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Le Nouveau New Thing | Reviews of new release | humor | column | Lollipop

Le Nouveau New Thing...

Reviews of new releases
(Written by world famous critic By Jean-Paul Bavard
(Translated from the French by Daniel Davis)
Illustration by Ans

Blink 41
More Songs About Teenagers With Disposable Incomes

Laced with high-energy songs displaying an overt punk-rock influence, Blink 41's latest is a strong, yet also inconsistent, addition to their oeuvre. Longtime fans will surely enjoy the playful spirit that is on display here. If played at 1/3 speed, a couple of these songs sort of sound like Yo La Tengo's tres brilliant fourth album.
*** (3 STARS)

Wu Tang Clan
Live At Folsom Prison

The rap stars reverse the old equation of performers coming to prisons to perform for inmates, on this uneven live set, recorded at Folsom Prison for an audience specially shipped in to see the incarcerated members of the Wu perform live. Decent effort and an interesting concept. Sounds like a hardcore rap version of Yo La Tengo, only completely different.
*** (3 STARS)

Andrew W.K.
Party Party Party Party Party Party

Many of the loud, energetic tunes of hedonisme and simple escapism on this release focus on topics such as partying and sex and partying. This man Andrew W.K. does not disappoint anyone who fell for his debut release, but this sometimes spotty effort is not perfection, by any means. Several tracks misfire, but overall, a not-too-bad effort. This recording sounds more like the Bay City Rollers on steroids than Yo La Tengo, but that will change, of course, with the upcoming release of Yo La Tengo's next album, entitled The Bay City Rollers on Steroids.
*** (3 STARS)

Alan Jackson
Big Hat, No Cattle

The legendary favorite of American country cowboy twangy hillbilly cracker music played with synthesizers and background choruses, Alan Jackson, will surely entertain legions of fans and admirers with this latest release. A bit reminiscent of critical darlings Yo La Tengo, if Yo La Tengo wrote music for pickup truck commercials.
*** (3 STARS)

The Rolling Stones
Should Have Died 30 Years Ago

The long-awaited new release by these legendary veterans is generally good, if inconsistent. Jagger's rough-sounding vocals are once again a key element of their sound, along with the bass and drums of the rhythm section, not to mention the rock-solid guitar leads of Keith Richards. The autobiographical "Mailin' It In Again" is perhaps the most interesting track. A couple of the guitar parts on some of the songs sound a bit like New York's brilliant Yo La Tengo, but the rest of it does not.
*** (3 STARS)

Creed
Bow Before Me, For I Am Jesus Christ Your Lord

Famed vocalist Scott Stapp remains in the forefront here, baring his emotions in his tres inimitable manner. Their legion of fans will enjoy most of the tracks here, despite the occasional misstep. The vocals are reminiscent of Yo La Tengo, if Cher was the new lead singer for Yo la Tengo.
*** (3 STARS)

CBS Evening News With Dan Rather
Soundtrack to CBS Evening News With Dan Rather

Featuring several new remixes of the program's instantly recognizable opening theme, intercut with many classic moments from such star Anchormen as Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite. Fanatical collectors will surely want to hear this release. Some of the sound bites sound like the Genius that is Yo La Tengo, if they were reading news stories on TV.
*** (3 STARS)

Don Henley
I'm Still Not Dead Yet

The former Eagles drummer/ vocalist's latest offering is not his best, but is one that diehard fans will surely enjoy, whereas people with brain cells will not. It certainly does not sound much like the legendary Yo La Tengo, so beware, if that's what you are looking for.
*** (3 STARS)

Oasis
Remember When You Gave a Damn About Us?

The infamous Gallagher brothers are back, with this flawed yet still appealing release. While quite similar to their previous work, it breaks new ground on occasion. Sounds a bit like Yo La Tengo, if the brilliant Yo La Tengo were drunken, Beatles-obsessed British louts.
*** (3 STARS)

Puddle of Nickelsmack
Really Overwrought

The latest hit release from these L.A.-based Active Rock superstars has its highlights, some surely destined for commercial rock radio airplay. Some tracks are stronger than others, however. Sounds like Yo La Tengo, if everyone in Yo La Tengo all had lobotomies.
*** (3 STARS)

Incubus
Smugly Shirtless

This mixed bag of an album has its moments, but also includes several less-than-successful efforts, alas. A solid effort that will not disappoint most fans. Sounds like Yo La Tengo, if they were playing expensively recorded overproduced cover versions of contemporary radio rock songs.
*** (3 STARS)

The Strokes
Yesterday's News, Now!

Whether this disc will equal the heights of their last remains to be seen, but it is another effective piece of work. The better tracks are quite probably destined to be popular amongst the group's most ardent admirers. Sounds sort of like Yo La Tengo covering Tom Petty, in a really expensive studio.
*** (3 STARS)

Staindback Park
Silverside Theory

Aggressive yet melodic tunes highlight this wildly varied set. The stronger tunes deliver les goods, but the weaker ones cannot be recommended. Sounds like everything on commercial rock radio right now, but not really like Yo La Tengo.
*** (3 STARS)

O Brother, Not Again
Even More Music Sort Of Related To The Film, Kind Of

The latest collection of songs related to the eponymously-titled smash hit Coen brothers film. Fans of this type of music will no doubt enjoy these offerings, while people who hate this genre will most likely dislike it. Sounds like Yo La Tengo, if Yo La Tengo were better musicians, and were born 50 years earlier.
*** (3 STARS)

Paul McCartney and Neil Young
Let's Kick Some Foreigner's Asses!

The two rock legends team up for the first time on this collection of jingoistic pro-war songs. An interesting transition for the former "peace and love" flower children, this mixed bag has its moments. The lesser tracks do not measure up to their previous best, yet the better numbers are strong indeed. Doesn't much sound like Yo La Tengo, though.
*** (3 STARS)  


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