The Early Bird: New Album Overview 9-1-17 – 9-7-17
The surprise with LCD Soundsystem is that the reunion album American Dream overcomes a slew of wrong decision singles to steady itself over the length of an album and emerge as a fine addition to James Murphy’s catalog, that picks up where 2010’s This Is Happening left off, a surprisingly disciplined and well thought through. There is no “I Can Change” or “Drunk Girls,” and that lack of a big big song could hurt them/ “Oh Baby” sounds like 1975. Grade: B+. From dance to synth pop, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, on The Punishment Of Luxury sound exactly the same as they did in 2006 or, for that matter, 1981. Deeply thoughtful lyrics while synths and drum machines gently lull you you into a post-nuclear meltdown from the age of doubt. Grade: B+
So there is your big story for the week, LCD and OMD. Or rather, the story is more of the same and features, Daughter, Jake Bugg, and The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart, have released new albums that feels like more of the same. Jake Bugg, who always hit me as hype, returns as the poor man’s folkie, on this rather tasteless, as in without taste, album of folkie meditations. It has moments on its contemplative Americana (that’s the dreaded Dan Auerbach on second guitar), though nowhere near enough. Grade: C. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart claim to be growing up, though everything Kip Berman is doing he has done before, the same ole dreamy, ethereal, melodic synth pop… which isn’t a bad thing. Grade: B. Daughter’s third album is the soundtrack to Square Enix’s prequel to its episodic game series, Life Is Strange. While it doesn’t take them many places they haven’t been, the production is lusher, the made to order album finds the London folk trio with enough good songs to sell it all. Grade: B.
Flogging a dead Lemmy, Motorhead release Under The Covers with ‘Head compiling covers including a previously unreleased “Heroes” of everyone from Ted Nugent to the Sex Pistols and while it is difficult to complain about an album that includes the band covering the Ramones, it is, in the end, product for products sake. Great product for product’s sake. Grade: B+