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 V.17 No.27 | July 3 - 9, 2008 

Sonic Reducer

G. Love & Special Sauce Superhero Brother (Brushfire)

When G. Love tells you to “wiggle like a worm,” you might turn toward your stereo with a condescending glare. But then you’ll probably start wiggling. The tight snare, wailing harmonica, crisp guitar and a dash of piano are tough to resist. It’s especially difficult when the gorge-deep grooves break down the door of your subconscious. G. Love isn’t as cool as his obvious blues influences like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, but who the hell is? Besides, it’s not out to revolutionize music: G. Love & Special Sauce just wants to give you something to dance to. (SM)

Amos Lee Last Days At the Lodge (Blue Note Records)

Amos Lee is one of the most diverse musicians currently signed to Blue Note; but he still has a few more miles under those heels of his before he reaches the status of his influences. (Opening up for Bob Dylan in 2005 is a start.) Last Days At the Lodge surprises the ear with traditional folk songs followed up by a touch of soul. Lee comes out of nowhere with D’Angelo-like vocals on the track "Won’t Let Me Go." The quality of this album is pure and the content is passionate. (JH)

King Khan And The Shrines The Supreme Genius of King Khan And The Shrines (Vice)

If you like lyrics like "I knew you'd be mine/because you look so fine," accented by gravelly shrieking and backed up with garage-style, soul-ish arrangements intended to sound a little like The Kinks circa 1965 meets a funky wah-wah-laden 1975 film score, you'll looooove this album. If, on the other hand, that sort of thing wills you to sigh with annoyance, you'll find parts of it rather superficial. That said, The Supreme Genius ... is not without quality tracks, the Motown-inspired "Welfare Breed" and reggae-tinged "Crackin' Up" being of particular note. Also, the profuse usage of horns is attractive, and I suspect this eclectic 11-piece Euro crew puts on an excellent live show. (JCC)

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

 
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