Adidas used "Eanie Meany" as a theme song for this summer's World Cup ad blitz. Taylor Wiles

Monsters Are Waiting  - Fascination  -  -  - Retone  -  - Breezy yet grounded (think a more pop-ish Yeah Yeah - Yeahs), Monsters Are Waiting conjure up the best of - alternative rock from the past two decades, with singer - Annalee Fery ushering in a return to the Lilith Fair era of - female leads. Instant comparisons to The Sundays are - warranted, but the quartet explores new depths on its - debut effort, Fascination. Specifically, Fery's - insecurity defines the mid-tempo "Nobody," which also - apes a Cure guitar riff, while the playful melody of "Last - Goodbye" will find concert audiences swaying the night - away. Still, Monsters Are Waiting aren't straight sugar, - with some progressive cuts, including the title track. The - time is right for Monsters Are Waiting. And we're - listening.  John Benson
  • Monsters Are Waiting

    Fascination

    Retone

    Breezy yet grounded (think a more pop-ish Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Monsters Are Waiting conjure up the best of alternative rock from the past two decades, with singer Annalee Fery ushering in a return to the Lilith Fair era of female leads. Instant comparisons to The Sundays are warranted, but the quartet explores new depths on its debut effort, Fascination. Specifically, Fery's insecurity defines the mid-tempo "Nobody," which also apes a Cure guitar riff, while the playful melody of "Last Goodbye" will find concert audiences swaying the night away. Still, Monsters Are Waiting aren't straight sugar, with some progressive cuts, including the title track. The time is right for Monsters Are Waiting. And we're listening. John Benson

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