Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NOT WORTH IT: Titus Andronicus! Hole! Los Primos de Durango! Point of Grace!

Titus Andronicus
The Monitor

Concept album about the giant lizard that devoured the Lincoln baby, kicking off the Civil War.

Here's the problem with having a sloppy drunk guy unravel all his Civil War metaphors for you, at LENGTH, in SONG: no matter how audacious the concept, it's probably not gonna stick once everyone's sobered up. He won't be able to maintain his momentum for an entire tune. No matter how ingratiating his melodies, they won't have enough tension and heft to be memorable. And even if, through sheer good will or pathos, he's able to lure you into a gang singalong, you won't have any idea why you're singing the words that you're singing. Once he stops ranting and you're home in bed, all you'll have is a vague memory of some thick guitar sludge.

Nobody's Daughter
(Mercury/Island Def Jam/CherryForever)

She's still got one of the best voices around. Sadly, her new material has fewer surprises than the proverbial phone book in song. And since most of the album's interest stems from "who wrote what," Courtney's phone book's gotta be fascinating.

Los Primos de Durango
Mi Mejor Regalo

Their "100% Duranguense Light" is the only instance I can recall of a band blatantly trying to innovate through selling out. More power to 'em--except that to call regular duranguense "heavy" or "authentic" or somehow "not pop" is to hear music that's simply not there. Duranguense per se is already a softer, quicker, synthier, poppier version of banda, so what can it possibly mean to "lighten" it? The Primos' answer is to keep their tambora player in line and make their horn fills more cloying.

Point of Grace
No Changin' Us
(Word Entertainment)

There are probably "moms" who "identify" with "Love and Laundry" and the rest of the 11 slices of "country" "life" collected here. I just wonder about this gritty couplet:

"I’d sure like to relax laying in a bubble bath/
but then I’d have to clean the tub and really who's got time for that?"

Seriously, how dirty do Point of Grace leave their tub?

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