New Releases

Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu

Lulu was first previewed with an especially repellent 30-second tract of “The View” that confirmed everyone’s worst suspicions of the project– namely, that Reed’s crotchety, atonal poem-rants would be wholly incompatible with Metallica’s fidgety riffage. The clip’s most prominent lyric (“Throw it away/ For worship someone who actively despises you!”) seemed to mock both artists’ most forgiving fans for even clicking on the link. By the time “The View” was released in its full, five-minute ghastliness— with Hetfield variously professing himself to be a table, a 10-story building and, possibly, the premier member of Philly hip-hop band the Roots— the Internet had all the evidence it needed to preemptively crown Lulu the Worst Album of All Time. – Read the full review on Pitchfork

The Decemberists – Long Live the King

A collection of outtakes from the King Is Dead sessions, Long Live The King finds inspiration in the Grateful Dead, whose gently rollicking “Row Jimmy” gets covered in spirited, surprisingly boozy fashion. Similarly, Long Live The King is a loose, almost ramshackle record; the songs, particularly the home-recorded demo “I 4 U & U 4 Me” are as catchy as ever, but they’re like snapshots of a band living in the moment, without regard for whether everything is falling exactly in the right place.  Read the the full review on AV Club

Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

On her follow-up, “Ceremonials,” Welch has struck a fantastic and necessary balance. She’s found a way to honor her Bjorkian appetites for lavish orchestral spectacle while finding the depth and subtlety of her voice. She’s become a better actor, a keener listener and still manages to let it rip on occasion. But she also knows when to hush up, like at the close of “Spectrum,” when Tom Monger’s harp gorgeously flutters and dips around her. Read the full review on LA Times Blog

New Releases

The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
Recorded in a converted barn on Oregon’s Pendarvis Farm, The King Is Dead eschews the high, mystical wailing of British folk for its North American counterpart. Rustic and roomy, the record nods to Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, early Wilco, the Band, Neil Young, and especially R.E.M. In places, it almost feels like a disrobing: “Let the yoke fall from our shoulders,” frontman Colin Meloy bellows on opener “Don’t Carry It All”, his voice loose and easy, freer than he’s sounded in an awfully long time. Read the Full Review on Pitchfork

Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday
Having gained notoriety a couple of years back for intense live shows and memorable singles like 2008’s slouchy, sexy “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” Shultz and his pals, including brother Brad on guitar and secret weapon Daniel Tichenor on bass, stand at a crucial juncture. Can Cage the Elephant survive the scrutiny of jaded aficionados who call its drum kit-toppling yet sweet-toothed approach to guitar bashery nothing but a rehash of flannel rock? This set of ripping rave-ups and effortlessly tasty singalongs answers YES, in all caps. Read the full review on LA Times

Madlib Medicine Show 11
Funkadelic, psychedelic, jazz infused break-beats mixing influences and sounds of electronic, soul and a whole lot of Hip Hop – Madlib’s eleventh installment to the Medicine Show series, entitled Low Budget High Fi Music, is a welcomed addition to this multi-instrumentalist’s repertoire of work. With the longest track of the album being 4 minutes and 37 seconds long, the rest of the songs fall in the realm below the 2 minute mark. Each track is laced by Madlib’s incredible ability to capture a motivating groove accentuated by melodies whose instrumentation drives its listeners forward. Combined by great pacing, seamless jumps between tracks (and at other times intentional abrupt stops to melodic flowing sounds), the hilarious skits, commercial-styled breaks, interesting samples and ear-perking interludes excuses the fact that some may be turned off at the length of the entire album (42-tracks long). Read the full review at