Top Albums Of The Week, April 18-22
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:27:50
Rufus Wainwright Photos
Guided by Voices Videos
It was a genre-jumping whirlwind week of releases. Everloving romantic Rufus Wainwright released his chamber pop-studded, operatic take on Shakespeare, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets. African reggae all-star Alpha Blondy released his 16th studio album, Positive Energy, with his band The Solar System. And throwback grunge-era rockers Candlebox returned with Disappearing in Airports.
We, meanwhile, collected a few more worth singling out. Read on for our top picks of the week.
Guided by Voices, Please Be Honest
The bafflingly prolific Robert Pollard’s all DIY new project recalls pre-Bee Thousand-era GBV and the piles of tracks from his way-way back catalog that come off either fuzzy, lo-fi, distorted, jangled, or some composite blend. The rough, homemade, demo-like sound is attributable to Pollard himself, who ditched any notion of a band to play every instrument on the 15-song collection himself. For those who know and love Pollard when he gets all OCD like this, dig in.
A$AP Ferg, Always Strive and Prosper
The A$AP Mob member’s sophomore album is as rich with featured guests—like Missy Elliott, Skrillex, Cashmere Cat, and DJ Mustard—as it is with styles, roaming from trap, crunk, and old school hip-hop to spacey house bangers fleshed out with thick beats. Slick production and progressive sonic ideas fill in all the spaces.
Nicolas Godin, Contrepoint
One-half of the French duo Air, Contrepoint, Godin’s first solo album, is a take on Switched-On Bach: electrified, warped, and altogether experimental adaptations of eight Bach works. Playful arpeggios meet analog synths, sweeping as much thematic inspiration from the Baroque period as from Godin’s contemporary soundtrack work (Virgin Suicides, Le Voyage Dans La Lune).
Wire, Nocturnal Koreans
Proving every enduring pre-industrial art house band has its day, British punk legends Wire offer this 26-minute long, eight track mini-album that’s fleshed out with what the group calls “studio trickery,” tones and textures (like trumpet and lap steel) that warms an expansive, yet often too manufactured-sounding, sonic template. There’s more variety and therefore, vitality, here on Nocturnal Koreans, an approach that might prove to be a gateway for a new generation of fans.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
Buy A$AP Ferg music on iTunes
Buy Nicolas Godin music on iTunes
Buy Wire music on iTunes