Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Tunes Reviews, July 23: Mountain Goats, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Love Language

This week's new releases are a little anemic this week but there are some of note.

I listened to:

The Mountain Goats All Hail West Texas (reissue with bonus tracks)
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros self titled
The Love Language Ruby Red 

The Goats' All Hail West Texas was released in 2002 and is one of their more low-fi albums.  I never listened to it before this reissue (mostly because Spotify took it down recently) but it is a great album.  If you like acoustic songs that feel like diary entries, this album is for you.  John Darnielle has always been very confessional in his lyrics and this group of songs seems like a biography of life in West Texas, complete with metal bands, stories of high school football players, and teenage love. Even though I know Friday Night Lights took place in East Texas, I imagine this album is basically a soundtrack to their lives. I bet Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen would love it.

I always have such high expectations for Edward Sharpe. I loved the first album so much. And then I heard the first single off the second album, "Man on Fire." I was so excited!  But then when Here came out, I found it sort of lackluster as a whole.  Then I heard they were releasing a new album and I was excited. But again, I am underwhelmed. Maybe that whole "massive collective baroque pop band" thing is just overdone. Maybe this album will grow on me.

I listened to The Love Language's first album when it came out in 2009. I remember liking it at first but it didn't stick. I think I just wasn't ready for their sound (I was listening to a lot of wimpy indie back then).  But now I think I am a ready.  This new album, Ruby Red is fantastic. It is lush and melodic with several edgy elements. I knew I was going to like it as the first track, "Calm Down."  "Golden Age" utilizes those synths that I enjoy so much right now. Their previous albums, 2010's Libraries and 2009's self titled, also had that lush sound but this latest album seemed to refine their concept. This is definitely the stand-out of the week.

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