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   Tuesday, January 14, 2003  
Looking back...
'It's a dynamic album with intriguing lyrics, a country/folk shimmer, and explosive pop moments' - Pitchfork yesterday finally caught up with the reallyrather album of the year. And what's this? A UK release, no less! For those laggards yet to acquire Rilo Kiley's The execution of all things, SaddleCreekEurope says it'll appear on March 10 (a day after their US tour ends - could it be, could it be?!); Amazon meanwhile have a date of Feb 24 - form an orderly queue here. 'I venture to guess that this is an album those Pitchfork elitists probably won't enjoy,' predicted another reviewer, wrongly; 'The album hasn't a single dud,' he concluded, rightly...

Reviews of the Tracker album, runner-up on this blog's year-end list, are rather harder to find but Ear Pollution has heard it: 'A beautiful slice of ambient Americana ... [John] Askew has done a brilliant job of creating an epic landscape using only the most minimalist of colors.'

Looking ahead...
Two of the most anticipated (hereabouts) but interminably protracted 'releases' should finally see the light of day in the first half of '03. Nadine played a little hometown show last month which was caught by local arts zine Playback. This blog raised a rather steep eyebrow last year at the news that the band had recruited 'rawk' guitarist Jimmy Griffin and is not entirely heartened to read that he 'kicks ass on guitar and provides the sonic highs that the band needs to loosen its alt-country binds.' Judgement deferred. are happily not something Wheat are likely to spring on us when they play a few live UK dates next month. The good news is that they're now getting a bit of (biggish) label support having signed to Aware Records. The downside is they're being hitched to others on the roster, hence a UK tour slot opening for John Mayer. OK, it could probably be worse but reallyrather is presently squirming on veritable horns over the Feb 2 Shepherds Bush Empire show...

Also currently filed under 'Decision pending' is the new Belles album, Omerta. To be slotted alongside things like Gingersol and The Vessels, reallyrather isn't sure that more neatly constructed strummy (vaguely power-)pop-rock is what's needed just now . But for those who are, there does seem to be quite a high hit rate on this collection. Samples here.

The New York Times last week put up a list of under-the-radar albums from '02 it reckoned worth pursuing (no link as the NYT site needs registration ). To save you the effort, reallyrather boils the selections down to these three:
'Deerhoof - Reveille (Kill Rock Stars) Beware of whiplash from the sudden changes in Deerhoof's songs, which can sound like blithe pop one moment and bruising power chords or a tootling accordion or staticky electronics the next, all with whimsically assured timing and a sly sense of melody;
Bad Astronaut- Houston: We Have a Drinking Problem (Honest Don's) At its best, this band from Santa Barbara, Calif., brings together elements of Grandaddy, Weezer and your favorite emo band. At its worst, it is average with the potential to be great;
Bon Voyage - The Right Amount (Tooth and Nail) After a four-year hiatus, the husband-and-wife team of Julie and Jason Martin returns with a sweet, beautiful and thoughtfully produced pop album with shades of Sixpence None the Richer
[ahem], the Cardigans, the Cranes and Mazzy Star.'
Happy hunting...
   posted by SMc at 9:51 AM |