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!

Audities: Best of 2009

Rank Artist // Album
1 Brendan Benson // My old, familiar friend
2 Roger Klug // More help for your nerves
3 Chris Richards // Sad sounds of the Summer
3 Jason Falkner // All Quiet on the Noise Floor
5 Green Day // 21st century breakdown
6 Paul Steel // Moon Rock
7 Phoenix // Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
8 David Mead // Almost And Always
8 Tinted Windows // Tinted Windows
10 Wilco // Wilco Continue reading

It’s a Three-for-All!

And now, a few eMusic Recommendifications for your consideration.

We’ll start with Jigsaw Days from The Well Wishers. This new release from Jeff Shelton (ex-Spinning Jennies) is among the top Power Pop releases of the year to date, and in addition to recalling artists like The Posies, Teenage Fanclub, Sloan, Supergrass and XTC, also has moments where it leans a bit heavier into the “Power” than the “Pop.” Like most bands working this genre, Shelton isn’t really looking to do anything new. But he’s doing a very good job cranking out earnest, tuneful guitar pop. Very cool, very recommended. Continue reading