March Collection


Vacationer - Gone

A smooth, earnest indie pop venture that pulls together hints of chillwave, jazz, and hip-hop to create a clean-cut feel-good summer record. Carefree, wistful tunes with a soft-hearted vocalist that sets hearts to melt. While the production and instrumentation is surprisingly solid for this relatively-quiet (on the scene, I mean) project, it's not completely without its flaws. The cheesiness factor is a bit high, and the subject matter doesn't stray too far from the obvious about girls, home, love, summer, and feelin' good, but it comes off charming and sweet instead of tedious. This is thanks in no small part to his masterful songwriting skills. An instant on-repeat hit for me, it's probably going to stay that way for the hot months to come. Not too much else to say, I'm a fan.
8/10

Here's a sample.
Here's the album. (320)


Sleep Party People  - We Were Drifting On A Sad Song

In a startling change from the first LP from this bedroom project, We Were Drifting On A Sad Song draws influence from numerous genres to create a sonic buffet for the ears. I hear shoegaze drones, dream pop beats, ambient waves. The evolution is noticeable and invigorating from his previous LP which was met with a resounding 'meh' by me - the songs all sounded alike and it quickly bored me. One thing that has not changed is this guy's vocals, and I realize that these are somewhat of a trademark for him, but goddamn - doesn't this guy know any other notes or pitches? It's the same shrill, nasally croon put through a wobbly vocoder effect in every single song. This is especially noticeable to me because I was never the biggest fan of them, I guess. Regardless, I appreciate the variation, it get's me a little more focused like I'm listening to something someone sat down and created, instead of some moaning fuzz thing drenched in effects. 
6.5/10


Here's a sample.
Here's the album. (v0)



Matthewdavid - Jewelry

A hazy, almost-psychedelic hard mix of instrumental hip-hop and various electronic elements, Matthewdavid trims the fat and gets down to brass tacks. Jewelry is a short and sweet mix of tasteful, carefully-constructed sound bytes that take the best from all worlds and leaves the bullshit behind. His production skill is incredibly evident - he reminds me of Knxwledge, except somehow more experimental and just plain more interesting, especially compared to recent Knxwledge output. The sudden shift to vocal warping is obnoxious and unnecessary, but it never lasts for more than a couple seconds so it's not hard to forgive. I adore his blend of new-school, chaotic Flying Lotus maximalist style with obvious old-school references and inspirations. This is criminally short at 20 minutes, practically an EP, but he crams as much talent in there as is humanly possible. This a great example of this young man's promise and prowess. Although it didn't knock me out of my seat, I have nothing but good things to say about this. Recommended to everybody.
8/10

Here's a sample.
Here's the album. (320)



The Shins - Port Of Morrow

I know it's a lame criticism, but it sounds... too polished. Too produced, too rehearsed, too everything. It's missing a lot of the gritty charm and soulful roughness that made the first two LP's crawl into our hearts. Without that, this just sounds like any number of 'indie' records being produced today (albeit much more expensive-sounding), which wouldn't be so bad or noteworthy if I didn't expect more from these guys. The contemplative poetry is there, his lilting, airy vocals still present. Instrumentation is solid. So what's missing? Some direction, for one. Some fullness of sound, some desperation, some passion for god's sakes. They're going through the motions, producing hollow tunes that, while technically sound, simply does not stir anything in my heart or mind. It comes off painfully average for such an illustrious band. At times they sound like they're attempting to emulate their former glory ('40 Mark Strasse'), and other times it's simply arduous and plodding, and you just wish they would get it over with ('For A Fool'). I wouldn't even be able to throw out some favorite tracks because nothing grabbed me, it's all blended together so blandly. It's alright, and sadly that's it.
5/10

Here's a sample.
Here's the album. (320)

Decide for yourself.


--3/25/12

1 comments:

Pablo said...

This album is what I would think would to play on a sunny afternoon on a sunday.

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