Sound Check (Hartford Courant)
Craig Finn: Clear Heart Full Eyes
Clear Heart Full Eyes is the first solo effort from the Hold Steady's singer and lyricist Craig Finn. Is it an exercise in egoism? Is it a true departure from the successful Hold Steady form? We discuss!
Kathleen Edwards: Voyageur
Voyageur, the latest from Kathleen Edwards, shows the influence of a new producer (think Bon Iver). But how does this record stack up against her earlier, more alt-country efforts? We discuss.
Dex Romweber Duo: Is That You In The Blue?
Drop everything. This is the most kickass album you've heard all year. "Is That You In The Blue?" is the second record for the brother-sister duo, and it's clear here why Dex was a -- or the -- major influence on Jack White. Just drop everything,...
Bon Iver: Bon Iver
The eponymous second full-length release from Wisconsin-based Justin Vernon, performing as Bon Iver, is a departure for the critically acclaimed rocker. Do we dig it? Yes, Meh, and Meh-Plus.
The Antlers: Burst Apart
Burst Apart is the second full-length record from Brooklyn-based The Antlers, and it's on our short list of albums of the year.
Amanda Shires: Carrying Lightning
Amanda Shires, a Texas singer-songwriter with a flair for fiddle and ukulele, has us generally all a-swoon over Carrying Lightning, her most recent release.
Canadian indie rocker Dan Bejar has us all a-dazzle with Kaputt, the latest from his Destroyer project. While he's a member of the New Pornographers, we find similarities in this effort with those of bands such as Roxy Music and Prefab Sprout. Take a...
Roky Erickson with Okkervil River: True Love Cast Out All Evil
It's a collaboration borne of Austin, Texas-based musicians -- Roky Erickson, a pioneer of psychedelic rock, and Okkervil River, critical darlings of the indie-rock set who have performed with The Decemberists, the New Pornographers, The National and...
The Decemberists: The King Is Dead
The King Is Dead, the latest from The Decemberists, features familiar themes and voices (and guitars, in the case of R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, who joins). Or is it a departure? And is it charming or repulsive? For such a great record, we really can't agree...
The Top 10 Records of 2010
Your friends at Soundcheck have consulted and agree: 2010 has been one of the best years for music in at least a decade. From Frightened Rabbit and Beach House to The National and Rush, there's been something for just about everyone. Here, we give you...
Superchunk: Majesty Shredding
Majesty Shredding, the long-awaited ninth album from old-schoolers Superchunk, rocks pretty hard. But is that a good thing? We shred through the cheese.
Robyn: Body Talk -- The best in dance pop?
Swedish dance-pop phenom Robyn recently released Body Talk, actually a trilogy of EPs released during 2010. As far as electronic dance records go, we agree that Robyn is doing it better than anyone else these days -- including Lady Gaga. That's right....
Cee Lo Green: F**k You -- The best song of 2010?
Sure, F**k You is a terrific single -- but how does the rest of Cee Lo's latest record, The Lady Killer, measure up? How about among the best of 2010? You heard that right.
OFF! Punk rock returns!
Old-school punkers OFF! are releasing a collection of 16 songs in under 18 minutes that prove punk is alive and well. Or, is this just more evidence that punk died decades ago, despite this effort from formermembers of Black Flag, Circle Jerks,...
Warpaint: The Fool
The Fool, the first full-length effort from the L.A. all-female quartet Warpaint, is a dreamy blend of texture and tone. We approve -- and not only because we, too, are a dreamy blend of texture and tone.
Grinderman: Grinderman 2 -- A whole lot of rock.
Grinderman is the band that succeeds Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, in that it comprises Nick Cave and former members of the Bad Seeds. So is this just another Bad Seeds record, or something new? Check it out, dear listeners.
Philip Selway: Familial
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway has offered a record of his own: Familial, a quiet and nearly percussion-free effort that is nuanced and introspective. Some of us may find it a wee bit boring, but there's a backstory to it that makes all the...
Damien Jurado and Richard Swift: Two Dudes, Two Records
Damien Jurado's solo album St. Bartlett was produced by Richard Swift, himself a successful independent singer-songwriter. The duo spent a few days together at the end of August and banged out another record of cover songs, written by acts as diverse...
Best Coast: Crazy For You, But Are We Crazy About This Record?
Crazy For You, the latest from Best Coast, is awash in good vibes and reverb. Is it too much, or too little, of a good thing? You podcast pals engage in a triumphant discussion.
Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone
You Are Not Alone, the latest from gospel legend Mavis Staples, adds just the right amount of Now to a whole good lotta Then.
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