Record Bulletin

Record Bulletin, 8/21: Modest Mouse, Jazmine Sullivan, Best Coast, et al.

Record Keeping

Don’t mind me, just cleaning up. Worthless comments on albums you’ve already made your mind up about, and to be honest, Modest Mouse and Jazmine Sullivan definitely deserve more attention. PS: I’ve noticed over the past few months someone from Belgium visits this blog a lot. Leave a comment, Belgian buddy, and let me know what you think.


modes mouseMODEST MOUSE – Strangers to Ourselves (Epic): Appropriate title given that after the first two tracks they sound so dissimilar to what they used to. But hey, a six-year hiatus will do that to you. B PLUS (**)



Reality_ShowJAZMINE SULLIVAN – Reality TV (RCA): R&B singer contrasts the appearance with the reality, that she always carries mascara not because she wants to do touchups but because “you never know who’s watching,” a creepy commentary, as the album name suggests, on our ever-increasingly voyeuristic society. B PLUS (**)

Best-Coast-California-Nights-560x560BEST COAST – California Nights (Virgin EMI): Concerned I was being nostalgic, I replayed Fade Away to reassure myself the songs were distinct and good. They were. But California Nights offers an undiversified pace, constant barrage of guitar attack, and repetitive relationship problems stories that limit Beth Cosentino’s chorus’ ability to be distinguished as individual songs. B PLUS (*)

speedy-ortiz-foil-deerSPEEDY ORTIZ – Foil Deer (Carpark): Seen in a teenage dream: Nirvana, but with female singer. B PLUS (*)



American-Wrestlers-album-cover-608x608AMERICAN WRESTLERS – American Wrestlers (Fat Possum): A Gary McClure (who?) solo project made with a looped drum machine and lots of layering. McClure has no voice, a tamer version of Ben Bridwell. Sometimes his guitar sounds like Mark Knopfler’s, and sometimes it doesn’t. B PLUS (*)


colin stetson sarah neufeldSARAH NEUFELD & COLIN STETSON – Never Were the Way She Was (Constellation): Call me a philistine all you like; you’ll never trick me into accepting neo-classical as rock. As jazz? Maybe. B PLUS (*)




Hot_Chip_-_Why_Make_SenseHOT CHIP – Why Make Sense? (Domino): A favorite among Brits, I always like a cut or two off their albums (Made in the Dark, in particular, had two standouts), but Alexis Taylor’s terribly sweet voice can’t carry me too long over his keyboards. CHOICE CUT: “Huarache Lights”



godspeed you black emperor asunderGODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress (Constellation): Financially viable alternative: holding a conk shell to your ear for forty minutes. LEMON



of monsters and menOF MONSTERS AND MEN – Beneath the Skin (Island/Republic): On this episode of Did You Know?: You can repeat the same Coldplay-lite song thirteen times, call it an album, and charge people money for it. LEMON


The_Vaccines_English_Graffiti_Album_CoverTHE VACCINES – English Graffiti (Columbia): Less fixated on their garage punk aesthetic, and worse for it. Justin Hayward-Young’s at his best when he conjures Brian Wilson masturbating on a street corner, less so when he cynically imitates Chris Martin. LEMON


5 thoughts on “Record Bulletin, 8/21: Modest Mouse, Jazmine Sullivan, Best Coast, et al.

  1. Hey, your Belgian buddy here. I’m not used to leaving comments, but decided to make an exception. I have to say that I’m glad I came across this blog because you’ve become one of my main sources for finding new music. I find myself agreeing with you quite a lot and I believe you have the qualities a good reviewer needs; you’re not only a good writer but you often have some pretty insightful things to say about the music, which is a rare feat these days. I do also read your other stuff, in case you’re wondering, but I’m mainly here for the music, a passion on which I spend more time than I can actually spare.

  2. James McMurtry would probably be my number one so far, followed by Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamar and Young Thug, but the album I’ve listened to the most this year is Mourn, even though it would never make it in my top ten; it’s such a fun listen, short and sweet. Really digging that Ezra Furman record as well and it just keeps getting better.

  3. I need to revisit that Young Thug album. Really dug the first track but couldn’t get into it after that, but a writer I like recently gave a rave review, so I’ll look into it. And I agree about Mourn. Lotsa fun, but not a favorite. That’s okay though; can’t ever have enough fun.

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