Category Archives: Reviews

Grizzly Bear – Shields (Mini Review)

I’ve come to realize that Grizzly Bear’s music takes some time to settle in and reveal itself. This is because their music is so intricate and well thought out. Their new record Shields is one of the best records I’ve heard this year. It sounds great and I think it’s their most cohesive album to date. Shields doesn’t have exactly the same accessible pop sound that some of Veckatimest had but I think anyone can find themselves singing along to these songs after giving the album some time. I guess I would describe Grizzly Bear as a folk rock band but they truly have a sound that is all their own. Grizzly Bear’s arrangements are so unique and creative. Every listen yields new sounds and textures to appreciate. I love the jazz/blues ending on “What’s Wrong”, the sighed and whispered vocals on “Gun-Shy”, and the heavy shift of tone near the end of “A Simple Answer”. This is a record to get lost and carried away in. Shields shows that Grizzly Bear have a bright and long future ahead of them; although you might have come to that conclusion already.

Shields comes out Sept. 18. Listen to it in it’s entirety here.

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Cold War Kids – Mine Is Yours Album Review

“Mine Is Yours” is Cold War Kids’ most personal album yet. The album is full of Nathan Willett’s (lead singer) feelings about life and love. He sings about sharing a life with another person and he emphasizes the importance of addressing pressing issues in relationships with determination and to realize that working on issues will be messy but worth it. There are two blues/groove tracks on this album compared to nine other pop rock songs. It’s nice to hear the blues tracks which bring to mind Cold War Kids’ last two albums, but they make the album a little inconsistent sound wise. All the songs are catchy with great choruses and hooks. Producer Jacquire King helped Cold War Kids make “Mine Is Yours” their most accessible and complete album. It’s complete in its vision. Like Kings of Leon’s last two albums which were also produced by Jacquire King, Cold War Kids have put out a very enjoyable album and should catch more people’s attention with this release. Many couples will wish for “Broken Open” to be sung at their wedding. If you’re looking for a catchy pop album, and a pop album that has backbone check this out.

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Destroyer – Kaputt Album Review

I hadn’t heard any of Dan Bejar’s Destroyer’s music before his new release “Kaputt” but the peaceful album cover and hearing the single “Kaputt” led me to listening to the whole album. With lyrics like “Wasting your days chasing some girl’s alright. Chasing cocaine through the backrooms of the word all night” and pop music mixed with great saxophone parts it’s easy to be drawn into Destroyer’s vision and musical world. I’m glad I stopped by because I will be returning again and again. The vocals are delivered beautifully and uniquely. Bejar’s vocals are almost a mix of spoken and sung words. They have a jazzy feel to them. His words are sometimes rushed and then other times slowed down with good intention. The jazz, 80’s pop, and ambient sounds in this album create something otherworldly like the artist is from mars and is responding with music and words to earth and humans’ pain and suffering. The lyrics are very mysterious and many of the songs have this sadness to them that quietly seeps into your conscience. “Kaputt” evokes a feeling of being in a movie and experiencing different stories with mysterious characters. There are a few danceable parts on this record too. Dan Bejar has so many great things working for him with this album. All the songs are fun to listen to, and it’s very well crafted. Bejar even said he recorded some of it while laying down on his couch. Maybe that’s why it feels like such a good record to lay down on a couch with and listen to. It’s relaxing and meditative pop. “Kaputt” is one the first great albums created in 2011. “Blue Eyes” one of the strongest songs on the album has some great lyrics, “I sent a message in a bottle to the press. It said, Don’t be ashamed or disgusted with yourselves. Don’t be ashamed or disgusted with yourselves.” After hearing those words sung, I can’t help the feeling that Dan is sending that message to not only the press but to us all.

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