CD Reviews

Pet Shops Boys

Elysium

EMI

Pet Shops Boys are back with their eleventh studio album, a like many of the bands albums it’s a grower that takes a few listens to get into. The PSBs are continually challenging themselves writing ballets, film scores and musicals and always make their albums with top notch producers. It’s interesting when you consider that they themselves have produced a stack of successful records for other artists. This time they head to LA to work with Andrew Dawson, best known for his collaborations with Kanye West.

 

The sound is somber and Balearic, opening track Leaving is the soundtrack for a tropical sunset, Your Early Stuff and Ego Music features the bands well know lyrical wit. The beat picks up with Face Like That, Breathing Space is pastoral and gorgeous, Hold On is musical theatre, closing track Theme in Denim and Leopard Skin is disco chill. The low point of the album strangely is lead single Winner which is grating. 

 

Overall it’s everything you expect from a Pet Shop Boys album, it’s got enough in it that’s new and interesting, but they don’t stray too far from home. – Graeme Watson              

 

A is for Alpine

Alpine

Ivy League

Alpine’s debut might best be played midway through a sophisticated kiki, shortly before just deserts get served. (If you don’t know what a kiki is, look it up betch.) The Melbourne band, a Triple J Unearthed favourite, has produced a deliciously rounded, synth filled indie album after three years on the scene. Harmonies by vocal duo Phoebe Baker and Lou James run like honey over ethereal melodies and cheerful beats, with depth found in the funk of Ryan Lamb’s bass. Highlights include Villages, Seeing Red and Gasoline, all of which will find flawless company in a martini and a lounge full of friends. -Carmen Georgina

 

The Wanted Album

The Wanted

Universal

The wanted are not dissimilar to The Presets and to some extend Example, taking on the recipe of infectious beats, remarkable vocals, all against the sounds of an original English band. Chasing The Sun was a smash hit and was heard virtually everywhere. This was taken to an all new level with their current smash hit Glad You Came.  I speak from experience here when I say this tune is a crowd pleaser.  Grab their album and listen to some of their less known tracks like Warzone and Rocket.  It may not change your life but it will certainly brighten up your day! – Tim Bee

 

Grizzly Bear

Shields

Warp

 It’s been a long time between drinks for Brooklyn-based Grizzly Bear  but the sexy foursome have hit back with a stellar album in Shields, the follow-up to 2009’s Veckatimest.  Front-man Ed Droste’s angelic vocals shine throughout Shields but are best heard on lead single Sleeping Ute which you could mistake for being off Veckatimest.  Yet tracks like Speak in Rounds and Yet Again head off on a completely different tangent allowing the quartet to explore a more guitar-driven sound which suits them. Fans of first-rate indie pop will find a lot to love here with standout track A Simple Answer – Troy Treeby

 

Ministry of Sound Sessions Nine

Various

MOS

A rather interesting album that is actually classic Ministry, it’s a well planned, balanced and executed explosion of energy that just slightly misses the mark towards the end of the second CD.  A joy to again see Perth’s own Georgi Kay featured on this giant album alongside Afrojack and Timmy Trumpet. Highlights of this compilation were the wickedly sexy remix of Amnesia not to mention Sebastian Ingrosso’s Calling. – Tim Bee

 

Tags: , , , ,

Comments