This almost seems like a throw-back, back-to-the-basics album for the Deftones. “White Diamonds” features druggy and sludgy guitar tones that shred with stoner rock ferocity amid Chino Moreno’s trademark out-of-this-world lyrical content delivered via screechy screams, fast spitting almost-raps, and softly sung spoken words. Still as atmospheric as their past releases, each tune seems to build off of one another delivering a true ‘album’ feel that the iTunes geeks won’t understand unless their playlist is the entire album beginning to end. Love the low-end bass tone on this album too; which is a great nod towards Chi who suffered a debilitating brain injury who sadly was absent but everyone is pulling for him to have a full recovery. I almost think that losing one of their brethren for this long-standing band is what helped craft such a fun, enlightening, and engaging album. “Rocket Skates” sounds like it was just lifted from a b-side from “Around the Fur” with its chunky guitar riffs that are perfectly fit for Mastodon fans. “White Diamonds” is at once dreamy and steamy with sultry vocals whispered and crooned by Chino and then counters all of that with caustic screams and yelps of dismay amid churning guitar distortion, weird sample atmospherics from their turntablist, and crisp rhythms and crashing cymbals. It’s not what I was prepared to hear from one of my favorite bands who I thought were on an unfortunate downswing and yet again proved me wrong. Love it.
Posts tagged pop
The second this band loses their lame-o image (do we really need more scenesters that look plastic?), you’ll see them propel themselves even farther than they have already gone thus far. “The Continental Divide” is a magical ride of a melodic alternative rock album that is populated by cynical lyrics with a dash of angst, heavy and catchy harmonies, and a vocal talent just this side of Morrissey. If you could imagine the Smashing Pumpkins playing The Cure songs with Morrissey at the helm, adding a dash of London punk, you’ll have War Tapes on tap. Look for these guys to become really big in the next couple of years.
Lounge pop gems from a trio of teenagers (none of whom are older than 17 mind you) known simply as The Da Vincis that sound as if they are grizzled veterans of the music industry with intelligent lyrics, piano melodies, ukulele pop, and even some kalimba. How many bands would be brave enough to write about getting a friend request ignored on Facebook and not sound like a bunch of kids? “50’s Film” is bouncy pop crystallized with cheeky lyrics and fun kitschy harmonies. Intelligent indie pop from such a young group of kids that is actually damn talented and worthy of its underground buzz? I think the universe is about to implode!
I’ve been wholly impressed by Suzy Callahan’s heartfelt and smart lyrical content ever since I was blessed enough to review her previous albums. She once again strips away expectations with bright and clever wordplay amid a modern day coffeehouse folk-pop album. Spiritually calculating and ethereal hooks comprise the vast majority of the songs contained on “My Own Personal Watermelon”, which was tracked in analog and digital in equal parts by producer Scott Tyburski. The title refers to the new seedless variety of mini watermelons that you may see at a grocery store. In fact this morning when I was at the store I saw some for sale and was tempted to buy one and munch away while listening to Suzy’s cute, poetic and tender tunes.
Besides their silly attempt to play dress up and look like some cast-off fifth Beatle, Coldplay’s most recent foray into the music world finds them teaming up with oddball ambient man Brian Eno as producer. Eno paints a vivid portrait of incredibly intricate pop music whose choruses soar and verses lay tender hooks alongside drenching wet melodies. There’s a lot of world-beat influences as well as off-beat keyboard work throughout this album whose title was siphoned from renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Is it as good as it gets for Coldplay? Probably not, but it delivers where “X+Y” faltered and this band doesn’t seem to stop impressing, even if the U2 references (iPod commercial, much?) are getting a bit tired. To summarize properly though, I leave you with:
David: “You know how I know you’re gay?”
David: “You like Coldplay.”
Wow Portishead is still alive and kicking? I pretty much gave up on this break-through trip-hop band years ago when you know, they weren’t DOING ANYTHING. So it’s been a long time coming since 1997 when the band released their self-titled sophomore follow-up to “Dummy” which was released half an eon ago in 1994. Fortunately the wait was worth it, groove-laden tracks and sultry singing aside, the band has displayed an uncanny ability to redefine themselves in these modern days with even a nod in the direction of the acoustic world on “Nylon Smile”. Beauty shrink-wrapped in plastic indeed.
Electro-pop continues its insane drive with reckless abandon towards the top of the charts. New players in the market are oddly monikered Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. Melodic dance rock anthems emanate from “Glistening Pleasure” with undeniable catchy hooks and dudical synth bass. While these kids aged 18 to 20 years of age didn’t exactly grow up listening to the beginnings of electro and New Wave back in the Reagan era, you can hear the obvious influences. Energetic and fashionably late, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head will cut into the fanbase of groups like Go Team and Le Tigre. Between the bubblegum pop hooks, the intrinsically performed synth stabs, and pulsating beats you have a signature sound that will earworm its way into your musical psyche. Gnarly.
Big tits and acting ability can get you far in Hollywood, but they don’t mean shit to the wonderful world of sound waves. Scarlett’s husky voice might have SOUNDED ON PAPER like the perfect fit for covers of the whiskey-throated Tom Waits but “Anywhere I Lay My Head” (which by the way lacks the crucial subtitle of “(on Scarlett’s bosom, results in neck cramps”) is a sorted affair of pop interpretations with only one original song that was co-penned with the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist (he played darn near everything here) by none other than TV on the Radio’s own David Andrew Sitek which was a yawn not a delight. How can lips that perfect by so flawed?!? Yeah Yeah Yeah’s guitarist Nick Zinner also lends a hand to her debut. Now, I’ll leave you with what should have been the cover art…