Album Reviews

Ariel Pink “pom pom” review: weird, wonderful and divisive

In the coming months, “pom pom,” Ariel Pink’s latest LP of satire-laced goof-pop, will serve as an unwitting litmus test. It will play at a party, and the room will part like boys and girls at a middle school dance: some ready to dance and sing feverishly with the de facto DJ to its songs about Jello, frog princes and “goth bombs,” while the rest beg them to turn it off.

Album review: Karen O, “Crush Songs”

The default way to knock most modern art is to say, “I could have done that.” The standard defense is, “But you didn’t.” Unspoken in that retort is the bit about how most people aren’t talented, respected artists who get to do it.

Album review: Rustie, “Green Language”

When you think of Scotland, you probably think of the old and the natural—fog, bogs and castles. Steeped in the sounds of U.K. electronic tradition, new hip-hop and video games, Glasgow producer Rustie, AKA Russell Whyte, has been working to change that.

Album review: Spoon, “They Want My Soul”

Austin, TX has produced a long list of great rock outfits over the last 20 years. Preeminent among them sits Spoon. Led by frontman Britt Daniel’s born-to-rock rasp and deceptively complex riffs, Spoon has been essential listening for blossoming indie nerds and rock veterans alike, forging an easy coalition between the two factions, if only for a show’s length.

Album review: Trampled by Turtles, “Wild Animals”

Though its carrying capacity has seen a bump in the last decade or so, popular music can only support so many banjo bands. Duluth, Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles began making a case for one more in earnest in 2010 with their crossover album, “Palomino,” a worthy introduction to the band’s two lone modes: speed picking and plaintive alt-folk.

Album review: Poli High, “Poli High”

Poli High is the newest side-project from established Denver indie-pop songwriter Mike Marchant. The EP and project itself might come as a surprise to fans, who have been patiently awaiting another album from Widowers, Marchant's main musical squeeze as of late.