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neumu
Friday, October 24, 2014 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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No Doubt
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Rock Steady
Interscope
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When people criticize pop music for lacking substance — or the more dramatic term "soul" — the criticism not only misses the point of manufactured, mass-marketed music, it also falls foul of the old axiom: be careful what you wish for. Substance is something that cannot be conjured; no sleight-of-hand can stir up soul, so what you get when the world of the album-sleeve Financial Management credit tries the impossible is something like the new Pink record, Missundaztood, in which soul somehow equates with acoustic guitars and co-writes with that-chick-from-4-Non-Blondes. Or the last No Doubt record, Return of Saturn, in which a desire to make an earnest, emotional and (tee-hee) artistic effort manifested as a set co-written and produced by Glen Ballard. Which meant that, in its moments of soul/substance, that album sounded rather like Fleetwood Mac. Circa Tango in the Night. No Doubt follow this with Rock Steady, another album that sounds terminally '80s. Only this time it's meant to. The impressive productional cast of Nellee Hooper, Sly & Robbie, Ric Ocasek and Prince remake the band in a makeover of montage-in-front-of-the-mirror proportions, ditching the dubious kiddie-ska/power-ballad marriage of the band's real-bad, real-rockband past and styling them up as modern-day pop-mannequins in a flurry of sonic hairspray, inhaled as conceptual chroming, Gwen Stefani and the increasingly anonymous guys huffed out while being dressed up and made up in the shiniest and kitschiest of authentic-sounding retro-tone. Thus the album is really just another example of a popular act adhering to a popular trend, with the record's eliding of rock instruments and emphasis on inventive production following the producer-as-star path trodden by the sizeable footsteps of Rodney Jerkins, Timbaland and The Neptunes. That said, Rock Steady certainly isn't that good, and at times it's rather bad (usually when Ocasek gets a bit Cars). But it does have its moments, most of which come at the hands of Hooper, who actually understands the productional aesthetic of dub. Meaning that, with his help, the combo's dilettantish dalliances with loves like lovers' rock actually sound, this time, like they should sound: like No Doubt actually know what they're flirtatiously fooling with. Thus, there's a purity even when the light is reflected through an almost opaque post-modern prism, with their contemporary rock-steady, off the beat on the eponymous closing track, sounding absolutely magnificent as Hooper brings parts in and out across the horizontal plane.


by Anthony Carew




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