So here’s another week, with another batch of reviews. I wanted to address my rating system. I feel bad, like I am always giving people 3 stars or thereabouts, which doesn’t give much to work with. It stems from this 4 star rating system, which is limiting, I suppose. I like it to be limiting, because it makes it easier for me to keep track of it. So I am going to try to explain my ratings:
4 stars – Excellent, almost perfect, definitely a candidate for my year-end list.
3 1/2 stars – Excellent, but not perfect. There is some aspect of it I am unsure of.
3 stars – Average, definitely something I like, but unsure if it will stick with me into the future.
2 1/2 stars – Good, but not great. Usually I dislike a few tracks, or elements of the songs
2 stars – I could do without ever hearing it, it might have only one or two good songs.
1 1/2 stars – Would probably give it away or just be non-chalant towards it.
1 star – Awful, something I never want to hear again.
1/2 star – Worthless pile of horribleness.
Tommy Keene – In The Late Bright – *** – Can’t go wrong with Tommy Keene, and this album is no exception, great atmosphere, great tunes, great singing, it all just works together great.
Eleni Mandell – Artificial Fire – ***1/2 – Eleni Mandell has really stepped it up in her last few albums, and has really created a sound of all her own. This album is great, tons of great songs, and a lot of variety throughout.
Clem Snide – Hungry Bird – *** – They are back, thankfully, with another great record. It picks up right where they left off, with great songs and that cool style that we come to associate with them.
Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You – **1/2 – Haven’t really listened to Lily Allen much, I kind of liked a couple songs off the first album, but was wary that the sound might get old a bit, so I never listened to the whole thing. So I thought I’d give the new one a shot. It is a cool sound, and she seems to be doing a variety of things on this record, but in the end, it did seem a bit repetitive and too self-aware for my tastes.
Chris Isaak – Mr. Lucky – **1/2 – A bit too milquetoast for my tastes, but I do like his sound. I got his last album from 2002 or so, and enjoyed it a lot…this one seems to be a bit more mainstream, and so, except for a few cool songs, it falls flat.