Sonic Reducer: Micro Reviews Of The Horrors, Ty Segall, Washed Out, Moby, Jeff Bridges And Bon Iver

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Despite leather-clad, garage rock origins, on its third release , U.K. band The Horrors continues in the shoegazing tone adopted on 2009’s Primary Colours —only this time it’s more beautiful. A solid, post-punk rhythm section provides grounding while Krauty, psychedelic melodies expand the tracks like moonlight on dark water. I recommend glowing, ambient slow jam “Still Life” and distorted rocker “Endless Blue” (don’t be fooled by the mellow intro). Lovers of Britpop should find this to be a very fine album indeed. (JCC)

Ty Segall ÒI Can't Feel ItÓ / ÒFalling HairÓ 7-inch (Drag City)

Well, crap. Sounds like Ty Segall has lost some steam here with this Quaalude-flavored single from his new record Goodbye Bread —which in turn sounds like the Faces ripping off the first Plastic Ono Band record. But not in a good way. Stick with Melted and the recent live record, both of which are excellent music for waking up and taking a shower to, AND for staying up late doing weird shit to. I can’t feel it? I can’t stand it. (GP)

Moby Destroyed (Mute)

Streetlights illuminating empty, rainy roads at night; being awake in the wee hours when there’s no one else around: That’s what Moby says inspired his new album, Destroyed . Fifteen ambient tracks blur into one another, floating softly yet firmly along. The record is atmospheric, good for zoning out to. In the liner notes Moby asks listeners to take in the whole album in one sitting, at least once. This would be best done during the times he was creating it—late at night with no distractions—and preferably while in the bathtub. (SO)

Washed Out Within and Without (Sub Pop)

The first time I heard songs from Within and Without , I was at a small gathering at a friend’s house where we sat in the backyard with prayer candles, drinks and snacks. Washed Out made this ordinary activity seem über cool. First impressions might lead one to believe this is Euro-made ’90s electronica. It’s actually contemporary hipster stuff made in Georgia by a guy named Ernest Greene. Pulsing, romantic, blissful and forlorn all at once, play this album at your next intimate mixer (especially if hosting guests who shop at Urban Outfitters). (JCC)

Jeff Bridges Jeff Bridges (Blue Note Records)

The Dude has long been a musician. His Oscar-winning role as a has-been country singer was not the spark for his album, but the success that role brought might have made the recording possible. Bridges collaborated with T Bone Burnett, the songwriter/musician/producer who worked on Crazy Heart . The outcome is much more subtle than might be expected. Ten slow, often melancholy tracks roll out, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen with more twang. Getting past the Hollywood-actor-cum-musician preconceptions and just listening reveals a dusky, honest album. (SO)

Bon Iver Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

The songs on this new offering are as lovely, epic and heartrending as anything off of For Emma, Forever Ago . Justin Vernon’s voice, especially in falsetto, gets into your chest and digs around in there. In a good way. There are more layers and collaborators on Bon Iver , but it still has the beauty, earnestness and loneliness of being recorded in an isolated winter cabin. It is equally advisable to play this while you are drinking and A) reading poetry, B) thinking about the magnificent beauty of the world, C) crying, or D) making out with your lover. (SO)

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