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Review Round-up

By: Andrew McNally Columnist

Muse – “The 2nd Law” With “The 2nd Law,” Muse have established themselves as the Michael Bay of music. That isn’t to say, bad, but rather that they’re at their happiest with a piece of work that is overly bombastic and relentless, regardless if it has any depth or not. This album is even more Queen-like than their previous, though more accessible than “Resistance.” There are some pretty, slower songs that work, and some heavier ones that do too, but a majority of the tracks are corny spacey songs that are half-Queen, half-Pink Floyd, but less than both. Muse fans will enjoy, but it won’t gain any new ones. Grade: C- If You Like: Queen, Radiohead

Matt & Kim – “Lightning” Matt & Kim have been cherished for their fast-paced, bouncy songs that fall somewhere in a genre I’ll call alt-dance-pop. “Lightning” continues their tradition of ten quick and pleasing songs, but there’s a happiness missing from the music. The bursts of music, the eclecticism of Matt’s keyboard and the dancingly joyous lyrics are all still present, but the music is less fun this time around. All ten songs still sound unique, because of Matt’s various keyboard effects, but the bouncing music of “Grand” and “Sidewalks” is missing. “Lightning” is still a decent album, but it’s a decline from their past. Grade: C+ If You Like: Passion Pit, the Naked and the Famous

Why? – “Mumps, etc.” “Why?” continue to dominate their fusion of largely acoustic indie and rap with “Mumps, etc.” The balance is more uneven on this album, with a vast majority of the songs featuring Yoni Wolf rapping, not singing. Musically, the band is still pushing an indie-folk sound that always complements Wolf. When it all starts to get repetitive, they push into a tonal shift that finishes off the album. And Wolf is at his lyrical best, with great imagery, wordplay and ever so slight narcissism strung throughout. Why? is a truly interesting band, the result of an indie band on a hip-hop label. Grade: B+ If You Like: Akron/Family, the Front Bottoms

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