Saturday, 23 December 2017

Short Attention Span Record Reviews, Year-End Special: Cleaning Out The Closet


EMINEM – Revival

This is getting mixed reviews but he’s slamming Trump and sampling “Earache My Eye” so I like it. (7)

ESPERANZA SPALDING – Exposure/Undeveloped

Spalding, one of jazz’s greatest and most media-savvy contemporaries, entered the studio with no songs but with the mission to write, produce and record a whole album in 77 hours, livestreaming the whole process to the world. “Exposure” is the end result and it obviously sounds a bit raw compared to 2016’s “Emily’s D+Evolution” but it’s beautiful nevertheless. It comes with “Undeveloped”, 38 minutes of Spalding practicing pre-“Exposure”. (8)

LHASA DE SELA – Lhasa Live In Reykjavik

Lhasa died too young but managed to record this in time after being diagnosed with cancer. It is the saddest, most beautiful music I’ve heard in a long time, featuring her unique folky world music and material from all three of her studio albums. (9)

LINDI ORTEGA – Til The Goin’ Gets Gone EP

❤ (includes a chilling cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Waiting ‘Round To Die”). (8)

MARVIN PONTIAC – The Asylum Tapes

John Lurie’s inside joke/music industry-trolling fictional character (Google it) returns with a new afro-blues record, supposedly created in an insane asylum on an anonymously donated four-track recorder. (7)



JLIN – Black Origami

Futuristic percussive electronica-based soundsculpting that defies traditional songwriting but is certainly much more engaging than Bjork’s latest, for example. (8)

LORDE – Melodrama

Lots of people write pop songs about heartbreak and being a teenager in love but Lorde does it better than most, and now that everyone hates Taylor Swift I think she’ll be the Next Big Thing. (8)

POWER TRIP – Nightmare Logic

Fun metal thrashing madness, at times tight like Exodus and at others injecting a welcome punk-ish sloppiness. (8)

RAINER MARIA – Rainer Maria

Reformed emo band returns with new album more than a decade after their last sidelining the emo in favor of a harder approach, sometimes sounding like Hole trying to emulate Led Zeppelin. (7)

TRAVIS MEADOWS – First Cigarette

If you’re from Nashville, lost your right leg at 14, became an alcoholic, went into rehab, and had your girlfriend diagnosed with breast cancer AND your three-legged dog Larry go missing within weeks of each other, then you have no other option in life but to be a country singer, but 50-something songwriter’s songwriter Meadows also evokes the American heartland here, from Springsteen to Bob Seger. (8)

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