What have in common old favourites or newcomers like Franz Ferdinand, Ezra Furman, Hookworms, The Soft Moon, Joan As Police Woman, Superchunk, Born Ruffians, Grant-Lee Phillips or again The Low Anthem? Well, they all released good records in February but did not make the cut to be in this selection. One of the best month for sure since I started these reviews.
Album of the month: MGMT – “Little Dark Age” – Pop Rock – I must say I was not expecting anything anymore from these two Californians. As almost everyone on this planet, I liked and played a lot their debut album “Oracular Spectacular“ which to me was a very promising record, especially in the balance they had found between success and experimentation. It looks the band were not at ease with such a success and did everything they could to alienate themselves from their fan base by releasing two interesting but difficult psychedelic records in 2010 (“Congratulations“) and 2013 (“MGMT“). What a surprise then to have them back at such a level of excellence. All 10 songs of this LP are great, can be whistled under the shower and mix a pop easiness with cool sounds and bittersweet lyrics. I guess they needed these few years to be back on track. Enjoy!
- Runner-up: Field Music – “Open Here” – Pop Rock – Another amazing album from the Brewis brothers. I have been posting a lot about this band and still cannot understand why they are not more massive… Their new album is as usual very inventive in terms of melodies and sounds but this time they added up a political conscience. One should remember they come from Sunderland, known in the UK as Brexit city with its 62% of Leave voters and they are neither proud nor happy about it. “Count It Up” in particular is a nice and effective song about all the privileges we have in the so-called Western countries without realising it. I met them recently at a Rough Trade concert and signing event and they were as nice as one could guess. Keep up the good work boys.
- Also recommended:
- Ought – “Room Inside The World” – Pop Rock – Excellent angular music from this Canadian band lead by the great Tim Darcy.
- Rhye – “Blood” – Syrupy Soul – Sade reincarnated as a male Canadian singer.
- Marlon Williams – “Make Way For Love” – Rock – Beautiful break-up songs. If you like Chris Isaak or Richard Hawley, this is for you.
- Richard Russell – “Everything Is Recorded” – Electro R’n’B – Soulful music from the XL label boss with invitees, including Sampha‘s fantastic voice
- The Skull Defekts – “Skull Defekts” – Noisy – Final album from this band from Sweden ; the most powerful record since the start of the year.
- Lest we forget: album of the previous month – Ty Segall – “Freedom’s Goblin“