Favorite

Sound advice 

click to enlarge soundadvice1-1.jpg

Miike Snow

Happy to You

Downtown/Columbia

Buy if you like: Peter Bjorn and John, Animal Collective

Swedish indie pop trio Miike Snow scored dance hits with "Black & Blue" and "Sylvia" on their 2009 release, along with bizarre lyrics and strange musical flourishes while dabbling in enough genres to keep listeners off balance and avoid being labeled a dance trio. In this release, they keep you paying attention by continuing to embrace their musical inner weirdos. Tracks like "Enter the Joker's Lair" and "God Help This Divorce" employ enough off-kilter synths, beats and sound warping to make you feel like you're in a Tim Burton nightmare, and the upbeat piano pop of "Archipelago" juxtaposes oddly with lyrics about "the murderer in me." On more conventional dance-heavy tracks like "The Wave" and the first single "Paddling Out," all it takes are some well-placed bird calls, saxophones or maniacal chants to stay unpredictable. — Brian Palmer

click to enlarge soundadvice1-2.jpg

Esperanza Spalding

Radio Music Society

Concord Music Group

Buy if you like: Wayne Shorter, Flora Purim

Those already familiar with Esperanza Spalding's music weren't surprised she won the 2011 Best New Artist Grammy. Those not yet initiated didn't take long to catch on. With a voice as sensuous and supple as Sade's, Spalding also has composing, bass-playing and arranging skills beyond players three times her age. Here she honors — and also hires — some of her jazz forebears while seeking new territory. She also gets political; "Land of the Free" addresses wrongful imprisonment, and "Black Gold" makes a strong statement about empowerment. Her expert use of syncopation on a cover of Stevie Wonder's "I Can't Help It," featuring jazzman Joe Lovano, adds to the beguiling mix. Though Spalding sometimes forces lyrics to fit the music on tracks like "City of Roses," she has Flora Purim's effortless range and lilt, and a joy de vivre that's infectious. — Lynne Margolis

click to enlarge soundadvice1-3.jpg

Madonna

MDNA (Deluxe)

Interscope

Buy if you like: Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj

After her divorce from Guy Ritchie, Madonna's 12th album delivers perhaps her most personal, revealing set of songs ever. Pop ballad "I Fucked Up" is self-explanatory, as is the semi-rap "I Don't Give A," featuring Nicki Minaj. Producer William Orbit is back for three tracks, including the ultra-catchy "I'm a Sinner." "B-Day Song" is a reminder of Madonna's garage rock/girl group vocal roots, while her club roots show on the vintage Madge-sounding pop banger "Girl Gone Wild" and the Daft Punk-like swirl of "I'm Addicted." Strangely, the weakest track is the cheerleader pop of "Give Me All Your Luvin'" featuring Nicki Minaj and MIA, that the trio performed at the Super Bowl. But it's made up for by "Falling Free," its string-filled declaration of independence a fitting addition to this surprisingly strong album from a true survivor. — L. Kent Wolgamott

  • Miike Snow, Esperanza Spalding, Madonna

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Popular Events

  • Hillsong UNITED @ Pepsi Center

    • Mon., July 25
  • Manitou Springs Library Lawn Concert Series @ Manitou Springs Public Library

    • Tuesdays, 6 p.m. Continues through Aug. 16
  • Prairie Como Bluegrass @ Monument Valley Park

    • Mon., July 25, 7 p.m. Free
  • Mike Sunjka @ Woodland Park Country Lodge

    • Wed., Aug. 31, 7 p.m.
  • P-Nuckle @ Gothic Theatre

    • Thu., Aug. 25

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All content © Copyright 2016, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation