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Review Round-up: Johnny Marr, Chelsea Light Moving, Waxahatchee

By Andrew McNally Columnist

Johnny Marr - The Messenger

Grade: B+

The former Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist has never gone this long without appearing on an album, and I guess that was starting to get to him. Frankly, “The Messenger” sounds exactly like you’d expect it too. Twelve tracks of 90’s-influenced Britpop songs, not far out of Blur’s game. And like many 90’s British alternative albums, the first half is all up-tempo, radio songs before the album slides into background music. Every song is guitar-based alternative, and Marr’s singing voice holds up surprisingly well. But the album starts to sound like one long song that’s just decent enough to stand on its own.

If You Like: Blur, Pulp

 

Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving

Grade: A-

Waxahatchee, the recording name for Katie Crutchfield, has some nice additions for her sophomore album. Her guitar has gone electric on multiple tracks, and many songs have added drums. Her songs are still optimistic – bordering on tough times but not giving up – and their honesty might just help out your mood. Her voice is relentlessly sweet, and although she does little to separate herself from fellow female singer-songwriters, “Cerulean Salt” stands on its own two feet thanks to its brilliant songwriting and rhythmic transitions. The latter of those is a pleasant addition for her second album.

If You Like: Fiona Apple, Bat For Lashes

 

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Grade: B+

Waxahatchee, the recording name for Katie Crutchfield, has some nice additions for her sophomore album. Her guitar has gone electric on multiple tracks, and many songs have added drums. Her songs are still optimistic – bordering on tough times but not giving up – and their honesty might just help out your mood. Her voice is relentlessly sweet, and although she does little to separate herself from fellow female singer-songwriters, “Cerulean Salt” stands on its own two feet thanks to its brilliant songwriting and rhythmic transitions. The latter of those is a pleasant addition for her second album.

If You Like: Fiona Apple, Bat For Lashes

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