Saturday, September 16, 2006

What I'm listening to 9/15/06

Los Lobos, The Town and the City (Hollywood) When people write that this sounds a little like Kiko, they mean it's about textures and atmospheres rather than about rocking out. I was a little disappointed in these songs, despite all the imagination and fluency they reflected, until I flashed: call Los Lobos L. A.'s version of TV On the Radio, which in turn is Brooklyn's version of Radiohead. So I'll listen some more, but for now call this a ***

The Shins, Oh Inverted World (Sub Pop) So I love sweet, slightly fucked-up slacker pop music. Isn't that what most great pop bands, from Big Star to Pavement, sound like? I am such a pop romantic I really loved the scene in Garden State where Natalie Portman tells Zach Braff the Shins will change his life. ***

Marisa Monte Universo Ao Meu Redor (EMI) After a few years away to raise a new son, my favorite Brazilian singer is back with two albums. This is the non-muzak one. It sounds like Marisa is getting back to classic sambas, and she's always sung freest in a samba-like context. So even though she's not as lightfooted as she was on Rose and Charcoal, she's a lot more convincing than the generic romantic balladeer she's been on her past couple of albums. ***

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