Here's Lee's reviews of three new albums: The Black Crowes' Warpaint, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks' Real Emotional Trash and Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. Enjoy!
The Black Crowes' newest: I'm a fan from way back, having grown up in Atlanta and gone to high school with their cousin (and, later on, I was their father, Stan Robinson's longtime bartender at Spice, the very same restaurant where I met my wife). That being said, I'm pretty cool to their new record. I, in fact, haven't really gotten into any of their stuff since 1994's Amorica. Well, Three Snakes & One Charm had its moments. But anyway the actual music is pretty good, but Chris Robinson has left the poetry of his first three records behind in favor of "too-hippie-for-me-smile-on-your-brothers" type fare.
6 out of 10
The new Stephen Malkmus record: I've always been 70/30 on Pavement, you know? Fundamentally I have problems with people who don't seem to be taking what they're doing seriously, though I know that at heart Malkmus is just as ambitious (read: careerist) as the next guy. That being said, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and Wowee Zowee are pretty fucking awesome albums and everybody's been telling me that this one is just as good.
...ish? I've listened to it and I can't say that. I like it, but you know how you can always tell it's the Dead because of Garcia's guitar tone (and also how boring it is)? And you can always tell it's, like, AC/DC because of (for lack of a better explanation) the attitude in the guitar playing? Malkmus is like that for me. I can always tell it's him. And I don't know whether that's a good thing or not.
7 out of 10
Bon Iver, "For Emma, Forever Ago": I really like this record. If you like Iron & Wine (or even Jack Johnson), you'll totally dig this.
9 out of 10. Oh, and that being said...
...and that's all the news that's fit to print. Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Now, I'm going to review the album covers.
Okay, Black Crowes, what the fuck is this? Who's the hippie on the left? Jesus? I do love the Jews, so I'm not going to say too much there. But then you've got Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on a horse, or is that supposed to be an MTV award? Or John Wayne in a spacesuit? Then an Indian (whatever, Native American) next to, who's that? Skeletor? I wish He-Man was here to bash his gay skull wide open. Moving on, we have Paul Revere swinging a mic like an emo singer, this is fucking terrible. I'm not even going to talk about Tommy Chong on the far right, that's just retarded. One of the worst album covers I've ever seen. I haven't even heard one song on here and I know that it's terrible, just like the editors of Maxim said. I'm not so pissed about that whole fiasco anymore, this cover is fiasco-delic. I tried to swallow the waves of puke repeatedly coming up, even pinched my nose to keep it in, but it shot right out of my ears anyway.
I'm giving this a zero out of a billion
This album cover is shitty, also. I really like Malkmus, I like this album more than Lee, and Pavement's one of the best bands of the 90s. I'm pretty much 100/0 on that. Not one bad song on 5 full-length releases, but that's just my opinion. What the shit is that creature on here? If it's a bird, it looks like its wings have been shredded by a food processor, but a bad one like the one I got at Target for $12.99. The spiral is way stupid, it would've been cooler if it was like a fluorescent pink and maybe a neon purple would've worked, or better yet: glow in the dark. That shit would rule. This album is aptly titled, because it looks like real trash and it's making me emotional, like stab my eyes out emotional. The music contained within this record is pretty fucking good, so I'm going to disagree with Lee (that rhymes, sweet!).
2 out of 10
Lee's right as rain, this album is definitely a 9 out of 10. I'm somewhat indifferent about the cover, however; it looks like a still from an old Truffaut movie, maybe from Jules et Jim or possibly a Jean-Luc Godard flick. Either way, it looks both French and existential. On closer inspection, I think this is a picture I took with my Polaroid sx70 without having the neutral density filter on, so it got a little over-exposed. Then, since I smoke cigarettes in my bedroom as I type you this garbage, I frequently spray Febreze around. So, this is what Febreze will do to your Polaroids.
7 out of 10, for reminding me not to spray Febreze on my Polaroids anymore.
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