Yes, you can enjoy Alt-J without knowing the lyrics, but you are missing out on some witty and smart moments. These guys are the Wes Anderson of music: they are self-referential; they allude to poets, books, movies and photographs; and they know how to twist the mundane into a crafty turn of phrase.
Hozier's music is that of substance. On his self-titled release, he taps directly into the reality surrounding issues that matter, wraps it up in poignant lyrics, and delivers it in the smoothest sonic package you can imagine.
Last week saw the U.S. release of Prince's new albums ART OFFICIAL AGE and, with his band 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM. Even for an artist who's put out plenty of albums in his three-and-a-half decade career, these releases stand out. Jay Gabler provides a track-by-track guide to the albums.
For her first album in four years, Lucinda Williams pulled out all the stops. 'Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone' is a sprawling collection featuring 20 songs, almost all written by Lucinda herself. She is one of the great songwriters of our time and an Americana legend.
Jeff Tweedy is in a band. No, not that band; not that band, either. It's an outfit he recently launched with his son, Spencer Tweedy, and is appropriately named Tweedy. Sukierae is the project's first album, and it's our Album of the Week.
For a band who hasn't necessarily been vocal about their reunion or their relationship with their hometown (ok, they haven't given a single interview or said a peep about either), it was hardly a surprise that the Replacements were light on sentimental banter and heavy on hits throughout their hour-and-40-minute set at Midway Stadium.
J. Mascis's second solo album, which he self-recorded and produced, showcases the range of Mascis's songwriting talents and sonic interests. Straightforward and catchy, 'Tied to a Star' is a solid and complete album from start to finish.
The New Pornographers' newest record, 'Brill Bruisers', is not only their newest entry into a fantastic musical catalog, but also the latest chapter in a continuing narrative of the personal dynamic of this very special band and its members.