Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Albums of the Month: April 2010

Pop/Rock: “My Best Friend Is You” – Kate Nash

Three years after her debut album “Made of Bricks,” Brit-popper Kate Nash is back with an album that diverges sharply from her earlier favorites like “Merry Happy” and “Foundations.” During these in-between years, Nash played bass and sang for a punk band called the Receeders, and the punk influences are noticeable on “My Best Friend Is You” – maybe even too noticeable. Tracks like “Paris” and “Do-Wah-Doo” are certainly catchy; they have those signature spots where Nash sings really fast and sounds like she’s yelling at you. Unfortunately, it seems that while Nash has injected more girl-power into her lyrics, she hasn’t upped the lyrical wit to match it. It’s a solid album, but Kate Nash has a ways to go before she can be the next Lily Allen.

-Sara Wallace ‘12

Indie: “Avi Buffalo” – Avi Buffalo

Considering this is the band’s first full release, Avi Buffalo’s self-titled album exhibits musical potential that's rare even in far more seasoned musicians. Avi Buffalo is a little bit of everything for just about everyone. Lead singer and guitarist Avi Buffalo sings with a youthful quality, invoking the vocals of MGMT or the Unicorns, and his lyrics speak to a quintessential teenage audience. But in the melodies and the complex interactions between all the instrumental elements, we find the thoughtfulness and coherence of a much more experienced band - Wilco in the whimsical guitar lines, and the Shins in the melodies. If you’re looking for a fresh take on a solid rock sound, definitely check this band out.

-Lisa Han ‘13

Rock: "Leave Your Sleep" – Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant is not a new name; she's also not a big name. But the chill singer-songwriter's new album is definitely one to check out, both for die-hard Merchant fans and for people that want to add something new to that cruisin'-down-a-sunset-lit-highway playlist. Merchant brings us her characteristic relaxed, acoustic songs with just a dash of spunk. And her lyrics on this album are especially interesting - you can tell off the bat from the song titles - on tracks like "Calico Pie" and "Spring and Fall: To a Young Child." Overall, "Leave Your Sleep" is definitely something to buy, even if you've never heard of Natalie.

-Jess Turner ‘12

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