Press Play CD reviews



Under the Iron Sea

    Soft, inoffensive corporate pop coming to a dentist’s office near you.


Edmonton Block Heather

Get It All Out

    Frat girls that go to tanning salons and like to take a lot of pictures of themselves with their friends would like this album, especially on road trips to visit their boyfriends in Corvallis. One could also say it is tailor-made for the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack. Either way, in my humblest of opinions, it sucks some hairy, crab-infested balls.



Black Holes and Revelations

    OK, I’m listening to the first track right as I’m writing this, there’s a really cool synth-line that reminds me of Vangelis or Tangerine Dream. So far so good – oh no, he’s singing, this is bad – oh wait, there’s a house beat! Wait, no, it doesn’t suck, they’re doing all this electro-noodling and it’s starting to sound a bit like Queen – OK, I’m gonna listen to the rest of the album, let me pause for a bit-

    The Verdict: the album isn’t bad, sort of Van Der Graaf Generator meets A-Ha (you know, that ’80s band with the comic-book video) and all the songs are different but they still have that progressive rock avec synth-pop feeling. BUT it’s not that great, either. They’d be better if the guy didn’t have that grating modern-pop/Bono/Coldplay-guy voice.


Cut Chemist

The Audience’s Listening

    Something that is dearly missing from a lot of mainstream rap/hip-hop is the DJ, who at the dawn of the genre was the star – the MCs were only there to accompany. Eventually the MCs were the stars, and the DJ was the one accompanying them, and this is why Paul’s Boutique is known as a Beastie Boys album rather than a Beastie Boys and a Dust Brothers album. As hip-hop’s evolution has continued, in the mainstream stuff the DJ’s job has been replaced by a simple computer beat. DJs, meanwhile, have been doing their own thing called turntablism, which brings us to Cut Chemist, who is great. But being that the writer isn’t quite familiar with this particular genre, he doesn’t know bad turntablism from good. It’s like trying to describe cold when you don’t know what hot is. So I shall describe the temperature of this album as “pleasant.”



Photo Album of Complex Relationships

    Predictable. Not a pleasure to listen to, not original, not in any way interesting or exciting, just boring. If you’ve heard anything by Tori Amos or Kate Bush or Fiona Apple or Aimee Mann, then you’ve heard this album already. You know how this movie ends. Save your money.


Yonder Mountain String Band

Yonder Mountain String Band

    You know how the only way you can tell mainstream country from mainstream pop is by the Southern/redneck voice? With Yonder Mountain String Band it’s something a bit similar. It is what’s known as “alt-country,” and the only difference between this and a regular alternative/indie-rock band is the use of the banjo and stand-up bass. Without these, they are boring and/or mediocre; with them they are just plain atrocious.


The Devil Wears Prada soundtrack

    One good reason to see this movie: Madonna’s “Vogue.” Eleven reasons not to see this movie: every other song on this CD.