Marnie Stern

Album Review of Marnie Stern by Marnie Stern.

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Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern by Marnie Stern

Release Date: Oct 5, 2010
Record label: Kill Rock Stars
Genre(s): Pop/Rock

83 Music Critic Score
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Marnie Stern - Excellent, Based on 12 Critics

The Guardian - 100
Based on rating 5/5
100

New Yorker Marnie Stern is a glorious one-off: evidently schooled in the 30-year riot of wild ideas that is her city's artrock heritage – though distinctly apart from her peers in that scene today – and one of the most entertaining interviewees in rock to boot. The flicker and flash of Stern's meteor-shower guitar heroics combine with superhuman drummer Zach Hill's warp-speed clatter to create a dense, dazzling sound that might be a little exhausting were it not so full of cascading hooks and stargazey optimism. Happily, this third album contains some of her best songs yet.

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AllMusic - 90
Based on rating 9/10
90

For those who enjoyed the noisy brilliance of iconoclastic guitarist/songwriter Marnie Stern's first two albums, you know that there will be intense, creative, nearly peerless guitar shredding that's accompanied by the hyperactive, equally technique-driven drumming of Zach Hill. These instrumental elements have found their way into her highly original song forms. That said, this self-titled recording is very different from its predecessors.

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Filter - 86
Based on rating 86%%
86

Just as Los Angeles is ready to deem itself “the place to be” for female guitar players with its current queens of the lo-fi scene, Brooklyn-based guitarist/vocalist Marnie Stern retaliates with her third LP that shocks like an AED straight to the heart. Precise dissonance has long been Stern’s strong point, and when paired with a super-human stamina she careens through a 10-track album without any sense of relief until it’s all over; every note is climatic, every vocal a yelp. “Risky Biz” delivers a nuanced pop tune at fast-forward speed, while Stern turns personal on the turbulent “For Ash,” a lament to her late ex-boyfriend that rides waves of emotions—and sounds—more tender than any of Stern’s previous conceptual albums.

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Prefix Magazine - 85
Based on rating 8.5/10
85

Well, it's here. The pop move that everybody has been waiting for Marnie Stern to make ever since In Advance Of The Broken Arm came out in 2007 has finally happened. Of course, we're talking "pop" in an extremely relative sense. Stern is no less the guitar virtuoso she was when she first finger-tapped her way into the world of contemporary indie rock, and there are several moments on Marnie Stern that are just as head spinning as her previous releases are.

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PopMatters - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

There’s a song on Marnie Stern’s new album called “Female Guitarists Are the New Black”, a title which can only be taken as tongue-in-cheek when you consider the artist in question. Even if that premise were true, no fad or fashion can do justice to a one-of-a-kind talent like the technically prodigious and artistically idiosyncratic Stern. The track is the type of composition that only Stern is capable of, sounding like she’s challenged herself to a guitar showdown, as pedal-to-the-heavy-metal finger-tapping flourishes duel with pile-driving riffs.

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Drowned In Sound - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

It takes a helluva lot of contextualizing to see Marnie Stern as the 'anthemic' or 'pop' end of any genre, however extreme… or noodley… or noisy… or weird its other exponents (say: Hella, Deerhoof, Ponytail, Ocrilim) might be. Still, it’s no less integral to Stern’s sound than the guitar shredding that she chants (playground style), she hollers, and she "Hey!"s fit to please any crowd - when she’s not processing, chopping-up and multi-tracking her voice like every spangly-toned pop, R&B, or hip-hop vocalist in the charts… except entirely unlike most of them, because it’s in approximation of her myriad-mindedness, rather than the bleating tones of sheep with vocoders. Two of the best tracks here – ‘For Ash’ and ‘Transparency Is the New Mystery’ – evoke the bizarre image of the greatest stadium gig ever.

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Pitchfork - 79
Based on rating 7.9/10
79

Marnie Stern's hyperactive finger-tapping guitar technique is flashy and impressive when taken at face value, but her records are memorable because they're more about earnest expression than technical demonstration. Her complex arrangements evoke emotional turmoil as the songs ping-pong between excitement and panic, ecstasy and despair, extraordinary confidence and harrowing self-doubt. It's intense stuff, and given its jittery rhythms and extreme treble, it's not always easy on the ears.

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New Musical Express (NME) - 70
Based on rating 3.5/5
70

[a]Marnie Stern[/a] had almost nothing to do with the year’s micro-shifts of musical fashion when she released her first album in 2007. When she released her second a year later, this was very much still the case. A new decade brings a third full-length and (what we will assume is) a bolstered level of confidence for NYC’s wizard lady of the math-rock axe, given that she couldn’t conceive any better name for the album than… her own.

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Tiny Mix Tapes - 70
Based on rating 3.5/5
70

When “For Ash” hit the blogs a couple months back, folks (rightfully) went apeshit. The lead track from Marnie Stern’s new self-titled record was brash and lifting; immediately, it was recognizable as the boldest recording the virtuosic guitarist and songwriter had put to tape in her young career. That’s saying something: Stern’s music is nothing if not consistently bold.

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Delusions of Adequacy
Their review was very positive

As you’re listening to the fiery storm of “Cinco de Mayo,” one of the tremendous songs off Marnie Stern’s third album, Marnie Stern, you can sense both her passions and desires on the album’s roaring chorus: “You will always be here…” It’s the repetitive line that can be sung throughout; all the time Stern is conducting the drums to engorging levels, while her guitar caterwauls her way around the entire chromatic scale. Although it’s obvious that with a self-titled album personal reflection might comes in bunches, Stern does a fantastic job of pairing her life’s travels through her lifting music. Though her last two albums were a singular look into a creative force that is both gifted and determined, Stern’s self-titled album places the focus on a difficult time during her life and in turn, the music is powdered with personal lyrics that highlight different themes and motifs.

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Clash Music
Their review was positive

As you’re listening to the fiery storm of “Cinco de Mayo,” one of the tremendous songs off Marnie Stern’s third album, Marnie Stern, you can sense both her passions and desires on the album’s roaring chorus: “You will always be here…” It’s the repetitive line that can be sung throughout; all the time Stern is conducting the drums to engorging levels, while her guitar caterwauls her way around the entire chromatic scale. Although it’s obvious that with a self-titled album personal reflection might comes in bunches, Stern does a fantastic job of pairing her life’s travels through her lifting music. Though her last two albums were a singular look into a creative force that is both gifted and determined, Stern’s self-titled album places the focus on a difficult time during her life and in turn, the music is powdered with personal lyrics that highlight different themes and motifs.

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The New York Times
Their review was positive

TOBY KEITH “Bullets in the Gun” (Show Dog/Universal) You can almost hear the muscle atrophying on “Bullets in the Gun,” the latest from Toby Keith. More than a dozen albums into a career known best for rallying jingoists and for cheeky, not altogether unpleasant smugness, Mr. Keith is finally letting go of old modes. So much for bluster.

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