Saturday, January 17, 2004

Upcoming albums reviewed here!!! Hopefully I'll get a few more done in the coming week or so, including The Elected, Franz Ferdinand, Telefon Tel Aviv and the Lambchop albums.

Savath + Savalas - Apropa't (Warp) release date: January 27, 2004
Savath + Savalas is a Scott Herren project (whose profile has risen considerably under the guise Prefuse 73) that started in 2000 with the release of Folk Songs for Trains, Trees and Honey. That album is filled with gorgeous ambient techno glitchy goodness, so softly played that this highly complex combination of acoustic and electronic melodies can be mistaken for background music (believe me, it is not). Herren returned to the Savath + Savalas name this year with Apropa't, but has traded the electro-acoustic sound for Catalan music, with the help of singer Eva Puyuelo Muns. Herren recently moved to Barcelona, met up with singer Muns, and has created an album with more sweeping, almost orchestral melodies. Eva fills out the songs singing in Spanish and Catalan. In a recent issue of Urb, Herren suggests that this album may be bought up by Prefuse fans for the kitsch factor, as people might enjoy having a foreign language album in their collection. While this may be true, fans will instead find an album that seems to plod along at a painfully slow pace, without the background complexities that the debut Savath album contained. Eva's vocals come off in a monotone, boring presentation, and the music only occasionally tries to challenge the listener. Herren may pique people's interest in Catalan music, which may be a mistake if listeners realize that Herren's project is a poor reflection of a worthwhile genre.

Air - Talkie Walkie (Astralwerks) release date: January 27, 2004
Air's history is a unique one, with them first exploding onto the French house scene with "Sexy Boy", then coming out with the Virgin Suicides soundtrack in 2000 with the insanely addictive "Playground Love." Unfortunately, they kind of lost me on their darker 10,000 Hz Legend, but they have totally won me back with Talkie Walkie. Under the production of Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck), Talkie Walkie is a dark exploration of pop music. The band continues to use various pop sensibilities to make sweet bouncy melodies, but have slowed the pace. The first thing to note is that the Jean-BenoƮt Dunckel and Nicolas Godin, who ARE Air, perform all of the songs without guest players or singers. In a sense, Air has returned to a lot of the ideas reflected on their first album (see the computer generated "Remember" or the gorgeous instrumental "Ce Matin La" from the debut) by creating an aural atmosphere that uses repetition to create catchy songs. Though January albums are often forgotten by year end best-ofs, it would be impossible to forget the gorgeous flow of Talkie Walkie. Aside from the bonus live DVD, which comes with the limited edition set, fans are also treated to the song "Alone In Kyoto," originally released on the Lost in Translation soundtrack.

more to come soon . . .


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