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Review Round-Up 2/23/12: Grimes, Cheap Girls, Dr. Dog

By Bryan Menegus & Andrew McNally

 

Grimes- Visions

 

Claire Boucher, AKA Grimes has the songwriting savvy that comes with a complete understanding of the tropes of one's chosen genre. What is that genre, you might ask? Well, in the overblown-yet-unhelpful language of the music critic, Grimes is the atmosphere of a Burial record with J Pop vocals, the campy, sinister synths of the Drive soundtrack, and all the cohesion of a hallucinatory experience on Robitussin. On ‘Visions', Boucher manages to reign in some of the experimental-for-their-own-sake tendencies of her previous effort, and the results are dazzling. ‘Visions' is a novel statement with a respect for its context; as a subversion of the 80's gains steam in the 10's, ‘Visions' may well be remembered as a landmark release.

Grade: A

RIYL: Teengirl Fantasy, Kavinsky

 

Dr Dog's "Be the Void"

"Be the Void" sounds like all those records your parents used to play when the classic rock station wasn't good enough. Its relentlessly poppy feel sounds reminiscent, maybe too reminiscent, of bands from the 60's. It doesn't triumph anything new musically, but it does improve upon their previous record, "Shame Shame," by upping the tempo, creating a looser feel, and writing songs that don't sound like Oasis cuts. "Be the Void" is never truly interesting, but it delivers as a record to put on when you're with a group, killing time. Tell your father about it. 

Grade: B

RIYL: The Delta Spirit, the Decembrists, the 1960's.

 

Cheap Girls- Giant Orange

 

Cheap Girls occupy the space between rock n roll storytelling and middling punk rock, sort of like if The Gaslight Anthem didn't eat dicks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hell, Cheap Girls are a good time, but this record is basically identical to everything else they've done, right down to the single acoustic number to break up the pacing (‘Cored to Empy' on this record, ‘Her and Cigarettes' on the last one). And sure, if something isn't broken why fix it, but by the same token, what's the logic for listeners to pay for an experience they've already had?

 

Grade: B

 

RIYL: The Replacements, other Cheap Girls records

 

 

 

 

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