Posts Tagged ‘Pitchfork’
Well it seems somewhat that Pitchfork has stolen our idea for a playlist. No hard feelings; in fact I’m honored (or am I giving the Aphera Team too much credit here? *cheeky laugh*). Regardless of our ability to influence the indie powerhouse, their new feature at the very least inspired me to update our playlist. My sister is away on her spring break and she’s traditionally the one who’s really on top of the new music of today so I won’t attempt to fulfill where I know I can’t; thus, I present a spring time mix with the average age of the songs being 10 years old (jeeeeez I really need to get with the times).
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (RIP) – Little Girl (featuring Julian Casablancas)
Beck – Tropicalia
Battles – Rainbow
Lole Y Manuel – Bulerías De La Pena
Devendra Banhart – Carmencita
Aphera’s one-month anniversary fell on a good week; here in Baltimore we are celebrating restaurant week (mmm) and the release of Beach House’s new highly rated album, Teen Dream (represent!). The thing is, I do not say ‘highly rated’ lightly. Pitchfork gave Beach House a coveted 9 rating. Not that I think this album isn’t good, it’s just I can’t reconcile the discrepancy between Beach House = 9 while just a few days ago, my other band of the moment, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, was tanked at a 4.1
And worse yet, the description as to why the Magnetic Zeros deserved such a low score had something to do with the fact that they weren’t as good as the ‘real thing.’ I guess kind of like store brand cola is never as good as real Coca-Cola? Except the reviewer, Paul Thompson, used ‘Fruitopia’ as the object in the analogy. And since Fruitopia was introduced in 1994 when I was age 6 – I have no idea what it is. So when Thompson begins his article with ‘Remember Fruitopia?’ My answer is, no, actually I don’t. Therefore, I really can’t use your damn analogy to help me better understand why you tanked the Magnetic Zeros at 4.1 points.
So I scanned the rest of his article for some substance. Honest to god, the next best thing I found was, ‘But the admirably far-reaching results nevertheless come up short.’ Thompson, I’m genuinely interested in why the Magnetic Zeros come up short enough to be tanked at a 4.1 – your ridiculously long, adjective heavy, analogy reeking article was not even close to being sufficient enough to provide the answer and Beach House’s 9 rating did not help explain the situation either.
My personal opinion – Beach House’s Teen Dream is a smooth, coherent album. It begins beautifully with what sounds like a theme and expands elegantly in the middle to what resembles a development with songs like ‘Love of Mine’. I guess I would call it an album in sonata form (this is a stretch). But then at the end it comes to a nice recap just like the end of a classical piece. This natural inverted U shape indicating a climax in the middle and then a rest at the end makes the album a pleasant listen. Additionally, Victoria Legrand’s voice is award winning, sophisticated and ripe. Seriously, more little white people need to sound like big black women. Yet, even with all this, I feel like the 9 score should be reserved for something groundbreaking and this album, as concise as it is, is not groundbreaking. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the 80s and what doesn’t these days?!
Anyway – I feel like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, in all honesty, may not have displayed as much quality as Beach House did. So I’m not implying that they deserve a high score – but a 4.1? Listen to a song like ’40 Day Dream’. It’s unique and well crafted. A lot of complaints came from reviewers who said that the Magnetic Zeros just didn’t match up to the hippie stuff that came out of the 60s. One reviewer said that a lot of bands are doing what the Zeros do better these days. But he failed to pinpoint which ones. So, since I haven’t been an avid listener of that hippie stuff from either back in the day or from today, the Magnetic Zeros sound fresh to me and, of course, kind of sarcastic at times with songs like ‘Home.’ Don’t make the mistake of confusing their sarcasm for artificiality. Because – I think if you don’t take these guys too seriously, (and why would you?) you realize they actually produced an enjoyable and quality album.