Sonic Reducer

Michael Henningsen
2 min read
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Canadian-born Harry Manx sounds as if he grew up simultaneously on the Mississippi Delta and the banks of the Ganges, which is actually pretty close to the truth. After spending five years in India becoming a master of the mohan veena, a 20-stringed cross between a sitar and a guitar, Manx returned to Vancouver and set about the business of melting the blues of the South and traditional Indian music in the same pot. The result on his latest disc is a lazy afternoon blues sound that's colored with the vivid hues and spirituality of world music. Subtle, but amazing.

Roy Orbison Love Songs (Monument/Legacy)

Nearly everyone's had their heart broken romantically. But listening to the 14 seminal tracks collected here, you'd believe no one's heart was ever as irreparably shattered as Roy Orbison's. In fact, during most of the first two decades of his career, heartbreak was his trademark, fueling sides like “Only the Lonely,” “Love Hurts,” “Blue Bayou,” “It's Over” and other gorgeous laments. All of the aforementioned tracks are included here, along with others—hits and relative sleepers alike—recorded during what was arguably Orbison's creative peak between 1960 and 1965. This one's impossible not to fall in love with, or to.

Low The Great Destroyer (Sub Pop)

As Low records go, this one's downright jovial. Still, those unfamiliar with the band's previous output might want to up their Celexa dosage before kicking back with The Great Destroyer. The trio that practically invented slowcore still flirt with underlying sheets of noise the gothic of drama plodding drumbeats and Mimi Parker's tortured harmonies, but … Destroyer is stripped of much of the milky reverb its predecessors were drenched in. Here, Low sound more like Versus than Low, which isn't exactly a bad thing, just jarring for those of us who have long equated Low with adjectives like “brooding,” “slow” and “sad.”

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