The first sound delivered on Fujiya & Miyagi’s third record, “Lightbulbs,” is a whispered mantra: “Vanilla, strawberry, knickerbocker glory.” I don’t know what it means, but it’s catchy in the same way “Kokomo” was catchy. Throw in some nifty beats ,and you’ve got a nice little record. Nothing on F&M’s album will move dance/electronica forward as an art form, but it makes for good listening and at times is a lot of fun. My only problem with it is that it gets a little redundant.
I have the same criticism of Maybe It’s Reno’s self-titled debut, on Teenbeat Records. With a voice like Metric’s Emily Haines and similar musical delivery, the album is contemplative with a backbeat, and contains at least one really solid single, “Lonestar,” and a great long-playing first song, “Baby’s Lost in Tracks,” but by the end of the record it seems a little same-y. The band is built around Bridget Cross (Velocity Girl, Unrest, Air Miami) and a few other of her Unrest teammates, including Mark Robinson, who happens to also run the record label. You might expect postpunk from Ms. Cross, but she’s not delivering it here, except perhaps on “Drunk Pilot,” which stands out on the record as the one song that is completely not like the others. If you have to classify the record, call it upbeat shoegazer. Ms. Cross vocals are strong and the musicians clearly know their stuff. Nice.
Knickerbocker-Fujiya & Miyagi
Lonestar-Maybe It’s Reno
Cannonball (Breeders) - CSS
Getting out of the Game-Kanye West. Is anyone out there impressed with the newly leaked KW stuff? It's all over Hype Machine--it's like that's all anyone wants to hear these days. Why don't you all check out someone with real flow. Like Tanya Morgan, SoloMan Spectrum, or Nicki Minaj? Or even Santogold? And by "you" I don't mean you, probably, because if you're reading this blog regularly, you already have checked those artists out . . .