trespassers william - having

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Album: having
Artist: trespassers william
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Trespassers Williams is back, and this time they brought with them a fantastic producer and a stronger focus on finding their sound. The new album – Having - is just out today, and KEXP helped them celebrate with a show this morning.

Using textures and layers of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, the voice of Anna-Lynne Williams sets a smoky mood that seems perfect for film and TV soundtracks. That would explain how the band has songs on the OC, the upcoming film Annapolis and that movie with Travolta and Scarlett Johansson that ended up in the 2 for $16 rack at every video store. Only thinking of this band as a soundtrack song would be selling the band short, as this disc is a great listen.

The three-piece, consisting of Matt Brown, Ross Simonini, Anna-Lynne Williams, moved to Seattle in 2005 to refocus the songwriting process. They hooked up with Dave Fridman (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, Mogwai to name a few bands he has helped form a sound) and the result is a sad, depressing, beautiful experience.

Anna's voice will be welcomed by fans of Mazzy Star, Sia and Dido, but the instrumentation helps this band stand out from the easy comparisons. The music pairs seamlessly with Anna's lyrics of waiting for love and heartache. The difference between TW and so many other bands attempting the same ideas is that their songs change tempo and sounds so perfectly that the disc doens't just blend together. Sparse and subtle guitars crescendo to set the emotion of the track, or hush to reveal the fragility of the lyrics. The percussion and programming is enjoyable, and the band is focusing on the acoustic vibe performances, so anyone lucky enough to see this band should.

How can I easily sum this disc up? This CD would be perfect at the end of an evening as the vices that drive you leave your system. Understated, emotional, reflective. A perfect comedown to whatever state you are in.

Listen to: What of Me?, And We Lean In, Matching Weight
Here's a link to the e-card:
http://www.nettwerk.com/player/trespasserswilliam/


josh rouse - subtitulo

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Album: Subtitulo
Artist: Josh Rouse
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Singer/song writers usually wear their heart on their sleeve. What they are going through is usually not much of a secret. Love, loss and heartache + catchy acoustic riffs or challenging arrangements are usually par for the course. With Josh Rouse's new album, Subtitulo, you don't have to look much farther than the title.

Josh recently picked up and left Nashville and rented a place in Spain to get away from everything. His record contract ended, and he started his own label (Bedroom Classics). This new start in life shows on his new record. The album is very upbeat and reflective. Starting with the fantastic single, Quiet Town, Josh basically walks people through where's at physically and mentally, and it seems to be a positive place.

This upbeat nature continues throughout the disc. Gone is a lot of the subtle slide guitar sounds that made me love Nashville (don't worry, a few tracks still use a great sounding pedal steel), and in their place is some bouncy bass lines It Looks Like Love and Josh using his falsetto more frequently. The songs are poppier and happier in sound, even when they are focusing on more emotional subject matter (Givin' It Up For Good), but I am digging that about the record. He even strays close to the Money Mark style music that a lot of the Brushfire boys are using (made famous by the grooves on Check Your Head) on His Majesty Rides. He seems to be in a place where he is seeing the good that is around him, or the

Josh tries some new things on this record, including an instrumental number, obviously influenced by his Mediterranean edifice as well as a duet with Paz Suey that takes on a Girl from Ipanema feel (The Man Who...) and for the most part, they work well. Fans of his will still enjoy his songwriting, but hopefully appreciate the new touches he adds to this very personal record.

My favorite track is the closer, El Otro Lado, where Josh goes through a break-up and explains to 'a woman' why he isn't happy, and why he wants to change. A fitting end to a record and a time in his life that is all change.


pete bush - demos

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Album: demos
Artist: pete bush
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Pete Bush is a singer/song writer with a very diverse background and set of influences, all of which are demonstrated on his 5 song demo. The songs are high energy, and one can only imagine how these would sound live, with the backing of a full band. Pete's vocals are strong, and fall somewhere in between the line of indie rock and pop sounds. Fans of Andrew Bird and Soul Coughing will really want to give this guy a listen.

Simply put, these are catchy multi-part songs, but not over-produced pop songs that lose appeal very quickly. These songs are more than one riff that a singer hopes will be catchy enough to stick in your head. Well-thought out arrangements and transitions make Pete Bush someone that should start popping up on stages on the West Coast quite soon.

The opening track is Fly Away Bird. It's a song ready for radio, which would explain why it received play on YEP, about lost love. The stand-up bass line adds depth to the catchy guitar/vocal hook and you start to see that Pete really makes you feel what he feels when he sings.

The jazzy bass intro to Heroine Sheik will appeal to Andrew Bird fans. The song was originally performed by his former band, Salena Catalina, a sexy jazz quintet based in Pittsburgh, but Pete adds a feedback heavy bass line to create a rock feel to this number.

How Apropoe is a catchy number that really focuses on a well-traveled stand-up bass line. The guitar riff compliments the bass line, really making your head nod. Throwback to the Nog is a slowed down, more emotional track, that really brings to mind some of the newer JTB Blake penned ballads. Using only a simple guitar riff, and self harmonies, Pete really expresses his emotions, drawing the listener in until the songs ends with a frantic drum/guitar repetition of the chorus. This track really peaked my interest, and made me want to hear a full length by this guy, realizing it wouldn't be your standard songwriter CD (trying to hit with catchy radio friendly songs that would help him become a household name).

The final song is by far the most enjoyable. Ester my Ester is a bouncy guitar/stand-up bass track with a sing-a-long chorus. The accompanying female vocals help add to this song, and I challenge anyone to get the chorus out of their head.

HeroinSheik.mp3
Nog.mp3

Rating - 7.3/10


Jack Johnson - Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George

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Album: Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George
Artist: Jack Johnson
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Jack Johnson has perfected the surfer style acoustic funk. His songs are simple, catchy, and work well as sing-alongs. All of these qualities make Jack a perfect person to pen songs for a children's album backing the new Curious George film.

Originally Jack decided to record songs for this project so his son could hear his music in a medium he could like. Not too many toddlers are going to chuck on dad's disc and acousticly rock out, but a lot of kids will make a parent let them watch a movie time and time again. So, to support this project, Jack recruited some of his best friends to contribute to the LP, including Ben Harper, Zach from ALO, Matt Costa and G. Love.

The combination of songs Jack picked for this album includes some classic Jack sounding tracks, so new versions of older songs (My Own Two Hands and Lullabye were both released on Ben at Matt's previous albums and We're Going to be Friends is a White Stripes cover that Jack started playing on tour many moons ago), and some songs aimed directly at the kids.

The first two songs, Upside Down and Broken, are the strongest tracks on the album. The structure of these upbeat sing-alongs will be easy to recognize for Jack fans. Upside Down features Adam Topol's bongos & Merlo's simple bass lines, some Flake-esque chords patterns and an infectious chorus. Broken fits perfectly into the songs Jack put out on the last album, In Between Dreams. The gentle piano makes the track fuller and honestly, this is one of the best songs Jack's every written. Even Wrong Turn seems like it could have found a home on the On and On release. So I guess the best way to put it is - if you like Jack's other albums, you will like these songs. It almost seems like these tracks are some b-sides that were never released or Jack had been working on and never quite finished until now.

Songs like People Watching and Supposed to Be are a little weak in my opinion, but I think that is probably just because all his other work has set the bar ridiculously high.

The songs penned for kids obviously aren't as catchy, and focus more on putting out some good messages for kids. The Sharing Song, the 3R's and Jungle Gym sound like any of the songs artists put out for kids albums. Fun, upbeat and talk about something positive. While some people might not be into these, you have to remember that the album is for kids – more or less.

The tracks Ben and Matt contribute are nice. A stripped down acoustic/ukulele version of the reggae-esque opener from Ben's Diamonds on the inside album is a nice song. Anyone who ever heard the Carson Daly or KRCW performances will know how great these two sound together. Matt and Jack harmonize well on Lullabye, a song grabbed from Matt's latest EP. Both are nice tracks, and add some variety to the album.

Overall, I think this is an album fans should buy. If you are new to jack, the kids' songs might turn you off, but the singles on the collection are worth the price tag.

Check out :: Broken



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