Weekly Capsule Reviews: 23/04/2017


This week: Conor Oberst; Jarvis Cocker, Chilly Gonzales; GAS; Talos; The Chainsmokers

Conor Oberst: Salutations [Nonesuch, 17/03/2017]

I understand the futility of it to a certain extent and spouting that it “brings the Ruminations tracks to life” is bordering on the obvious, from a spectator view and an avid listener alike. But the harmonica is such an emotive instrument, particularly from his lips, that it’s still got the feel of a stand-alone instrument even with a backing band. Losing his innocence long ago maybe, just maybe, doesn’t fully align itself exclusively with his musical heroes. We can thrust politics in there, too, I would hazard a guess: “I woke up this mornin’ still wearin’ that tie/The one with the hammer and sickle design/Threw up all the pills my doctor prescribed”. It can do that to ya! (8/10)

Jarvis Cocker, Chilly Gonzales: Room 29 (collaboration) [Deutsche Grammophon, 17/03/2017]

A sing-speak of the goings-on at the Chateau Marmont Hotel. Jarvis Cocker seems to simultaneously denounce and hail the hotel yet paints each character, scene, conversation, and setting with the colours they deserve helped very much by Chilly Gonzales’ piano that could so easily be situated in the great hall. (7/10)

GAS: Narkopop [Kompakt (self-released), 21/04/2017]

Hard to find anyone who puts a recognisable stamp on ambient dreamscapes as much as Brian Eno these days. Look to Aphex Twin and Tim Hecker, too. When I stumbled upon Wolfgang Voigt, however, another one was added to the list. (7/10)

Talos: Wild Alee [Feel Good Lost, 21/04/2017]

Evidence suggests this will be in at least sniffing distance for a nomination at the Choice Music Prize next year. It’s so wispy, plaintive, ethereal, serene, and prissy it’s almost genius. It might even be, actually. … Nah. (5/10)

The Chainsmokers: Memories…Do Not Open [Disruptor/Columbia, 07/04/2017]

Marketing whatever gunk is on show to the twelve-year-olds is an art in itself. An even bigger art form is selling this gunk to the prepubescents with a glint in their eyes for something else. Structurally, this is tragic. The drops are so predictable and it isn’t even fun, at all. Are you having fun? Do you care? They don’t. (3/10)


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