reviews 2020

grimes

Tame Impala The Slow Rush

The Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala return with their first new album in five years, The Slow Rush. Led by Kevin Parker, the band has experienced mainstream and critical success. However, neither Jim nor Greg find this album very good. Greg asserts that he finds the arrangements to be sonically beautiful and deep, but beyond that, there isn‘t much. Despite also liking the band’s music, Jim can't find anything positive to say about The Slow Rush.

JimGreg
Go to episode 745
grimes

Grimes Miss Anthropocene

Electronic art pop artist Grimes is back with her latest album, Miss Anthropocene. It's her first record in five years since 2015's Art Angels. Both Jim and Greg are big fans of Grimes and really enjoy the layered complexities of Miss Anthropocene. Jim loves the epic sonic landscapes Grimes creates, and also when she throws listeners for a loop by adding in more conventional instruments like acoustic guitar. He loves the artistic concept of the album, about a goddess warrior who defends the earth from climate change. Greg is also on board with Miss Anthropocene and agrees with Jim that it rewards fans who listen multiple times. He loves the way she writes, sings, composes and produces her own records, and the fact that he never knows what she'll make next.

JimGreg
Go to episode 745
Wire Mind Hive

Wire Mind Hive

On their 17th album, Mind Hive. the British art punks of Wire are still re-imagining their sound. The group's first three albums from the late 1970s are widely considered classics: Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, and 1 5 4. Each fleshed out a different sonic approach ("pure punk minimalist attack, expanding sound and full on syth pop," respectively according to Jim DeRogatis). Since then Wire has been taking apart those elements and reassembling them in different ways. Now Jim hears them nodding to groups that were influenced by those early albums like The Feelies. Greg says if Samuel Beckett were a band, he would be these guys, dryly narrating the end of the world.

JimGreg
Go to episode 742
torres

Torres Silver Tongue

This week, Jim and Greg review the new release from indie singer-songwriter Torres. Silver Tongue is Torres's fourth album, but she's no stranger to Sound Opinions, having been a guest on the show back in 2015. Greg loves this album and how Torres blends synths with finger picking guitar. She also ups the hook quotient in her writing, making for a great record. Jim agrees, and loves Torres's literary, lyrical tone. They both find her genuine and transparent songs to be refreshing and enjoyable.

JimGreg
Go to episode 739
Drive-By Truckers The Unraveling

Drive-By Truckers American Band

Drive-By Truckers have been at it since 1998, but on their 12th studio album, The Unraveling, Jim and Greg agree they‘ve found something new to say. Coming three and a half years after their“most political album,”2016’s American Band, The Unraveling goes all-in on topical songwriting in a way the Truckers have never attempted before. Jim says the effort works because songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley focus first on the victims of the current political climate and let that animate their writing. Greg points out a sub-group of songs that focus on characters who feel like they're fugitives in their own country: "Rosemary with a Bible and a Gun," "Armageddon's Back in Town" and "Slow Ride Argument." Jim calls "Thoughts and Prayers" an earworm with an insideous hook.

JimGreg
Go to episode 739
beach

Beach Slang The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City

The latest album from Pennsylvania punk rock band Beach Slang is called The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City. Led by James Alex, Beach Slang has had a number of members since its creation in 2013. This new album showcases Alex's devotion to the band The Replacements, with similar sonic elements, vocals and lyrics. Jim likes what the band is doing and enjoys the record. Greg finds it to be a bit too derivative and enjoys the more instrumental, original songs.

JimGreg
Go to episode 738