Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Journey, Ty Segall



* * 1/2

Eclipse is undoubtedly a Journey album, but it’s not the Journey album any of the band’s fair-weather fans (i.e., the ones who like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and might have heard “Open Arms” or “Faithfully” on the radio) wanted. Eclipse retains much of the massive stadium-pop sound of hit albums such as Captured and Escape, but at its core, it’s a return to Journey’s progressive days. The mix of the two is a new sound for Journey: one that is nowhere near as warm and anthemic as the band’s hits (au contraire, it is much more cold and dystopian), but is no less dynamic and energetic. Sadly, the energy dies down after about eight or nine tracks, despite being revived briefly on the anthemic “Someone.” In addition, on-and-off singer Arnel Pineda is unfortunately all too right when he sings, “What I’m missing is true emotion.” The same could be said for the whole album--it sounds good, and musically it’s quite impressive, but this is an iceberg without much beneath the surface.

“You Make The Sun Fry”

* * * 1/2

Though best-known for his spastic, abrasive garage-punk assault, prolific rocker Ty Segall has expressed his desires to mellow down and focus more on songwriting on his upcoming Goodbye Bread LP. “You Make The Sun Fry” is hardly a Leonard Cohen song--his lyrics and music are still simple and to the point. Though the awesome blues riff never quite explodes like it seems to want to do, Segall keeps the energy going with his heated, raspy vocals and relentless slamming against that goddamn guitar. Does it sound like a singer-songwriter? No. Does it sound great? Yes.

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