With all the craziness of music blogging, from concerts to press releases to interviews to festivals, it can be hard to find time to sit down, listen to an album and give it an honest, thorough review. With that in mind, we came up with the Reviews Roundup, a way for us to look back at all of the major releases in the past month and give them an on-the-spot review. Whether we like them or not, we'll spout out a quick blurb about the album to give an overall impression of what makes it good or bad along with a score based out of five.
This month, we've had majors releases from Animal Collective, The xx, G.O.O.D. Music, Grizzly Bear, The Raveonettes, Mount Eerie, The Presets, The Vaccines, and many more. After the jump, you can read our quick thoughts on this month's offerings.
Animal Collective - Centipede Hz:
AnCo deliver an elaborate exploration of spacey sounds and psychedelic soundscapes.
Mount Eerie - Ocean Roar:
Phil Elverum's second album of the year is a beautiful-yet-eerie emotional journey, exploring the ideas of order and chaos.
Cat Power - Sun:
Chan Marshall returns after six longs years of dark hibernation with a sun-soaked gem.
The Vaccines - Come of Age:
The UK outfit's sophomore album is a grittier, more raucous outing than their debut, a welcome maturation for the band.
Stars - The North:
One of Canada's indie stalwarts offers up a catchy blend of electronic sounds and sprawling instrumentation.
Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon:
The band's sophomore outing retains the catchiness of Tourist History, but feels a bit forced at times.
The xx - Coexist:
This sophomore effort shows a great progression for the band, who have an incredible talent for evoking vast depth through subtle minimalism.
The Helio Sequence - Negotiations:
The Portland duo explore the intricacies of themselves and their instruments, building layer upon layer of delicate and engrossing instrumentation.
The Raveonettes - Observator:
Observator is an intriguing venture into the allure of Los Angeles, a mental journey in despair and loneliness amidst lush instrumentation.
David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant:
The ever-lasting talent and creative drive of David Byrne mixes beautifully with Annie Clark's undeniable charisma.
The Presets - Pacifica:
Pacifica is an electronic gem, weaving grandiose synthesizers around a complex tale of the future.
Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II:
The San Francisco psych rockers put all they've got into this diverse, hazy psychedelic package that shouldn't be missed.
The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter:
Yet another exploration into the intricacies of death from a band obsessed with the notion. With soft, solemn moments and charming, upbeat arrays of acoustic goodness, fans will feel right at home here.
G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer:
The G.O.O.D. Music crew feels fairly disjointed here, with a lot of different artists and styles to take in, but a few solid performances help it from falling apart.
Grizzly Bear - Shields:
Grizzly Bear delves into a myriad of dream-like sounds, moments later being swept into an uproar of chaotic instrumentation. This expansive array constantly tears apart and rebuilds itself, struggling constantly in a beautiful war.
Django Django - Django Django:
This Scotland quartet knows how to do harmony right, blending their vocal stylings with an addictive and quirky blend of spacey sounds and psychedelic influences.