September 19, 2020

Daniel Norgren – Wooh Dang – Superpuma

By Kristi Kates | May 11, 2019

Recorded entirely on a 16-track analog recorder, Norgren, who brought in some pals to fill in on bass (Anders Grahn), guitar/banjo (Andreas Filipsson), and drums (Erik Berntsson), presents a warm, recognizable sound while still keeping the tunes fresh and intriguing. Mixing his singer-songwriter approach with crafty soundscapes that include elements of folk, psychedelic pop, and country results in highlights like the pleasantly meandering opener, the affirming “The Power,” and the equally positive “Rolling Rolling Rolling.” ***

Sad Planets – Akron, Ohio – TeePee
Putting indie-rocker John Petkovic and The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney together — you’d think — should result in a grit-pop collection of quirkily interesting proportions. And it almostdoes. With hints of both U2 and The Replacements, these tunes do evoke a place (namely grungy, struggling working-class towns of the Midwest), but the album’s overproduction negates the music’s effectiveness. “Just Landed” is too smooth for its country-punk approach, while “City Ghosts” is so effect-laden, it just comes across as cheesy. **
Jai Wolf– The Cure to Loneliness – M&P Music
Sajeeb Saha, otherwise known as Jai Wolf, has a real knack for combining shoe-gaze pop melodies with dance-remix DJ grooves (including a previous remix collaboration with Zedd), and he’s found the perfect base for his operations via his new record label home. “It All Started with a Feeling” is pure nostalgia, all ’80s synths and rumbling ’70s bass lines. “Around the World” (featuring Now Now) revolves around its anchoring catchy piano line, while “Drowning” brings in Robokid’s vocals for extra emotion. ***

Snowy White and the White Flames – The Situation – AFM Records
Snowy White is a respected guitarist, having worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, and Thin Lizzy. But this solo outing is pretty average, compared with his accomplishments on guitar. White, who also sings, brought in an impressive shortlist of friends to work with him on the album, but unfortunately, the tunes themselves are less than this ensemble’s potential. From the cliched title track to the tired bar-room sounds of “Blues in My Reflection,” there aren’t any standouts in the entire set. *


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