Thursday, October 4, 2007

End of the week:: Jon Hardy, Dan Craig, Kate Nash

I'm super busy trying to finish work before I leave for Hawaii. Needless to say, the post production will slow down a bit but I have some content pre-written and Shane will be holding down the fort (so expect lots of posts about punching Puff Diddles in the face).

I wanted to just give you all a quick hitter for a couple of records that are worth discussing, but I don't have the time to give each a full review:

Jon Hardy & the Public - Working in Love
What do you get when you cross the son of a traveling minister, a child prodigy and the 1999 Pac-man champion? Well, you get some interesting music that sticks around like the unwanted dude on your couch as the party ends and you are trying to kick everyone out.

JH & P's new record, Working in Love, is a great mix of guitar driven pop, insightful lyrics and hooks. The band has the talent to make a nice little name for itself, so why not get on board early? The record features some solid tracks - like the Plaskett sounding I Will and the 60's influenced Please, Baby Please, but it would be hard to find a weak track.

Hardy's voice seems to morph into every guitar line, and at times he sounds a lot like Ivan of the Rosebuds, but the way the band plays off each other is the great thing. They take advantage of the details, adding a super bouncy bass line to thicken up the xylophone and guitar on My Love or the Sunday morning strut of Don't.

This has been one of the nicest surprises of my week. If you are going to listen to only one track to make your judgment, make it the album closer, Cassius Clay. Recruiting a female vocalist, the emotional duet will entrench itself in your brain. The chorus is simple, "Ah baby, I'm like Cassius Clay, you’re the name that we all say" but it floats perfectly around your headphones.
MP3:: Cassius Clay
myspace

Dan Craig - Wirebird
Dan's a singer songwriter from Colorado and his record is worth a listen. I know that's not the most rousing endorsement but it gets tiresome hearing people gush about another guy and his guitar. Trust me, I know people escalate song writers much too easily and this record is far from perfect, but from my point of view, Craig's got a nice collection of songs.

Sure some fall short, but some stand out. The thing that grabbed me was that from the opening number, Afterglow -that has a Police like noodle in the riff, was how Craig makes you want to listen (which is something he's probably had to do countless times in little pubs over the drunken chatter).

Up tempo strums and drums showcasing his vocals with just enough familiar sounds to remind you of songs you know and love without sounding like a cover band. The recipe isn't new, but it can still be filling, especially when you are looking for something to throw on for everyone.
MP3:: Cherry Moon
web site

Kate Nash -Made of Bricks
Wow. What happened to Kate's beautiful, sparse arrangement on The Nicest Thing? Well, it seems the label wanted to convert her into Lilly Allen V2.0 and added lots of instrumentation to clutter up the mix.

It must be said I like her record a lot more than Ms. Allen's (which probably means I actually like the idea of Nash's cuteness more than Allen's zany antics) and can see this being a launching pad for Nash, instead of a one and done and countless discussion of third nipples.

I think the record is the record label's vision for her, and the resulting chart success indicates it worked. If you like Allen's swerve and attitude, you will LOVE tracks like Foundations and Shit Song (that has some crazy Tropicana synths and an infectious melody). The record uses a nice amount of styles - the piano that drives We Get On sounds great with her falsetto - plus, how can you not laugh when the chorus and title of a song includes the word Dickhead?

The record shows the potential Nash has and saying it's not fun would be a huge understatement, but if you fell in love with Kate's demos and are looking for more of the same… buyer beware.
MP3:: Nicest Thing (album)
MP3:: The Nicest Thing (live)
myspace

Posted at 2:36 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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