May 2010


26 Abr 2010, 13:29

The idea is for a journal for every month listing new albums I listen to and what I think so that when I review the year's music in December, I will have a handy reminder.

I will add to this as the month goes on. Suggestions welcome.

Play the radio: My Gang Featured Albums 10

Previous Journals:

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

w/c Mon 26 April:

Mr Fogg - Moving Parts
The UK-born alternative pop artist's album is co-produced by Bjork's collaborator Valgeir Sigurdsson. (Spinner) Disappointing. Reminded me of bedroom artist Maps a lot, but because of the professional help, lacked the charm. The first half of the album is ok, there are some nice ideas, then it gets stuck in a rut. An artist to keep an eye on, however.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Inlets - Inter Arbiter
Sebastian Krueger follows up his praised debut EP with this full-length collection of intimate, baroque pop. (Spinner) Somebody takes himself seriously. Some lovely moments but again, no charm or humour. Without that, there's little to warm to. Sounds like a showpiece - here he sounds like Sufjan Stevens circa 2006, there he sounds like Sigur Ros or Arcade Fire. Doesn't impress me much.

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders - Red Light Fever
The Foo Fighters drummer gets help from Brian May and Dave Grohl on his band's second LP. (Spinner) Yes, yes and yes. Always trust the masters. Something to rest my poor ears on. Lovely men, lovely music. Volume going up and up already! lol They said shoes! Track 2 - Your Shoes. Aceness. Can't sit still to finish this entry. If you see any typos, get over it.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace (watch out for some hidden hip-hop crap from someone's comment. It's from someone called Bote, posted at 17 Apr 2010 23:42. Her player is set to auto-start.)

Willie Nelson - Country Music
The legend covers some of the best songs in country music's storied history. (Spinner) You can't go wrong with the masters, you really can't. Lovely album.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Caribou - Swim
If Melody Day is my benchmark then nothing on this album touches it. Heart-sinking experience until I got to Bowls, which wandered off away from me, and last track Jamelia. Shame.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
An album of moments. There are so many that catch your ear or capture your imagination. Dreamy ethereal moments are brought back down to earth but only temporarily tethered before they break loose again. Imaginative, subtle and diverse. This deserves a revisit. Final track Me and My Hand is a little odd.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Gogol Bordello - Trans-Continental Hustle
Had to skip the first track, their big hit with Madonna, Pala Tute. Overplayed. The rest of the album might make it my favourite of theirs yet. Less attention-grabbing and breathlessly exciting and more focus on music and lyrics. Some more experimenting with styles, too, which sounds confident but actually there's some endearing uncertainty underneath. Which makes me like it more. Good album.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

New Young Pony Club - The Optimist
The punky UK New Wave band showcase a darker sound on their second album. (Spinner) My kind of music. Will be immersing myself in these gorgeous sounds again and again. Beginning to end - fantastic.
BBC album review
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

David Holmes - The Dogs Are Parading - The Very Best Of
Great retrospective with a few favourites, modern classics and collaborations.
We7 | Spotify |

Trashcan Sinatras - In The Music
Charming, but overlong at 18 tracks.

Nathaniel Rateliff - In Memory of Loss
Formerly known as Nathaniel Rateliff and the Wheel, the band returns with another album of roots folk. (Spinner) Wasn't sure at first, but the soft music and gentle sounds soon had me hooked. Comfort music.

Alcoholic Faith Mission - Let This Be The Last Night We Care
The Danish band returns with its third album of dreamy indie pop. (Spinner) Soft, gentle and soothing. No ground-breaking ideas, the edge is in the production quality and their sound.
Spotify | MySpace

Emily Jane White - Victorian America
The Northern California-based singer-songwriter follows up her debut album with another collection of jazz-influenced indie folk. (Spinner) Comparisons with Cat Power and Hope Sandoval are well-deserved. Haunting vocals, music that pushes at boundaries and unafraid, and I'm only on track 2. Hanging on every word and note. Love this.
Spotify | MySpace

w/c Mon 3 May:

The New Pornographers - Together
The Canadian indie powerhouse's latest LP features guest appearances by St. Vincent and members of Beirut, Okkervil River and the Dap-Kings. (Spinner) Sounds better on paper. Disappointing, although I enjoyed the slight ABBA-ness.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Holy Fuck - Latin
The Toronto electronica outfit's third full-length is its first as a quartet. (Spinner) Brilliant. Great start, some dips, second half is better than first, ending on an amazing high.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Minus the Bear - OMNI
The Seattle indie band's fourth LP was produced by Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes, My Morning Jacket). (Spinner). Omni? Hardly. Dullest album I've heard so far this year. Well-produced but that's all it has going for it.

Booka Shade - More
After putting out two remix EPs, the German electro duo follows up 2008's 'The Sun & Neon Light' with a full-length album. (Spinner) Nothing new here. Bored after the first few tracks. Do I listen to the rest or watch Coronation Street? [...] Gave up and watched Coronation Street. Came back later for the rest. I was right. Not all that.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
Excellent! Played it twice straight-off and I'll be playing it again.
We7 | MySpace

Cate le Bon - Me Oh My
Released at the end of last year in the UK, the album makes its debut in the States. I liked it. Unexpectedly 60s folk. Old-fashioned, aiming to be a timeless classic. Let's see. None of the songs caught my attention or stayed in my mind afterwards.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Greg Laswell - Take A Bow
The multitalented singer-songwriter's latest album was recorded in an Arizona cabin. (Spinner) No new ideas but rather gorgeously done. Classy dude.

The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
Now a quartet, the Brooklyn band's fifth album brings more melody into its anthemic sound. (Spinner) Some good moments, proper rock mixed in with other styles and influences. Keeps your interest throughout without being too demanding. A good listen.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Walter Schreifels - An Open Letter to the Scene
The veteran of hardcore acts Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits releases his debut solo album. (Spinner) Thought this would be loud but my preconception was wrong. Acoustic indie, surprisingly pretty with gentle melodies. Like the 60s sounding Don't Gotta Prove It a lot, and quite right too, we don't have to prove anything to anyone. An immediate new favourite.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Music Go Music - Expressions
ABBA's long-lost album. More folky and less perfect and polished than ABBA themselves, but the energy is still there. Great fun.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Delorean - Subiza
Ibiza type chillout midtempo mood music. Subdued sunshine, like trying to sunbathe under the ashcloud. Really like the Animal Collective influences, e.g Endless Sunset.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Golden Filter - Voluspa
Electronic body music. Great opener, Dance Around the Fire with a slight Arabian flavour. Next track moves into Goldfrapp territory.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

w/c Mon 10 May:

Various Artists - Next Stop... Soweto Vol. 2
This compilation explores the best of soul, funk and fusion from South Africa's apartheid era. Absolutely fantastic! Far out and groovy with added Electric Six.

Various Artists - Next Stop Soweto - Township Sounds From The Golden Age of Mbaqangwa

Eli "Paperboy" Reed - Come And Get It
Old-fashioned blue-eyed soul. Upbeat and summery. Title song and lead single has 70s disco vibe about it. The rest of the album takes a happy stroll through 50s rock and roll as well as jazz and pop. A pleasure. Deserves all the attention Plan B is getting and more.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Everest - On Approach
The indie-folk quintet displays a more mature touch on their second LP. (Spinner) Vocals sounded worryingly like Starsailor at first (don't like) but soon moved closer to Turin Brakes (adore!). Music is brainy, college intellectual without being too intrusive. There are moments to admire, either in the singing or the music, the kind that make you stop to listen. I'd say it straddles the middle ground between background music and the kind that doesn't let you go. Album closer, Catalyst is just gorgeous.

Thee Oh SeesWarm Slime
The lo-fi act from the Bay Area get even farther out with their latest album. (Spinner) Great week for far out music. This time, it's dirty, fuzzy guitars, lo-fi ear pain, post-punk that goes back to its proto roots. "All you need is summertime" !! Marvellous.

Andre Williams - That's All I Need
The legendary musician returns with an album of psychedelic soul, rock'n'roll slow jams and guest appearances by Dennis Coffey and members of Electric Six and the Funk Brothers. (Spinner) Absolutely fantastic. Sexy, sultry blues, nothing held back and brilliantly done. Flawless.
We7 | MySpace

Keane - Night Train
Pure 80s goodness and for a Duranie like me, something to love. This has Duran Duran written all over it. Funny coincidence: I just sent an email as track 5 started, Ishin Denshin (You've Got To Help Yourself). Thought something was wrong with my broadband! Will remember this album for that moment. Brilliant. Top marks for featuring the up and coming genius K'naan, although the track could have been better, and Japanese MC Tigarah.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

CocoRosie - Grey Oceans
Freak-folk, blues and cabaret. BBC album review. Hmmm. Great start, inspired use of tablas in Smokey Taboo, but loses its way later on, meandering into the distance. Still, engaging and interesting most of the time. Above average but Joanna Newsom is still in the lead.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Naked Hearts - Mass Hysteria
The New York duo brings fuzzy guitars and '90s alternative influences on its debut LP. (Spinner) A nice mix of early 90s to modern day indie that doesn't lose its way. There is the, now inevitable, nod to Radiohead here and there, but it's not too obvious, except maybe in lead single and title track Mass Hysteria. The duo take turns taking the lead, each bringing their own qualities and air to the sound, making it feel like two albums for the price of one. Really enjoyed this.

Marco Benevento - Between The Needles & Nightfall
Avant-garde, jazz, experimental. Interesting beginning, all the work seems to be in the first half. By the middle, I found it hard to continue. It could be good music to work to, except for the fact sometimes it makes you wince, which makes it distracting, and not in a good way. Couldn't think of anyone to recommend this to without causing offence. There's something smug and oily about the music, something condescending and try-hard. I'm not a fan.

Phosphorescent - Here's To Taking It Easy
Country-rock. A future classic. This will be on year end lists. The Sunday Times made it album of the week with 4/5 and put it in the same league as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Gene Clark and Gram Parsons. The music is clean, high quality, balanced, warm and beautiful. It's pure sunshine.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

w/c Mon 17 May:

Tracey Thorn - Love and Its Opposite
The Everything But the Girl singer's third solo album features guest spots by Jens Lekman and members of Hot Chip and The Invisible. Tracey Thorn's beautiful voice is showcased and central to this album, with the music taking a supporting role. Love the cover of Lee Hazlewood's Come on Home to Me - Come On Home To Me.
We7 | MySpace

Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
Avant-garde hip-hop, experimental. The BBC review says it best: "’s going to take several months absorbing such a shape-shifting record to fully comprehend its scope." Texturally intricate, complicated, genius and clever all come to mind when listening to this music. Almost don't want to call it music, it seems to transcend even that. Barriers are pushed and pulled, nothing is predictable yet despite sounding alien, it's incredibly beautiful. Los Angeles left us hungry for more. Cosmogramma has left us dumbfounded.

Lostboy! A.K.A Jim Kerr - Lostboy! A.K.A Jim Kerr
Jim Kerr of Simple Minds solo project. Lead single refugee available as free download from official site. I liked Simple Minds so finding this made me happy. Sounds like early Simple Minds. 80s nostalgia continues.

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
Alt-country, harmonic folk, along the lines of Fleet Foxes. Saw them on Jools Holland a few years ago, but don't remember. Where was my mind? Gorgeous.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace (mute! comments spammed with auto-start players)

Jamie Lidell - Compass
A collaboration with Beck. Funk and soul.

Kelis - Flesh Tone
Kelis makes a dance album. Really like Intro and Acapella. Album is well produced and polished, predictable and undemanding enough for radio-play and pop charts, but with just enough few little twists for those of us with hungry ears. I like this.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Mother/Father - Physical Heaven
The Nashville band's new EP was produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Tom Waits). (Spinner) 5-track EP. Pleasant, dreamy, dark shoegaze. Early 80s Manchester music. Title track, Physical Heaven, and Order are my favourites. Actually, I like all of it; my obsession for the week. First track The Hours Witch opens with golden ethereal ambient.

Norman - Hay Hay Make A Wish And Turn Away
The Oregon collective releases its second album of rock and folk. (Spinner) Lush and lovely. Alt-country in places. Love the sliding guitar and banjo sounds. Ends on a soft piano piece at odds with the rest of the album.

Pete Francis - The Movie We Are In
Folk rock, indie. Produced by Jeff Trott. There's a European sound to the music, maybe Gallic, keep wanting him to sing to me in French, although it is pretty much Americana. There's heat in the sound. Not the strongest voice, goes off a little in places which jars. The music mixes acoustic and electronic instruments as diverse as the Ethiopian cumbus. Free download of first track Glue on his MySpace.

Pontiak - Living
The brother trio recorded its fifth album on reel-to-reel tapes in a Virginia farm studio. (Spinner) Great. Noisy, growly soundscapes of beautifully played guitars pushed and held at their screechy edge but all carefully controlled, then brought back to soft and contemplative. The music is heavy and dark. It's like psychedelic stoner rock but that doesn't do it justice. There's a lot going on here. Two plays and I don't know it yet. Great album.

Clara Moto - Polyamour
The Australian DJ's debut LP features the vocals of Mimu. (Spinner) Ambient, minimal, techno, microhouse. Listen to her most popular track Glove Affair as full track here. Clara Moto could be Lady FlyLo in her clever approach to ambient electronica. The magic is in the tiny details, not the overall.
MySpace |

Seth Swirsky - Watercolor Day
The singer-songwriter releases his second solo album of pop rock. (Spinner) Nah. If I want twee pop rock, my first port of call is The Shins. Watercolor Day has some moments, but for me they're few and far between. The rest of the time, I'm scrunching my face or wincing, and that's no good for wrinkles. Pass. 19 tracks, btw. I made it to 14. I did well.
Spotify | MySpace

Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute
Talib Kweli and producer Hi-Tek team up again for the highly anticipated follow-up to their 2000 album Train of Thought. (Spinner) May not sparkle as much as their debut but this is still a brilliant album. Diverse, rich and packed with ideas, a perfect pleasure when the weather gets hot. And I don't normally like Estelle but she's completely amazing on Midnight Hour feat. Estelle.

w/c Mon 24 May:

Solex Vs. Cristina Martinez + Jon Spencer - Amsterdam Throwdown, King Street Showdown !
The Dutch producer and the punk blues husband and wife team collaborate on this genre-melding album. (Spinner) Funk, jazz, punk, hip-hop. All of the above and none. Insane and mad, far out and groovy, eclectic and diverse. Actually, it pretty much defies description except it's catchy, bluesy and cool. Most unexpected and fantastic with it.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace for Solex | Bandcamp
Interview with Solex
Interview with Jon Spencer

Under Byen - Alt Er Tabt
The Danish chamber rock band pares down its traditionally big sound on its latest album. (Spinner) The one with the cello. An original and individual sound. Wasn't sure at first but the uncertainty only last a few moments during the first track. After that, was captivated by gentle sounds that blurred boundaries and crossed lines. It's both sparse and lavish, familiar and unsettling. This is what's going to happen to post-post-rock. Can't wait to hear their earlier albums.
We7 | MySpace

Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks
The British-born singer-songwriter debuts an album on dark love produced by her husband Jack White. (Spinner) They forgot to add supermodel. It doesn't start brilliantly. Neither I nor the album were certain. You have to wait a few songs before the whole thing starts to blossom. Genius Jack conjures up all sorts of magical ideas and influences to showcase the woman he loves. That's the point of the album: it's not so much about Karen Elson's talent, though undoubtedly she is, it's about how much Jack White cares for her and how much time and effort he is prepared to put in to make his beautiful wife even more so. It's the musical equivalent of gorgeousness, with superfluous, dazzling details.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Envíos aceptados
My Gang, Next Big Things - NBTs


  • risK49

    Nice journal. Isn't Mr. Fogg cool!? Caribou and Broken Social Scene are excellent too. If you haven't already I strongly recommend TeddyBears - 'Devil's Music'. Very cool indeed!!

    30 Abr 2010, 18:40
  • risK49

    Ah, you ain't too keen. Ah well.

    30 Abr 2010, 18:43
  • risK49

    Must check NYPC too.

    30 Abr 2010, 18:44
  • Babs_05

    TeddyBears - thanks, will do. :)

    30 Abr 2010, 19:27
  • CvaldaVessalis

    Hold tight for LCD Soundsystem, Babs! Evidenced by their sold out shows already, it should be huge... I'd also recommend recently: Music Go Music (UK release last month after American drop last November); Crystal Castles (who've gone from trendy glitch to wholly awesome!); The National (where have they been all my life?); UNKLE (back on form); Delorean (imagine Animal Collective mixed with Dario G...!); and finally The Golden Filter for your monthly, 80s pop nostalgia fix... Nearly at the halfway mark; on top of all of these and your other journals, how do [i]you[/i] find the time and energy to write this stuff??

    7 May 2010, 14:24
  • Babs_05

    I've heard The National. The New York Times was streaming it. I wrote about it in April's journal. Thanks for the list. I think. Dunno where I'll squeeze more time from!

    7 May 2010, 18:57
  • Darksmash

    Oh, if I hadn't read you journal I wouldn't know that Holy Fuck brought out a third album. I need to buy it. Thanks!

    14 May 2010, 17:16
  • Babs_05


    14 May 2010, 17:20
  • CvaldaVessalis

    Hey Babs! Listened to Eli a little while ago; can't say I was too impressed really, if I'm honest... it reminded me of Aguilera in that he can't just sing a simple melody but has to overload it with as many runs, wails and vocal acrobatics as possible. Prefer Plan B. Also, have you heard the new CocoRosie? Very good freak-folk-electronic album, when you get the chance... ;^)

    14 May 2010, 17:32
  • Babs_05

    Oooh I'm the opposite, I prefer Eli. Interesting! Will give CocoRosie a listen now, before dinner, thanks.

    14 May 2010, 17:35
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