In Which We Bring It Back To The State of Pure Hooks
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 12:04PM
Alex in MUSIC, alex carnevale, hooks

The New York Review of Hooks

by ALEX CARNEVALE

It all comes down to what to say, and how.

French people singing in English is at once very sad and very compelling. After It's Never Been Like That it was reasonable to ask if Phoenix could make a better record. Then they went and made the best pop record of the year.

"Love Like A Sunset" — Phoenix (mp3)

"Armistice" — Phoenix (mp3)

"Countdown (Sick for the Big Sun)" — Phoenix (mp3) highly recommended

The only thing better than a woman with a guitar is Molly Lambert and a guitar. Molly had to console me after I got hate crimed becuase of my Two Lovers review. My mother read it and she said, "Your understanding of Jewish male psychology is second to none." Should I view the fact that my mom deliberately didn't marry a Jewish male as a kind of a slight?

Madeline's album, White Flag, is the album you fully expect and deserve after breaking up with someone, a parallel realized by Justin Vernon albeit with a less pop-laden milieu. This is easily better than almost anything else of its kind, particularly "Sorry."

"Shotgun Wedding" — Madeline (mp3)

"Rain, Fire, and Brimstone" — Madeline (mp3)

"Mountain Heart" — Madeline (mp3)

Madeline myspace

Start any sentence you address to me with "Dust Bowl desperation." Those are my three favorite words put together, and so it is with the latest Frontier Folk Nebraska release.

"The Devil's Tree Pt. 2" — Frontier Folk Nebraska (mp3)

"Buying My Time" — Frontier Folk Nebraska (mp3)

"Parker Browne" — Frontier Folk Nebraska (mp3)

FFN myspace

Arcade Fire released a concert album. Now you look back on what I can only term The Arcade Fire era and you realize it was like three singles long. I think in the end Til Tuesday will end up with more staying power. Whoa, I am joking Win Butler. Don't make that face! Win Butler sounds like his voice is a little shot. Let's hope he gets that fixed.

"Neon Bible (live)" — Arcade Fire (mp3)

"Ocean of Noise (live)" — Arcade Fire (mp3)

"Wake Up (live)" — Arcade Fire (mp3)

Placebo is a British band that's been around for awhile. Here's their new single.

"Battle for the Sun" — Placebo (mp3)

The new Graham Coxon is one of the most exciting projects of the year. It sounds like something really old, and it is really melody driven. I can't recommend it highly enough. What's even weirder is that it's a concept about a man living from birth to death. Despite the intentional or unintential channeling of Roger Waters, this album delivers on every single track.

"If You Want Me" — Graham Coxon (mp3)

"Sorrow's Army" — Graham Coxon (mp3) this is the single

"Far From Everything" — Graham Coxon (mp3)

The new Maximo Park is out in May and it sounds upbeat, nothing too memorable.

"Shiver" — Maximo Park (mp3)

"Wraithlike" — Maximo Park (mp3)

This is my idea of a dream act:

They perform live using a Macbook Pro laptop as the heart of the act, along with a Behringer BCF2000 MIDI controller, a KORG microKORG, an AkaiRoland V-Drums, along with some other synthesizers (such as the KORG MS-20), and various drum machines (such as the KORG Electribe ESX-1 and EMX-1) drum pad.

"Science Experiment (born 2 jacke test tube remix)" — Digitalism (mp3)

Barzin is Barzin Hosseini. He came into my life through this video for "Leaving Time", and now he shall never leave. He is like Burial if Burial sang more and didn't make you want to kill yourself.

The new album is called Notes From An Absent Lover, and it is all I can tolerate listening to after 7 pm on the East Coast.

"Queen Jane" — Barzin (mp3)

"Words Tangled in Blue" — Barzin (mp3)

"Stayed Too Long in This Place" — Barzin (mp3)

Barzin website

cover for DustlandThe new Gentleman Losers album is too inaccessible for most users, but there's just no reason not to be a fan of what is undoubtedly the greatest elevator music album ever conceived. I am just so gratified that this exists someplace in the world. Great for long walks!

"The Echoing Green" — The Gentleman Losers (mp3)

"Wind In Black Trees" — The Gentleman Losers (mp3)

"Pebble Beach" — The Gentleman Losers (mp3)

the band's website

The Maccabees myspace

"Love You Better" — The Maccabees (mp3)

"Bag of Bones" — The Maccabees (mp3)

"Dinosaurs" — The Maccabees (mp3)

This is a very tight release by this band, it will be somewhere in the year's top 20 easily. It's so catchy and yet dark, like Wolf Parade without the Wolf, Fleetwood without the Mac.

Reconstructed from the elements of mclusky, Future of the Left released a 2007 album Curses that is well worth tracking down. Travels With Myself and Another is a great title for an album, and it's the name given to this sterling new release. Don't miss their WOXY session either.

"Lapsed Catholics" — Future of the Left (mp3) highly recommended

"Throwing Bricks at Trains" — Future of the Left (mp3)

"You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" — Future of the Left (mp3)

"I Am Civil Service" — Future of the Left (mp3)

Future of the Left myspace

More from this already legendary act is even better than the last album, with plenty of choice moments and moments inside moments, like snow globe infinity musical enjoyment.

"Useful Chamber" — Dirty Projectors (mp3)

"Cannibal Resource" — Dirty Projectors (mp3)

"Stillness Is The Move" — Dirty Projectors (mp3)

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He tumbls here.

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