By Kendall Gibson Columnist
‘Kiss Me Once’ – Kylie Minogue
This album is a glittering homage to chic women everywhere. It’s flamboyant. It’s glitzy. But that is not to say it, or Kylie, have accomplished anything new for the music industry. She is so practiced in whittling men down, however, that she has gotten them to write her songs for her, which is fine. Kylie seduces you with every song as if she were goading you into buying her a drink, then walks away before you realize you’ve wasted your money. Some artists use instruments to create music, Kylie uses her feminine wiles.
If You Like: Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus
‘Lost in the Dream’ – The War on Drugs
An artist’s vision is only about fifty percent of what you hear on an album. The rest is sound engineering. It takes an enormous and often underappreciated amount of skill to mix sounds effectively, and in the case of this album, the producer responsible has failed. Everything on this album is bland, distasteful mush. It sounds like they recorded it, listened to it once and shipped it with no concern for quality. Listen to “Burning,” and then listen to Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks” and you will instantly hear what I mean when I say that proper sound mixing can make or break a song.
If You Like: Rod Stewart, Modest Mouse, Ok Go
‘Abandoned City’ – Hauschka
Hauschka paints a vivid picture with his music. Or maybe he plays a vivid sound? Language fails me when I try to describe it. I’ve never listened to anything quite like this. Abandoned City is intensely focused on its motif, and Hauschka has succeeded brilliantly in encapsulating abandoned-city-ness. Each track explores a specific aspect of urban decay, and the likeness is uncanny. I listen to this album, and I am in an abandoned city.
If You Like: Holst, Erik Satie