The experience and emotions tied to listening to Kid A are like witnessing the stillborn birth of a child while simultaneously having the opportunity to see her play in the afterlife on Imax.
You officially have not heard Modest Mouse until you have heard their major label debut. The growth, bravery, and confidence are staggering for a trio that most recently hammered through a song about "doin' the cockroach."
The Avalanches have managed to build a totally unique context for all these sounds, while still allowing each to retain its own distinct flavor. As a result, Since I Left You sounds like nothing else.
What they've constructed here is a new kind of electronic pop-- one which is machine-generated and revels in technology but is also deeply human, never drawing too much attention to its digital nature.
Far removed from the compressed, trebly, and overmastered paradigm that's gripped electronic music in the last decade, Sound of Silver sounds deep, spacious, and full-blooded.
With the help of co-producer Jon Brion, West has taken his jumbled personae, buoyant enthusiasm, and vision for the grandiose, and transformed his chattering, seemingly unrealistic ideas into an expansive, imperfect masterpiece.
Radiohead's sudden willingness to embrace their capacity for uncomplicated beauty might be In Rainbows' most distinguishing quality, and one of the primary reasons it's an improvement on Hail to the Thief.
For all the choices she might have made and the audiences she might have aimed at, the fresh-sounding, adventurous, and not-exactly-accessible Kala is the kind of record that obviously demanded a defined personal vision.
With Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon have once again found a gray area between the poles of pop accessibility and untested studio theorizing, modifying a formula that has grown to feel familiar even as it wanders, and refusing to square the circle while doing so.
The first three-quarters of Inside-Out contains some of Yo La Tengo's best work to date. As a whole, however, it may be one of their less ear-catching records.
Massed vocals and backing harmonies are two of the few things the National have added to their sound since their last album, and though Alligator is satisfying and engaging, it's not quite as bracing as their stellar sophomore outing, 2003's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers.
What's perhaps the most remarkable thing about the truly remarkable Veckatimest, however, is how very exciting much of it is; no small feat for a painstaking chamber-pop record that never once veers above the middle tempo.
Not all music needs to be built to last, but Voodoo was designed and willed and technically optimized to be a testament for the ages; it captures empty space and heartbreak as well as it does rim shots and joy. The grooves deepen.
The resulting 2xCD set captures urgent and imaginative songs that reorganize 4AD haze, off-kilter indie pop, crashing garage-punk, forward-leaning krautrock, and hypnotic Kranky ambience into a singular-sounding call-to-arms.