@@@ Ratatat: Magnifique (XL, 2015). One of the top releases on the All Music weekly email this week. The record opens up with a baroque, instrumental intro and then gets right into a rock/boom titch beat with a tight little Studio 54 guitar vamp and some synth squirps. Then comes the arena guitar, oh how regrettable. A cheesy ELO tone to boot. So you may want to wear the disco sequin shirt, but I suggest you bring a piece of cheese to honor the guitar player. Or maybe wear a hat made out of cheese. After the big guitars comes the synth sauce and the full package is up and running. Let’s skip ahead. That last tune is called Cream on Chrome and I would put forth Tuna in Cheese Sauce on a Ritz cracker as a better title. The title track is less disco, but has the same subpar guitar tone and a little Betty Boop piano and guitar figure. I do really like the bass parts but I can’t seem to get past the stanky guitar sound and the big arena synths. Oh my almost two million hits for that track Tuna in Cheese Sauce on a Ritz Cracker — I might rather listen to Chairman Mao whistle a tune while he scratches his balls.
@@@ Galactic: Into the Deep (Provogue, 2015). Some full ensemble party music for your summer enjoyment off the Beats highlights page. A schtickl of Afrobeat, and five toes of swaggering New Orleans full horn funk. A long list of guest singers on this record including Macy Gray, JJ Grey, Mavis Staples and many others. The second tune, Higher Angle has a brisk, cutting funk beat with space keyboard blurps, some chicken scratch electric guitar, and JJ Grey’s gravelly voice extolling the virtues of the bayou. This is the second tune I’ve noticed that layer of organ cream filling in the mix. Macy Gray gets the slow jam and her loose voice works well with the guitar line and the less crowded mix. Lyrics are more than a tad cliche. Right before into the funk on the fourth track featuring David Shaw and Maggie Koerner (who I don’t know who the hell they are, but what I know fills a Dixie cup on a good day). Solid funk here, people, if you’re up for the solid funk people.
@@@ Flo Morrissey: Tomorrow Will be Beautiful (Glassnote, 2015). I know Morrissey of the Smiths is mad gay but his daughter surprises with a positive uplifting record title. Gay Morrissey tends to be more than a bit morose. This first tune, Show Me, is a mashup of yodel folk vocals, strummed hippie style guitar and alt country influences in the chorus. I hope my kind listeners have done their errands because this first tune sure is taking its time. She needs a Starbucks. Let’s move on. This second tune, Pages of Gold is the big single from what I can tell from the GoogleToob. It features arpeggiated guitars panned out wide, some symphonic flushes/flourishes and a relaxed ride cymbal rock beat. Don’t worry feelings won’t get hurt by the drummer. This is a wee bit aristocratic for my taste but if you’re up for it….
YTD recordings listened to: 563
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 325
Not good music: 194
Honorable Mentions: 14
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Evan Caminiti, ILSA