Dunce Cap Pop Top


Salim Nourallah
Hit Parade
Always great to hear something by Salim Nourallah, and this album just keys you right back into his laid back style and takes off.

Martha Wainwright
Come Home To Mama
Awesome to hear back from Martha, and this album has it all, slow ballads, high tempo rockers, acoustic, she even revisits some old songs. Lyrically as strong as ever, and she can really pull at your emotions.

Imani Coppola
The Glass Wall
I love the Little Jackie stuff, and this solo album from Imani definitely takes a much more modern approach (is that some dubstep?), but it is good stuff still, and really gets you moving.

Sara Melson
The Beachwood Canyon Sessions
Some slower acoustical, pianoish singer songwriter stuff make this a listenable and interesting EP. Hints at what could be done with a full album treatment, I think some variety would help, but still is a good listen.

Eytan and the Embassy
Everything Changes
You’d think I would get tired of hearing another guy singing guitar driven pop music, but it really never gets old. I think this guy does a pretty good job at it. It is quite a fun, danceable album.

A small duck reads his weekly newspaper, silently weeping

this is more than just reviews. this is a reviewalation.

Glen Phillips
Coyote Sessions
Glen Phillips is always a winner in my book…this group of acoustic recordings shows off some good songwriting skills and singing. Take a listen!

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
Wreck and Ruin
These two do a great job of this style of music. It is kind of just down and dirty country music, nothing too shiny on this release, which is really awesome. A great continuation of their last album.

Paul Carrack
Good Feeling
I don’t know about Paul Carrack, he has a good voice, but too often leans on the light-rock way of things. Nothing too spectacular on this one, but a strong effort none the less.

Hidden Pictures
Rainbow Records
OMG! This is fantastic! So much fun, just great pop songs, produced and sung well, makes you feel at home with the band, as if they have been your favorite band for 10 years, and this is just another in a long string of albums!

Blinker The Star
We Draw Lines
So-so release from this group, a few good turns here and there, but nothing spectacular. But glad to hear something new from the band, if you are a fan, go for it, if not, it might not do much for you.

Baby don’t be scared, it’s just a notion in your head.

That title is actually a quote from the great new EP by the Wellingtons: Hey Hey! Soon to be featured here. But check it out now! Anyways, on to this week’s reviews. Have fun!

Michael Kiwanuka
Home Again
A good retro-soul album, focusing more on ballads and both borrows from the past as well as adding a modern flair to it. You might think you are listening to something recorded in the 60s or 70s, but it doesn’t sound like it’s stuck in that era.

Ilse DeLange
Eye of the Hurricane
It bills itself as country, but it does not sound like the pop-country you get on the radio. It is more just good pop music, while the subject matter relies on basically tried and true material; she sings it well and really sells it.

Jim Noir
Jimmy’s Show
Very cool record again. While it is deeply inspired by 60’s pop, it has an atmosphere that is very modern. He doesn’t approach the songwriting in a conventional way, and catches me by surprise many times. That is necessary, I think, to make this music relevant and engaging. Jim succeeds in this in a big way.

The 2nd Law
Good stuff from them, a little more down to earth record. The last one left me cold, and was a bit of an overreach. This brings it back to just normal songs, and is pretty good, still the band can be a bit same-y after a while, and this album does not necessarily bring it to a level above that.

Bob Mould
Silver Age
The name Bob Mould has been in my vocabulary for a while, but I have never really delved in to his catalog. I decided to give the new album a listen, and I’m not convinced. I’m obviously looking for a bit more poppyness, and it just kind of seems like a lot of intense shouting, and not much melody. And that’s today’s completely misinformed review!

Can you break a twenty? I need a change.

5 bucks. That’s all it costs to read these reviews and then buy one song off each album on the digital store of your choice. Why not try it?

The White Wires
Fun garage rock, a little punky power poppy gritty and engaging. Interesting song subjects also make this worth a listen. Pretty durn good if you ask me.

Tom Brislin
Hurry Up and Smell the Roses
A more expansive sound is what this album is all about. It’s about stretching your expectations and building something new. I think Brislin does a great job of experimenting and playing, without abandoning the most important thing: the listener.

Ben Folds Five
The Sound of the Life of the Mind
I was a little wary after hearing the first song, but you really have to see it in the context of the album, and accept the sound. It is a little jarring at first, until you reacquaint yourself with the BF5 sound and see that this is a progression right from where they left off. Great stuff!

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Meat and Bone
This band is like a garage rock band, but a bit too polished for my tastes. While they have the sound down, the songs themselves really don’t stand out very well. Nothing grabbed me.

The Origin of Love
I love Mika a lot. While it veers a bit far to the dance pop side often, it has a creative bent that makes a real impact. It is not empty pop. This album is very good and unique and interesting.

A Surprisingly Unreasonable Offer

Are you ready for the earthquake? The earthquake of dreams?

Frank Bango
Good stuff from Bango who has his talents on full display. It may take a couple listens to sink in, but he has a way with a melody that is unique and worth seeking out.

Jonny Polonsky
Intergalactic Messenger of Divine Light and Love
Jonny Polonsky is weird. Sometimes he can be very poppy and sometimes he’s a little more hard edged. This album adds a layer of incomprehensible lyrics that make little to no sense. A couple good songs, but not much to grab onto.

Smash Mouth
Listen, they might be just recycling and not really original, and kind of pandering to a certain audience, but I like some of it. They somehow make fun pop songs that are just fun and nothing to think too much about.

The Sheepdogs
The Sheepdogs
Their EP was a slice of Creedence Clearwater Revival revival rock, it was kind of interesting as a novelty, but I wondered if they could do more with it. So this album is not just CCR revisited, it pulls in a few other influences, none of which really help their cause. It is uneven, and doesn’t feel “real” whatever that means.

of Montreal
Daughter of Cloud
I don’t really “get” the whole Georgie thing, I think I’m tired of it though. I kind of want to feel like there is some sort of truth behind it. Even most of of Montreal’s catalog is utter nonsense, I need a little more to really plant itself in my mind. Let’s face it; I just want playground silliness again.