Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween roundup.

Latvian Radio-For Love & Spite. These New Yorkers return with their latest full-length, another collection of their joyous power pop that will appeal to fans of indie poppers like The Shins as well as traditional power poppers like Brendan Benson. There's plenty to love here, from the jangle pop of "To Find You There" and "On Display" to more reflective numbers like "North of the Keys" and "Stand Clear of the Closing Doors". And with the uptempo melodies of the title track and "Oh No", For Love & Spite is like an instant party you can attend whenever you put on the album. With autumn in full swing, this is perfect record to listen to while enduring the drudgery of raking leaves.

CD Baby | iTunes

The Well Wishers-A Shattering Sky. Consistency, even when at a high level, can sometimes be a curse. This comes to mind whenever it's time to review a new Well Wishers disc because Jeff Shelton is so good at what he does that it's hard to say anything that hasn't be said over the previous five albums and an EP he's released since I started this blog in 2006. And to a large extent A Shattering Sky, Shelton's latest, is "more of the same". But to paraphrase Animal Farm, some Well Wishers album are more equal than others, and I'd say this is his best release since 2005's Under the Arrows. What made that album my favorite of his were the slower, midtempo numbers like "Only Sky" and "Before the Race Was Run". While all of the WW albums in the interim had the top-notch, driving jangle pop tunes, A Shattering Sky stands out for me with the quality of the slower tracks like "The Last to Fall in Love" and "Right Here at Last". Of course there's plenty of the "full-bodied power pop" (as Shelton describes it) to go around here too, and those tunes are great as well, including the jangly "Bring it Back" and "Goodbye" and the rocking "I Believe". This is the Well Wishers album to get if you only have one (and you should have them all).

CD Baby | iTunes

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