Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Big surprise coming next post!

While You Sleep

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It’s a risky move to have the word “sleep” in your album title, especially if your album turns out to be really boring. Luckily, there’s not a dull moment While You Sleep, the sophomore effort by ex-Match Jonathan Devoto’s duo with drummer Ross Traver. Evoking the sort of Nineties road-trip alt-power-pop you may have heard on the Dumb & Dumber soundtrack, While You Sleep keeps the melodic sensibilities found on debut Albatross without stepping too far into the polished arena-rock territory of that album’s songs. Each song seems significantly shorter than its length (average: about three and a half minutes), and they feel like different trucks passing by on the highway, each carrying some quirky cargo that makes you laugh out loud and appreciate life. This album will make you do the same.


The Little Green Monster EP

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The image of Brooke Dabalos sitting alone on a bench found on the cover of her Little Green Monster EP perfectly suits the music found on this EP. Composed almost entirely from vocal loops, the music here evokes loneliness and indecision, as if Dabalos is singing along to the sounds in her own head while alone on that park bench. Even when she’s making her voice sound like a trumpet or even an electric piano, she still sounds like one person deep in thought. While it’s a concept that’s been done by many artists before (comparisons to Bjork’s Medulla will inevitably arise) and could easily make for something overly twee or trite, Dabalos uses her loops to create beautiful soundscapes that buzz with human emotion.


NoSummr4U EP/oOoOO EP

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These EPs by slow-mo electro producer Christopher Dexter Greenspan, better known as oOoOO (I don’t think you’re supposed to know how to pronounce it), happily transcend the defining characteristics of the “drag” genre with which Greenspan willingly associates. The NoSummr4U EP is excellent, conjuring up nocturnal images and creating a spooky but generally harmless mood. From the menacing doom-funk of the title track to the tied-to-the-mast sea shanty “No Shore,” NoSummr4U is as eerie, mysterious, and strangely charming as the name oOoOO itself. oOoOO is less scary and much more ambient. While the sounds are interesting (see the warped Chinese-restaurant disco of “Hearts”), the songs creep but don’t always end up anywhere, preferring to merely create a thick blanket of mood.

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