Favorite

Sound Advice 

click to enlarge soundadvice1-1.jpg

Field Report

Field Report

Partisan Records

File next to: Iron & Wine, Calexico

Field Report's self-titled debut album is a gem, a spacious, enveloping record that spins out singer Christopher Porterfield's melodic, lush, literate stories for just under an hour. The songs are best described as stories, with Porterfield writing evocative prose that's then set to music. No rhyming here, but the repeated phrasing digs deep on songs like the opening "Fergus Falls," about an abused woman in the Minnesota city; on "Taking Alcatraz," about Native protesters who took over the abandoned island prison; and "Route 18," a bleak look at Milwaukee. Porterfield, who sings in a soft hush, has a Dylanesque way with words — he, talks about "where Dahmer sings the blues with Liberace as they sip on 50 cent beers," as the band underscores his lyrics with superb, country-tinged folk rock. The best folk record of 2012 so far, Field Report also may be the year's most impressive debut. — L. Kent Wolgamott

click to enlarge soundadvice1-2.jpg

Imagine Dragons

Night Visions

Interscope

File next to: The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club

Since a buzzworthy debut EP, Continued Silence, earlier this year, anticipation has grown for Las Vegas' Imagine Dragons to release their first full-length album. Featuring rock and pop tracks with hip-hop and dance undertones, Night Visions is a well-rounded, diverse record that lives up to the hype. Frontman Dan Reynolds' falsetto and a variety of beats and rhythms mix well together, particularly on the emotionally charged rocker "Bleeding Out" and the jangly pop of "Amsterdam." "Radioactive" is the most arresting track, with the plodding beats, ethereal background noises and Reynolds' skyscraping vocals painting a stark picture of the Apocalypse. The catchy, handclap-heavy, whistle-filled "On Top of the World" will burrow into your mind, and "Tiptoe" is an anthemic love song of epic proportions. With Night Visions, Imagine Dragons are primed to be the next big thing in modern rock. — Brian Palmer

click to enlarge soundadvice1-3.jpg

Bob Dylan

Tempest

Columbia

File next to: Woody Guthrie, the Band

On his 35th studio album in 50 years, Bob Dylan is in full storyteller mode, conjuring violent tales of love and death, recounting the Titanic's sinking in a 14-minute narrative with no chorus, and paying tribute to John Lennon on the final cut. Recorded with Dylan's road band plus David Hidalgo on violin, Tempest combines blues, folk and country to create rock 'n roll at its rootiest. But Tempest never roars. Rather it rambles along, with each of its 10 songs clocking in at five minutes plus, dramatically slowing down at the end. As for that much-discussed, widely derided voice, it's the same raw rasp we've heard live for the past decade, sometimes nearly spoken, sometimes croaking through a melody, never less than potent in delivering the lyrics. It's too soon to judge how Tempest measures up to Dylan's catalog, but it already stands with the best of his late-period work. — L. Kent Wolgamott

  • Field Report, Imagine Dragons, Bob Dylan

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Sound Advice

Popular Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All content © Copyright 2015, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation