Alibi V.17 No.18 • May 1-7, 2008 

Sonic Reducer

Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords (Sub Pop)

The true test of a music-comedy album’s staying power comes after the jokes have lost their novelty. When you know every punch line, the only thing left to enjoy is the music, which sometimes (see every Adam Sandler song) is nothing more than a drab backdrop for a series of one-liners. Thankfully, the kiwi duo that makes up Flight of the Conchords has paid enough attention to their instrumental accompaniment to make their self-titled release worthwhile, even after the laughs have faded. Whether it’s wuss-rap or neo-folk, the Conchords have legit chops to go with the witticisms fans of the group’s HBO series have come to admire. (SM)

Atmosphere When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

The artists around us should change with the times. In Atmosphere’s case, every album has advanced into something new, and When Life Gives You Lemons ... is the group's most progressive album post-God Loves Ugly. Whether you enjoy hearing Slug sing in just about every track or would rather pass, the lyric content paints concrete and painfully honest pictures. Ant pans back and forth, sampling and producing live instruments. And if you're willing to spend a few extra bucks, you can get the deluxe edition packaged with a DVD and children’s storybook written by Slug. (JH)

M83 Saturdays=Youth (Mute)

It appears that M83—aka Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez—has found himself an American-style girlfriend ... or maybe she's Scottish. Whether it's a John Hughes soundtrack or just Cocteau Twins mimicry, Saturdays=Youth finds M83 successfully re-creating an aural teenage feeling harkening back to that certain unfairly disdained decade. With the help of gargantuan-sounding synthesizers, vocal echo effects and an unfortunately coifed redhead as the likely muse, not since the ’80s was there such an excellent musical take on the ’80s. This. Album. Is. Amazing. (Play it during The Breakfast Club. They sync up.) (JCC)

(SM) Simon McCormack, (JH) Justin Hood, (JCC) Jessica Cassyle Carr