Roger Waters- Amused to death reissue

http://www.ripitup.co.nz/music/roger-waters-amused-to-death-reissued/

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Wilco- Star Wars

Wilco’s new album Star Wars was a surprise to everyone, which in today world is a very hard thing to do. All you had to do was to sign up and give your email address and the album was yours to download for free (there will be physical copies to purchase in the future)

Star Wars is Wilco’s 9th LP and is less demanding than previous releases, much freer in its expression and doesn’t really have an agenda to it. Basically it a band coming off a few years break and getting back into it and more importantly having some fun. It is also at 34 minutes there shortest album.

The album kicks off with instrumental, making one think are they going to be the next Godspeed You Black Emperor? But no the rest of the album is very much filled with raw, low fi sounding songs, something more akin to A.M. and Being There. Wilco also sound like a cross being Spoon and the Velvet Underground at times.

The last few albums while being good have sounded a bit too polished so here’s hoping this is going to be the new direction.

A surprise and brilliant album 4.5/5

Wilco-“I Must Be High”

WILCO / Star Wars / Magnetized

Miguel- Wildheart

So I put my hand up to review a R&B album… Holy Shite, it turned up with a nearly naked R&B artist on the front. What do I know about R&B and rap….not a hell of a lot- What Was I Thinking.

I had to do a bit of research and found out that Wildheart is Miguels 3rd album. The first one was released in 2011 to  poor reception but it became a bit of a sleeper hit, and his second album Kaleidoscope Dream was received to critical acclaim .

Miguel is a R&B singer that seems to be sex-positive over sex obsessed (I am sure many will argue what is the difference), and he tends to focus on partnerships rather than just trying to go out and “hit it”.

Songs like The Valley are about California’s Porn Industry and lyrics like: lips, tits and  clits sum up the theme of the album nicley.

I can very much hear his heroes in the music:  Prince, Usher and James Brown whose influence all seem to blend into the album, along with syths, guitars and beats and he even has a duet with Lenny Kravitz helping him to create an almost alt R&B sound.

By all rights I should hate this albums but to my suprise,  I found it clever, well produced and expertly sung. It all works.

http://www.ripitup.co.nz/music/miguel-wildheart/

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion- Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015

The mighty Jon Spencer Blues Explosion formed in New York in 1991 and in that time they have released 7 official albums and countless remix, compilations and out-takes albums.

Their music style is while generally based around Gritty Rock and Rock, it also carries elements of punk, soul, noise rock , blues and hip hop (I kid you not)

Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015 sounds like it would be some kind of 80’s dance party with bands with bad haircuts and big puffy shoulders. The reality is that it is more like Aerosmith (when they were good) and Run DMC.

This album takes me back to that classic Jon Spencer Blues Explosion of the early 90’s where they were different, experiential and just so damn cool. Funeral is very similar Flavour which was released in 1994. And in my mind there is nothing wrong with that. JSBE are not a band that they to change what they do. Experimentalism is already part of who they are. It is an album splalshed with references to New York (Betty vs. the NYPD) and ( Tales of Old New York: The Rock Box) for example.

JSBE have moved up a level to their 2012 comeback album (Meat and Bone) and gone back to what I think is their best era and produced a album very similar to 1994’s magnificent Orange.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Flavor

jon spencer blues explosion – funeral (lee’s palace toronto jun 10/15)