Tracey Thorn: Out of the Woods
When i heard Tracey Thorn was putting out a solo record, i got very excited. Then i heard the first single and was pleased to say the least. Tracey is one of my favorite vocalists, even though i wasn't an EBTG fan until they got all electronica. I'm a big fan to this day. I'm glad that on "Out of the Woods" Tracey didn't copy cat the EBTG/Ben Watt uber deep soulful house and downtempo sound. I got a little scared when i heard the opening track...very EBTG pre-electronica and not the best way to open up. Then the down beat heavy bassline track A-Z comes on and my trunk is rattling. Great song, tight beat. On "It's all True" Tracey Thorn gets production that sounds very Metro Area(great Group and CD, BTW). Her vocals compliment the synths so well it gave me chills. The album is a bit of a rollercoaster, not sticking to a particular tempo but remains consistent being feel good music...ironic since Thorns Lyrics are so freaking sad! The song writing is very good as usual but some of the song titles are a little odd. I think Tracey has been hangin' in the Hip-Hop clubs, with titles like "Hands up to the ceiling" and the Album closer "Raise the Roof". Ok the record s have no hip-hop flavor but still, we've stopped raising the roof years ago Tracey. But musically Out of the Woods is brilliant and vocally Tracey is as amazing as ever. Key cuts other than "A-Z" & "It's all True" are Grand Canyon which is another electro soulful house cut and the downtempo joint "Get Around to It". Out of the Woods is not classic but still a very good release. (****)
LCD Soundsystem: Sound Of Silver
I love LCD Soundsystem, loved the first albums and all the singles that came before it. With the new album "Sound Of Silver", i wont be tuning out any time soon.
S.O.S.(I wonder if James Murphy hates the acronym) is much more consistent with the four to the floor beats than their previous effort. I was kinda wanting another "Too Much" but, it's all good. This album satisfies. The beat keeps going and going and doesn't slow down till the album closer "New York, I love you but you're bringing me down". And for LCD this is their best non dance track yet. But for you disco punks and DFA fans Sound of Silver delivers the good. S.O.S's opener "Get Innocuous!" is brilliant, with it's super long intro, giving all those lovely electronic sounds to fade in Individually. Vocally S.O.S. goes in many different directions which i like and especially since his voice is not hella great and at times Mr. Murphy can be a little odd on the ears. For some reason it just works here. For the fans of "Daft Punk is playing..." we now have "North American Scum" which is the lead single. I think most US citizens who are conscious enough to know whats wrong with us can get a kick out of this record and dance to it as well. I love the line at the end that we can't blame Canada. It's funny because it's true. The standout song for me is "Someone Great" which is perfect from start to finish.
Sound of Silver is one for the collectors of this dance rock movement that was starting to fade out until James Murphy decided to keep it alive and interesting. (****)
San Ilya: They Died for Beauty
I actually bought this one on I-Tunes, couldn't wait to hit the stores next morning. So I heard "Bellissimo" for the first time in full 2 weeks ago and that's when it hit me, that's the song from that revlon commercial. I've seen this record on the shelves and passed it up, probably because there was no listening station and I'd never heard of them. Straight outta Bristol, the place that gave birth to such acts as Portishead and Massive Attack(and much more), San Ilya are very melodic and moody in some sections, but over all have an amazing sound. Singer Joanna Swan, has this thick bassy voice that's deep and sexy. Probably the best female voice in electronica since Tracy Thorn. As for the songs itself, they are nothing short of brilliant. "Quatta Neon" is a stunning track with it's funky bass, drums and percussion that are just so alive. Slow songs like "Bliss" and "Pretty Baby" are beautiful and haunting at times. "Heavenly" is one of my favorites, if not my favorite. The horns, the drums, her voice, the progression of the song is amazing. "Happy and Weak" is sweet and epic. The final cut which is the title track "They Died for Beauty" let's Joanna's voice really be heard as she belts out this tune ever so perfect. Portishead was my favorit group to come out of Bristol and I still olve them to death, but San Ilya is the group to replace Portishead, assuming they won't release a new album. Just take out the pain of beth and replace it with a more loving sound. Buy it!!! (*****)