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Category Archives: Pop

Pop is Love

SINGLE REVIEW: VAMPIRE WEEKEND: “DIANE YOUNG”

Vampire Weekend put out this 7″ featuring their current single “Diane Young” and the B-side “Step” as a special, limited edition Record Store Day release. If there’s one thing you have to give “Diane Young” credit for, it’s easily one of the band’s most sonically adventurous and experimental tracks yet, which is saying...
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REVIEW: PHOENIX: BANKRUPT!

Phoenix — the cool cats of Versailles — had probably given up on the idea of ever becoming popular in the States by the time they released their fourth album, 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. But, to everyone’s surprise, the album became an enormous success here. Its blend of irresistible pop hooks and sophisticated...
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SINGLE REVIEW: LANA DEL REY: “YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL”

I started off writing a very negative review of this new Lana Del Rey single from The Great Gatsby soundtrack. I wrote about the lyrics being sub par and Lana practically slurring half of them with her peculiar pronunciation. But then a funny thing happened. After listening to the song nearly 10 times,...
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SINGLE REVIEW: EMPIRE OF THE SUN: “ALIVE”

Empire of the Sun’s 2008 debut Walking On A Dream was an electro-pop masterpiece that ranked very high on most critics’ year end best lists and was almost universally loved. I read several music magazines — not to mention websites — and I don’t recall reading a single negative review. Now the Australian...
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REVIEW: THE KNIFE: SHAKING THE HABITUAL

The Knife is a duo comprised of brother and sister Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson, the later of which has released some glorious electro-pop during recent years under the name Fever Ray. Shaking the Habitual is their first proper album of new material since 2006’s Silent Shout. It’s difficult to put my...
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REVIEW: IAMX: THE UNIFIED FIELD

When Sneaker Pimps dismissed their intoxicating singer Kelli Ali after just one album — the brilliant trip-hop masterpiece that is Becoming X — I was devastated. There were two bands I was obsessed with at the time, Garbage and Sneaker Pimps. And the idea of Sneaker Pimps sans Kelli was as absurd as...
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REVIEW: PARAMORE: PARAMORE

It’s old news by now: during December of 2010 two of Paramore’s founding members, brothers Josh and Zac Farro, quit the Nashville, Tennessee-bred band, shocking fans who had no idea that they were even having trouble. Initially, it was said to be an amicable split, but Josh eventually blogged his version of the...
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REVIEW: VIRGINIA LABUAT: NIGHT & DAY

Night & Day is Spanish singer/songwriter Virginia Labuat’s first album entirely in English, but you’d never know that from listening to it. Her pronunciation is better than that of many artists whose only language is English and her command of the language in her lyrics is always spot on, sans awkward phrasing. Suffice...
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REVIEW: KELLI ALI: BAND OF ANGELS

Kelli Ali is probably still most famous for being the singer on the late British trip-hop/electro group Sneaker Pimps’ first album, Becoming X, which was released in 1996 at the height of the electronica frenzy. Sneaker Pimps had a big hit with their single “6 Underground” and the single “Spin Spin Sugar” was...
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REVIEW & VIDEO: COLD CAVE: “GOD MADE THE WORLD”

I remember loving Cold Cave’s debut, Cherish The Light Years, but I don’t remember it having anything quite so upbeat. “God Made The World” is like a cross between Depeche Mode, The Smiths and The Cure. It packs a super fast, snappy beat and some gorgeous synth that calls to mind the synth...
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REVIEW: RILO KILEY: RKIVES

“Let it be printed, let it be known, I’m leaving you, I’m going home, and all you can do is watch me go” — those are the appropriate opening lyrics from “Let Me Back In,” the first song — and one of the strongest tracks — on the late band Rilo Kiley’s cleverly...
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SINGLE REVIEW: CHARLENE SORAIA: GHOST

Charlene’s 2011 release Moonchild was a truly remarkable album of singer/songwriter indie/folk music that garnered her more critical acclaim than most artists who released albums that year. To that end, she ranked high on more year end best lists than one could count. That much praise is always a lot to live up...
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FEATURE: In which Jesse Macht redeems guitar players

  I have sworn off musicians four years ago. In fact, four years and three weeks, to be exact, and I promised to everyone who had the patience to listen that I would never ever, ever ever listen to a man with a guitar. Those are treacherous, emotionally violent and physically draining waters...
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REVIEW: DIDO: GIRL WHO GOT AWAY

When Dido first started talking about this album she said that it would have more of an electronic sound than her previous albums, but apparently she changed her mind when she was working on it. Or maybe the songs just naturally didn’t go in that direction. Because, honestly, I don’t feel like Girl...
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REVIEW: ONE REPUBLIC: NATIVE

Up until now, I’d avoided OneRepublic’s albums. Just hearing their singles on the radio was more than enough for me. I could never really get an idea of who they actually were from songs like “Secrets” and “Good Life.” They mostly sounded generic to my ears and when they didn’t they felt like...
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