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The New York Review of Hooks
by Alex Carnevale
Our last edition of the NYRH covered Frightened Rabbit, Islands, Leona Lewis and Wolf Parade among others. We’re back, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The Coldplay album refuses to leak, although we already have three tracks and about 20 remixes by the same guy. Chris Martin is now very bohemian, this is his “Beautiful Day” and he will soon adopt an orphan and name it Geronimo.
It came out the other day that the most popular name in Texas is Jose. This rankled some, others not so much. Since African-American culture has currency, and Native American culture doesn’t really, there will be no lead singers of bands named Geronimo unless Chris Martin wills it to happen.
The other Coldplay thing that I enjoy is how every time they leave the studio, they might have made their last album. Unless the world can die from lack of powerpop, I think we’ll survive. Then when the album is about to drop, all you hear is we totally reinvented our sound. Then one of the songs comes on the radio and you’re like, “Is this OneRepublic?”
“A Spell A Rebel Yell” – Coldplay (mp3)
Alanis Morrisette’s new album hits stores June 10 in the U.S., but the packaging is already legendary, with the cover art straight out of the promotion for The Love Guru. Too bad you didn’t stay cordial with Mr. Reynolds, he may have been able to prevent this massive misstep.
“Torch” – Alanis Morrissette (mp3)
“Underneath” – Alanis Morrisette (mp3)
I may have already mentioned the These United States album but my love for it was rekindled by these intimate videos where their lead singer is basically dropping his sweat in your mouth, it’s so intimate. These United States had a chance for greatest band in the world designation while Jason Pierce had pneumonia.
Conversation between me and Danish:
Danish: here’s the link to the new Hold Steady.
Me: thanks, HOW R U
Me: Harsh. How is the new HS?
Danish: I don’t like them.
Me: And yet you’re freely distributing their album. You should get your anger out in a tumblr
Danish: Actually, I get regular sex.
Then he told me I was like Jon in Garfield Minus Garfield. Did I tell you about my idea for The Boondocks Without Black People?
“One for the Cutters” – The Hold Steady (mp3)
“Great DJ” – The Ting Tings (mp3)
No. Please. No more. Apple commercials have become a sick joke, challenging you to like even the least interesting artist. This duo sounds like they listened to Justice and then decided really irritating vocals would add a lot to the whole experience. For their next single they will take some beat from Sly or BT and have the lead singer bitch and whine on top of it. No. No thank you.
Last year featured David Bazan‘s EP, which marked an interesting shift for the former Pedro the Lion frontman. On it he includes acoustic versions of electronic tracks, and they utterly destroy the originals. His live performance of “Cold Beer and Cigarettes” makes me laugh and cry at the same time. He’s the perfect bear singer-songwriter. I love this video of him performing the song when it was called “The Devil Is Beating His Wife,” too.
“Fewer Broken Pieces (acoustic)” – David Bazan (mp3)
“Cold Beer and Cigarettes (acoustic)” – David Bazan (mp3)
You can count me in the camp that thinks it’s silly for the Rays to tap Buster Posey for the number one overall pick. Sure, the catcher played all nine positions in one game for Florida State this season, but he looks like Evan Longoria’s 13 year old boy. Take a man, like Pedro Alvarez or high school shortstop Tim Beckham.
Wait, did I write that on the wrong website?
The new Ratatat album, LP3, leaked last week, and Danish was pushing it like dope. He’ll probably have more success with this venture than the tumblr he started to make fun of me behind my back. Ratatat is SWPL, it is also one of the best albums of the year. You know, there’s a designation that doesn’t get thrown around enough.
You can find all the Ratatat you care to listen to in this post.
This woman is highly appealing. Sometimes you go looking for a photoset and you find a robust pop record. “Shine” is a great track, you can sing it to yourself and pretend you’re shining. She also covers a Red Hot Chili Peppers song on the EP. I’m still waiting for Anthony Kiedis to die so I can release “Under the Bridge” by a boy band that Will Hubbard can front. This is my kid’s college educations we’re talking about.
“Shine (acoustic version)” – Anna Nalick (mp3)
“Breaking the Girl” – Anna Nalick (mp3)
Dreaming Out Loud, the first effort from rising producer Ryan Tedder’s rock act OneRepublic is a pleasing lite rock album. Tedder also wrote “Bleeding Love,” and if he had kept it for himself and released it as part of OneRepublic, it likely would have done just as well. As it is, another Timbaland protege finds success, proving that Timbaland can be ranked with our finest pop composers (you know who you are HAYDN), and that David Archuleta improves everything by the mere jingle of his dingle.
“Say (All I Need)” – OneRepublic (mp3)
“Goodbye, Apathy” – OneRepublic (mp3)
“Meet You There” – Augustana (mp3)
Remember that song where they always want to go to Boston, as it is the only place where they don’t know the young man’s name? Did he mean Cape Cod? A friend of mine hooked up with a manager of Legal Sea Foods. Was the song about that? My dad once told me that Boston had the ugliest women in the world. I dunno, David Ortiz’s wife is pretty. I also hear she has a plus-plus personality and all five tools.
I was really hoping for another “Boston,” but instead they don’t go to the piano enough. “Dust” has a fun intro. “Twenty Years” is a decent pop song. Then again when your upside is Matchbox 20, maybe it’s time to start dressing in drag and seeing if our collective memory has forgotten David Bowie. Use glitter, it helps.
Rearrange Us is perfectly pleasant Belle & Sebastian type fun with two interesting singers and a pop aesthetic. I hear they’re really mad at M. Ward for stealing the whole his and her act. Along with The Submarines, The Weepies, The White Stripes and a lot of other friggin’ people. They’re even pissed at Patti Smith and Sam Shepard for Cowboy Mouth. True story.
“Great Dane” – Mates of State (mp3)
“You Are Free” – Mates of State (mp3)
“Fruit Machine” – Duffy (mp3)
Duffy is another soul singer from England. She’s probably Welsh, and reads Powys or something. Like many vocalists from across the ocean, she’s impossibly precocious, and her waistline is expanding at the rate of her threats to impregnate herself. Except for Kate Nash, check out that bod.
England’s a really small country; how can they produce this much music? Was the Australian exodus all the dummies, kind of like how Canada took regular track calculus for a hundred years?
Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.
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Poems by Bernadette Mayer.
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