This is something new we're trying out. Instead of trying to review every album that comes out on a Tuesday, here's a quick list of albums recently discovered.
TOKYO POLICE CLUB “Elephant Shell” (Saddle Creek) Grade: B
The music on this heavily anticipated debut album from TPC is so catchy and digestible that it’s easy to miss the lyrics. It’s also easy to miss a song since some of them are less than two minutes long. But that’s the MO of this Canadian quartet. Vampire Weekend fans will be thrilled for more jubilant indie music, especially with “In a Cave” and “Graves.” And their lyrics prove they are beyond their infectious sounds. “The Harrowing Adventure of …” is the first track to slow things down and, from what I can tell, is either about the joys of imagination or growing up. Again, it’s hard to derive any theme or point of the songs because you’ll be too busy tapping your food. Listen to it now and uncover its secrets later.R.E.M. “Accelerate” (Warner Bros.) Grade: A
From the opening track on R.E.M.’s 14th album, it’s clear this band something to say with the frantic and catchy “Living Well is the Best Revenge.” It’s was completely predictable for the boys to release an album during an election year (have you seen Stipe in his “Obama” shirt?). What wasn’t so clear is that the release would be one of the band’s best in years. Clocking in at a little over 30 minutes, the album features an energized group waking up from a bad hangover that’s last for eight years. Songs like “Accelerate” and “I’m Gonna DJ” have a hopeful message and tone. It captures the wave of optimism that is slowing rising in society about the upcoming presidential election, provided that Stipe’s pick this time gets in.LADYHAWK “Shots” (Jagjaguwar) Grade: B+
Full disclosure: This came out in March, and I just started listening to it over the weekend. Why mention it now? Because since I started listening to it, I can’t stop. What’s worse, I can’t explain why. The band plays a sort of dirty, raw version of rock and sounds like it was recorded in a smoky club than in a studio. Tracks like “Fear” have a natural blues tone, but then there’s “Faces of Death,” a slow song that’s a slow burn to the chorus “I know there’s no such thing/ As endless love.” It’s sad and mesmerizing, as if the band was throwing an indie-rock spell on its listeners. Far from perfect, but has the workings of being something in the future.
New England Arts