July 14, 2010

In rotation: M.I.A. + Best Coast + Gun Outfit + Titus Andronicus + Small Black + OutKast

There has been no shortage of music this summer. Some my recent iPod additions, old and new, include ...

M.I.A.: "/\/\ /\ Y /\"

One of the most anticipated albums of the year leaked early, and blew me away from beginning to end. The UK-born Sri Lankan war child turned superstar's third release has received mixed reviews. Pitchfork destroyed it after hyping ish up like they always do, while Pop & Hiss, Paste, Spin and Rolling Stone loved it. Stereogum was on the fence.

Top tracks:



"Tell Me Why"

"Steppin' Up"


"Born Free"

Best Coast: "Crazy For You"

I was completely amped for California lo-fi pop outfit Best Coast's debut full-length offering. So you can imagine my sheer delight when it leaked last week. Unfortunately, after a few listens, it has fallen well short of expectation. 

While still a fun record, the noticeable lack of fuzzed-out, doo-wop sound that shot Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno up my list of favorite new artists was disappointing. Many of the songs blend together and the lack of variety in the songwriting gets boring. Detractors who thought Bethany only sounded good because of the layers of distortion were proven wrong. Her voice is reminiscent of a young Neko Case. I'll still keep playing "Crazy For You," but I can only hope Best Coast revisit their earlier sound later down the road.

Listen to the entire album here.

Top tracks:


"Summer Mood"

"Our Deal"

"I Want To"


Gun Outfit: "Possession Sound"

Olympia, Washington has produced yet another solid group. These three-piece rockers' simple sound is carried by driving guitar riffs and slow-burning vocals.

Top tracks:  

"New Love Thunders" 

"Wide Awake" 

"Fantasy World"

Titus Andronicus: "The Monitor"

These punk-influenced indie rockers from New Jersey like their music loud, thrashing and heavy hitting. Couple that with a bit of a history lesson and you get their second release, a concept album loosely based on the Civil War.

The record swells to an hour playing time via 10 songs that reflect influences ranging from Conor Oberst to Bruce Springsteen to Flogging Molly.

Their energetic albums, hopefully, will translate to an amazing live show. I'll find out when they make an appearance in Phoenix on Sept. 3.

Top tracks:  

"A More Perfect Union"

"Richard II Or Extraordinary Popular Dimensions And The Madness Of Crowds (Responsible Hate Anthem)"

"A Pot In Which To Piss" 

"To Old Friends And New"

 Small Black: Small Black EP

Found via my recommendations by last.fm, Small Black is an emerging band from Brooklyn who desribe their music as "acousmatic, tape music, concrete and pop.” While we wait for their debut album to drop this fall, the chillwavers build off the crackly, fuzzy, electronic sound cultivated by Toro y Moi, Washed Out, Surfer Blood and Real Estate with their self-titled ep.

Top tracks:  

"Despicable Dogs" 

"Bad Lover"

"Lady In the Wires"

OutKast: Aquemini

Atlanta's premiere purveyors of "crunk music" have gone their separate ways ... for now. In the meantime, the Dirty South duo's 1998 release still stands the test of time 12 years later.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi talk about the making of "Aquemini" here.

Top tracks:  

"Da Art Of Storytellin' (Part 2)" 

"Rosa Parks" 


"Skew It On The Bar-B"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...