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Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Florida Alligator

Album review: U2 – “No Line On The Horizon”

Noisy, surging guitars; octopus-arm polyrhythms; Bono hollering on like a hopped-up Pentecostal preacher; spectacularly transparent declarations of purpose whooped in flailing whoa-oh frenzy. These are the first sounds of "No Line On the Horizon," U2's new album, and they combine to say what, with this band, goes without saying: This is a statement.

Florida Alligator

Album Review: Dalek – “Gutter Tactics”

If the election of President Barack Obama was a big can't-we-all-just-get-along inquiry to the good people of America, then "Gutter Tactics" is a scathing, unqualified "Hell no!" Or "not yet," anyway. Atop corrosive grooves tangled in haywire electronic beats, this Garden State duo spits tales of torture, war, civil rights abuses and the like, exposing every closeted sin, protesting all the wrongs that still need be righted. "Armed with Krylon" and "Who Medgar Evers Was" make up a suite of continuously devolving ambient rap that taps a well of run-for-your-life paranoia. The latter track works off a big, beefy drumbeat, spiraling feedback and lyrics about assassination. Indeed, this is dark stuff that takes nerve to slog through, and that's speaking nothing of the introductory monologue - a caustic, hell, fire and brimstone throwdown from the Rev. Wright himself. Or as Dalek likes to call it, "feel-good music."

Florida Alligator

Album Review: Loney, Dear – “Dear John”

Emil Svanängen is moving on up, literally. Having recorded his first album on a laptop microphone and CD-Rs in his mother's cellar, the Swedish popsmith now makes a big enough name for himself to afford real studio equipment, a high-end computer, and presumably, his own home. In keeping with the little-guy theme, "Dear John" comes off like techno-fied Belle and Sebastian - Svanängen sings in breathless, hushed tones, as if trying to carry on a conversation in a library after running a marathon. Most of these songs flirt with electronic chamber pop, veering at alternate forks into "Phantom of the Opera"-esque theatrics ("Harm") and somber, Postal Service dance tunes ("Summers," which would fit snuggly on "Give Up"). If there's a turnoff, it's that a lot of these tracks are too prettily twee for their own good, like a good-looking guy who never makes the first move. And winds up living in his parents' basement.

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