It feels like a busy year for music so far, with many musical comebacks happening. This week we check out the return of The Knife, Major Lazer and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whilst listening to the debut from Charli XCX and the most welcome comeback of all: Daft Punk. Hear what we think under the cut.
The Knife | Shaking The Habitual | Rabid Records
If ‘Silent Shout’ was the darker follow on from ‘Deep Cuts’, then ‘Shaking The Habitual’ is the even darker and progressive follow up to ‘Silent Shout’. The rule book is firmly out of the window on ‘Habitual’, with many of the tracks having an intriguing and experimental lack of structure, yet still maintaining The Knife’s electronic, pulsating beats (Full of Fire, Without You My Life Would be Boring, Networking). Without a doubt, ‘Shaking The Habitual’ is the least accessible of the duo’s work, yet also their most visceral, personal and organic, creating an 100 minute masterpiece. Even when the album hits the more solemn moments (Old Dreams Waiting to be Realised) it still manages to hold and intrigue the listener. It’s a welcome return for the group, with a fourth studio album that is an experimental, interesting and fascinating tour de force.
Following from the clean and medical ‘It’s Blitz’, Karen O and co have released ‘Mosquito’, an album that recaptures some of the energy and spark that made the bands debut ‘Fever to Tell’ so memorable. Forgetting the precision of it’s predecessor, ‘Mosquito’ returns to the garage rock sound the band originally had. It’s the perfect amalgamation of the band’s debut and sophomore record ‘Show Your Bones’, almost forgetting the last album happened. Fiesty rock comes in the form of album lead, ‘Sacrilege’, ‘Area 52’ and the title track. Calmer moments come in the slow train sampling track ‘Subway’ and slow burner ‘Always’. It’s a very welcome and overdue return for the band’s original sound, yet you can’t help but feel that they have lost some of their spark along the way.
Helmed by producer Diplo, Major Lazer release their sophomore studio set ‘Free the Universe’. Staying true to their unique blend of reggae, urban and electronica, the album boasts an impressive set of carefree dance numbers, perfect for the summer ahead. Straight up dance comes from ‘Scare Me (featuring Peaches & Timberlee), Sweat (featuring Laidback Luke & Miss Dynamite), where reggae infused tracks come in the shape of lead single Get Free (featuring Amber of Dirty Projectors) and Playground (featuring Bugle & Arama). The album has an impressive roster of artists featuring, including those aforementioned along with Bruno Mars, Santigold, Shaggy, Wynter Gordon, Tyga, Wyclef Jean and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. Ultimately this a fun yet disposable dance record. Perfect for the summer coming up.
‘True Romance’ is the debut set from Charli XCX. The album dissects the ideas of relationships and love through harsh electronica beats and attitude ridden ,yet all the while feisty, vocals. The album itself is not instantly memorable, yet several listens later and these tracks will find themselves stuck in your head. The set is an introspective story, with it’s harsh hip hop infused electronic beats complimenting XCX’s purring vocals. It’s a definite strong body of attitude driven electro pop and hopefully the beginning of a strong career for Charli XCX.
This could simply be the most hyped return to music we have seen this year (until we get more information from Beyonce’s next record). It’s typical Daft Punk, dance worthy, fun, with a bit of disco thrown in, along with the smooth vocals of Pharrell. It’s the perfect care free fun track making us long for summer. The song is made through the vocals of Pharrell, no other singer could have done this song justice aside from him. You have to hear it to understand the simple genius. Infectious and difficult to not have on repeat. Welcome back Daft Punk, we’ve missed you.
by David Mahoney | Online Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org