So, what is new in music? Quite a lot, but there is a distinctive waft of familiarity both in terms of the music and the discussion surrounding it. Most notably, Radiohead released their latest album, The King of Limbs, and the predictable cacophony of critical praise vs. fan criticism ensued. As usual, critics almost unanimously lavished a generous smattering of superlatives, while many older fans predictably bemoaned the fact that the album didn’t sound like The Bends or OK Computer. For what is is worth I personally think the album is great. It’s more reminsicent of Radiohead’s electronic and soundscape driven work like Kid A and Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser. Ultimately, whether or not you like King of Limbs rests on whether or not you are able accept that the band has moved away from their 90’s guitar driven alternative sound. It’s ok if you aren’t, but what is with the indignance? Lets face it, you probally didn’t buy the album anyway!
Moving to less heady territory where whimsy is a little more acceptable, Cut Copy has recently released its latest album, Zonocope. The album isn’t a huge departure from their earlier work. This is still bonafide electropop that is heavily influenced by the 80’s synth laden New Wave movement. Zonoscope does have more of a psychedelic, MGMTish sound, however, and the guitars have been largely sacrificed for a more purely electronically driven sound. The album delivers the goods, but don’t expect anything earthshatteringly innovative here.
whatelsewhatelse? I’ve been fairly disillusioned with mainstream Hip Hop in general (although that megalomaniac Kanye West did come out with a fantastic new album), but there are a few odd releases just under the radar that are worth checking out..like the following tracks from Clipse member Pusha T, and upcoming Bay Area rapper DaVinci.
Last but not least, check out Swedish indie pop starlet Lykki Li’s sophomore album, Wounded Rhymes. It’s less whimsical and edgy than her debut but in many ways it is more schizophrenic (moving from a deep shoegazing, drum laden, psycadelic sound to ABBAesque from one song to another). Somehow, it all works quite well! Nuff said.
PS: post written quickly. forgive seplllingsans mistakesewws.