Quick Review (LP): Moment Bends by Architecture In Helsinki

Architecture In Helsinki
Moment Bends
Modular; 2011

My Rating: C (46/100)

Best Tracks: "Desert Island", "W.O.W.", "That Beep"

Electro-pop as an affective disorder.

– Their last album, Places Like This, was pretty good. There was a really nice punk-ish sound there.
– A little more pleasant here, not quite as abrasive.
– "W.O.W." is very nice. Very 80’s, reminiscent of a Cyndi Lauper ballad.
– Poppy, but seems a little vacuous. Where’s the beef?
– I’m sure I’m not the first to realize that these guys are basically a tropics-pop version of The Arcade Fire. Broken Social Scene with a lot more sunshine.
– FWIW, the breakdown in "That Beep" reminds me of the bass-voice Geddy Lee in "Roll The Bones."
– Despite the sheening pop sound, this one is a blah-fest. Check out the tracks I mention, ditch the rest.
Pitchfork was pretty generous to this one. I didn’t find it so deserving. Hope they recover some of the riotous energy and off-the-wall creativity of “Hold Music” and “Heart It Races” next time.

Cohesion (4/5)
Concept (3/5)
Consistency (3/5)
Consequence (3/5)
Songs (3.5/5)

Quick Review (LP): Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene

forgivenessrockrecordBroken Social Scene
Forgiveness Rock Record
Arts & Crafts; 2010

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “World Sick”, “All to All”, “Meet Me In The Basement”

For starters, “World Sick” is great. Unfortunately, though, I’m not so sure about the rest of these tracks. Truth be told, it’s amazing how bored they sound on the majority of this record. Cool will only take you so far; there has to be some creative intensity below the surface. Aside from the opener, “All to All” shows promise (though at best it’s merely this album’s “Anthems for a 17-Year Old Girl”), and there are decent moments in most of the rest of these tracks. But this is a band that, for all of its talent and experimental vision, shouldn’t be making records that sound like knock-offs of their previous efforts. This one only confirms that, since You Forgot It In People, they have been on a downward slide.

Metacritic reviews
Pitchfork review

Top 10 Tracks of 2010 (Midway)

from thesecretstereo.com

This is a bit hastily thrown together, but here it is, 8/23, and I haven’t done it yet, so here goes. No comments, no order, only criteria is that it was released between 1/1/2010 & 6/31/2010. Links provided for samples:

Follow the Train – “Movin”
New Pornographers – “Crash Years”
Memoryhouse – “Sleep Patterns”
Stars – “Fixed”
Cerebellum – “Crawl Out of the Water”
Wye Oak – “I Hope You Die”
Beach House – “Walk in the Park”
Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”
Venice is Sinking – “Tugboat”
Strand of Oaks – “Bonfire”

So there.


August 6, 2009

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