Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Music Smorgasbord: Deerhoof, Jenny Lewis, White Lies (Crystal Castles Remix), El Guincho, Restavrant, These United States

(Jenny Lewis)

Download: Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"
Download: Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"
Download: White Lies - "Death" (Crystal Castles Remix)"
Download: El Guincho - "Palmitos Park"
Download: Restavrant - "Joe D"
Download: These United States - "Get Yourself Home..."

It's that time again! When my digital stack of MP3s gets to be ever so high, I like to comply all of the tracks for a feature titled new music smorgasbord. Here are the tracks on the playlist:

Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

The title track of the Rilo Kiley frontwoman's second solo album shares some characteristics of her debut (gospel influences, narratives about damaged people), but takes on a distinctly analog production technique. That aesthetic decision allows for bone-chilling, multi-track harmonies that haven't heard since the 70s. The lyrics may be trite at times, but the music is wholly engaging. The chorus is the most poignant thing you've heard all year.

Grade: A-

White Lies - "Death" (Crystal Castles Remix)

The Editors wanna-bes get remixed by everyone's favorite digital anarchists/maybe plagarists. A textbook example of how a remix can improve on an original tenfold.

Grade: B

Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"

A palatable, but strangely anti-climatic, offering from the art-pop pioneers. Long on melody, but still leaves the listener wanting more.

Grade: B-

El Guincho - "Palmitos Park"

A Spanish-language throwback to the days when doo-wop reigned supreme on the nation's airwaves. Again, lots to offer in the way of melody and production, but the track ends suddenly, and there's only one real section here that's repeated over and over again.

Grade: B-

Restavrant - "Joe D"

A compelling novelty does not a good song make, but the banjo-cum-technology stomp of this track remains irresistible to all who hear it.

Grade: B+

These United States - "Get Yourself Home..."

This alt-country jangle finally starts to get interesting around the breakdown. Otherwise, it's pretty mundane.

Grade: C

Listen to all of these tracks at the top of the post.

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