Album Reviews: White Prism, Kurt Vile, Rilo Kiley and TV Mike and the Scarecrowes

A couple weeks ago I declared that we would be doing less album reviews on the site, because they were boring. I stand by that, but instead of doing fewer reviews I felt our reviews should be shorter and that we could put them out in a single post so that you could easily navigate through and see if we liked the album or not. We will put a piece of their Soundcloud or YouTube clips or both so that you too can decide if you like them and if they are streaming anywhere we will direct you towards those streams. We are changing things day by day as we grow and as ideas come to us. Here is just a primer.  

White Prism  Debut EP 4/23

by Amanda Danielle

white-prismMs. Johanna Cranitch will be gracing the airwaves with her newest solo project later this month and it’s rather good. After releasing “Lover’s Dream” back in December, she’s kept a low profile (note by low profile, I mean she’s been touring as a backup singer for The Cranberries), and we finally get to hear her own eclectic sound. The Australian-born Brooklyn-based Cranitch brings us a whimsical ethereal take on electro pop, with cascading vocals over subtle synth and a soft baseline. The sound is comforting, breezy, with a hint of erotica.  I’d imagine it’s what we hear while being born as well as the last thing our brain processes while drifting into the afterlife. It’s music for every occasion and no occasion, which is a fine line to walk and Johanna does it effortlessly.  

Songlist

01. Song 52

02. Play Me, I Am Yours

03. Dance On

04. Siren Calls

05. Wishes


Kurt Vile – Walkin’ On a Pretty Daze – April 9th – Streaming on NPR

By Matt De Mello

KurtVileWOAPD

For Vile’s fifth studio album he has crafted perhaps his best yet. I suppose it’s all conjecture, but to my mind this is the album we’ve waited for Vile to make. I loved his last one, but I felt it was missing something. Walkin’ On a Pretty Daze is missing nothing. It has dramatic solos on songs like “Girl Called Alex”. A song that starts out sounding like a electric fuzzed out version of “Landslide” then turns into a Lou Reed type song with a lo-fi sound. There is a distinct lo-fi sound, in fact, throughout the entire album. It sounds like something that could have come out in 1993 and been hugely successful. I’m not a sales guy and I’m not judging albums on their future sales, because that is simply not indicative of how good an album is. That being said, you should buy this album it is that good. 

Songlist

1. Walkin’ On a Daze

2. KV Crimes

3. Was All Talk

4. Girl Called Alex

5. Never Run Away

6. Pure Pain

7. Too Hard

8. Shame Chamber

9. Snowflakes Are Dancing

10. Air Bud

11. Gold Tone

Rilo Kiley – RKives – Out Now (Stream it at Pitchfork)

There is a reason these songs were not released. They’re simply not that great. They’re not terrible, but whenever a broken up band releases a set of B-sides albums it’s either a way for a public still yearning to be gamed into spending money on an inferior product or it’s a hint that maybe they’ll be considering getting back together. I think of it as the former. This band was torn apart by the ambitions of Jenny Lewis and her success. Basically she grew out of Rilo Kiley and became, much like Gwen Stefani and others of that ilk, a star in her own right. You can decide whether that’s good or bad, but this album isn’t providing anything, but a chance for record companies to make a little more money. 

Songlist

1. Let Me Back In *
2. It’ll Get You There *
3. Runnin’ Around *
4. All the Drugs *
5. Bury, Bury, Bury Another *
6. Well, You Left *
7. Draggin’ Around
8. I Remember You
9. Dejalo (Zondo remix ft. Too $hort)
10. A Town Called Luckey
11. Emotional
12. American Wife
13. Patiently
14. Rest of My Life (demo) *
15. About the Moon
16. The Frug

*previously unreleased

TV Mike and the Scarecrowes – Out Now

This album was a surprise as I thought it’d be a little hokey (the name suggests such prejudice), but it wasn’t hokey at all, it was actually excellent. The music wasn’t like anything of this era it was more reminiscent of 70’s Bob Dylan, Tom Petty. This is just a classic rock record. If you are sick of bands that are over-synthesized, bands that are gimmicky or bands that auto-tune the fuck out of their music then this is your band. They are jovial, talented and memorable. That name is terrible, I agree, but even though we often let band names dictate what we listen to I think you should give them a chance they are really a great listen. There is even a hint of Jeff Tweedy in Mike’s vocals. I’m about to be prone to hyperbole, because I kinda love this band and I’m trying to keep these as factual as possible now. Let’s just say if you don’t find a way to get this album you’re foolish. FOOLISH!
Songlist

1. Let’s Go

2. Hallelujah

3. Hush

4. I Need You

5. Safe and Sound

6. Put Stuff in the Ground

7. Honey on the Dance Floor

8. Middle America

9. Foundation Loan

10. Great Creator

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