shark sandwich 74 feature

Great New Albums from Astronomique, Kadhja Bonet and more!

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SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go

June 8, 2018 – Vol. 74

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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:

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

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Astronomique – Sharp Divide

Astronomique has been on our radar for a little while now, because we love good, smart, dreamy synth pop. Who doesn’t? Astronomique is the soundtrack to your dreams, so don’t fight it. Close your eyes, and let the lush celestial ambience of the moon reflected on a rippling pond wash over you. Sharp Divide is romantic, gothic, rhythmic, and insistent, ready to worm its way into your long-term memory.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Losing Our Control”

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Boy Azooga – 1, 2, Kung Fu

What is Boy Azooga? I am not sure, specifically, but this Blur-ish band winks through a wide swath of musical styles on 1, 2, Kung Fu. From the Caribbean-flavored opener, “Breakfast Epiphany,” to the skronk rock of “Loner Boogie,” to the almost Afro beat of “Taxi To Your Head,” Boy Azooga is your Swiss Army band. If you like your pop diffuse and swirled with interesting rhythms, you will find something to groove to on this album.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Taxi To Your Head”

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The Get Up Kids – Kicker

Hey cats, the Get Up Kids are back, and while they never fully left us, it is great to have these matured emo kids rocking it out for us again. The vocals are still shouted, the guitars anthemic, and the beat will make you want to drive faster. Just like that, this EP is done, though. If anything, the all too short Kicker will make you want more GUK music. Until that happens, pull out 1999’s Something to Write Home About to keep you occupied.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “I’m Sorry”

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Kadhja Bonet – Childqueen

Kadhja Bonet is dishing out a banquet of sounds on Childqueen. There is a lot going on with each song, but instead of trying to figure out stylistic influences, let’s just call this modern soul music. There are callbacks to pillars like Billie Holiday and Sade, but also Portishead. It’s becoming a rare and rarer thing to have a full album instead of a handful of good tracks, and Bonet delivers a full experience best consumed from front to back, maybe while preparing a complicated dinner. I’m going to try that.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Mother Maybe”

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Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge – The Midnight Hour

Much like Ms. Bonet above, A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge have dropped an album to explore. The Midnight Hour sounds just like the name implies. This celebration of jazz and soul isn’t a party so much as it is an intimate late evening with good drinks, and a handful of friends. There are guests all over this sprawling twenty-song cycle, but the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts. Turn the lights down low, and take The Midnight Hour in at, oh, around midnight, and I promise that your night will be great and tomorrow, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles

Best Song: “Love is Free”

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

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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).

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Lead-In Image – Composite

  • Album and sleeve – Courtesy of  imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
  • Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
  • Album collage – Astronomique – Astronomique Music; Boy Azooga – Pias America;

    The Get Up Kids – Polyvinyl Records; Kadhja Bonet – Fat Possum Records; and Ali Shaheed Muhammad/Adrian Younge – Linear Labs.