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12.31.2005 | Review: Love Is All - 9 Times That Same Song

Love Is All - 9 Times That Same Song: Atmospheric pop music with a shelf life equal to that of a carton of milk.

  • Stream Make Out Fall Out Make Up
  • Purchase for $9.99

  • 12.30.2005 | Review: Seu Jorge - The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions

    See Jorge - The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions: Working brilliantly in The Life Aquatic, this gimmick fails to succeed as an album.

  • Download Life On Mars
  • Download Rebel Rebel (both courtesy of Sucka Pants
  • Purchase for $12.99

  • 12.29.2005 | Review: Bell Orchestre - Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light

    Bell Orchestre - Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light: If it hadn't been released, every indie-rock fan in the world would be clamoring for it, claiming its awesomeness. Because they released it, however, it loses some of it mystery. In the end, it's another mediocre addition to the very medicore genre of post-rock.

  • Purchase for $11.25

  • 12.28.2005 | Review: The Sunshine Fix - Age of the Sun

    The Sunshine Fix - Age of the Sun: Another Elephant 6 Collective release means, you guessed it, Beatles-influenced pop. What's striking is how well they are influenced by the Beatles without ripping them off.

  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Purchase for $13.99

  • 12.27.2005 | Review: The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth

    The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth: Not as good, or solid as Room on Fire (and it's been to long to compare it to Is This It?). Tries too much to vary their winning formula.

  • Stream the video for Juicebox
  • Purchase for $10.49

  • 12.26.2005 | Review: The Strokes - Room On Fire

    The Strokes - Room On Fire: I never liked Is This It? so I passed on this album when it came out a few years ago, but I now regret it. It's an extremely solid and likable rock record.

  • Stream a few videos and download the mp3 of 12:51 Music -> Room on Fire
  • Purchase for $11.69

  • 12.25.2005 | Review: The Olivia Tremor Control - Music From The Unrealized Film Script, Dusk At Cubist Castle

    The Olivia Tremor Control - Music From The Unrealized Film Script, Dusk At Cubist Castle: When they're not trying to be artsy and suspsenseful, you get the feeling as though they could bust out Strawberry Fields Forever and not miss a beat. Ultimately, it's really, really good pyschadelic pop with aformentioned moments of suspense and artsy-ness.

  • Download a few sample mp3s of Jumping Fences and Define A Transparent Dream
  • Purchase for $11.57

  • 12.24.2005 | Review: Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island

    Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island: A fine album, but had I listened to it before Aeroplane, I would have liked it better, but wouldn't have listened to Aeroplane.

  • Download Song About Sex
  • Purchase for $9.02

  • 12.23.2005 | Review: Neutral Milk Hotel - Hype City Soundtrack

    Neutral Milk Hotel - Hype City Soundtrack: The real early stages of a NMH album. This lays the groundwork for On Avery Island.

  • Download tons of bootleg songs
  • May be released in the future by Orange Twin

  • 12.22.2005 | Review: Neutral Milk Hotel - Invent Yourself A Shortcake/Beauty

    Neutral Milk Hotel - Invent Yourself A Shortcake/Beauty: More unreleased/demo/live stuff from Jeff Mangum. It's not really a necessary listen, unless you're a very large fan as any good songs are marred by fidelity issues.

  • Download a ton of bootleg, demo and live stuff
  • Possibly for sale at a later date via Orange Twin

  • 12.21.2005 | Review: Elliott Smith - Basement Demos II

    Elliott Smith - Basement Demos II: Fan collection of bootlegged demos with an unknown timeline for recording. While it's called the Basement Demos II, a lot of it comes from the Either/Or era, but still, I'm amazed every time I hear his voice how majestic it sounds. I didn't get a chance to check out From A Basement last year, but seeing such a strong set of demos makes me want to run out and pick it up.

  • Download all of the songs and more
  • Purchase From A Basement On The Hill for $12.43

  • 12.20.2005 | Review: Sleater-Kinney - The Woods

    Sleater-Kinney - The Woods: Grace Slick like vocals penetrate the air as Sleater-Kinney makes one of the best traditional rock-type albums the be released this year.

  • Download Entertain
  • Purchase for $9.77

  • 12.19.2005 | Review: Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins

    Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins: Sounding an awful lot like The Beatles, but with way more electronica, Of Montreal has created one of the finest albums of the year.

  • Download Requiem For O.M.M.2
  • Download Wraith Pinned To The Mist (And Other Games)
  • Purchase for $8.50

  • 12.18.2005 | Review: Logh - A Sunset Panorama

    Logh - A Sunset Panorama: For their third album, Logh decided to go quiet and make a really, really solid alternative album.

  • Download Destinymanifesto
  • Purchase for $10.26

  • 12.17.2005 | Review: Imogen Heap - Speak For Yourself

    Imogen Heap - Speak For Yourself: I was completely blown away by its beauty. Hands down the best straight up pop album I've heard all year, even if there is too much bass.

  • Stream Hide And Seek, Just For Now and non-album track Cumulus
  • Purchase for $9.49

  • 12.16.2005 | Review: Sage Francis - A Healthy Distrust

    Sage Francis - A Healthy Distrust: This would be the best rap album of the year if he would just get on the mic and rap. Instead, he tries to do some skits and some fancy production stuff and it comes across really low-rent.

  • Download Dance Monkey and Slow Down Gandhi (click on the plus sign next to the song title on the left hand side)
  • Purchase for $10.26

  • 12.15.2005 | Review: The Drones - Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By

    The Drones - Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By: "Actually, on first listen the Australian quartet may seem like little more than an unhinged bluesy garage outfit" says Brandon Stosuy over at Pitchfork and I couldn't agree more.

  • Watch the video for Shark Fin Blues
  • Purchase for $11.69

  • 12.14.2005 | Review: Neutral Milk Hotel - Unreleased Demo 1 and 2

    Neutral Milk Hotel - Unreleased Demo 1 and 2: If you remove all of the excellent production from most of the Neutral Milk Hotel songs, you're left with a foundation of '60s pyschadelic pop, which is what is showcased here.

  • Look for some of these songs to get released eventually on Orange Twin on a b-sides collection.

  • 12.13.2005 | Review: Shakira - Oral Fixation, Vol. 2

    Shakira - Oral Fixation, Vol. 2: Shakira is a singles artist. I have always loved her singles, and Don't Bother is no exception. But twice now, I have tried to get into an album of hers with little luck. It's not as if it's bad, but the singles are where it's at.

  • Stream Don't Bother
  • Purchase for $13.18

  • 12.12.2005 | Review: Jeff Mangum - Live At Jittery Joe's

    Jeff Mangum - Live At Jittery Joe's: He sounds so unsure of himself on stage, until he starts singing his song, and then it's as if he's the only man alive. In the end, the acoustic renditions of Neutral Milk Hotel songs survive extremely well, if not better in some instances, over the fully-produced versions from which most people are familiar with.

  • Download a 30 second clip of A Baby For Pree
  • Purchase for $12

  • 12.11.2005 | Review: Jens Lekman - Oh You're So Silent Jens

    Jens Lekman - Oh You're So Silent Jens: It's not as if Jens is this prophetic songwriter, it's that every word he sings just oozes charisma. This collection of singles, b-sides, EPs, et al is a wonderfully easy way to obtain everything he's done outside of When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog.

  • Download Black Cab
  • Download You Are The Light
  • Purchase for $$11.04

  • 12.10.2005 | Review: Jenny Lewis - Rabbit Fur Coat

    Jenny Lewis - Rabbit Fur Coat: I was a more than a little excited at the prospect of a Jenny Lewis solod album, just as I was for a Blake Sennett-fronted new band. I was a little disappointed in the results of the Jenny Lewis solo album, just as I was for the Blake Sennett-fronted band, The Elected. I was more disappointed with Blake's, however, as Jenny's isn't bad, it's just not Rilo Kiley and had it not been Jenny Lewis, I'd have really liked it.

  • Download Handle With Care, her cover of the Traveling Wilburys
  • Buy it when it gets released next month at Team Love Records

  • 12.09.2005 | Review: Liz Durrett - The Mezzanine

    Liz Durrett - The Mezzanine: Possessing a delicate, beautiful voice and sublime musical arrangement, this is the type of album that usually bores me. This time, however, I really enjoyed the listen.

  • Download some live songs and covers (not album specific)
  • Not available for purchase at this time. Out January 2006.

  • 12.08.2005 | Review: The Darkness - One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back

    The Darkness - One Way Ticket To Hell..And Back: The word sophmore slump gets thrown around too much in the media, so I'm going to avoid using it. Instead, I'll tell you how The Darkness' first record had amazing pop songwriting and excellent rock riffs that combined to make one of the most enjoyable rock records since Guns 'n' Roses. Their follow-up, however, is not only not as good as said record, but the songwriting is mediocre at best and the killer rock riffs have all but disappeared in favor of a more mainstream sound.

  • Stream the title track
  • Purchase for $12.99

  • 12.07.2005 | Review: Chris Brokaw - Red Cities

    Chris Brokaw - Red Cities: Typically, you see a man (or woman's) name and you expect a singer-songwriter type record. Chris Brokaw is no such thing, at least on this release. Instead, he has created a post-rock record that while sleep-inducing, remains compelling. Not relying on strings and grandiose arrangements, he instead opts for solid simplicity.

  • Stream King Ferdinand (or download the wma)
  • Stream clips from the entire album
  • Purchase for $10.75

  • 12.06.2005 | Review: Piebald - Killa Bros and Killa Bees

    Piebald - Killa Bros and Killa Bees: If you've ever heard Travis' solo project Totally Travis Y Las Marianas, you konw what to expect, albeit with a bit more fidelity. Most of the songs are throwaways, a few are demos of album tracks and a few are solid and should receive a rework for future release. And as a large Piebald fan, even I can't get into this release more than once or twice. I guess they're just not one of those bands who's demos and b-sides are all that appealing.

  • Stream Hard Kid and Waste Your Time
  • Purchase for $11.29

  • 12.05.2005 | Review: Thursday - War All The Time

    Thursday - War All The Time: Thursday has a huge fanbase, and it's easy to see why. They straddle the line between hardcore/metal and rock/pop, which gives them a large constituency in order to draw fans from. Some of it's a bit cheesy, but some of it's quite good. Overall though, I could live without it, but it's nice to know it's not all bad.

  • Stream the For The Workforce, Drowning in its entirety and clips from the rest of the album Music -> Discography
  • Purchase for $11.37

  • 12.04.2005 | Review: Thrice - The Illusion Of Safety

    Thrice - The Illusion Of Safety: I can see why Thrice and Coheed and Cambria share a lot of fans. And while Coheed does it much better, Thrice is more than adequate. Granted, it gets a little cheesy going from metallic to melodic so many times, it's overall atmosphere succeeds into a solid album.

  • Stream clips from the entire album (second album from the right)
  • Purchase for $10.26

  • 12.03.2005 | Review: Neil Diamond - 12 Songs

    Neil Diamond - 12 Songs: Truthfully, unless you told me I was listening to Neil Diamond, I wouldn't know. But this collection of songs (12 of them, even), is very well done. Very well produced and songwriting is solid, if a little cheesy at some points.

  • Stream clips from the first half on the album
  • Purchase for $13.98

  • 12.02.2005 | Review: Neil Young - Prairie Wind

    Neil Young - Prairie Wind: It's a bit more melodic, and by extension, accessible than some of his other work. Still, if you're not a fan by now, I can't envision this changing that fact.

  • Stream the entire album
  • Purchase for $10.49

  • 12.01.2005 | Review: Various - the pAper chAse and Will Johnson Split

    Various - the pAper chAse and Will Johnson Split: Each covering a song by the other. The Johnson song covered by the pAper chAse works, as almost anything by them does, but the country-folk version of I Did A Terrible Thing was different, but ultimately unappealing.

  • Download some mp3s by Will Johnson
  • Stream a whole bunch of pAper chAse stuff
  • Purchase for $5.00

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