A few twists and turns shy of perfection, m b v is the innovation and sonic warmth of My Bloody Valentine rekindled and made anew.
Their most scattershot effort yet, Slow Focus is also their best, a commanding compendium of masterfully complex music that's bound only by a common pattern of roving restlessness.
Almost a decade into their career, the Arctic Monkeys have aged gracefully into their precociously world-weary image with a mature album about immaturity, a carefully written and produced effort about the desultory careen of youth. Wh
Despite its differences with Gorilla Manor, Hummingbird isn't a challenging or experimental album by any means, instead offering a host of moody, chasmal tracks characterized by trickling, chiming melodies and vocalist Kelcey Ayer's resilient falsetto.
While Trouble Will Find Me remains well crafted and satisfying, there's something inherently stultifying about it as well.
Shaking the Habitual isn't so much "Shake Your Love" as it is Shakespeare...translated into alien biometric rhythms tapping out iambic pentameter.
From a production perspective, it's a smash. The beats remain head-spinning. But 'Ye's lyrics feel lazy rather than merely drawled, and he's seeking social-commentary cred that he hasn't earned.
Taking its production cues largely from Jessie Ware's excellent Devotion, the nihilist pop of Pure Heroine makes a strong case for the less-is-more maxim. What's left is a remarkably unpretentious and almost raw set of vignettes mostly powered by Lorde's modest, affectation-free performances.
The band certainly hasn't left rock behind, but they've found a way to push beyond a sense of exhaustion with the resources that the genre has to offer, while at the same time reflecting on the tenuousness of interpersonal connection in an age of hyper-evolving technology.
The songs may be dense and literary, but they're also immediately potent on a purely visceral level, striking a perfect balance that makes for what's perhaps the best album in a year already thick with great material.