Tag Archives: Whenever

Album Reviews: Bombay Bicycle Club, The Dum Dum Girls, & Modern Baseball

So long, See You Tomorrow

Bombay Bicycle Club- So Long, See You Tomorrow

Grade: B+

Release Date: February 3, 2014

Bombay Bicycle Club’s become pretty gigantic recently as this album’s already hit number one on the UK albums chart, and it’s difficult to have an issue with that when their last release A Different Kind of Fix was as impressive as it was. What the band does is an experimental and electronic style of music where they attempt to complicate the pop elements being displayed by adding more instruments, studio effects, and vocal layering to the final product. This is something which they are extremely good at managing, as I’m not a believer that Bombay Bicycle Club is one of the premiere artists in music but they are one of the best out there at enhancing their music with the modern technology that’s available to them. It doesn’t become over-complicated or lose it’s pop roots, and because of that everything remains immediate and direct so it’s a naturally appealing sound which has plenty of unique qualities to it. This is what has provided them with such a large fan base in all likelihood, and as long as they continue to release albums which are as well thought out and well produced as So Long, See You Tomorrow then they are deserving of it.

Top Tracks: “Whenever, Wherever”, “It’s Alright Now”

Dum Dum Girls Too TrueDum Dum Girls- Too True

Grade: B-

Release Date: January 22, 2014

The Dum Dum Girls’ latest release before this came back in 2012, when their EP End of Daze was actually one of the better releases of that year. That release demanded your attention with it’s beautiful production, surprising song variation, and a terrific finale in “Season in Hell”, but the mentality of those tracks doesn’t seem to have been carried on to the group’s third studio album. The sound has gravitated more towards what former Dum Dum Girls member Frankie Rose has been doing in her solo work, which could still work beautifully as Franke Rose proved with Interstellar, but it doesn’t seem to have quite worked out in this instance. The product is good and the production is excellent once again, but the songs lack the necessary qualities which allow them to be identifiable, and this hurts the product in two ways; It’s difficult to find the peaks on this album which you search for as a listener, and the product tends to bleed from track to track so that you’re susceptible to mindless listening. Too True is a fine album, but it’s starting to make more sense why their most easily enjoyed release was an EP.

Top Tracks: “Evil Blooms”, “Too True To Be Good”

You're Gonna Miss It All

Modern Baseball- You’re Gonna Miss It All

Grade: B+
Release Date: 2/11/2014

There’s a lot of things which can be easily held against You’re Gonna Miss It All. It’s a very in-the-moment album filled with with an Instagram reference, conversational lyrics, and similar song structure from track to track. These qualities mean that the sound probably won’t be relevant for years to come, but this is a  release where that might not matter so much anyway. Some of the reasons for why that may be is how they fit perfectly into today’s pop-punk scene, and how they bring so much energy to the table while singing about potentially relatable self-defeating stories. There’s also a good amount of wit present in the lyrics as well, like the well-stated attack in “The Old Gospel Choir” which states “Sharp as a tack, but in the sense that you’re not smart, just a prick”. It’s difficult to say how long people will be interested in listening to this latest Modern Baseball release, but in the moment it’s a breath of fresh air which provides an easily enjoyable listen.

Top Tracks: “Your Graduation”, “The Old Gospel Choir”

Connor’s Albums of the Year

22. Atoms for Peace- Amok

Thom Yorke and Flea jam out. Cool electronic vibes with a new Radiohead sound. Dank bass riffs. If you love Phish, this might be your #1, or #2 if Phish released an album this year.

21. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

7th grade me would’ve been a lot more pumped for this. It’s good experimental rock music. Nothing will beat Songs For the Deaf in my eyes, though this is an interesting take on the Queens’ sound. Rock on.

20. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

I was hyped for this all summer, with “Whoa” and “Chum” having been out for a WHILE, it ended up being that those were two of the best songs on the album. Those are great songs that are hard to top, but I was hoping for more consistency. The song featuring Frank Ocean is sick though, and the “Centurion” beat is crazy. The rest is so-so in my opinion. The Earl Mixtape is better.
 

19. Yo La Tengo – Fade

This is really great and should probably be a lot higher on my list. It came out in the very beginning of the year. The vibe is mellow and melodic. This thing is endlessly listenable. I can’t see how anyone would dislike it. I’ve always enjoyed Yo La Tengo, but I’ve never been super passionate about them. That being said, I would recommend this to ALL

18. Owen – L’ami Du Peuple

Another solid release from Owen. My favorite song is “The Burial”, which is one of the few Owen songs not to feature an acoustic guitar. “Tonight, I’m a priest/ Shrouded in your quilt/ And you will see/ Truth in me/ So f***ing say something.” OOOohhhhh. “Who Cares” is great too.

17. The Story So Far – What You Don’t See

Pop/punk angsty songs about girls done right. I wish I was 15 again so I could get a girlfriend, get dumped, and listen to this all the time.
 

16. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

I saw NIN with my dad last month. They were my favorite band as a youngling, and I still hold TR in a very high regard so this meant a whole lot to me. Hands down the best light show I’ve ever seen. You can check out footage here if you’d like. Unreal stuff. The music is leaning on electronica, but in a good way. Still \m/
 

15. Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven

This is weird stuff that sounds abrasive and terrible to most people I know. It’s all instrumental, experimental, synthy, electronic music. It can take you places though. I wish I could explain it better. This could easily be your nightmare. I think it’s incredibly interesting. Listen and let your thoughts wander.
 

14. Tim Hecker – Virgins

Very similar to Oneohtrix as far as genre and style are concerned, though the sound is very different. This was made with live instruments and manipulated later which makes for a very organic experimental sound. There are so many layers and things going on here. Enthralling. The first track sounds like the earth is ripping apart. Close your eyes and imagine%%*&!)@*&^^&^%%{}”{“}{}”}{}”}{“”{}”{}”}{}”}{}}{}”}}”:]
 

13. Volcano Choir – Repave

Justin Vernon does post-rock stuff. Same old cryptic lyrics that could be interpreted a bunch of different ways. Thumbs up. This is my favorite song from the album and the best music video of the year (besides “Wrecking Ball”)
 

12. Touche Amore – Is Survived By

You can feel the passion behind Jeremy Bolm’s voice as he screams every line. This album is about leaving something meaningful behind after you die. Congrats dude, cause you did.
 

11. The Dismemberment Plan – Uncanny Valley

The Dismemberment Plan will always have a special place in my heart. Emergency & I is one of my favorite albums ever. I was beyond psyched when they announced a new album and tour. Shoutout to Ted for seeing the show with me. They definitely have not lost any of their talent or songwriting ability, despite not having the same emotional overtones of depression, isolation etc. When bands reunite to make a new album, I’m always worried it’s going to suck based on countless examples. Not only did this not suck, it’s very good.

Continue reading Connor’s Albums of the Year