Listen up

Providence national pop + jazz picks: 2007 in review
By JIM MACNIE  |  December 18, 2007
INSIDELesSavyFav
A CRANKY CONFLUENCE: Les Savy Fav enjoy clutter but reach for the melodic brass ring.

It’s the first year a long time where I truly felt like I didn’t listen to enough music. How can we add a couple more hours to the day?

POP
M.I.A. | Kala
The richest listening experience of 2007, made by a sexy agitpopster who isn’t happy until her brain is engaged and her body has its grind on. The revelatory global palette (Aboriginal kiddies, Bhangra disco, Nigerian MC, boomin’ bass galore) is put together with enough know-how to be daunting and delightful.
 
Against Me! | New Wave
The bluster that comes from singer Tom Gabel’s throat is as formal as it is passionate, making the band’s broadsides a tad stiff. But like a mix of the minutemen and the Reducers, this pithy little punk disc is powered by the kind of radically catchy guitar rock that Butch Vig has become expert in rendering.
 
Rilo Kiley | Under The Blacklight
Variety used to be a no-no in indieland — bands did one thing well and stuck with it. As Jenny Lewis and her LA buds moved toward the mainstream, they invested in the craft their perpetually inviting tunes demanded. From the backbeat grooves to the disco romps to the electro ditties, they all seem cut from the same cloth.
 
Kanye West | Graduation
Haughty is as haughty does. Hip-hop’s most reliable MC hasn’t given up on positioning himself as hip-hop’s most successful MC — you know, hitting the club with all that fresh shit and something crazy on his arm. But his bluster has oodles of creativity behind it, and it’s been a long time since any mic fiend dropped three home runs in a row. This is Kanye securing his hat trick. 
 
Gogol Bordello | Super Taranta!
The giddy rampage that the gypsy renegades throw down has smarts and heart. Like the Mekons circa Fear & Whiskey or the Pogues circa Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, their party music is full of social barbs and existential woes that wrap around each other as effectively as their fiddle and accordion do. Hats off to wild-eyed fervor of singer Eugene Hutz — an irresistible frontman.
 
Miranda Lambert | Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
The young Nashville singer comes on like Music City’s Courtney Love: splashing and stomping through tales of revenge and self-esteem anthems. The best part is her sense of humor — all those wild-ass antics, even the dangerous ones, find her with a smirk on her face . . . even when there’s a tear in her eye.

1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
Related: Paul Motian Band, Live, long and uncut, Miles Davis | The Complete Columbia Album Collection, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Les Savy Fav,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY JIM MACNIE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   HITTING THE HIGH NOTES  |  July 30, 2014
    You wanted more, you got more.
  •   NEW VOICES AND SUBLIME VETERANS  |  July 31, 2013
    The kickoff to the Newport Jazz Festival often brings us superb vocalists, and this year is no different.
  •   TEN BEST BETS AT THE NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL  |  August 01, 2012
    The Newport Jazz Festival has been on a roll these last few years, blending the commercial clout of big names with the creative cred of adventurous newcomers.
  •   20 DISCS YOU NEED  |  December 21, 2011
    Astoundingly intricate notions rendered with a glowing attack on this solo disc by the NYC pianist. Perhaps its real triumph is the array of approaches it brokers throughout the program — each distinct, yet related.
  •   THE BEACH BOYS | SMILE  |  November 02, 2011
    Never doubt the impact of whimsy as it applies to Brian Wilson's art. At the peak of his powers — 1965-'67, let's say — the Beach Boys boss was a sage arranger/composer and bona fide pop innovator.

 See all articles by: JIM MACNIE