November 21, 2019

Flying Lotus – Flamagra – Warp

By Kristi Kates | June 22, 2019

Dumping the last decade or so of Flying Lotus’ work into one album effort is no small feat, but Lotus does a great job of collecting the best together to craft this new set of tracks. His partners in audio crime are nothing to sneer at, either — openers “Heroes” and “Post Requisite” quickly unfold to reveal collaborations with George Clinton (“Burning Down the House”), Shabazz Palaces (“Actually Virtual”), pop-diva Solange, and even the ever-quirky troubadour stylings of Toro Y Moi. ***

Wild Beasts – Diviner – Domino
The debut album from Hayden Thorpe — albeit it under the same name as his previous band, Wild Beasts — is a pretty hefty left turn from his prior releases with his bandmates. This is an album of adjusting and transforming as Thorpe gets used to his new solo standing; so these songs are, perhaps naturally, more introspective and “smaller,” but that doesn’t mean they’re not as affecting. He beautifully teams his voice with droning bass and tumbling piano riffs on Peter Gabriel-esque tracks like “Straight Lines” and “Impossible Object.” ***
Glass Tiger – Thirty Three – Willow Records
While Alan Frew’s vocals are still impressively strong, Glass Tiger — the band of the singular ’80s hit “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” — really hasn’t grown much since its heyday. Tiger is still cranking out tunes, and everything’s produced well enough, but all of the tracks, from “Ebb and Flow” to “This is Your Life,” sound like wannabe pop-rock music from — you guessed it, the ’80s. Would’ve been nice to hear some evolution in the band’s sound, tather than this fairly tepid arrested development. * ½
Destrange –The Chosen One – MB
Working purposefully in a bare-bones studio space to laser-focus all of its music writing into an intense nearly year-long effort, Destrange’s latest shows the result of its extreme tunnel vision. The set is confident, occasionally almost overstepping that line into aggressive, and the tracklist is nearly bubbling over with audio escape attempts — the solid metallic tones of the title track; the haphazard, desperate-sounding “About That”; and the screaming (literally) “Hey Stranger” — that go nowhere fast. **


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