Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top Ten Tracks on Elbo.Ws Reviewed in 50 Words or Less: 6/1/08--6/16/08

Bi-Weekly, MFR Reviews the top ten tracks on music blog aggregator Here are the songs for the weeks of June 1st through June 16th. Ethereal seems to be the watchword with these batch of songs. That, and Tilly and The Wall.

1. Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"

Download: Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"

Ethereal-fest 2008 kicks off with this Beach Boys gone County Fair-esque festival of harmonies and reverb. Familiar? To an extent. Drowning in catch melodies? Unquestionably. Resistance isn't futile, but Fleet Foxes definitely have the upper hand.

Grade: B+

2. Tilly and the Wall - "Pot Kettle Black"

Download: Tilly and the Wall - "Pot Kettle Black"

The Zepplin-esque stomp of this song might impress me more if an entire generation of early-aughts garage-bands (White Stripes, Black Keys, etc) hadn't gotten to it first. There's an energetic enthusiasm, certainly. But you can only sustain yourself on vibe so much. The breakdown is pretty amusing, though.

Grade: C

3. Sigur Ros - "Gobbledigook"

Download: Sigur Ros - "Gobbledigook"

Sigur Ros reinvent themselves as Animal Collective while keeping their trademark Icelandic etherealness. The pace is so quick that it sounds like the group is trying to make up time for all those 10-minute soundscapes. The quality of this track is high, so there's no need to hurry; effort's appreciated all the same though.

Grade: B+

4. Shearwater - "Leviathan, Bound"

Download: Shearwater - "Leviathan, Bound"

Speaking of ethereal, Austin-based art-rock quintet Shearwater's second single from its stunning Rook LP is compact, symphonic, and cinematic, driven by strings and glockenspiel. At the very least, Shearwater prove that epic songs don't have to spend epic amounts of time getting their point across.

Grade: A-

5. MGMT - Electric Feel (Justice remix)

Removed at the request of management.

It's not quite Thursday, but all this song makes me want to do is dance, dance, dance. "Electric Feel" has plenty of, um, feeling, but for a song that's makes me move, it feels strangely inert.

Grade: B

6. Dr. Dog - "The Old Days"

Download: Dr. Dog - "The Old Days"

Time to bust out the thesaurus. "The Old Days" has its share of...celestial harmonies and production techniques, it nonetheless fails to make any more of an impression that your slightly-better-than-average twee song does.

Grade: B-

7. Computer Vs. Banjo - "Give Up The Ghost"

Download: Computer Vs. Banjo - "Give Up The Ghost"

Not sure where the computer part is (at least during the verse), exactly, but the banjo sounds decent enough. The approach is novel, but the techno breakdown feels more like a token gesture than artistic revelation.

Grade: C+

8. Tilly and the Wall - "Cacophony"

Download: Tilly and the Wall - "Cacophony"

"Cacophony" is more in keeping with Tilly's old, folkier material, though its not more successful than "Pot Kettle Black" because of that fact. Rather, it sounds like the band is more in their element and, as a result, don't have to front a pose that they are uncomfortable making.

Grade: B

9. Joan as Police Woman - "To Be Loved"

Removed at the request of management.

Joan as Police Woman's vocals and smooth pop are certainly arresting, but, in order to be loved, this could maybe have taken a few more notes from someone more outre. Like Love.

Grade: B

10. Wolf Parade - "Language City"

Download: Wolf Parade - "Language City"

The second single from At Mount Zoomer is another solidly crafted, engagingly melodic track from a pair of songwriters who, while not topping anything from their debut, still manage to prove that they are no one-trick ponies either.


(Jonathan Graef)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you post the dr. dog song you speak of, plz?

10:15 AM  
Blogger MPLSFR said...

Anon 9:15 -
Should be fixed. If it isn't, let me know, and then I'll link to Stereogum's page of it.


10:45 AM  
Blogger jon jon said...

the new jump "Laguage City" by Wolf Parade is the sh*t.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Hey Jon Jon -
The new Wolf Parade record was streaming at their myspace for a while. Did you listen to any of it?

10:52 AM  

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