Thursday, May 01, 2008

Top Ten Tracks on Elbo.Ws Reviewed in 50 Words or Less: 4/16/08--4/30/08

Bi-monthly, MFR reviews the top ten tracks on music blog aggregator Here are the songs that were most popular amongst music blogs from April 16th through April 30th. Kids sure do love them some Last Shadow Puppets, don't they?

1. My Morning Jacket - "Evil Urges"

The title track from the Louisville-based My Morning Jacket's upcoming fifth record begins as a space-rock pastiche before blasting off into the group's more familiar indie-jam territory, all done underneath Jim James' best Curtis Mayfield impression. A departure, for sure, but a successful one, for the most part. Never has the band sounded so soulful.

Grade: B+

2. Wolf Parade - "Call It a Ritual"

The mournful, piano-driven jauntiness of "Call It a Ritual" doesn't really differentiate itself from the Canadian quintet's past material in terms of feel. Of course, when your first album knocked the indie world's socks off their asses, you probably don't feel so compelled to change things up. However, am I complaining? No.

Grade: B+

3. The Last Shadow Puppets - "The Age of the Understatement"

A live rendition of the Arctic Monkey's offshoot title track, there's a little bit of a locomotive pace to this song. Turner's croon and a fuzzy, echo-y guitar line prove to be the focal points of the track. The harmonizing is a little off at times, but all in all, this is a solid performance.

Grade: B

4. My Brightest Diamond - "Inside a Boy"

The odd flaw of My Brightest Diamond's debut record was that it was a little too well-crafted. As a rock album, it could have used more shambolic energy. "Inside a Boy", doesn't quite kick out the jams, but it does make effective use of vocals and guitar to create an anxious atmosphere reminiscent of Radiohead.

Grade: B

5. Lykke Li - "Dance Dance Dance"

Before releasing her debut album, Swedish songstress Lykke Li gives listeners a foretaste of the feast to come by releasing an EP of material, from which "Dance Dance Dance" is taken. From the first impression given by this single, "Dance Dance Dance" should be one of many solid, sugary pop numbers.

Grade: B

6. Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"

Though Fleet Foxes may modestly claim that they're "not much of a rock band", they sure do know how to coalesce its ancestors (country, gospel, and choral music) into songs that are hopelessly harmonic. "White Winter Hymnal" sounds like the future of the music they supposedly are not much of. How's that for irony?

Grade: A-

7. M83 - "Graveyard Girl"

Download: M83 - "Graveyard Girl"

If The Jesus And Mary Chain (who picked up where your precious Echo left off) ever wrote an anthemic prom song, this would probably be it. M83 perfectly captures the emotional experience of adolescence, where being enamored of love is as equally important as actually being in love. Shoegazer and synth-pop never sounded so grandiose.

Grade: A

8. The Last Shadow Puppets - "My Mistakes Were Made For You"

Who knew that Alex Turner was a fan of Sinatra's Frank and Nancy? This elegant pop song, a tale of regret about how innocence and arrogance intertwine, bears a musical resemblance to the latter's orchestral pop songs with Burt Bacharach, but delivered with the croon of the former. Surprisingly well-done.

Grade: B+

9. Weezer - "Pork And Beans"

The best Weezer single to come from this decade. Granted, in the context of "Beverly Hills", that's not saying a whole lot. But by revisiting old glories (a little "Buddy Holly" in the chorus, a little "El Scorcho" in the verse), Weezer have finally started to recaptur the essence of what made them expert pop-smiths to begin with.

Grade: B

10. No Age - "Eraser"

"Eraser" may not be the most groundbreaking song written (indeed, Deerhunter and Liars have beaten No Age to the 21st-century noise-recontextualized-as-pop punch), but as far as marrying the ambient guitar collages of My Bloody Valentine with the off-kilter melodic sensibilities of late 90s Modest Mouse, this track is tops.

Grade: A-

(Jonathan Graef)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

err.. wrong link for Thae Last Shadow Puppest "My Mistakes Were Made For You"
you accidentally put m83's link again, haha

4:06 PM  

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