Omar Sosa and NDR Bigband Ceremony (Otá Records)
Spoon Transference (Merge)
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In times of hugs and LSD, a line like “picture yourself in a boat on a river” was apropos and captivating; today, when Britt Daniel sings “picture yourself set up for good in a whole other life” on Spoon’s Transference, the reality of our economic crisis is fittingly set to music. Since 2005’s masterpiece Gimme Fiction, Spoon—once a major-label failure in the ’90s—has excelled at indulging in cinematic indie rock, sucking listeners into rhythmic stories filled with gentle synths; fat, simple drums; and jagged guitar bursts. In the thick beats and dynamic vocals of Transference tracks like “Who Makes Your Money” and “Written in Reverse,” the Texas-bred band returns to entrancing, car-commercial-ready funk-rock. If only people danced at indie rock shows, Spoon would be the mirror-ball guru of the ’10s. (AP)
Brian Jonestown Massacre Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? (A Records)
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Anton Newcombe, mad genius behind Brian Jonestown Massacre, makes music that, for the most part, isn’t instantly appealing. It takes repeated listens to make sense of each album and the influencing psychosis, until you finally come to love it. Stylistically, the brilliantly titled Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? bears little resemblance to other Brian Jonestown Massacre albums. It’s as if Newcombe threw his sitar out the window and fled India, relocating to Germany where he could fully explore the psychedelic merits of krautrock and industrial music. And I’m still trying to decide it I like it or not. (JCC)
MM (Mel Minter), AP (Adam Perry), JCC (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
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