New Album Catch-Up

Okkervil River – I Am Very Far

I Am Very Far finds Will Sheff’s highly literate indie/folk band successfully trying out a variety of new sounds, themes, and motifs.   A challenging first listen, I Am Very Far is quite a grower, with highlights like “Rider” and “Mermaid” recalling old favorites and mid-album mini-epics “Show Yourself” and “We Need A Myth” breaking new ground for the band.   Though probably not a record that’s going to be remembered as fondly, on a wide scale, as Black Sheep Boy or The Stage Names, I Am Very Far is an emotionally wracked, brutal world unto itself that could become a dark horse favorite for the band.

MP3  ::  Wake And Be Fine

(from I Am Very Far. Buy here)      

The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

The debut from these Brits is full of vigorous, bar-ready anthems and stadium-sized hooks.  If the one-two punch of “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” and “If You Wanna” somehow doesn’t knock your knickers off, then you better check your pulse. 

Tyler, the Creator – Goblin

For falling into the hype cycle generated by the 20-year-old hip-hop phenom a few months back, I’m guilty as charged.  But seriously, the video for “Yonkers” still hasn’t been topped this year, and that Fallon performance was one for the ages.  But now the (deserved) backlash, best expressed in that eloquently worded message from Tegan & Sara, has begun in earnest against the supremely immature Tyler.  As far as the music goes though, if you can put all the hateful messages (fiction or not) and irresponsibility aside for a minute, what your left with is an album that doesn’t work because while several songs show great promise, the rest are just flat-out boring.  Unsurprisingly, CMG nails it.

MP3  ::  Yonkers

(from Goblin. Buy here)

Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra

Curious listeners interested in what’s coming out of the OFWGKTA camp would be better served downloading the 4 or 5 listenable songs from Goblin and grabbing Frank Ocean’s free Nostalgia, Ultra.  Ocean is more interested in reviving organic sounding, sexually-charged R&B that’s big on low end bass and low on potentially offensive subject matter.  His songs and voice are silky smooth, and he samples Radiohead and, er, The Eagles ferchrissakes.

MP3  ::  Songs for Women

MP3  ::  There Will Be Tears

(from Nostalgia, Ultra. Download here)

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “New Album Catch-Up

  1. kadgi

    You can’t make a war without making sides.
    That’s what Tegan and Sara did with their way more irresponsible article.
    Most kids who listen to Tyler and Co are educated, and take the irony without blindly following it.
    The other listeners, especially the younger ones, just went on repeating homophobic slurs like they do all the time in XBox Live. And they will continue to do so unless they have something or someone specific to hate on, someone on the other side of the field in a war they didn’t ever know they were in. Enter Tegan and Sara.
    A truly irresponsible and disillusioned article, hope the backlash stays within Tyler’s twitter account.

  2. Well, Tegan & Sara certainly have opened themselves up to a world of negativity from the OFWGKTA fanbase, and perhaps in that case what they wrote was irresponsible. Or maybe it was all the more brave, because surely they knew they what door they were opening with that. But no, their educated and informed message is in no way more irresposible than lyrics about hitting pregnant women in the stomach, et al. Sure, most people know fiction when they hear it, not to mention right from wrong, but there are a lot of stupid kids out there…

    My point is that, after all the months of hype from all over the internet, this site included, Goblin just isn’t a good record. Most reviews have been more generous than deserved probably because media outlets don’t want to look stupid after writing about Tyler every time he’s rolled out of bed since January.

  3. kadgi

    ahahah maybe so. I thought it was good enough, but i didn’t expect a god-like record just because i liked to read about them.
    On the Tegan and Sarah subject, it’s not the negativity from the fanbase that i worry of, it’s the negativity towards the lgbt and woman, some of them actually fans of OFWGKTA’s music. And really, hitting pregnant women in the stomach jsut comes in a long line of hard content lyrics in the history of pop. Hype doesn’t make it any worse, in my opinion.
    Love your blog.
    Kadgi

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