Category Archives: pop

Review: De Novo Dahl – Move Every Muscle, Make Every Move

Label: Roadrunner Records Released: March 25, 2008 De Novo Dahl find themselves in the difficult position of following up their amazing Shout EP with a full-length release. Even if they were able to reproduce the exuberance of “Shout” (the best musical expression of joy since U2’s “Beautiful Day”) over the course of the entire album, I think it may well… Read more »

Review: Vendetta Valentine – There’s Nothing Safe

Label: self-released Released: March 4, 2008 The opening track of There’s Nothing Safe sounds like a cross between 80s synth pop and the Runaways. Over the course of the album, they throw in alt rock, new wave and post-punk. It may sound like a pretty bland stew that they’ve cooked up here, but they’ve largely taken the strengths of these… Read more »

Review: Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – We Brave Bee Stings and All

Label: Kill Rock Stars Released: January 29, 2007 We Brave Bee Stings and All begins and ends like it may be a simple twee pop album. Both songs have a thin, light pop sound that could be mistaken for a novelty. What happens between those two songs, however, is anything but. There is no doubt that a twee influence runs… Read more »

Review: Steel Train – Trampoline

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Label: Drive-Thru Records Released: October 16, 2007 Trampoline is aptly titled, because the album has a lot of bounce and not the teeny-bopper kind of bounce either. This bounce is the combined force of Steel Train’s energy and elasticity. The band’s biggest influence is perhaps the Beatles (and who would complain?) and they draw on everything from early jangly pop… Read more »

Review: Ringo Starr – Liverpool 8

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Label: Capitol/EMI Released: January 15, 2008 Can Ringo Starr do anything without seeming like a goof? He was the comic relief for the Beatles and he’s continued in that role during his solo career, including his latest release, Liverpool 8. It’s a bit of a sentimental journey for Ringo it seems, but not one with a lot of depth. It… Read more »

Review: Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full (Deluxe Edition)

Label: Hear Music Released: November 6, 2007 I reviewed the standard release of Memory Almost Full already, so this review will focus on the additional material: three bonus tracks and a DVD. The bonus tracks are all clearly B-side material. The best of the bunch, “In Private,” is an instrumental that might work as an album track, but certainly doesn’t… Read more »

Review: Birds of Avalon – Bazaar Bazaar

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Label: Volcom Entertainment Released: May 22, 2007 If I were to write that Birds of Avalon mix grandiose prog, upbeat power pop and riffy psych and leave it at that, most people would scratch their heads and just assume that Bazaar Bazaar was an erratic affair that couldn’t possibly find itself. That assumption seems like a good one, but it’s… Read more »

Review: Clare and the Reasons

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Label: Frog Stand Records Released: September 4, 2007 Clare and the Reasons find their inspiration somewhere between the old pop standards of the 40s and 50s and a vaudeville show, but their music is only partially a revival because they bring their modern selves into the mix. It’s clearly intended to have a retro feel, yet all the years of… Read more »

DVD: Paul McCartney – The McCartney Years

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Label: Rhino Released: November 13, 2007 Like Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles career, this collection is erratic. Some of it is amazing, some is trite, some is timeless and some is dated. The first disc is by far the least interesting. While some of the very early classics are on there, the videos generally show Paul’s escape to a pastoral life that… Read more »

Review: De Novo Dahl – Shout

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Label: Roadrunner Records Released: 2007 I’m gonna cut to the chase here. “Shout” is the biggest slice of musical joy I’ve heard since U2 released “Beautiful Day” seven years ago. The song bursts with unadulterated happiness. It’s hooks and harmonies grab you right from the start. A tide of pop beauty rolls in on driving rhythms, infectious bass lines and… Read more »