December 18 - 13
This review of Disclosure kicks off the second half of the 10 reviews of some of our favorite albums of 2013.
If I had to pick one defining album of 2013, it would have to be Disclosure’s Settle. Not only do teen prodigies Guy and Howard Lawrence manage to reach global popularity with Settle, they did so by focusing on a sub-genre that has yet to obtain mainstream success outside of the UK (Garage). As a fan of Garage, Deep House, Techno and other “4/4” genres that have kept dance music interesting for the past 30 years, it’s refreshing to witness emerging talent like Disclosure pay homage to the underground. Each song is an expertly crafted pop anthem, that doesn’t placate the listener with mainstream “EDM” production tricks used by David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, Afrojack and the like. In fact, it’s the unique production on Settle that makes the album standout both as a commercial and underground gem. Much album’s success is owed to the brilliant cast of guest vocalists Guy and Howard collaborate with,... Read More
December 17 - 13
This review of Wooden Shjips marks the half way point of the unveiling of some of our top 10 albums of 2013. Stayed tuned for the second half, we promise you won’t regret it!
Artist: Wooden Shjips
Album: Back To land
Label: Thrill Jockey
On ‘Back to Land’, the band delivers a sonic milkshake that smells and tastes definitively like “Wooden Shjips music,” but it’s got a new confidence. Some washes of harder-edged electronic stuff, some happier moments and some darker moments. Miles of guitar solos / fuzz / distortion, of course, and motoric bass and drums. But the mix is heavier and more varied from track to track. You’ll hear them pushing the edges out, loosening the ties. The result is a record that’s more sonically rich than anything that’s come before, and also more accessible. Here, boundary-pushing involves the occasional inclusion of acoustic guitars in a supporting role in the band’s drone-friendly Suicide-meet-’Sister Ray’ stew, as well as tunes that occasionally risk a third chord to supplement the band’s customary two- and single-chord workouts.... Read More
December 16 - 13
We hope your weekend was great. If you need inspiration to get your Monday off to a great start, check out album review #4 of 10 of our favorite albums of 2013. Enjoy!
Artist: Jagwar Ma
Label: Mom + Pop
Not unlike the Australian outback, Jagwar Ma released a debut album, ‘Howlin’, that is vast, remote, and baked under the sun. What started as an experimental duo in Sydney quickly became a more ambitious trio in France (and now England), transforming living room jam sessions into an album of dub-heavy, psychedelic dance rock. Their first two singles, “Man I Need” and “Come Save Me”, could have been chart toppers in 1993, alongside The Charlatans or Oasis (who are big fans, incidentally) but the band still manage to sound modern and relevant. No other album in 2013 hit me so quickly, upon first review, and still sounds fresh, weird and wonderful, after 12 months of non-stop listening.
-Dean Sven Carlson, Lead Associate Music Supervisor/Procurement... Read More
December 13 - 13
It’s that time of year… time to pick your top albums of 2013. At PlayNetwork, we’re going to do it a little different this year. Our music team picked their top 10 albums and then wrote a review for one of the albums that made the list. We are going to feature 10 of these album reviews written by our music team. Here is the first one, enjoy!
Album: Hanging Gardens
Label: Innovative Leisure
Following a steady string of hotly-tipped remixes and singles over the last four years, LA-based electronic production duo finally unleashed their debut studio album this past summer and quickly became a go-to soundtrack for the sunny season. Hanging Gardens showcases Classixx’s seamless blend of disco, house, R&B, funk and pop styles that mixes infectious pop singles with breezy dancefloor grooves, all with an impeccable 80s-influenced touch and a talented roster of diverse guest vocalists. The album also stands out with its flawless sequencing and pacing, undoubtedly the result of the duo’s long-running DJ backgrounds before embarking upon creating their own sounds in the studio.... Read More