Alibi V.19 No.17 • April 29-May 5, 2010 

Sonic Reducer

Stereo Total Baby Ouh! (Kill Rock Stars)

[ MP3 Preview ]

Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring will not disappoint Stereo Total fans with this May 4 release. The Berlin-based synth/pop/dance/experimental duo has created another humorous, multilingual, low-fi album full of super catchy dance tunes. (I’m bopping up and down in my chair as I write this.) Although the duo recorded 40 songs for its first full-length since 2007, there are only 17 tracks here—which ones appear on your album depend on the country where you buy it. The U.S. release has more offerings in English than its Euro counterpart, plus one song in Japanese. All are richly layered with Stereo Total staples—samples, bouncy beats and silly noises—and feature lots of guest musicians like Gina D’Orio from Cobra Killer and Scottish performance artist Miss le Bomb. (SO)

Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)

[ MP3 Preview ]

Forgiveness Rock Record features a smaller lineup than the dozens-strong versions of BSS we’ve grown to know, but size doesn’t always matter. With Feist, Amy Millan (Stars) and Emily Haines (Metric) present but not featured as they were in the past, Forgiveness takes the band’s big, swirling anthem-rock and adds a souped-up helping of electro-rock—similar to frontman Kevin Drew’s 2007 “solo” record Spirit If. Now in his early 30s, Drew isn’t a kid anymore, and Broken Social Scene’s five-years-in-the-making third LP proves the dashing Canadian singer/multi-instrumentalist has more to say than the F-word. (AP)

Jeff Beck Emotion & Commotion (Rhino Records)

[ MP3 Preview ]

Guitarist Jeff Beck has been revered by his peers since the late ’60s when he replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds. But other than his appearance in the video for a Rod Stewart-sung version of “People Get Ready” in the late ’80s, he’s mostly eluded the mainstream spotlight. Emotion & Commotion, his first album in seven years, gives listeners a good idea why: As always, Beck is what people more concerned with songwriting than flashy guitar solos call a “wanker.” And on Emotion & Commotion the wanking is made even worse by the constant addition of an inept string section that’s so cheesy it all but ruins two beautiful Jeff Buckley covers (one sung by Joss Stone). (AP)