July 17, 2016

REVIEW: "In the Village" by Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
Escape the Village on New EP
     Michael J. Epstein, the husband, leads on guitar. Sophia Cacciola, the wife, pounds the drums and leaves her vocal chords unhinged. The duo are Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, the downcast numbing punk group from Boston, but their music is anything but marriage counseling.
     DNFMOMD's newest release, In The Village, was self-released online last June. It is the fourth EP in a series that started in 2010. Each release has been made up of “episodes” each inspired by the Sixties UK spy sci-fi drama, The Prisoner.
     The EP opens with "Episode 13 - A Change of Mind.” It moves like a slow drive through a dark street. The lights of the tunnel flashing as you make it outside the city. The bass nudges along, vibrating deeply. Cacciola's voice is despondent, emanating gloom, when she sings, “And I know you're waiting for a change of mind / but, you'll be waiting for a long, long time."
     The song burns like a fat stick of incense and its smoke is the ghost tickling the hair on the back of your neck. The power is in the slow build and Cacciola’s bated breathy vocals repeating the line, "What it felt to be free."
     The next track, "Episode 14 - Hammer into Anvil," is a doomed mood hip swiveller lathered in keyboard sustain. The beat drops into the scene and pulls you by the arm onto the dancefloor. The half-step disco waltz feels like something zombies would groove to in a black lit room. Cacciola's vocals leave behind hypnotic trails.
     The last track is a cover of Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend." They turn the jacked up Eighties racecar commercial hit into a low slung getaway track. That immediately recognizable keyboard splash, representing the entire decade, gets split by static with a fuzzed out bass. It's like Paul Dean and Mike Reno took off their bandanas, disappeared into a back room and escaped in a dark unmarked car onto their next classified mission.
     Epstein sings the verses with a bedraggled grumble, sounding half-asleep and three days into a binge. The chorus, once the phrase of teenage insolvency, is turned by Cacciola into a panicked war cry.
     Over the course of DNFMOMD’s releases Epstein and Cacciola have gotten craftier with their production. Both multi-instrumentalists, they have a lot of reach with their sound. After establishing themselves as one of Boston's finest live acts, and most productive, they head out west to Los Angeles to further their career. Hear In the Village here.

source: http://imp

May 01, 2016

Deep Peek at the Artwork for "VIEWS" by Drake

   There he is. Tiny Drake sitting atop the CN Tower of the Toronto skyline taking in the views, reflecting on the city below. His legs dangle down like a kid sitting on a giant puffy chair. Though, proportionally, he would be a giant if he came down and walked the streets.   
   Drake’s fourth album, VIEWS (now shortened from Views From the Six)is out tomorrow. At the start of the week he posted the cover on Twitter. It’s the final chunk of information to spill out before the 20-track album plays from car stereos all summer long.
  The cover immediately establishes a connection to Toronto with two Canadian icons sharing the same space. Drake, arguably the most well known Canadian today, is dwarfed by the tower. Once considered the tallest skyscraper in the world, the CN Tower stands today as the third largest. It’s positioned to the left of the cover going out of frame in each direction. It’s a great use of the square canvas, the tower zoomed in and cropped out.
   Drake is surrounded by the single most image to remind him instantly of the Toronto skyline, a welcoming sight whenever he finally gets off the road. It’s the city he loves and the city that loves him back. It suggests the album may look more outwardly in Drake’s confessional laments. He’s at the top, but looking down at the place he understands best.
   The cover of his last album, Nothing Was the Same, showed an illustration of Drake with his head in the clouds for a set of songs that looked back heavily on his days before fame. VIEWS, then, might be more focused on the world around the artist today, the changes his hometown has undergone in recent years and his role in that transformation.
   After all, he has put Toronto on the cultural map. No one can say for sure, but would this year’s NBA All-Star game have taken place there if not for his position as “global ambassador” to the Toronto Raptors? The team, currently leading the Indiana Pacers 3-2 in the first round of the playoffs, holds Drake Nights during the season. His lyrics are littered with sixes, a number that has come to represent the city because of its placement in two area codes. His OVO Fest, now in its seventh year, has become one of the premier East Coast festivals. Drake and Toronto lift each other up. When listening to Drake it’s easy to get sentimental for the city even if you’ve never been there and know nothing about it.   
The colors on VIEWS are all grey shades, concrete, rain clouds. The tower is catching what looks like the last bits of sunlight, leaving its eastward side shrouded in shadows. Something this way looms. The clouds are dark and gathering in the background. The scene looks to be happening in the final hours of daylight, a transition period between AM and PM, where our desires, and our mistakes in relation to those desires, become cloaked in the darkness.   Judging only by the cover it seems VIEWS could end up being considered the quintessential Drake album up to this point. The only thing that could make it more Drakian is if he were wearing a Kyle Lowry jersey.

source: http://imp

April 23, 2016

REVIEW: "Gore" by Deftones

Deftones Turn In New Metal
Classic With Heady Gore
   The theme of this review is consistency. For twenty years Deftones have put out consistently adept albums steeped in their own style of what could be whittled down to, in layman’s terms, as “metal.” But, it’s so much more than that. 
   Gore is the band’s eighth and was released on April 8th. The number eight, the vertical symbol of an infinite loop, is a most accurate figure to associate with this album. Deftones continue to deliver, expanding their sound in subtle and intricate ways. They remain rooted in the punk metal headrush of their debut Adrenaline, but with each album since the sound has grown heavier and more melodic in equal parts. Gore furthers the formula into peak Deftones territory. 
   Gore is undeniably a Deftones record, but there are a lot of new elements that on past albums were never fully explored: the use of feedback, Frank Delgado’s effects being the focal point during a song, elongated intros and outros and thick layering. Song structure is rarely straightforward. Each song has about five or six different parts that clamp down on each other, bleed into, collide and break through each other jerking the listener into awareness. It’ll catch you off guard. 
   There are so many little fine twists and turns at first it can be unsettling. When I first listened, it felt overloaded, like there was too much going on, like they were trying to cram too much into each song. But, that becomes the winning mark after stepping back and letting the songs soak in. Like most Deftones albums, it gets better with age. Gore may be the heaviest record to leave shadows of songs in your head afterwards. 
   Guitarist Stephen Carpenter, drummer Abe Cunningham and bassist Sergio Vega are stitching together some wildly inaccurate metal grooves. If you headbang to this without knowing the song, you’ll fast get off beat. They’re starting to develop their own sense of timing and it really turns things inside out. 
   The first proper single, “Prayers/Triangles,” opens the album. It is a fine representative of their sound currently. A slow, meandering guitar lulls the listener before the drums break and the chorus slashes through. Throw the bottle at the wall when “Doomed User” comes on. Deftones to the core. Carpenter plays with shades of Slayer then hits the time change with an evil guitar groan. Cunningham hits every accented cymbal with pinwheels rolling in his eye sockets. 
   “Geometric Headdress” erupts like a tank through a wall. Chino Moreno’s scream scorches like a propane tank left to explode. Then ten seconds in it flips to an offbeat rumble with a wily guitar pushing the listener out of rhythm. Midway through “Hearts/Wires” settles over the album like the final rays of sunlight. A few simple guitar pluckings crawl over each other while Moreno sings of a memory lost. “The slit in the sky where you left / is all I see,” he aches. The slow build is hypnotizing. 
   The heaviest song on the album is the title track. The pitter patter of Cunningham’s hi-hat leads into a devastating guitar butcher stab from Carpenter. Oh yeah, this one is a classic. Careful with this one here. Moreno howls likes he’s burning alive. The pit will blow like a hazardous chemical reaction whenever they play it live. Get the gore on the final minute. Thunderous feedback beating your head in. 
   “Phantom Bride” enlists the help of Jerry Cantrell, from Alice In Chains, on guitar. Midway through Cantrell releases a reflective guitar solo that weaves into the song. Jerry wails. Lord, Jerry wails. The guitars spill out reminding me of mid-90s Smashing Pumpkins before getting obliterated by Carpenter’s heavy strings. Beautiful. Sets the heart racing. It’s a new turn and it works. 
   Deftones just continue to breathe new life into an old sound. They keep the rigid metalhead fans happy, but still find room to expand sonically, creating new categories of genre. Gore, the third album since Vega took over for the late Chi Ching on bass, follows Koi No Yokan and Diamond Eyes on a continuing upscale of creativity that doesn’t seem to be slipping any time soon.

Key Tracks: "Doomed User," "Geometric Headdress," "Gore," "Hearts/Wires," "Phantom Bride"

source: http://imp

February 27, 2016

REVIEW: "ANTI" by Rihanna

Rihanna Turns in a
Near Classic With ANTI

Meanwhile, in another part of the pop stratosphere, RiRi season has begun. The eighth album from Rihanna, ANTI, arrived quietly in late January. There was more written about the nauseating album cover with a Chloe Mitchell poem printed in braille. The music’s pretty good, too.
   ANTI opens with "Consideration," a loose neck-swiveler that sets the tone for the album's first half. It's nice to hear Rihanna give the assist to SZA, a sister-in-arms and a singer equally deserving to reach the same heights. Their voices move around each other in an uneven orbit. SZA bellowing beautifully bent notes. Rihanna soaring in an upward swing.
   A soft muted organ clambers on "James Joint," a loosie before things get serious. "Kiss It Better" chisels through the speakers. I can picture Rihanna walking down a black staircase in black heels and black skirt to the opening. Fireworks sparkle in the background as stunted Eighties rock ballad lead guitar burrows into your head. Rihanna sings about a relationship where the bad gets swept under the bed. Emotion pumps from her voice no how many times it's processed and layered. 
   The first single, "Work," has made its way across the oceans with two different videos and a saucy performance on the BRIT Awards. Love the song. Though, I barely know what Rihanna's singing, or if she's singing anything in any language. Not sure, but it gets catchier as time goes on. It's one of her best singles. Drake is usually good for a guest verse and here he gives the necessary phrases. "Work" is their third single together following "Take Care" and "What’s My Name?"
   "Woo" reminds me of the Bjork song "Pluto" off Homogenic. Rihanna sings against a coarse electronic tremble that does not let up the entire song. I'd love to hear her move more in this direction. Maybe let Trent Reznor put her voice through the greater. Then, just when you think it can't any more vicious, Rihanna screams, "I don't mean to really luh you / I don't mean to really care about you no more." 
   Next, on "Needed Me," she gets cold with an ex-lover over a simple beat and an expanding wah-wah. When Rihanna sing, it's in a downward spiral. "Didn't they tell you that I was a savage? / fuck your white horse and your carriage." Somewhere an ex is crying in his beer in a dark bar. "Yeah, I Said It" resets the tone. The breath of Rihanna's vocals cloud both speakers in daydream tripping fantasy. 
   Then comes the curveball: a painfully straight-forward version of Tame Impala's "New Person, Same Old Mistakes," off 2015's Currents. Retitled here as, "Same Ol' Mistakes," this version is so similar I wonder if Rihanna didn't just kareoke over the instrumental version of the original. The band gets production credits, so who knows. The song's decent enough so, fine, but somehow, it’s even longer than the original. 
   Coupled with the next song, "Never Ending," the album begins to drag a little. The final few songs are big syrupy ballads. Her vocals soar to such great, soul-baring heights and while, there's nothing wrong with that, it's just not my mug of wine. 
   ANTI is an almost-classic from Rihanna. From song-to-song it dips and crashes through many different styles, some all her own, some borrowed. It's been billed as a break from form for the Barbadian singer and it mostly is, but the second half of the album plays it safe. I long for her powerful voice to find its way into the very outer extensions of where R&B can go.


Key Tracks: "Work," "Woo," "Needed Me," "Consideration," "Kiss It Better"

source: http://imp

February 24, 2016

Kanye Gives Tutorial on How NOT to Release an Album

   Over the years, since appearing in a pink Polo and a backpack with sunglasses like shutter blinds, Kanye West has taught us all a lot about where hip-hop can go and what fame can do to a man. With the release of his seventh album, The Life of Pablo, Mr. West has offered another lesson. This time it’s on how not to release your new batch of material. It's a lesson that musicians should take note of.
   From the moment the cow jumped over the Jumpman, The Life of Pablo has been a botched delivery. Since the very tip of 2015, when West dropped the singles "Only One," “FourFiveSeconds," and "All Day," it was clear that Yeezy season was upon us. The leaves were starting to turn black gold. He performed on award shows, runways, festivals,  gave a few rants, shadowboxed with Paul McCartney. He had a title for number seven: So Help Me God. Then that became SWISH, or, SWiSH, or, maybe just Swish, we won’t ever know.
   This past New Year's Eve West let slip out into the world the spasmodic, fucking-goofy track, "FACTS." Something was near. Then came the tweet revealing a release date of February 11, a Thursday. Not the usual day for new releases, but that hardly matters online. The title changed again to Waves. He shared a picture of a handwritten tracklist of 10 songs. Kylie was there. Then that blew up to 18 songs a few nights before. Who knows how many times he ended up polishing "Wolves." Oh, and the title changed again to its current state (or is it?).
   February 11 came. West held back-to-back listening parties at Madison Square Garden while debuting his new fashion line with animatronic models. The Kardashians and the Jenners were there in white feathered robes. Shit, Lamar Odom even came out to play. But, there was nothing online, no stream, no payment plan offered. There was a broken link on KanyeWest.com and tweets about still being in the studio. Chance the Rapper apparently held up the final mastering or maybe he was thrown under the bus. You set this date, Kanye! What are you doing? This was your schedule. We would’ve waited until it was right.
   Nights later West performed on Saturday Night Live spewing some inaudibles about the album being available online right now. “Right now! Aaaagggggrggrrggghhgrh!” It wasn't. The next day he offered it on his website, but only in thirty-second previews. The full stream was available only to Tidal subscribers. Personally, I’m against streaming music. That just wasn’t gonna happen.
   Week and a half later and it's still unclear how this album can be widely purchased and which version it will be. Kanye’s saying it’ll only be available on Tidal. The whole thing has been one Kanye Thunderclap of Confusion for such a long build-up to what was an inevitable album. The 18-track version that has been circulated feels overstuffed and maybe the original 10-track version might’ve been a more succinct listening experience. I’m reserving my review here, but that thing is bloated.
   So, bands, musicians, artists take note. If you and your band go through the long haul gruel of creating a cohesive unit of songs to be played as an Album, it should be delivered with authority. Don't be like this season's Yeezus. Be committed to the final product. Let some mystery build behind it. Know for certain when a song is complete. When music makes it to the Internet today, it travels fast. If you're not putting the most complete version out there it’ll get thrown in the whirlpool and now people are hearing something incomplete.
   The Life of Pablo had huge hype. A handy tool for sales. But given that there was no clear path for purchase and that streaming services through Tidal aren’t counted by Billboard, the album has no official standing of its total output effectively ruining all that built-in hype. That can't be good for your $53 million debt, fam.

source: http://imp

January 21, 2016

REVIEW: "Blackstar" by David Bowie

Blackstar is Bowie's everlasting
wink from heaven
As I listened to David Bowie's new album Blackstar for the first time, the artist himself, unbeknownst to me at the time, was ascending into eternity. Bowie’s 25th album, and now his last, arrived January 8th on the icon's 69th birthday. Two days later it would be announced in the night that Bowie was dead. He juked us all again. A surprise album. A surprise death. A true artist through his life’s final breath.
   Instantly the dynamic of the music on the album changed. Blackstar couldn't be more fitting in tone and timing. It's extravagant, ghostly, teetering on the outskirts of what is considered to be a traditional rock and roll album. It swivels and sinks into the poorly lit backroom of the musical mansion Bowie built over his fifty-plus-year-career.
   Blackstar is a seven-song voyage, a trek through the panicked headspace of someone too aware of their mortality. It shifts in moods and tempos, wandering, but never too far.
   The title track is a near ten-minute ride alongside the Thin White Duke as he passes through the layers of Heaven. The song wears many faces, turning inside out and evolving with the minutes. At the midpoint of the song the instruments start to lose their beat, pacing around one another in odd rhythms slowing down. It's the sound of our artist exiting earth life and throttling into the next. “I’m a black star,” he sings, catatonically.
   After slowly being peeled during the first track, Blackstar picks up with “‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore.” A heavyset drum and bass union churns through the song as it progresses into a perpetual Coleman swirl, horns gone akimbo. Bowie hits the high notes with a twisted sadness, a hidden anarchy while singing the title line. You can see his chiseled grin slowly rise with each word.
   “Lazarus” is when the listener begins to really ache. The song, backed up with an authentically creepy video, saunters in with a clean, melancholic guitar scale and steady drums. But, then these soft devious horns slither in just slightly offbeat. When Bowie enters he sings, “Look up here / I’m in heaven,” and your heart skips a beat. In his slow drift outward he’s catching the wind currents like the bluebird without misgiving.
   The album continues its seesaw with “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime).” Opening with a scattershot drumbeat, the song flails wildly. Genres are taken apart, thrown onto the floor and resculpted. Everything falls on the offbeat with Bowie weaving vocals in a posthumus quiver. “Sue, the clinic called / The x-ray’s fine,” he sings. The listener’s head ping pongs into full force headbanging by the finish.
   Bowie gives some of his strongest, most outlandish, hair-raising vocals on Blackstar and “Girl Loves Me” represents that best. Lost on the calendar, Bowie sings, "Where the fuck did Monday go?" The song works on hypnosis, pulling the listener into a trance. The final song, “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” finishes the album on an upbeat, celebratory note.
   Blackstar is a lasting statement to not only David Bowie’s artistry, but to how he lived his life through that artistry. He worked hard through the end of his days to give us a product he’d be remembered by, a final soundtrack to the epilogue of a life lived in constant creation. Your man did us proud, Iman.

Key Tracks: all

source: http://imp

January 09, 2016

storm in and hail , the


I Was A Teenage Music Snob

The writer during one night in high school.
I don't want to feel this way forever
   At the switch of the centuries I can remember the early days of downloadable music. Songs would take full days, two, three, four. Single songs. The computer would heat and hum all night long. Single tracks would only give a taste, forcing you to spend money to own the full, physical album. I can remember downloading songs from Glassjaw, My Chemical Romance, You & I, Saves The Day, Bright Eyes, Racebannon and Thursday before knowing anything about them. It felt like I was given special access to this new music. I felt privileged. I was the prime discoverer and so, felt an exaggerated ownership.
   I can remember being especially taken by Thursday and buying Full Collapse, their second album in the early months of 2001. The album became embedded into my psyche like a steak knife through a juicy, raw steak. The songs surrounded my bedroom and left echoing webs in the walls and in the ceiling. It was very special to little old defunct me. My punched and held down emotions came belting from Geoff Rickly's desperately panicked cries of pain. It felt like he was channeling my own isolation and gloom and that made it okay, tolerable.
   When something like that then crosses into the mainstream it becomes like an intrusion on that shared intensity, making it less so. It was difficult to handle in an over-the-top pathetic teenage way. When my favorite band, who's ill-fitting t-shirts I wore weekly, started to become known, it felt like betrayal, like my darkest secrets were being exposed. I can remember being snot-faced with a curled up frown at the lunch table with my friends and someone, smiling widely, saying that Thursday was my band with a mocking tone. I could only laugh along. It was ridiculous to let a universal appeal ruin something I cherished, but it did.
   What most likely did me in was probably the debut of their music video for "Understanding in a Car Crash" on MTV. That was the white flag moment. The wall was coming down. I watched the blurred clip with wide gushing eyes knowing that this thing I had held so dearly was no longer going to be mine.
"Full Collapse" was released April 10, 2001 on Victory Records.
   Early on I saw Thursday open for Saves The Day in a room crowded with Saves The Day admirers. Months later, after that video hit, they played the unwholesome basement of the Nile Theatre in Mesa, Arizona. The space was so jam packed with sweaty fans, dried out and thirsty, that I ended up pushed onto the small stage to the right of guitarist Steve Pedulla. Before the show started he politely reminded me, "just don't step on these pedals." I probably had no response, shocked into silence, and spent the set dodging the spear end of his guitar. Still one of the best shows I’ve witnessed. Top ten.
    As the years went on the bleeding heart poetry of Thursday came to be almost comical, an easy target, and the band never made another record quite as powerful. Emo and Screamo music blew up so much to the point that the all-American high school jocks who had once made fun of our ironic t-shirts, unkempt hair and glasses, were suddenly donning Thursday and Jimmy Eat World t-shirts trying to be our friends. But who knows? So, they kind of thought Full Collapse was cool. Maybe they, too, had some darkness lurking that the album could explain. Who was I to take that away from them?
    Over a decade later and most of the bands I discovered on KaZaa early on have rose to prominence with a quicker fade out. I have grown a lot since then and so, too, has the culture. Now, we share things. We share songs and albums with total strangers. And that's okay. Or, at least there's no stopping it, so why bother griping? All music from all eras is now available to us streaming and downloadable. We can relive the crusty gutter punk past or shake our hips to rare disco b-sides like our living rooms are Studio 54. In my Recent Downloads folder I have, side-by-side, without attempting to achieve any irony, The Misfits' 12 Hits From Hell and Selena Gomez's Revival. So, who really am I now?


source: http://imp

July 23, 2015

REVIEW: "Bees & Trees" by Numb Bats

Numb Bats Play Through the
Heatwave on Bees & Trees
The music of Numb Bats is a little like surf rock, one could say, if the waves that were being surfed upon were made of grease and glue. It’s punk rock dumped in a Gatorade cooler of molasses.
   Numb Bats is a three-piece all-girl group from Phoenix, Arizona where the sun shines harshly seven days a week. Mo Neuharth whacks on the kit, Sophie Opich makes the bass tremble and Emily Hobeheidar croons in the dark. All their voices are heard, though, piping up in the background.  
   On July 14, on their Bandcamp page, Numb Bats self-released their new 6-track EP, Bees & Trees. The collection opens with “Runnin,” a side-winding slog of sleepy-eyed punk with reverb that washes through the sewers and drains. The second song, "Rainbow," begins with dreamy arousal then wades into an ascending drum punch.
   Bees & Trees, their second EP, is the follow-up to last year's full-length album, Gentle Horror. It's hot and it’s humid. The structure of these songs is very disorderly, thrown-against-the-wall and unpredictable. They fill in the spaces where the song loses steam with a heavy fog of languorous drone. This is what it feels like to live and breathe in hundred-plus degree heat.
   And the temperature continues to rise with "Then I Went To The Refrigerator." The strands of feedback come together slowly. It’s the score to a house without air conditioning, the sound of your heavy eyelids deflecting the sun. It picks up, rupturing into Ren & Stimpy punk, before falling under again.
   Hobeheidar snarls and barks from the quicksand on “U R A WINNER.” “I feel so weird inside,” she intones again and again against a fire-pit pounding drum cycle. She sounds fed-up and bleary, caught in a downturn. But, all ends in fairness with a cheeky shout-out from all the girls singing and laughing, “You are a winner!”
   The most distinguished song here is the longest. "Dog Poncho," over five minutes, opens with voices in motion like a mirage on the distant highway. Steady thread of junkie guitar and effects that move from ear to ear like a wasp move the track along. It waltzes and loops through shifting bridges before crumbling into something that sounds like the B-52's after huffing a fair amount of rubber cement.
   Easy comparisons would be Dum Dum Girls or a less buzzy and distorted Raveonettes. But there is definitely a heavier DIY appeal and a bouncier bubblegum attitude. They’re definitely sculpting their own post-rock sound.
   The looseness and fragility on Bees & Trees is part of its charm, but is also a reminder that Numb Bats’ best work could be stuck up in the pipes somewhere, ready to spill out. The group are currently skinning the west half of the country on tour. Find them.

Key Tracks: "Dog Poncho," "Rainbow," "Then I Went To The Refrigerator"

source: http://imp

July 22, 2015

"the dog w/ da lazer eyes"

the dog w/ da lazer eyes (2015)
old paint on cut up piece of wood
eb

REVIEW: "Star Wars" by Wilco

Wilco Casually Drop New Album,
Star Wars, into the Web (Lucky Us)
   They’ve been celebrating twenty years of making music this summer with deluxe releases and discography-browsing setlists during a special anniversary tour. New music from Wilco felt somewhere close, not quite in reach, but somewhere on the distant horizon. Then, by way of Internet surprise, the Chicago band released Star Wars, their ninth album, for free.
   Eh, here you go.
   Main songwriter Jeff Tweedy and crew give us something to remember the summer by.
Stars Wars opens with a pile of rusty strings on the very loose, very cross-eyed, "EKG." The album quickly warps into "More..." a folk funk jam with oceans of noise settling onto the shore. By the third song, "Random Name Generator," a heel-hammering nugget of rock, it's clear that Wilco are back in the front seat as one of America's greatest bands. Ain’t no foolin’.
   In fact, Star Wars might join Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Sky Blue Sky as some of the most perfectly sculpted albums in rock and roll. For now, maybe, too soon to tell, but it feels right.
Nearly every song lasts right around the average length of the classic pop song--some two minutes and thirty seconds. Within the short time span the songs are just as evolutionary, tightly-wound and gusto-filled as Wilco's greatest tracks. The held-back restriction of Sky Blue Sky mixes with the full-range expansion of A Ghost Is Born.
   Slip into the casual breeze of “You Satellite” as it rises to a rushing wind. Ride the range on wisps of steel guitar during “Taste the Ceiling.” Get your shoulders up and shimmy along to the egged-on guitar of “Cold Slope.” “I know, I know and you know that I know / It’s a powerplay,” Tweedy sings in perfect gyration with the notes.
   Tweedy’s streaming sense of lyrical weirdness is fully intact on “The Joke Explained.” “I stare at the eyes staring at my face / It always ends in a tie / There is no meeting the divine / I cry at the joke explained,” he sings over the whirling electric guitar.
   "Pickled Ginger" charges forward in electric calm like a palm-muted version of Wire with sudden groove outbreaks and keyboard fallout. Tweedy warns in a low mumble, “No one tells me how to behave.” Star Wars is wrapped up neatly with a sweet, straight-forward love song that slips around. "Magnetized," is an ode to the realization of the love that stands before you.
   Since releasing their debut album, A.M., in 1995 this band has gone through one of the most exciting transformations in music, shedding old sounds, embracing new tones, letting the old sounds resurface in another genre, but always finding a way to make it sound cohesive, intentional. Star Wars continues the trend with a large arched step forward.
   As Wilco continues to tackle these new songs on tour through the fall, it ought to bring them even further out of whatever comfort zone they thought they had. Star Wars gets the physical CD release August 21 with a vinyl release on November 27 from Wilco’s own label, dBpm.

Key Tracks: "More...," "Random Name Generator," "Cold Slope," "Pickled Ginger"

source: http://imp