Friday, October 17, 2008

Top Ten Tracks on Reviewed in 50 Words or Less: 10/01/8--10/15/08

(The Legends)

1. The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Download: The Legends - "Seconds Away"

Swedish noise-pop group offers palatable fuzz and hummable, heavenly harmonies, but can't help but suffer in comparison to The Magnetic Fields chain of Distortion issued earlier this year.

Grade: B-

2. Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

Download: Vampire Weekend - "Ottoman"

From Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a song that showcases both the meritable aspects of VW's songwriting (including a admittedly sophisticated sense of songcraft) and their risible tendencies (afro-pop affectation). The former wins, but barely.

Grade: C+

3. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Download: Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

Jenny Lewis' poignant tale of a former drug user's quest for redemption still benefits massively from the juxtiposition created from the lush, multi-tracked harmonies and raw, analog production. Like a luminescent star in a pitch black sky, Lewis' voice and tasteful songwriting remain beautiful over multiple listens.

Grade: A-

4. Buffetlibre DJs - "Verbena no.5"

Download: Buffetlibre DJs - "Verbena no.5"

Another marathon dance mixtape from a credible source for the stuff.

Grade: B

5. Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"

Download: Deerhoof - "Offend Maggie"

One of the more subdued tracks from Deerhoof's most rock-oriented album, "Offend Maggie" subtly shifts from Led Zepplin III acoustic mystery to merry, singsongy melodic journey in a yellow submarine; grows upon multiple listens.

Grade: B

6. Katy Perry - Electric Feel (MGMT Cover)

Download: Katy Perry - "Electric Feel" (MGMT Cover)

For someone so insistent on sensational, but utterly unremarkable, novelty, this cover is both sensational and novel, insofar as that it's actually listenable.

Grade: B

7. Britney Spears - "Womanizer"

Download: Britney Spears - "Womanizer"

In the most literal terms possible, an odd, electro-pop blend of "Toxic" and The Turtles' "Happy Together". Repeating a word over and over again does not constitute a chorus. For a comeback single, this doesn't even stand up to the best of Blackout.

Grade: C

8. Crystal Stilts - "Shattered Shine"

Download: Crystal Stilts - "Shattered Shine"

Another retro bit of dream-pop, taking its cues from The Ronettes and The Jesus and Mary Chain, albeit with an harmonica line straight out of Dylan's Route 66. Mumbly vocals and general indifference to distinctive songcraft elicits nothing more than a shrug from listeners.

Grade: C

9. Brett Dennen - "Make You Crazy" feat. Femi Kuti

Download: Brett Dennen - "Make You Crazy" feat. Femi Kuti

In the time it takes me to give this milquetoast frat-pop the panning it deserves, I could instead direct you to one of the many talented Kutis still making music today.

Grade for Brent Dennen: C
Grade for Femi Kuti: A-

10. Kanye West Vs. MGMT - "Electric Touch"

Download: Kanye West Vs. MGMT - "Electric Touch"

The mash-up between one of Kanye West's early hits, and up-and-comers MGMT latest hit, this is pretty much what you would expect. Still, I danced.

Grade: B-

(Jonathan Graef)

No comments: