This is the 1,000th and final album reviewed here on Lunch To The Sound!!!!! And what a way to celebrate this major milestone! Oklahoma native John Moreland’s High On Tulsa Heat is the embodiment of what Lunch To The Sound was all about: discovering great new music that otherwise would remain unknown and unappreciated. This album is Americana and Country at their best with hoarse but powerful vocals, outstanding musical arrangements, and an overall emotional overtone that kept me engaged with the music throughout. I was truly looking forward to more music by the time this one was over, and that is saying a lot considering that I don’t usually like Country. Outstanding album from an artist unknown to me… I will definitely check out his other works!
The expectations for this album were high, but Pop band Marina & The Diamonds did not deliver. This album sounded good at first but then it seemed to drag on forever. It lacks the glimpses of creativity and energy of their debut record. The songs were somewhat lifeless and boring to me. I hope their next one is better… or their career is pretty much done.
How appropriate that we should have scheduled to review Motörhead’s Bad Magic today! The sad news of Lemmy’s passing yesterday was somewhat diminished by the opportunity to listen to his last album, which contains lyrics and sounds not found in previous Motörhead records: words about life and death, posterity, legacy; ballads that show a more sensitive side to this band. Some critics didn’t like this one because it deviated a bit from the typical Motörhead sound, but I enjoyed it exactly because it is such a fitting tribute to this man who contributed so much to Rock in its several sub-genres. Despite his personal flaws, Lemmy Kilmister left a mark on music–and that is what most musicians strive for. RIP.
Julieta Venegas continues to get better with each album… not that her music is that good, but she keeps improving and sounds more akin to Spanish Pop/Pop Rock than to what makes the airwaves here in the U.S. as far as what is labelled “Latin Music” is concerned. This album has the feel of early La Oreja De Van Gogh–and that is a good thing: Pop Rock ballads about broken hearts, break-ups, and the like.
Superhuman Happiness, an Indie Rock band, has now released their second album and this one is very “dancey” yet maybe not as “happy” as the band’s name would suggest. I like their beats and use of keyboards but their vocals get tiresome after a while. They are very creative and maybe they’ll fine-tune their sound to be more palatable as far as the vocals are concerned.
Indie Rock band Waxahatchee is back with another interesting work that features basic instrumentation and raw (without being loud or over the top) and slightly out of tune vocals that narrate the songs in ways that reach deep into the listener’s soul. I stand by my assessment of their previous album (Cerulean Salt): the vocalist merges elements of early Alanis Morissette, Dolores O’Riordan, and Karen O. The guitar distortions are also a plus. This is a band worth watching!
Della Mae is an all-female Americana band that somehow does not sound like a one-gender band. Their competent instrumentation (mostly strings) and energetic vocals give their sound a more complete, “global” flavor that sounds very American indeed. The lyrics match the music, and they avoid the trap of sounding too–or just like–Country. I like their energy throughout and that they sound like they had fun recording these songs. This is an outstanding album that deserves to be widely known.