Weekly Capsule Reviews – 18/09/2016


This week: Teenage Fanclub, James Vincent McMorrow, M.I.A., The Wedding Present

Teenage Fanclub – Here (09/09/2016 – PeMa Records (self-released))

Delivering a loving lilt like the ’60s invaders only hoped they could, Raymond McGinley and Norman Blake surfeit upon us that age is only a number, a lot like Dinosaur Jr. always does. Yet these guys seem to take their age and adapt it to an album where their age seems a blessing even if sonically a curse. Soft, serene, understanding, and the quiet-guys-in-the-corner emblazon Here, giving us the hope that the girl that’s out of our league may relegate herself for our bookworm charm and mysterious-type aesthetic some day. Come on, how deluded are you? Well I’m deluded enough to keep listening to “Hold on to your life, to your dreams/Don’t get lost, in their schemes/Just hold on, to your dreams/Hold on to your head, to your heart/Never stop, what you can start/Just hold on, to your heart”. (9/10) [Dorney’s Top Records of 2016: #10]

James Vincent McMorrow – We Move (02/09/2016 – Faction Records/Believe Recordings/Mahogany Books, Ltd./Burning Rope Records)

Swiftly venturing away from the “alt folk” we’re very much accustomed to and into his folk Usher, McMorrow offers up a refreshing respite to what the alternative-R&B swagsters are throwing at us with shameless indifference these days—”They’ll listen to whatever we throw at them. Let’s make it sound edgy. Put some Auto-Tune there… and there… and here…” Still, the “concepts” of the authentic black musicians out-trump this quivering piece nearly everywhere. (7/10)

M.I.A. – AIM (09/09/2016 – Interscope Records/Polydor Records)

The critics hate it, I get it, I really do. But her assault of modern-day youth culture is hilarious as it is hypocritical and her left-wing-liberal “progressiveness” is hilarious as it is typical—”Borders, what’s up with that?/Politics, what’s up with that? […] Identities, what’s up with that?/Your privilege, what’s up with that?”, “Killin’ it, what’s up with that?/Slayin’ it, what’s up with that?” After dying a death post-opener, I couldn’t help but enjoy the rejuvenation via a collaboration with Dexta Daps and the techno beats of “Fly Pirate”, to name my “favourites”. (7/10)

The Wedding Present – Going, Going… (02/09/2016 – Scopitones (self-released))

First off, I was bracing myself for a twenty-first-century “concept” album, then it turned into a punk’s wet dream, then some fuzzy grunge (is that a punk’s wet dream?), and then it left us with a ten-minute jingle lullaby that was, I will say, something I wouldn’t mind looping for the full hour plus. (5/10)


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