MOVES Summer 2012 Music Reviews

New York Moves

Scissor Sisters Magic Hour

The Scissor Sisters have mastered the act of producing unabashedly flamboyant grab-bags of colorful, disco-tinged pop-rock, and their forthcoming release, Magic Hour, is certainly no different. The transgressive rockers won’t disappoint devoted fans with their glamourized mix of 80s-inspired power ballads and futuristic synth-pop rhythms, but the album does emanate a certain taste-test air of untried samplings that will please those looking for a bit more variation. All in all, it’s exactly what you expect and crave from the entertaining New York natives: a joyful, rollicking track list full of cinematic, pleasantly bawdy dance anthems.

Regina Spektor What We Saw from the Cheap Seats

Regina Spektor has made a career of producing beautifully composed eccentricities. The wide-eyed songstress’ sixth-coming album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, proves to further stamp that the quirky, piano-playing anti-genre musician has a continuous wealth of clever coos and croons, bittersweet narratives and enigmatic, pop-ish loveliness in her musical treasure-trove. In what is essentially mix of re-mastered and new material, Spektor’s latest effort is a testament that her non-conventional niche is one that never fails to surprise with its balanced, whimsical curlicues.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Here

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros took listeners in a revivalist time capsule to the 60s with their blissful, folk-inspired debut Up From Below. Now, with their follow-up Here, the free-spirited, 11-member troupe are out to prove that reality hasn’t burned them out from an overabundance of happy hand-claps, lovey-dovey-ness and a slight case of the messiah-complex. Overall, they have succeeded. Edward Sharpe and his Magnetic Zeros have impressively matched the unadulterated, happy-folk sweetness, powerful croons and explorative, horn-and-percussion-heavy sounds of their first effort without sounding redundant. In what largely stamps itself as a continuation of the hippie-child dogma, Here provides listeners with a slightly different take on the same energetic, ragtime-y whirlwind of harmonious samplings and highly mystical exposés of 60s folk-rock.

The Hives Lex Hives

The Hives have never been the type for subtleties, and Lex Hives, to no one’s surprise, is nothing short of nuclear. In what is a thundering display of jubilant garage-rock, the charismatic Swedish quintet have yet again unleashed another specimen of flawlessly-arranged, invigorating rock-and-roll-popcraft with their latest self-produced effort. Full of the same reckless guitar rifts, frenetic baselines and viscid, thrashy vocals of lead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, The Hives’ staple momentum is still there, but they’ve managed to add a few extra dollops of grit to the polished frenzy.

Patti Smith Banga

Patti Smith can do no wrong. The legendary punk rocker’s artistries and experimentations have propelled her to a cultural icon over the past three decades, and at 66, the firebrand poetess proves her staying power with Banga, her first album of original material in over eight years. Intriguing, inventive and ripe with ethereal reflections and tributes, Smith is as capable as ever of seizing listeners with seductive, intelligent and rebellious songs that hold the message.

Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will Serve you More than Ropes Will Ever Do

A certain otherworldly mystery has always encircled Fiona Apple and her haunting melodies, which is exactly why the elusive singer-songwriter’s highly anticipated fourth studio effort, The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will Serve you More than Ropes Will Ever Do, is garnering so much reckless excitement. It comes in good reason, though. The same exhilarating, alt-jazz abstractions and sultry, throwback vocals that thrust the piano-playing songstress into the spotlight over two decades ago are doused with even more life experience this time around, resulting in a collective jolt of lush, heartfelt songwriting and fresh sounds that are the very unapologetically earnest fundamentals the music world needs to wake up.