The joke behind The Straight Hits! -- an album consisting of ten songs with some conjugation of "straight" in their title -- is that Josh T. Pearson isn't quite playing it straight here. After plumbing a dark night of the soul on 2011's Last of the Country Gentlemen, Pearson decided it was time to throw a curve ball by writing songs that were "to the point." So he tightened up his songcraft, then revved up a backing band, getting them to tear up a...Read more
Moving away from the therapeutic self-examinations of 2015's The Embers of Time, singer/songwriter Josh Rouse rides another sea change, this time inspired by the sophisti-pop elegance of early-'80s acts like the Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout, and the Style Council. Unlike many of their contemporaries at the time, those bands took a more poetic and introspective approach to songwriting, adding warmth and craft to what was frequently electronic-based pop...Read more
It's hard to believe that Laura Veirs started her musical career 20 years ago in a punk band, so is suited her voice and storytelling to folk-pop. During the ensuing time Veirs has honed her craft, working with long term collaborators and occasional label mates Tucker Martine, Karl Blau, Steve Moore, Eli Moore and Eyvind Kang. Now she has produced The Lookout, her 10th solo studio album, which works as a deceptively simple ode to the everyday and...Read more
The Berlin-based electronic duo is back with their most inventive album yet. Richly textured, Dimensional People marks a slight departure for Mouse on Mars, who are well known for their seminal dancefloor records (1999's Nium Niggung and 2001's Idiology). This album features an extensive list of collaborators (The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon) and seamlessly glides between rigid structure and mercurial dynamics. Each...Read more
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A look back at almost 20 years of reviews by the staff, contributing authors and friends of Music Critic. You just can't beat the classics.
Band Name Food Pyramid
How many bands named after types of Food can you think of? At Music Critic HQ we managed to get all the way up to 81 - and that's without having to resort to cop-outs like Spice Girls.
Music Critic Scores
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