Thursday, June 01, 2006

Asobi Seksu: Citrus (Friendly Fire)
release: May 30, 2006
styles: Noise-Pop with Japanese vocals
rating: ***

The critics writing reviews for Citrus will gush that there's once again soft female vocals that alternate with English and Japanese. They'll mention that Asobi Seksu's guitars have a strong influence from My Bloody Valentine. In fact, if they've heard the terms "dream pop" or "shoegaze", even though they never really listened to anyone other than MBV, they will use those terms, even though this is more like noise-pop ("Pink Cloud Tracing Paper" and the end of "Red Sea" are blatantly MBV replicas, I'm sure the band knows this). They'll definitely say that they're part of the New York City scene. And they will translate the band's name to English. What they might do by mistake is assume that Asobi Seksu is one person, as a result of the band putting an image of the girl vocalist on the cover and all over everything else. That about encompasses the reviews. Except for Pitchfork, which will get into all sorts of details that you won't even have time to read. -Kenyon


Radioinactive: Soundtrack to a Book (Stranger Touch)
release: May 16, 2006
styles: Hip-Hop, the kind that doesn't take itself seriously
rating: **

The press release for Radioinactive is trying to confuse me with circular logic: "Soundtrack to a Book is your favorite album's favorite album" and "Soundtrack to a Book is not a soundtrack or a book." Okay? Basically, this entire affair is perplexing. Radioinactive--who resembles a less bad-ass Everlast, less bad-ass only because in the press photo he's holding a robot--is one dude, who in one of these dance-electro-hip-hop tracks, refers to himself as "Radio." For a lot of his third album, it'd be great to know what he's expressing over the beats, neat sound effects and sampling. Because even though he gets props for rapping really quick, sorta like Barenaked Ladies, there are few things of which to make sense. -Kenyon

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