Having taken a few short trips (among other things), I’ve fallen behind. Not surprising. But I’m also not finding a whole lot these days that’s terribly interesting to me, so my instinct to hunt doesn’t have as much juice. Looking forward to a time when I can just sit down and write, write, write.
With the exception of Diable, these are pretty unexceptional. Not bad, but certainly boring at worst. I’ll just say that I think the continued hatred of Mumford & Sons is over the top as it ever was. They seem like decent people and the friends I have who are fans are good souls, so yes, their music may be stupid, but I regularly come across much, much worse. And Alabama Shakes—when did they decide to follow in the footsteps of the Black Keys? Why would you want to?
KRISTIN DIABLE – Create Your Own Mythology (Speakeasy): Southern adult contemporary (ick!) with orchestral swells (blegh!) and titles like “True Devotion” (ugh!), this is a female version of Train, so take that as you will. B PLUS (**)
MUMFORD & SONS – Wilder Mind (Glassnote): Still without worthwhile words, Mumford abandons faux-folk for faux-Kings of Leon, an unexpected leap into innocuous indie that’s sure to enrage suspender-clad banjo enthusiasts everywhere. B PLUS (*)
THE DECEMBERISTS – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Capitol): Colin Meloy still can’t help invoking Anglo-Saxon medieval imagery or consulting his thesaurus, but he eases up on the minstrelsy in favor of indie AOR. B PLUS (*)
MEGHAN TRAINOR – The Title (Epic): Album’s a vehicle for single “All About That Bass,” a carryover with four other songs from a stopgap EP to placate eager beavers until the real deal; only catch is few tunes here are completely new and none are really worth waiting for. B PLUS (*)