Friday, August 15, 2008

Top Ten Tracks on Reviewed in 50 Words or Less: 8/01/8--8/15/08

(Bat for Lashes)

1. Bat for Lashes - "A Forest"

Download: Bat for Lashes - "A Forest"

Bats for Lashes cover of an early Cure staple trades the original's stark, goth-infused minimalism for a similarly moody, folk trip-hop pastiche. A solid example of how to retain the essentials of an original while adding your own defining characteristics.

Grade: B

2. Kings of Leon - "Sex on Fire"

Download:Kings of Leon - "Sex On Fire"

If you're trying to write a passionate, libidinous rock anthem, it's probably for the best that you don't invoke a dude known for cheeseball power ballads. Also, not a good idea to have a song title whose immediate reaction is "ouch".

Grade: D

3. Of Montreal - "Id Engager"

Download:Of Montreal - "Id Engager"

Speaking of uncontentious desires, this Parliament-and-ABBA-referencing disco-funk freak-out seeks to liberate listeners from phallocentric tyranny or, more likely, the confines of the dance floor. Odd transitions aren't as special as the band thinks they are, but this song is almost as engaging as anything from Fauna.

Grade: B+

4. Kings of Leon - "Crawl"

Download: Kings of Leon - "Crawl"

This unofficial re-write of The Who's "The Seeker" propels itself nicely on a thick, distortion heavy bass line and Townshend-esque power chords. At the very least, it burns the memory of "Sex on Fire" from my musical palette.

Grade: B

5. John Legend - "Green Light" (feat. Andre 3000) (MSTRKFT Remix)

Download: John Legend (feat. Andre 3000) - "Green Light" (MSTRKRFT Remix)

A ballad-cum-club-anthem in the vein of Usher's "Love in this Club", the blend of soul seduction and rap come-on gets a full-on dance makeover by MSTRKFT. The melody proves to be still irresistible, but the remix kings are re-using their bag tricks.

Grade: B-

6. The Kills - "Cheap and Cheerful"

Download: The Kills - "Cheap and Cheerful" (SebastiAn Remix)

"I want you to be crazy/cuz you're bored, baby/when you're sane". I know exactly what you mean.

Grade: C+

7. The Vivian Girls - "Where Do You Run To?"

Download: Vivian Girls - "Where Do You Run To"

The Raveonettes.

Grade: C

8. Franz Ferdinand - "Lucid Dreams"

Download: Franz Ferdinand - "Lucid Dreams"

A new non-album track surfaces, and finds the dance-punk revivalist staying solid and consistent, with their love of hi-hats, sharp downstrokes, and tongue-in-cheek humor intact. The continuation of Beatles-esque harmonies from their last LP is still a pleasant surprise

Grade: B

9. Conor Oberst - "Danny Callahan"

Download: Conor Oberst - "Danny Callahan"

The Bright Eyes frontman creates a carefree, swaying honky-tonk ode to an unfortunate, but resilient soul. Simply put, this is a song that makes me smile.

Grade: B+

10. Bark Hide and Horn - "Treasure of the Everglades"

Download: Bark Hide and Horn - "Treasure of the Everglades"

Umm...I don't know how to tell you this but, (Conor Oberst is right above you). It's probably not a good idea to bite his shit. Just a thought. Nice French Horn, though.

Grade: C+

(Jonathan Graef)

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Blogger jon jon said...

Bat For Lashes,Franz Ferndinand and The Vivian Girls have been in "heavy rotation" like woo.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

I like the Bat for Lashes and the Franz Ferdinand. Vivian Girls, not so much.

What else have you been rockin' lately, Jon Jon. I just downloaded the new Seun Kuti album. It's pretty excellent.

2:00 PM  
Blogger jon jon said...

The Dears,Soild Gold,Dog Bite,GZA, Brendan Canning...hmmmm

9:47 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

Cool. I've been meaning to check out the BSs solo albums for quite some time. I hope I'll get around to it.

7:37 PM  
Blogger David Griffith said...

Check this out, you can get a Kings of Leon Laptop sleeve at

12:22 PM  

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