January 20, 2020

The Lumineers – III – Dualtone

By Kristi Kates | Oct. 12, 2019

This is quite a switch-up for the Grammy-nominated band.While III includes the sharp vocals and shifting arrangements that you’ve come to expect, everything’s encased in a much darker tone. Not a cheerful album — or an easy listen, lyrically — the album is divided into three chapters, each focused on a singular character/story introduced and told through a variety of tracks — “Life in the City,” “Left for Denver,” and “Leader of the Landslide” are particularly gripping — before the set reaches its sad conclusion. **

The Rain Parade – Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Limited Red and Yellow Starburst Edition – Real Gone
The Rain Parade’s debut album was released at the height of the Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. It combined the band’s many peer influences into one heady audio brew, from the psychedelia of Dream Syndicate (“I Look Around”) to the harmonies of The Byrds, and The Bangles (“Talking in My Sleep”). If you can only pick up one album to encapsulate that era, this is a good one to choose, especially in this newly re-issued version pressed on red and yellow vinyl. ***

The Pixies – Beneath the Eyrie – Infectious
Early ’90s woe-pop outfit The Pixies haven’t had a whole lot of good press for their last couple of albums; it seemed they’d lost some of their quirky songwriting style along the way. Unfortunately, the same holds true for this set, which is a nostalgic listen at best. Overly simplistic lyrics, subject matter that leans a little too far to left field, even for this band (see “Catfish Kate,” about a woman chasing a fish), and yet another drinking song (“This is My Fate”) make this an album better passed on than purchased. *
Joseph - Good Luck, Kid - ATO Records
From Joseph’s (literal) backyard in Portland, Oregon, where the band started playing music for family and friends, this folk-pop group with the stitch-tight harmonies has come a long way. It’s been invited to perform on shows like Today and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and have also opened for James Bay. This second album takes the approach of a road trip, as the three bandmates careen through songs like the anthemic lead single “Fighter” and pace themselves for quieter numbers like “Enough in Your Eyes” and “Revolving Door.” ** ½


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