As fun as it is to complain about “music these days,” and how it’s all been downhill since The Chronic came out, it’s even MORE fun to listen to — wait for it — good music. Every Tuesday, a.k.a. Music Release Day, we’ll highlight five albums worth (legally) downloading or driving to the local Best Buy (lolz) for. (Banner via)
Today, we’ve got selections from Atoms for Peace, Johnny Marr, Mount Moriah, and more.
AMOK by Atoms for Peace
AMOK is a later-day Radiohead album in everything but name only. Were you to place tracks like “Judge, Jury, and Executioner” and “Default” in a mix alongside selections from The King of Limbs, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Thom Yorke’s work with his moneymaker band and his supergroup side-project, with Flea, Nigel Godrich, and Joey Waronker. With its rhythm section emphasis, guitars are mostly nowhere to be found on AMOK, and like Yorke himself, who favors his falsetto throughout, the album has a spastic feel to it, as if it were produced by caffeine. It’s wiggly, throbbing, and although it doesn’t demand attention in the way Kid A and OK Computer do, AMOK rests nicely in that same “pleasant groove” category as Limbs and The Eraser.
Miracle Temple by Mount Moriah
A welcome addition to the alt-country family, with lush arrangements, sweet sad vocals from Heather McEntire, and lyrical messages that suggest better times gone by. To be listened with a glass of whiskey nearby.
Revolution Cocktail by REKS
For more on Reks fourth album in three years, check out the Smoking Section.
Anxiety by Autre Ne Veut
An intoxicating mixture of Frank Ocean’s therapeutic R&B and the xx’s chilly soul, Anxiety, Autre Ne Veut’s second album, is enchanting and yearning enough to suggest something new — wisely, the high-voiced Arthur Ashin knows his limitations as a singer, hence why he sounds like he’s recording in a bedroom, not begging you to join him in the bedroom — but recognizable enough to feel familiar. Or in Ashin’s words, “I like the idea of being able to f*ck with expectations.” Expectations, f*cked.
The Messenger by Johnny Marr
Freed from the confines of the Smiths, Modest Mouse, the Cribs, and about a billion other bands, Johnny Marr finally has an album to call his own with The Messenger. The fantastically precise-yet-loose guitar work is still there, but, well, there’s a reason Morrissey was the songwriter. Although jumping jangly tracks like “The Right Thing Right” are immediate earworms, the lyrics are also instantly forgettable, and Marr’s vocals are without distinction. The Messenger isn’t a bad album by any means (it’s actually quite pleasant and charming, in a very specific British way, at times), but in a career full of “I Know It’s Over”s, this one’s more of a “Barbarism Begins at Home.”