Categorizing M83’s oeuvre is difficult. A drone/swarm aesthetic gets the shoegazer senses tingling, but not intensely enough. Despite an Enoesque approach to soundscaping, it fails ambient’s “Does it slip into the background?” test thanks to synth lines stacked like cordwood and percussion that leaves blast craters. And though there are dream-pop overtones, leader Anthony Gonzalez’s approach is just a bit too enthusiastic, too ebullient.
John Lennon died for our sins. Beardy Jesus guise and messiah complex aside, the former Beatle dedicated large swaths of his solo career to demanding penance from us: the war hawks, the caste perpetuators, the Blue Meanies, the obstinately pious, the Paul McCartney idolators, the crooked government-men. Imagine, reissued on vinyl as part of the ongoing “From the Capitol Vaults” series, finds Lennon in full finger-pointing mode.
On the title track to Randy Newman’s first studio album in nine years, the man once hailed as the “bard of barbs” details a near-death experience that left him lying prostrate on the pavement. So here’s some news that will assuage the mortal fears of a man approaching 65: Last year, a Norwegian University of Science and Technology study concluded that those who easily found humor in real-life situations outlived those who didn’t. So let’s pencil in Newman for the centenarians’ club right now....
Genre gatekeepers, place your right hand on your copy of Menswear’s Nuisance and repeat: “I swear on the Gallagher brothers’ eyebrows that I will never again label Supergrass a ‘Britpop’ act.” Despite an ability to brilliantly filch from the English canon, the Oxford quartet had little in common with their fellow countrymen; Supergrass’s sketch-humor tomfoolery and fast-and-loose sensibilities largely separated them from the chin-stroking Albarn/Anderson sect.