Gossip: A Joyful Noise
The latest from Indie group Gossip is a very modern take on disco, oddly enough a-Rocking as it is a-Bopping. The music is catchy and infectious, the grooves very danceable. I particularly liked [Track 3] and [Track 4] – the latter of which really evokes the Big Disco Beats of Gloria Gaynor’s era. [Track 7] gets a little Electro-Funky with its Jazz-flavored music, and [Track 9] takes itself into full Funk-Rock territory.
You guessed it: My big beef with this album is the total absence of metadata on the disc. It doesn’t mar the enjoyment of the music, but it certainly lessens their consumer value.
This is a great set of songs; presumably if you buy them from a downloadable music source you’ll have metadata. If so, it’s more than worthwhile. Avoid the CD.
Gossip: A Joyful Noise – 8/10
The much-anticipated musical experiment costarring Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree is a bleak, beautiful thing; Psychedelic Rock at its finest, I’m reminded of SydBarret’s darker work with Pink Floyd, with traces of Incubus, naturally, and hints of what Raidohead might have been like had their fourth album followed in OK Computer’s vein.
The music here is of the sort that you’ll find yourself either listening to it, or thinking about listening to it again, quite regularly. I honestly hope that this collaboration isn’t just a one-off; I’d like to hear more from this gifted team.
There’s only one problem with this album, a problem I’m encountering all too often, these days: Once more, the disc has no metadata on it; the artists and the works remain anonymously [Unknown] on a music player (or even an advanced CD player display screen)
Storm Corrosion: Storm Corrosion – 9/10
This one sounds like a refugee from the waning years of 1980s New Wave music, right down to the drum machines, lilting guitars, and falsetto reverbed and harmonizing vocals. My problem with ‘Giants and Dreamers’ is that the band has spent a lot of time crafting their sound and style, but very little attention to producing any musical substance.
The lyrics to the [Metadata-less] songs of ‘Giants and Dreamers’ are opaquely poetic (because NOBODY does that, these days!) and frightfully pedestrian. The whole Back-to-the-80s music fad has reached and passed its zenith. If Bravestation is any example, then the it’s TRULY gone the way of New Wave, and has had the life pressed out of it by the giant rollers of the music industry. Time to move on to the next decade in music and milking it for every last drop.
Bravestation: ‘Giants and Dreamers’ – 6/10
I hate to say it, but my Mellow Folk favorites Jon & Roy aren’t treading much in the way of new ground on their third album, ‘Let It Go’. While there was a marked difference between 2008’s ‘Another Noon’ and their 2010 followup ‘Homes’, to my ear, I’ve heard ‘Let It Go’ before.
That’s not to say that the songs here aren’t good and enjoyable; [Track 4]’s Spanish Guitar work is above par and reminiscent of Robbie Kreeger’s work on The Doors’ “Spanish Caravan”, [Track 6] is a great example of the use of metaphor in Folk, and [Track 7] absorbs a little Caribbean spice into its mellow vibes, but for the most part I find that the album feels phoned in; almost lazy. It’s not as though the album was forced, more like it was just dragged into being.
There are nonetheless several good songs on here that just redeem the album; the metadata issue is disappointing but all-too common, and not the fault of the band but of the postproduction side of the album. Nevertheless, the faults of this album are such that they can’t be ignored.
Jon & Roy: Let it Go – 7/10