Austra, Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Thurston Moore | CD Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Austra, Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Thurston Moore 

CD Reviews: Feel it Break, Rome, Demolished Thoughts

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Austra, Feel it Break

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Amid the ghostly tangles of cables in electronic soundscapes, Austra’s most potent instrument is Katie Stelmanis’ resounding voice. Billows of wavering falsetto come after a decade of operatic training, which she shunned for dance music’s dark lures. As these disparate genres converge on the Canadian trio’s debut, Feel it Break, the mood is of wearing a cobweb blanket to a polychromatic dance party at a haunted opera house. This sensibility allows room for each song to become fully developed. Bleating beats and simple melodies are interesting enough, yet simply serve to wrap around Stelmanis’ arpeggiating voice. Take the bridge in “The Villian”: no words needed, just high-pitched, punchy “Oooo”s. Highlights include opener “Lose It,” standout single “Beat and The Pulse” and drumless “The Noise” on a tight production sure to garner Kate Bush or Euro-dance comparisons. But Feel it Break holds its own. (Austen Diamond)

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Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Rome
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A contemporary remake of the iconic composer Ennio Morricone’s scores (A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, etc.) requires a master’s touch. Enter Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, with appearances by Jack White and Norah Jones and an assemblage of the original orchestra members. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Rome is lush and satisfying. White’s recognizable belt leaves little room for wanting on “Rose With a Broken Neck” and “Two Against One,” the album’s standout tracks. And Jones’ sexy swagger shines on “Season’s Trees.” For his part, producer-composer Danger Mouse proves that no genre/collaboration is out of reach of his Midas touch. With Luppi, they paint scenic instrumental visuals that are enticing, even if they lack a hard Western vibe. As the credits role at this 35-minute musical adventure’s end, listeners will be rewarded by hitting “repeat.” (Austen Diamond)

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Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts
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All due respect to Thurston Moore—indie-rock godfather and guitarist/singer in long-running noise-mongers Sonic Youth—but I never expected anything quite so pretty to come from the man who never met a cacophonous racket he didn’t like. To be sure, Moore’s previous solo albums and occasional Sonic Youth aside have proven him capable of writing heartfelt lyrics and beautifully restrained music when he wants to, but never has he revealed his sensitive side in quite the way he does on the excellent Demolished Thoughts. Perhaps it’s the influence of Beck, Moore’s longtime friend and producer, on these nine songs that veer from the contemplative, gorgeous opener “Benediction” and “Illuminine” to the somewhat anxious “Circulation.” Abetted by violinist Samara Lubelski and harpist Mary Lattimore on most of the tracks, Moore’s familiar and pleasing whisper-croon and his mostly acoustic guitar work in perfect harmony with the strings. All told, it’s a masterful collection from a guy still delivering new tricks more than 30 years into his career. (Dan Nailen)

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