by Rex

Top new videos: Klaxons, Cloud Nothings, Wild Beasts, Born Ruffians + Josh Homme getting drunk with Asians

April 9, 2014 in Alternative, Blues, Classic Rock, Electropop, Folk, Funk, Indie Folk, Industrial, Pop, Punk, Synthpop by Rex

Queens Of The Stone Age – “Smooth Sailing” {Alternative Rock/Funk}

Whether it’s in an abandoned house in the desert or at a random karaoke bar, Josh Homme always knows where to find the party. The night starts off with Homme drinking, karaoke-ing and golfing his way through the night with a bunch of Asian businessmen until things take a weird turn… (as they usually do after a night of heavy drinking). I wonder if they listened to “I Think I Lost My Headache” the morning after?

Wild Beasts – “A Simple Beautiful Truth” {Electropop}

Everyone’s been buzzing about this new Wild Beasts video (which actually looks like it was filmed in the same place where that scorned, gingery wildling shot Jon Snow with a few arrows. (yes, I’m obsessed). But moving on to bigger and better things: Dude, those dance moves and glowing pants are totally blowing my mind right now.

Cloud Nothings – “I’m Not Part Of Me” {Pop/Punk}

Dear, isn’t life in Cloud Nothing’s new music video just swell? I mean really: Flying musical notes, hearts, nail polish and snapchats; all just some of the many things going on at this girl-crazed, pajama party-themed music video. And what do you think girls do at pajama parties? Pull out a ouija board, of course!

Katie Bulley -”Up & In” {Blues/Classic Rock}

Forget about the fancy frills and special effects, because personally I would rather watch a collection of classic rock greats flash across my screen in this new ironically-titled video from the Hamilton songstress. Bobby D, an open chested Robert Plant and oh Yoko are just some of the many famous faces you’ll see coming out of the woodwork – plus a few shots of Bulley doing her own impersonations as well.

Bedouin – “Bright Lights” {Indie Folk}

Given that her Cat Powery sound has been described as music for the “cyber gypsy,” it seems fitting that Bedouin’s new music video dances around a nomadic storyline. The video follows two women as they sleep in motels, wait at a bus stop, dance around in a flowery top…you know, the usual traveller’s stuff.

Born Ruffians – “Oceans Deep” {Pop}

This new video from Born Ruffians has some mean Animal Collective vibes thanks to those glowed-out, scary-as-hell face masks/costumes. It’s actually a surprisingly happy song for a video filled with the creepy-crawlies, so if you’re not a fan of spiders, insects or creepy things with wings then this video may not be for you.

Klaxons – “There Is No Other Time” {Synthpop}

Dear God: Is this what cheesy synthpop heaven looks like? Because I have no idea if there’s any place on this Earth where the clouds are made of delicious, mouth-watering cheese and there’s massive mirrored cubes sitting randomly on every block…yeah we don’t get it either.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 8, 2014 in Dream Pop, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Indie Folk, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Roots, Synthpop by Rex

Who Are You Lutra Lutra?? – “The Memory Too” {Indie Folk}

I have no idea who Lutra Lutra is (OK I lied – I totally Googled that shit two seconds after hearing this track), but Who Are You Lutra Lutra?? are a Frenchy Berlin-based who self-produce their own albums and even organize their own tours. (This is about as indie as it gets, folks!) This track is off their second EP White On White which you can buy for €7 (or each track for €1.25) over at their Bandcamp page.

The Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter – “Lend A Hand” {Rock}

I wouldn’t be a true-blue Josh Homme stalker Queens Of The Stone Age fan without giving this track a good mention (“Feel Good Hit Of The Summer” anyone?) This group is based out of Kansas City, and you can buy their new self-titled album for $8 (or each individual track for $1) over at their Bandcamp page.

Roladex – “Anthem For The Micro-Age” {Synthpop}

With descriptions like “Italo-disco” “Kraut-rock” and “the love child of Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk” it was only a matter of time before we fell for this synthpoppy duo. The group is originally from Texas but now based in Seattle, and if you want to buy their latest release (Anthems For The Micro-Age) for as little as $8 click here.

Toui Manikhouth – “Flowers In Zara” {Folk/Pop} + Free downloads

Acoustic tracks can be a hit or miss with us (just because we’re snobs like that), but the amount of talent behind a tune like this one is undeniable. Toui is based out of Hamilton, Ontario and recorded his new three-track acoustic This Service EP in his basement. If you dig his work you can download the entire release for free (or as a name-your-price download) over at his Bandcamp page.

Feather Revs – “Utero” {Psych Rock/Dream Pop}

We’re slightly guilty of checking out this track just because of all this recent Nirvana-getting-inducted-into-the-Rock-And-Roll-Hall-Of-Fame-talk, but it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with its Coldplay-mixed-in-with-U2 vibes. The group is based out of Stockholm, and if you like their work you can stream a crapton of their tracks over at their Soundcloud page.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 1, 2014 in Electronic, Experimental, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Gypsy, Gypsy Punk, independent bands, Instrumental, Metal, Pop, Punk, Rap by Rex

Call Me Greenhorn – “Simian Walk” {Experimental/Instrumental}

You know that feeling when you hear a song and instantly feel more badass even though you’re not remotely badass in any sense of the word? Well that’s how we felt after listening to this track. Call Me Greenhorn (but really his name is Magnus Sellergren) is based out of Sweden and he just completed his new album Space Kitty 2000 on March 24th. If you dig his work (as you should) you can buy the release for $7 over at his Bandcamp page.

Psycho Mad Sally – “Marion Sims” {Gypsy Punk/Metal}

And just when we were starting to think that Gogol Bordello was the only gypsy punk band that would ever blow our minds, this Toronto-based group went ahead and Eugene Hütz-ed us with this wicked tune. This track is off their most recent release How II Survive which you can buy as a name-your-price download here.

Stacey – “Calling Me” (YDID Mix) {Electronic/Pop} + Free downloads

“Stark minimalism turns to grand, ethereal atmosphere” and “lush combinations of effervescent synths” are some of the many elaborate descriptions Stacey sent us in her submission e-mail, but all you have to do is listen to this track for two seconds to understand what she’s talking about. This tune is a remix of a track off her debut EP, and if you like her on Facebook you can download the release for free.

Daisy Victoria – “Macbeth To My Lady” {Garage Rock} + Free download

It’s a rare find to come across a female-fronted garage rock group, let alone a good female-fronted garage rock group, so obviously we’re going to give Miss Daisy a shout-out. This track is off her debut EP Heart Full Of Beef which you can buy as a name-your-price download over at her Bandcamp page or download the track for free in the player below.

Sunny Gang – “1:35″ {Punk/Rap}

Speaking of rare finds…this here is the first punky-rap band we’ve ever covered at RMD which makes Sunny Gangs extra, extra special in our eyes. The group is based out of Newark, and this is the first single off their forthcoming EP (which also happens to be the first music video they’ve ever released as well). If you like their work make sure you follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on their future releases.

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by Rex

Album review: Tokyo Police Club – Forcefield {Pop/Indie Rock}

March 28, 2014 in Album reviews, Indie, Pop, Rock by Rex

tokyopoliceclubforcefield

REX’S RATING: 6 / 10

KEY TRACKS:

“Argentina Parts I, II & III”
“Feel The Effect”
“Tunnel Vision”
“Through The Wire”

Whether non-Canadians like to admit it or not, TPC has been mastering the art of an “indie” sound that caused a ripple effect during the mid-2000s. Sure their music is all over the place both sound-wise and genre-wise (the hyperactive “Box,” the folky “Tessellate,” the politically-driven “Your English Is Good” and “Citizens Of Tomorrow“….) but yet you can always rely on their oddball drumbeats and instrumentation to provide listeners with freshness and variety.

But what I love most about TCP is how genuine they come across in their songs and lyrics, and they always gave me the impression that they’re just a group of normal, down-to-earth Canadian guys who don’t pump themselves up to be something they’re not (*cough* Nickelback *cough* *cough*). But if they’ve always prided themselves in creating a vibe that was unique, approachable and genuine…then what’s up with the Forcefield plastic yo??

Vocalist David Monks joked how The Strokes’ “Juicebox” and Weezer’s “Hash Pipe” were inspirations for Forcefield, but Monks needs to understand that “Hash Pipe” and “Juicebox” are, well…good. And not to be used as an example or excuse for selling out. (There, I said it. The two words any/every indie band dreads to hear…) Good for TPC for trying a new angle with Forcefield, even if that angle is indie-turned-pop, but it seems that they’ve become exactly what they tried to distance themselves from being throughout their entire discography.

Overall the album seems shallow, soulless and plasticy which makes the group an “elephant shell” of what they used to be. The poppiest tracks on the album all sound the same, so overall it comes across as one big popped-out blob of mess. The fact that the album has a measly nine tracks is metaphorical to how their energy seems to be dwindling-out with this new record. They couldn’t even fake it for another five or six tracks because they were too busy faking it on the majority of the album! Sure there’s some indie elements in “Argentina Parts I, II & III” and ”Feel The Effect,” which goes to show that there’s still a hint of what TPC used to be in there somewhere….

So perhaps it goes without saying that after listening to the album I felt a wave of disappointment, and frankly, shame. I understand that after X amount of years people age, creativity fluctuates, directions change and shitty sounds happen; but as a diehard fan for the past eight years I just want to know why. (But in my mind it sounds more like “WHY GOD?!?!?!? WHY?!?!?”)

On the one hand Forcefield has an abrupt, plastic sort of exterior, but on the other hand the production value is pretty impressive, and probably the best we’ve heard from the band yet. But let’s not forget that one of the qualities that helped TPC differ from the rest was their raw and unproduced sound. (Have you heard the demo version of “Nature Of The Experiment” before? I rest my case.)

So if sounding more polished was what the band was trying to get at here, then they certainly succeeded at doing just that. I’m forcing myself to lick my wounds and take a step back and look at the album as a whole, and I know for a fact that if it wasn’t TPC I probably would have liked the album a hell of a lot more than I did. It’s a good poppy-rock record and waaaay better than Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob so I’ll give them that at least….But I was expecting some classic TPC indie-licious awesomeness and that classic TPC indie-licious awesomeness wasn’t there. So yes I’m bitter about Forcefield letting me down; but please don’t hate on me for it because I’m really, really Forcefield-sensitive right now and I need a few days to get over it, OK?

So if you’re going to check out this album I highly recommend you just listen to”Argentina Parts I, II & III” and ”Feel The Effect,” and leave it at that. For the love of God please leave it at that. Then afterwards go sit in a corner and sulk for a few hours while you listen to A Lesson In Crime on repeat. (That’s what I did anyways….)

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by Rex

Top new tracks: The Black Keys, De La Soul, Chrissie Hynde + Andrew Bird covers The New Pornographers

March 27, 2014 in Disco, Folk, Free downloads, Hip Hop, House, Indie, Pop, Rap, Rock by Rex

A.C. Newman – “Be Not So Fearful” (Bill Fay cover) {Pop/Rock}

If you’ve ever doubted that The New Pornographers’ frontman A.C. Newman is as cool as A.C. Slater then this track will certainly change your mind. Not to mention that all you zombie geeks (I know you’re out there…) will appreciate that this song will be featured on the new Walking Dead soundtrack as well as other tracks from Sharon Van Etten and Portugal, The Man.

To listen to the song click here.

De La Soul – “Vocabulary Spills” {Rap/Hip Hop} + Free downloads

Holy John, Paul and George there’s a new De La Soul track bouncing around the interwebs and naturally every music nerd is buzzing about it. The song is off their forthcoming release Smell The D.A.I.S.Y. which was released a free download (!!!) yesterday on the group’s official website.

The Black Keys – “Fever” {Rock}

The Black Keys will be dropping their highly-anticipated new album Turn Blue on May 13th, and I’m expecting some full-blown, angst-from-divorce-inspired lyrics on the record now that vocalist Dan Auerbach is done bickering with his ex about who gets Bob Dylan’s hair. This is the first single off the album which was produced by Auerbach and Patrick Carney (not so surprising) as well as Danger Mouse (very surprising).

Chrissie Hynde – “Dark Sunglasses” {Pop/Rock}

It’s news to me that Chrissie Hynde AKA the Pretenders frontwoman AKA Dee Dee Dum Dum’s doppelganger will be releasing her debut solo album on June 9th, but after finding out more info about the release it’s clear that she means business. The album (titled Stockholm) will apparently feature Neil Young as well as John McEnroe, and it was recorded with Peter Bjorn and John’s Björn Yttling at the famed Ingrid Studios.

Andrew Bird – “The Fake Headlines” (The New Pornographers cover) {Indie Pop/Folk}

I’m going to take this as a sign of fate that Andrew Bird decided to cover Vancouver’s beloved New Pornographers right when I’ve started re-listening to “The Electric Version,” “My Rights Versus Yours” and “Use It” on repeat. The track is off the forthcoming compilation Good People Rock which you can pre-order here, and all proceeds will go towards The Yellow Bird Project to help raise money for various charity organizations

The Afghan Whigs – “The Lottery” {Rock}

The Afghan Whigs AKA one of Sub Pop’s many darlings are back at it with their first album in 16 years, and it’s bound to become one of the most talked about releases of the year. This is the second single off the release (with the first being the epic “Algiers“) and apparently the album will drop on April 15th.

BOZA – “Bassline” (remix) {House} + Free download

With a Canadian Juno stamp of approval, DJ BOZA has been turning a lot of Canadian heads since the 80s when he was creating his own unique brand of electronic music in Toronto’s underground house scene. If you dig his work you can download this track for free in the player below, and give him some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

Holy Ghost! – “Bridge & Tunnel” (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) {Disco}

DFA Records has been on fire so far this year with new releases from YACHT and The Juan Maclean, but let’s not forget about one of the label’s best releases of 2013: Holy Ghost!’s Dynamics. Although this track is off last year’s release, the duo will be including two remixes of the tune on a 12″, and this is one of the new and improved versions off the release (which you can purchase on DFA’s official website).

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by Rex

Top new videos: Johnny Cash, Pixies + The Pain Of Being Pure At Heart’s nasty little twitching problem

March 26, 2014 in Alt-Folk, Alternative, Country, Electro, Pop, Rock, Soul by Rex

Johnny Cash – “She Used To Love Me A Lot” {Country}

Wait, hold up. If Johnny Cash is dead and he’s still releasing new music videos, does that mean he’s “dead-dead” or “Tupac-dead”? Cause there’s a big difference between the two…Anyways, don’t be expecting a present-day Johnny Cash to show up in this video because he’s like, you know…dead.

Kind Of Creatures – “Quiet/Loud” {Pop/Rock}

I don’t know much about Kind Of Creatures because I only just discovered them this past week, but there’s two things I know for sure after watching this video: 1. They have a pretty mean Strokes vibe and 2. They have a pretty mean fanbase too. I can almost smell the old lady perfume from here….

Fly Moon Royalty – “DNA” {Electro/Soul}

If may not have the frills of a high-budget music video (unless you count the frilly facial make-up…) but we couldn’t help but get wowwed by the interpretive dance moves and different people mouthing the song’s lyrics while staring straight into the camera. Is it just me or do you feel like you’re getting eye-fucked throughout this video?

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Simple And Sure” {Pop}

I’m not sure what they’re serving at The Pain Of Being Pure At Heart’s dinner party, but everyone seems to be twitching up a storm. The GIF-inspired video was directed by Bangs, and the track is off their forthcoming album Days Of Abandon which is out on May 13th via Yebo.

Pixies – “Snakes” {Alternative Rock}

A part of me wanted to hate this new Pixies EP trilogy because I’m all about Kim D. like that, but Frank Black keeps on being just so damn awesome. The video for “Snakes” is less of a music video and more like a cops-and-robbers/Breaking Bad-style thriller starring a bunch of papier-mâché’d peeps which overall makes for a highly entertaining viewing experience.

Zebastian Swartz – “Me And My Brother” {Alt-Folk/Rock}

The latest music video from Stockholm’s Zebastian Swartz tells a touching story of a young lad who bumps into some creepy black mascot thingy in his backyard, and then later that night the creepy black mascot thingy comes back to haunt him…literally. It’s all pretty gripping and I’m sure there’s some sort of underlying metaphor behind the storyline, but I was too busy being fascinated by the 8-year-old’s impressive facial hair…

 

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by Rex

Top new videos: The War On Drugs, Franz Ferdinand, Dum Dum Girls + Against Me! gets Davos Seaworth-ed

March 18, 2014 in Americana, Classic Rock, Electro, Electropop, Experimental, Pop, Rock by Rex

Dum Dum Girls – “Are You Okay” {Pop/Rock}

The latest music video from Dum Dum Girls (which happens to share the same words my friend said to me after he found me passed out on the sofa listening to Too True) is actually an 11-minute short film starring…you guessed it: Dee Dee Dum Dum! Apparently the story was written by Bret Easton Ellis (of American Psycho fame) and also stars Shiloh Fernandez (The EastRed Riding Hood), and Sophia Marzocchi.

Franz Ferdinand – “Fresh Strawberries” {Pop/Rock}

Franz Ferdinand seem to really be pushing the strawberry motif as of late – maybe they’ve been dabbling in the same psychedelics John Lennon took in 1966? But surprisingly enough this new music video of theirs doesn’t have one single strawberry in it! Well there might have been; but I was too distracted watching FF bang-down-flip-it-and-reverse-it to notice.

Against Me! – “Black Me Out” {Rock}

A new Against Me! video is here for my numero uno favourite song off Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which means I finally have some visuals to go along with the song that inspires me to scream “I’M GONNA PISS ON THE WALLS OF YOUR HOUSE” at random points throughout the day/night. Plus the kinda-sorta lyric video also features a few Game of Thrones-like scenarios here and there which make for a grimacing watch.

Van Pi – “Dreamroof” ft. Anna Speller {Experimental/Electropop}

Dutch experimental poppers have decided to bless me with a video that covers all of my personal heaven cliches: Walking on the beach barefoot in the sand, snow glistening like glitter on the ground, balloons floating up into the sky and…hold up, why did a naked person flash across my screen for two seconds??

The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes” {Americana}

In The War On Drug’s latest music video the band acts as judges in a talent show in order to recruit future bandmates, only the contestants aren’t exactly “rock star” material; (AKA old people, desperate hoola hoopers…you name it) IMO Adam Granduciel should have won the competition just for convincing me that he’s really Bruce Springsteen in a brown wig after a ton of cosmetic surgery…but anyways.

The Men – “Pearly Gates” {Classic Rock}

When I first heard this single awhile back I thought to myself that something was missing…and now I know what: A badass music video with a wild police chase, of course! If you didn’t think The Men were badass before, then this music video will certainly change your mind…

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

March 17, 2014 in Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Free downloads, Fuzz Rock, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Instrumental, Pop, Post-Punk by Rex

Janitors- “Homecoming Queer (Ain’t That A Man)” {Fuzz/Garage Rock}

We’ve always had a soft spot for Janitors (exhibit A and exhibit B), but this is quite possibly the most badass tune we’ve heard from the Toronto-based group yet. (But what do you expect from a bunch of guys who perform in lone ranger masks?) If you like this tune you can buy it for as little as $1 here.

The Amount Of Light We Give Off – “Relationships” {Post-Punk/Electronic}

Seeing that the word “relationship” scares the living bejesus out of me, this dark, mysterious and gloomy-as-hell track pretty much sums up how I feel about relationships in general. The group is based out of Germany, and if you dig the Bono-like vocals/experimental U2 vibes in the tune make sure you buy it for $1 here.

Sarah Koon – “Pretty Simple” {Experimental Pop}

This track is anything but “pretty simple” and unlike anything we’ve ever covered here at RMD. Sarah’s unique sound can only be described as a cross between Tori Amos and Vampire Weekend, and there’s a lot of hidden classic elements in the track as well (diggin’ the harp yo!) If you like this song you can buy it as a name-your-price download over at her Bandcamp page.

Los Árboles - “How To Rebuild Myself” {Indie Folk/Instrumental} + Free download

This here is one of the best instrumental submissions we’ve received so far in 2014, but the fact that this artist is a 19-year-old Argentinian makes this song extra, extra special. You can download the track for free in the player below, but if you do make sure you give the dude some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

Canopies – “Miss You Now” {Electropop} + Free download

As soon as we read about the Cut Copy/Tame Impala comparisons we just knew this group would be packing the punches, but this track exceeded all of our expectations. The five-piece are based out of Milwaukee, and if you like this song you can download it for free over at their Soundcloud page.

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by Rex

Album review: Metronomy – Love Letters {Indie Pop/Electronic}

March 14, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Electronic, Indie, Pop by Rex

metronomyloveletters

REX’S RATING: 7 / 10

KEY TRACKS:

“Boy Racers”
“Monstrous”
“Love Letters”
“Reservoir”

Joe Mount’s baby AKA Metronomy has always been an act that is hard to pin down. They’re too experimental to be pop and too “indie” to be “mainstream.” But with this fourth album of theirs, Metronomy has decided to confuse the hell out of me even more by treading through psychedelic territory just like Kevin Barnes did pre-Lousy With Sylvianbriar; which is all fine and dandy except that Kevin Barnes pre-Lousy With Sylvianbriar already did that. Maybe Joe-Joe needs to sit himself down and get edumucated on The Sunlandic Twins?

I had high hopes for Love Letters ever since I laid my eyes on the majestic video for “Love Letters,” but unfortunately the album is all over the place like Kevin Barnes’ fried brain. There’s baroque pop on “Monstrous,” cheesy, childish synth on “Reservoir,” a Ron Burgundy flute on “Boy Racers,” classic pop on “Love Letters”…It’s pretty impressive when you take a step back and look at all the genres covered on the release; but do they all fit together? Nope, definitely not.

On the one hand there is no doubt that Mount succeeds at mastering vintage/classic vibes and sounds, like the Elton John elements of the leading single “Love Letters” and the Bach-style harpsichords on “Monstrous,” but on the other hand it’s hard for me to really glance over the fact that I had several “been there, heard that” moments while listening to the album. “Month Of Sundays” sounds like it should have been on Sgt. Pepper’s (which could be a good thing or a bad thing), and on “Monstrous” the Kevin Barnes-influence comes out in full-force with layers upon layers of falsetto vocals that make you feel like your brain cells are being swirled around for a few minutes. Ironically it was on this track that I truly started to understand the kind of genius we’re listening to here, and with methodically planned-out chords and harmonies that consistently weave in and out of each other for nearly four minutes, it was hard not to be impressed by it all.

But besides the fact that I’m more back-and-forth about the album than Mount is about whatever sound he was trying to grasp at on this album, each song is like a tapestry of different sounds and instruments, so much so that you want to hang up each track like a piece of art on your wall and study it for hours on end. The dude knows how to craft a thorough, well thought-out song that you could listen to a thousand times and still hear something new after each listen. Lyrically the album has a lot to offer as well, with lines like “I’ve seen our stars and there’s nothing aligning / that’s cause I’m Aquarius” managed to pull a warm smirk out of my cold Canadian face.

If the majority of the album sounded more like “Boy Racers” I probably would have been drooling all over myself by the end of the Love Letters listening experience, but I wasn’t. I was left slightly confused by the genre-teasing, glitch-in-the-Matrix moments I was having from listening to too much of Montreal over the years, and the classic elements on “I’m Aquarius” and “Love Letters” seemed to clash with the other more techno, electronic tracks on the record. But don’t blame me for picking apart a nearly perfect album; I am a Virgo, after all.

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by Rex

Album review: Beck – Morning Phase {Alt-Folk/Pop}

March 7, 2014 in Alt-Folk, Alternative, Pop by Rex

beckmorningphase

REX’S RATING: 3.5 / 10

KEY TRACKS:

“Turn Away”
“Heart Is A Drum”
“Wave”

Beck is like that cool friend in college who you would only see at party whilst you’re both drunk out your minds, and you end up having these epic conversations about life, music, politics and hobos. But after a decade or so the same old college parties get boring, the same debates get less interesting, and your “cool” friend ended up dropping out of school and living in his/her parent’s basement for the rest of his/her life. That’s pretty much how I feel about Beck now that I’ve listened to Morning Phase.

Beck’s music has always been all over the map genre-wise on purpose, so it seems as though this go-around, much like his 2002 album Sea Change (which is apparently a “companion” record to Morning Phase), he’s decided to release an album that has one chilled out, mellow song after another. Which is all fine and dandy when all of the songs are, you know…interesting. But given that we all know that Beck has the ability to flex his musical muscles to 110%, hearing him give 65% on this album because he’s like, so chill now man, just doesn’t sit well with me at all.

I’m not going to pull a Beck and force you to spend 47 minutes of your life trying to understand a point that can be summed up in two seconds: Morning Phase is booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring. And not boring as in “oh shit, did I just fall asleep?” kind of boring (although I did have a few snore sessions here and there…) I’m talking full-out “hit me in the face with a stick repeatedly until this album is over” kind of boring.

Take the intro track “Cycle,” for instance; (which was conducted by Beck’s father David Campbell). Usually when an album starts off with a (dun-dun duuun) pointless instrumental track, its purpose is to introduce something. Anything! Anything but an album full of boring songs. What’s the point of the build-up if the record doesn’t go anywhere??

And as a whole the album may be complete shit, but there are a few individual qualities hidden here and there that stand out. There’s beautiful guitar sections, hypnotizing harmonies, but other than that…that’s about it. I mean…I don’t know what you want me to say. I can’t make something out of nothing. I could honestly not tell you one hook or “pop” that’s hidden in any of the songs, besides a little bit of country twang on the appropriately titled “Country Down” the little falsetto on “Morning,” and the trancey folk backbeat on “Heart Is A Drum.” ”Wave” was the only track that really made “sense” because I felt I could get lost in it, which is the kind of theme I think Beck was trying to get at here…

But don’t let this review deter you from checking the album out, because for some strange reason it’s been getting rave reviews left, right and center; so maybe I’m missing something? That or people have their heads stuck so far up Beck’s ass…I mean, there must have been at least one person in the studio who wanted to speak up and say “Damn dude, do you plan on picking it up just a little at some point?” But I can’t blame them studio folks when I know for a fact I wouldn’t have had enough balls to go up to Beck and criticize his music – that’s what hiding behind a music blog is for!!

Nevertheless this album forced me to come to the realization that my favourite musicians will always get older, animals will always die, Miley Cyrus will probably live to be 94, and college friends who partied too hard end up getting fat and losery. Yes, change is bound to happen, but I’m not going to force myself into a “morning person phase” just to accept it.

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