THE ASTEROID GALAXY TOUR —
Out Of Frequency
THE GOOD: Danish pop wonders the Asteroid Galaxy Tour entrance us again!
THE BAD: Nope.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Once the album kicks in with the quick instrumental “Gold Rush,” a brash horn-laden track recalling some early ’70s cop movie or Blaxploitation flick, there’s no turning back. We’re in for 45 minutes of non-stop fun and fury — deep grooves locked in somewhere between disco and funk, chunky bass lines, retro keyboards, and flirty frontwoman Mette Lindberg belting out hook after glorious hook. Producer Lars Iversen once again delivers a crisp clean heavily compressed mix that keeps it all thumping. Frequency ends up seamless and damn near perfect.
Just try and resist the sheer joy and bold beats of tracks like “Heart Attack” and “Mafia.” And just as soon as one track finishes — BAM — the band slaps you upside the head with another gem. That’s the great thing about Frequency. The set never loses its infectious spirit, manic energy or sense of fun.
BUY IT?: YES! Frequency is the ultimate hipster party album with one eye focusing on our psychedelic past while the other gazes far into the fantastic future.
CHAIRLIFT — Something
THE GOOD: Brooklyn based Chairlift escape the sophomore slump on their major-label debut.
THE BAD: Something may be “front-loaded,” but the entire album is not without its subtle charms.
THE NITTY GRITTY: We all got to know this group when “Bruises” found its way onto an iPod commercial back in 2008. Now Chairlift are a duo; founding member and bassist Aaron Pfenning departing for other projects. We’re left with Patrick Wimberly’s playing and production and Caroline Polachek’s singing and songwriting.
But the music hasn’t suffered from the pairing down of the band. It’s only gotten stronger. Does You Inspire You (2008) wasn’t nearly as consistently satisfying as the new record. Something finds the melodies bolder, the arrangements fuller, and Polachek’s vocal range expanding. Tracks like the plucky “Sidewalk Safari” and gorgeous “I Belong in Your Arms” are instantly fetching full-bodied slices of heavenly pop (despite the fact that the former is a cheeky bit about a girl gleefully running over her ex).
As the album plays on, we’re treated to more delicate moments such as the low burning “Cool as a Fire” and swirling “Turning.” Both extremes are divine.
BUY IT?: Yes.
THE PHENOMENAL HANDCLAP BAND — Form and Control
THE GOOD: NYC psychedelic soul/funk outfit PHB crank out another beat-driven frenzy.
THE BAD: Form and Control is not as energetic as the band’s 2009 self-titled debut. The album even morphs into a more rock-ish affair during its second half. Is that artistic growth or fizzling out?
THE NITTY GRITTY: When it’s “on” though, F&C is ON! The first half of the album plays like a DJ’s set at a minimalist disco; beat-driven pop songs brandishing airtight rhythms, retro keyboards, spy flick guitar riffs, and near-flawless male/female vocal interplay. Tracks like eerie but forceful opener “Following” and crackling sizzling workout “Shake” give both the body and mind much to celebrate.
Some of that spirited momentum gets lost during the album’s second half though. The guitars begin to dominate; the grooves start to sputter. But moments like the jagged “Afterglow” and the cheeky “The Attempt” keep things interesting enough to make us want to forge ahead. But do they possess the drive that made us show up in the first place?
BUY IT?: Your call. Form and Control is good, but sees a large band being torn in a few different directions.
NEW RELEASES — CD
NEON TREES — Picture Show
OUR LADY PEACE — Curve
SPIRITUALIZED — Sweet Heart Sweet Light
TRAIN — California 37
NEW RELEASES — DVD
BORN TO BE WILD with Morgan Freeman
THE DIVIDE with Michael Biehn and Rosanna Arquette
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
with Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner