slider sinkane yup yup

An Album That Will Leave You Wanting More – Plus Other Music Reviews

***

SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

February 10, 2017 – Vol. 36

***

Music reviews come in all sizes, but you’re busy and do not have time for flowery language… or sentences, really.

Spinal Tap gave the world the greatest album review of all time:

***

Welcome to our “Shark Sandwich” — razor-sharp reviews that sum up an album in five sentences or less.

***

The Sadies – Northern Passages

The Sadies are like a warm blanket for whoever you happen to be today. Sometimes mellow, sometimes amped up, sometimes mopey, sometimes celebratory, the Sadies know you are more than one person, and they have you covered on Northern Passages, as they always have.   From the ringing, expansive opener, “Riverview Fog,” to the next three barn burners, the Sadies lead you on a tour of American roots. They only go full classic country on one track, but really it is songs that mix it all together that are the most interesting. Northern Passages is slickly listenable, engaging, and unpredictable, making it well worth your time.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “The Noise Museum”

***

Louise Burns – Young Mopes

I am simply powerless against artists like Louise Burns. She mines the dream pop shadows exposed in the 80s, and kept open and alive by people like Raveonettes, Jennie Vee, Crocodiles, etc. Basically, I could listen to Young Mopes until I die, and I would die a happy, mopey mess. I love you, Louise Burns. Don’t ever change, you beautiful creature of the night.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Strange Weather”

***

Rag’n’Bone Man – Human

Rag’n’Bone Man is the real deal. He takes urban blues and hip hop and rubs them against one another until there are sparks much like Massive Attack, and Portishead before him, but his voice, his voice, folks, can save lives. Human is a big, sprawling date to the church of soul where the vocals preach, the sublime music snakes through your subconscious, and the safety of your life is challenged and you are glad for it. Hearing the opening title track, you think, “there is no way the rest of the album could be this good,” but check it out. Humans might be a little on the long side, but it holds its own from front to back.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Humans”/”Die Easy” (tie)

***

Big Sean – I Decided

Big Sean gets personal on I Decided, and it’s a worthy album because of it. It is a mostly laid back affair, sonically, and that masks some of the emotion barely contained within these 14 tracks. “Lotta shit been goin’ on, things going wrong so, don’t ask for me. I’m halfway off the balcony.” Heavy stuff for anyone, Big Sean included. Give him some love.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Halfway Off the Balcony”

***

Surfer Blood – Snowdonia

Surfer Blood plays such an energetic, engaging, joyous blast of garage rock that it is hard to find fault in their approach. The vocals are vaguely Mozz-like, and that can be a good or bad thing and… wait, Surfer Blood sounds a lot like the Smiths in general. I just picked up on that. Your enjoyment of Surfer Blood will depend on how you feel about the Smiths. There, I said it.

Rating: 3 out  of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Taking Care of Eddy”

***

Sinkane – Life & Livin’ It

London by way of Sudan, by way of the United States, multi-instrumentalist Sinkane brings all of his skills and experiences to bear on Life & Livin’ It. Relying on his intoxicating falsetto, and musical music concoctions of Afro pop, jazz, rock and roll, and just about everything else, Sinkane reels you in and doesn’t let you go. He has made an album that is fairly bursting at the seams with crackling energy, but he also knows restraint. There are no interludes, “Part I” or “Part II”, skits, or any of that other bullshit. Life & Livin’ It is a relatively lean 9 tracks, and it leaves you wanting more, the way it should be.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Telephone”

***

All artists are available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and wherever else better music is sold, streamed, downloaded, or performed on tour.

***

NewsWhistle music contributor Chad Werner is “ahead of the curve, behind the times.” You can contact this rock n’ roll sphinx at chad@newswhistle.com (e-mail) or @scooternotmoped (Twitter).

***

Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – Rag’n’Bone Man – Columbia; Sinkane – City Slang; Sadies – Yep Roc; Louise Burns – Light Organ Records; Big Sean – G.O.O.D. Music; Surfer Blood – Joyful Noise Recordings