Colin Meloy has created a song cycle that details the story of a fair young maiden and the metamorph that takes advantage of her, set to a soundtrack worthy of the best Prog/Folk purveyors of the '70s and shot through with contemporary melodicism and verve.
First off, dude sounds like the long-lost lovechild of Queen's Freddie Mercury and T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan, a pair who in a perfect world would have made a great Rock & Roll gay couple, no doubt. In any case, the fusion could only have created a mutant MercuRex musician so ferociously pompous in his stylistic grandiosity as Mr. Ferree, whose overly verbose songs are pretty catchy despite their penchant for being over-the-top.
L.A. duo The Bird and The Bee loves to use that bad synthesized harpsichord sound that Stereolab somehow made kosher. They also add hackneyed Tropicalia and "Jazz" flourishes, and it's all set down on top of mindless, pre-programmed beats.
John Scofield has applied his innovative Jazz guitar methodology to every conceivable subset of the genre (Funk, Blues, Bebop, Chamber Jazz, Electronica and many others) over his storied career as a Jazz sessioner and solo artist. For his astonishing 36th album under his own name, Piety Street, Scofield has assembled a crack band of singers and players to create a Gospel/Blues/Jazz hybrid that is inspirational from both a musical and spiritual context.
What in God's name would possess a group of otherwise regular New York hipsters to form a faux French band is beyond my comprehension. I do find it hilarious, though, that they’ve chosen stage names like Céline Dijon, Jean-Luc Retard and Franois Hardonne.
Richards invests 'Light of X' with a psychedelic SoCal cowgirl vibe, from the shimmering and ethereally grounded "Lifeboat" to the Cowboy Junkies moan of "Mirror at the End." At the same time, she deftly channels a little Sarah McLachlan Pop into "Hideaway" and casts a darker Nick Cave pall over "Early November."
If a bottomless crevice were to split in the Earth's surface and serve as the gateway for Satan's army to emerge, Darkane's latest album would be the ideal soundtrack to fuel the human race as it storms into battle.
With her wistfully romantic Country/Soul voice, by turns quietly dreamy and confidently sensuous, Shelby Lynne made her breakthrough with 2000's 'I Am Shelby Lynne.' Now she's chosen to record a tribute album to another female singer whose voice can be described as "wistfully romantic, soulful, dreamy and sensuous" — the late British Pop icon Dusty Springfield.
Dayton's Ruckus Roboticus is a mix-master of the highest order, wisely compared to the likes of DJ Shadow and his statemate, RJD2. Roboticus has remixed Bloc Party and jammed the turntable and drum machine on stage with artists like Prince Paul and Mr. Lif. But his debut album, 'Playing With Scratches,' is all Roboticus.