Your basket is empty

Categories :



Pop/Rock - Released December 14, 2007 | Red Ink - Columbia

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
When MGMT were asked by their record label for a list of their dream producers, with low expectations they sarcastically replied: Prince, Nigel Godrich, Barack Obama, and "not Sheryl Crow." Columbia returned with Dave Fridmann, the producer extraordinaire best known for his work with Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. In typical Fridmann fashion, Oracular Spectacular is a glamorous mega-production through and through. Drums are massively distorted and shimmering keyboards are articulately layered as he takes the reins, leading the duo through his daisy chain of onboard compressors, delay units, and whatever other mysterious studio gizmos and gadgets he uses to get his trademark sound. Expectedly, the 14-karat polish enhances MGMT's blend of psychedelic and indie-electro to a shiny sonic gleam, resulting in some of the catchiest pop songs to come from N.Y.C. since the turn of the millennium. The tunes sound classic and new all at once, paying homage to Bowie, the Kinks, and the Stones, while updating traditional progressions with flashes of Royal Trux, Ween, and LCD Soundsystem. It's a wonderful mess of musical ideas, ranging from the dancy disco thump and Bee Gees falsetto of "Electric Feel" to the gritty acoustic-based "Pieces of What," to the grimy synth groove on the anthemic "Time to Pretend." With tongues planted firmly in cheeks, sardonic wit is as abundant as Andrew Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser spoof the stereotypical rock & roll lifestyle with lines like "Lets make some music, make some money, find some models for wives/I'll go to Paris take some heroin and fuck with the stars." Despite the ever-present irony, the songs never feel insincere and the record is inherently strong throughout, making it a solid start to their career. © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo

Pop - Released October 3, 2006 | Red Ink - Columbia


Rock - Released October 3, 2006 | Red Ink - Columbia


Pop/Rock - Released August 29, 2006 | Red Ink - Columbia


Alternative & Indie - Released June 13, 2006 | Red Ink - Columbia

The sticker affixed to the initial pressings of Brandi Carlile's eponymous 2005 major-label debut trumpet that the singer/songwriter is an "artist to watch" by Rolling Stone, Interview, and Paste. Those accolades, combined with cover artwork that captures her at her cutest -- as if she were a cousin of Rachael Leigh Cook -- might make some listeners suspicious of Carlile, since the cumulative effect makes her seem like a pretty, prepackaged creation. One listen to her absolutely terrific debut immediately dispels these notions. From the moment "Follow" seeps out of the speakers, it's clear that Carlile isn't a prefabricated pop star. For starters, she's a powerful, captivating vocalist, clearly influenced by Jeff Buckley, but lacking the mannered theatrical histrionics that could occasionally creep into his work. She's quieter and intimate, slowly pulling listeners into her tales of love and loss. While her words and topics may not be bracing, her music is: it's rich, warm, and seductive, familiar in its form and sound, yet sounding fresh, even original, particularly in how her folky singer/songwriter foundation blends with her art-pop inclinations. Her music ebbs and flows with long, languid melodies, strummed acoustic guitars, and her surging vocals, creating an album that's ideal for introspective, late-night listening. Carlile is supported by guitarist Tim Hanseroth and his bassist twin brother Phil (they're billed as "The Twins" in the production credits for the album), and they're not mere support, they're collaborators, co-writing several songs (Tim writes "What Can I Say" on his own), and giving the album the graceful, liquid musicality that makes it such a rewarding, addictive listen. The best thing about Brandi Carlile is that it not only doesn't sound like a debut, it sounds like a record that exists out of time and place -- which means it's not only a superb debut, it's a hell of a record by any measure. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

Pop/Rock - Released February 21, 2006 | Red Ink - Columbia

Say Seattle outside of Washington state, and the inevitable response is Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. But besides those Emerald City rock monsters, the city has also hosted pop heroes the Posies and a thriving punk scene, as MXPX fans will quickly acclaim. Young guns the Lashes fall somewhere between these two latter musical threads, "stroppy pop for now people." They certainly attack their songs with all the fervor of any self-respecting punk band, but their arrangements are much denser and rock-flecked, hailing back to the halcyon days of the late '70s, when surly pop-rockers like the young Tom Petty and even wacky Cheap Trick could lay claim to punkdom or at least to riding the new wave. Following up on their much acclaimed debut EP The Stupid Stupid, the Lashes now return with their first full-length, Get It, and indeed you should. Storming across 11 songs, well nine, really -- "Dear Hollywood" is more downbeat, "Sometimes the Sun" more effervescent -- the group slam out a stream of rich melodies, driving rhythms, and catchy choruses. From the punky opener "New Best Friend" through the Big Star-like closer "Wanna Girl," the Lashes run riot through the rock realm. Cheap Trick inspires a clutch of numbers, but there are echoes of so much else -- the Clash, the Romantics, even Acid Eaters-era Ramones, and the Cars are included. But as power pop-flecked and new wave-ish as that all may suggest, the band never really sound retro. Tight, exhilarating, edgy, and infectious, Get It has got it all -- a superb debut. © Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo

Rock - Released January 10, 2006 | Red Ink - Columbia


Alternative & Indie - Released November 29, 2005 | Red Ink - Columbia