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Comment Archives: stories: Music: CD Reviews

Re: “CD Review: Megafaun

This album was just released today to an 8.1 score at Pitchfork. Now, rest assured, I'm not a fan of the point system at P4K, and actually reject it on many levels. I do like that there's no particular number put on this post, Chris. I do know that the physical publication of Cleveland Scene gave this a 2.5 out of 4 possible stars, and it begs the question, "When did Cleveland embrace snobbery and where did we all learn to listen to music?" Bluntly, anyone with an ounce of musical knowledge could listen to this album and digest it's dripping influence and purposeful angular changes and stops. Chris, I enjoy your reviews typically, but you're way off on this one. It seems like you heard the album once and slapped this up on the site. On multiple levels, this album deserves an even higher score than it received at Pitchfork. Surely it's not an album to listen to once and review, and if that's what's happened here, it's a crying shame.

If this band "embraced a typical approach" it would be an all-out train wreck for their creativity. "Impressions of the Past," which isn't given a second look in this post, is roundly one of the most unique songs released in 2009 thus far, with a blast of sound from about 15 different eras and genres balled into one linear track. Research into the band suggests that this minimalist approach is required in the arrangement. Lack of sound is equivalent in importance to the sound itself. The abrupt stops. The changes. They're all on purpose and point to a near orchestral understanding of musical arrangement. Brad and Phil Cook, and Joe Westerlund are all music school grads, listening to records cooler than either you or I probably. The tracks that get slammed in this review, "Solid Ground" and "The Darkest Hour" are manifestations of this knowledge and send a damn chill down my spine when heard live.

On a cursory listen, sure, "The Fade" and "Kaufman's" are the moneymakers, but neither of those hit the meat of the record. Nowhere in this review does it hit the inspiration for the tracks (their deceased grandfather) and this is probably important to mention. Another wrinkle in this is the hinting that these three were forced to throw together their own band after Justin Vernon rolled out. This is entirely untrue and the suggestion is inappropriate.

To bring this home, I hope the readers don't get deterred here from this amazing record. Actually Megafaun and Bowerbirds played a killer show at Beachland just before BBirds trip to the Pitchfork Festival. Speaking of Bury the Square, they hadn't played "His Robe" in two years and based off of the request, walked out into the audience and performed it without microphones. Needing a place to crash for the night, both bands crashed on my floors, and truthfully I felt embarrassed that I didn't have cool enough records for them to throw on as we tossed a few back.

As they left my home, they said "Cleveland is a fucking blast and we'll be back here in a heartbeat. We love the scene you guys have going here." I sure hope they don't read this, because it's off by about ten yards from what the band intended. I know I'm a nasty sot in this reply, and please don't take it personally. I just had to say a few words in defense, and hopefully, some people get a chance to read it.

Posted by Kevin on 07/24/2009 at 3:28 AM

Re: “CD Review: Voivod

Cool record, great band

Posted by destrometal on 07/23/2009 at 12:01 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

Another Stunning Interview From The Sounds
I Cant Believe I Get To See Em In Like 2 1/2 Weeks ^_^

Posted by built2crash579 on 07/12/2009 at 1:45 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

This CD is absolutley amazing! My Lover is one of the best songs written and is a song I can never get tired of. This time around The Sounds kept it cool with a bunch of soft rock and killer guitar rifts making it one of their best albums yet!

Posted by JonnyFabulous on 07/10/2009 at 9:51 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

A pretty brief review, but not bad - Crossing the Rubicon (the album) is indeed forceful and catchy, and Ivarsson's voice truly stands out. I personally did not find Crossing the Rubicon (the track) creepy, nor am I convinced that Dorchester Hotel is "the band at it's best" (though I know of people who will heatedly disagree there), but overall, a pretty solid review of a very solid album.

Posted by HobBramble on 07/09/2009 at 5:14 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

Im glad this review has positive comments on the CD. I personally think the entire thing is positive! Dorchester Hotel is still my favorite track!

Posted by rachargyle1 on 07/09/2009 at 12:26 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

Well, I don't know if I agree with everything that Brittany is saying, 'cos I sure think it's an awesome album, and I can't find much to complain about!

Posted by svenjer on 07/08/2009 at 11:44 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

I can dance to just about any song from this album. Some may wonder why, especially for the slower songs, but I have had so much respect for this band the last several years that I love just about every song that they put out. Regardless of whether or not you agree, I feel that they have grown so much over the years compared to their previous albums, that you cannot deny why I have this respect for them.

Posted by lavolta on 07/08/2009 at 2:52 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

I would have to agree with myofusions comment.The Sounds to had flown under my radar of knowledge. I won tickets off a college radio station, i called in not even knowing who the hell The Sounds were! The night i saw The Sounds I fell in love and have been in love since! I too enjoy music like i have never befor. Crossing The Rubicon is a great albulm and if you don't own it go get it and cross your own rubicon. Dwn4chaos

Posted by Dwn4chaos on 07/08/2009 at 1:10 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

crossing the rubicon is a really good album...i love all the songs....its a fun, upbeat, dancy album and it shows that the sounds are just getting better and better.....

Posted by leiauealla on 07/07/2009 at 6:14 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

I love this album just as much as their first two albums...i love all the songs....i really can't pick a favorite...the review was ok...the album is way better than you think....i love the musical arrangement on crossing the rubicon...its not creepy....i think its really beautiful....

Posted by ellespea on 07/01/2009 at 8:58 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

Like Myofusion, I didn't really know The Sounds. I knew a couple songs and that's it; probably wouldn't even be able to recognize them if I saw them but then I went to a show that I almost didn't go to because I was exhausted that night -- fortunately I did go because I discovered my new favorite band. My friend and I were both tired and had decided that after they played "Rock N Roll" we were going home to sleep. But after the first 30 seconds of the first song, I was reeled in and found myself at the front of the stage becoming one of the many enamored teenagers surrounding Maja. Not only is the band worth seeing live for their seamless performances but their lead singer owns the stage. You can't take your eyes off her, man, woman, straight or gay. She's a magnet. Sooo as for the album, I think its my favorite of theirs. This is a tough decision though as all of their albums are amazing. It's not really even a biased opinion either since I've only been a fan for about a month and a half but during that time I have scavenged the internet for every shred of information and music and video in existence and have yet to be disappointed.

Posted by coco on 06/28/2009 at 7:01 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

This album is great! It's something new from these guys and girl. It's pretty diverse, probably because of the many producers they worked with. Their old albums sound a little more heavy and intense, which were exciting, especially live. This new one is a great CD; catchy and relaxing. They have created some epic melodies. I really can't wait to hear them play the new songs live.... in VA! My favorite songs from this album would have to be My Lover, Beatbox, 4 Songs and a Fight, Dorchester Hotel, and No One Sleeps When I’m Awake, and Crossing the Rubicon. I don’t know how helpful that list was cuz it’s like half the album but I highly recommend it!

Posted by JackieShadows on 06/26/2009 at 4:12 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

i think that the review is a little jugmental
i really like the album i think it's great and that the 3 years it took was worth it

Posted by blacksoul818 on 06/23/2009 at 10:51 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

i can't get enough of this album, i'm absolutely addicted to it! every song is a favorite of mine! truly amazing band, can't wait to see them on tour!

Posted by bridoll on 06/23/2009 at 3:41 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

I like this review. Sadly, not many reviewers like the album in Sweden where I live, so it is always nice to see a more positive review. I disagree though with your opinions of Beatbox, I think that the joyful sounds make the song a perfect song for the dance floor.

Posted by Patrick17 on 06/23/2009 at 2:08 PM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

One of my favorite songs on this album is Underground.
"The past is a place that you can never return to.
Even though people say that this is where you belong.
I could easily stay, and never come home."

Sooo true, I even had someone tell me this before in my life, that the past is a place i can't go back to, and this song really hits me hard with my past.

I love all of the reviews that "Crossing The Rubicon" is getting!!

Posted by mkrav88 on 06/23/2009 at 1:53 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

ok, this album is amazing.
the live shows are amazing
and i recommend this cd to any lover of good music!!

Posted by fightmetryme on 06/22/2009 at 8:47 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

I think this is a very good review cause it is one of few that actually writes about the record instead of Majas ability to sex up a crowd.
Even if I don't agree with it on many points, for example calling CtR for a creepy song when it actually is highly interesting.
Altough I appreciate that someone except me isn't superexcited about Beatbox.

Posted by isola on 06/20/2009 at 10:36 AM

Re: “CD Review: The Sounds

the Sounds did grow up in the making of this 3rd cd. And it's very obvious. So I sort of agree with this review but I love "Beatbox" and they need that catchy dance tune. They ARE the Sounds! Dance-pop-newwave-indie. Crossing the Rubicon is great.

Posted by capturingmoods on 06/19/2009 at 9:38 PM



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