SHARK SANDWICH – Fast Album Reviews for Those on the Go
April 19, 2019 – Vol. 92
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.
Cayucas – Real Life
Is it – “real life,” I mean? Twins Zach and Ben Yudin, aka Cayucas, set out to address this canard on their new album. It depends on where you are coming from as to whether or not Real Life sounds like, well, real life. Fluffy and breezy, it sounds like California in song form, and would be a great accompaniment to getting high on a Thursday afternoon, but as the album progresses you will find yourself slouching into the yachty sound. By the time you get to “What it Feels Like,” you should be on board, figuratively and possibly literally.
Rating: 4 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “What it Feels Like”
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
For what it is worth, I could listen to the opening of “Cuz I Love You” over and over and over again and not get sick of it. Lizzo knows what she is doing, and she always has, but Cuz I Love You is the pudding. It’s the proof that this is Lizzo’s world, and we are just living in it. Honestly, when she sings “woke up feeling like I might run for president” on “Like a Girl”, you not only believe her – you hope she isn’t just bullshitting us. Lizzo does it all on Cuz I Love You, never dropping below “kick ass” level, and by the time she is blazing through “Heaven Help Me,” you are ready to follow any order she would issue.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Whistles
Best Song: “Cuz I Love You”/”Heaven Help Me” (tie)
TR/ST – The Destroyer pt. 1
Emotional and immersive, TR/ST play the Erasure beat to its logical 2019 (false) conclusion. Ever since 80s electropop got sideswiped by a pretty hate machine, this kind of music has been an active part of our consciousness, and TR/ST are ensuring that it isn’t going anywhere. If your day sucked, pour yourself a glass of red wine, put on The Destroyer pt. 1, and sulk away. If it was a great day, make a gin and tonic, put the album on and dance on your couch in the dark. Either way, having a soundtrack helps.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Grouch”
Sad Planets – Akron, OH
Sad Planets, the side project of Patrick Carney of the Black Keys and Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic, wants to be Exile on Main Street, but it comes across as the sequel to Chris Bell’s I am the Cosmos mashed up with Heartbeat City by the Cars. Is that a snarky put-down, or the single biggest compliment you could pay them? It depends on whether you read Pitchfork or not, I guess, but it probably falls somewhere close to the middle in reality. At its best, Akron, OH reminds you of the duo’s other bands, which is often the case, but it can come across a little too on the nose at times. Sometimes, though, you just have to turn it up, open the windows, and accept that it’s only rock and roll, and we should like it.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Heaven’s Devils”
Kelsey Lu – Blood
Kelsey Lu is an astonishing story teller. Life is heavy, and sometimes you just have to put it into the hands of the artists among us to put it to a beat. Blood is the feeling of finally giving up on sleep at 2am, and getting out of bed to make some tea. It’s not resignation, really, it’s almost a relief because once sleep is put aside, you can start mentally checking other things off of your list. Lu effortlessly weaves stories that emerge from your headphones as fully-formed, completely-produced vignettes of emotional dream states; it’s no small feat, and is best understood by listening as opposed to reading about it.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 whistles
Best Song: “Foreign Car”
Lead-In Image – Composite
- Album and sleeve – Courtesy of imagefactory / Shutterstock.com
- Main album cover – Courtesy of Blablo101 / Shutterstock.com
- Album collage – Lizzo – Nice Life/Atlantic; Cayucas – Park the Van Records; Kelsey Lu – Columbia; Sad Planets – Tee Pee Records; and TR/ST – House Arrest.