Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

CD Reviews: Juno Soundtrack and more

<p>It’s refreshing to hear a soundtrack sync with a film’s themes as smartly as this one. The film’s charm and slyness is echoed in this largely folk-based mix of calm and classic cool.</p>







Juno Soundtrack

Album: Music From The Motion Picture

Label: Rhino

Released: Jan. 15

**** (out of five)





It’s refreshing to hear a soundtrack sync with a film’s themes as smartly as this one. The film’s charm and slyness is echoed in this largely folk-based mix of calm and classic cool. Buoyed by Kimya Dawson’s cheeky, folk interludes, the youthful exuberance of staples from The Kinks and Mott The Hoople resurface and connect with dreamy covers from the likes of Sonic Youth and Cat Power. You can even hear 20-year-old Canadian Ellen Page sing in her Oscar-nominated role.










Black Mountain

Album: In the Future

Label: Jagjaguwar

Released: Jan. 22

**** (out of five)





Behold the awesome power of Black Mountain. Sounding like the war child of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, the Vancouver band unleashes a volley of guitar savagery and wailing vocals. The group’s second album is a haunting assembly of rock dirges. Bright Lights — a monstrous 16-minute epic — will leave listeners withered and trembling. The softer, Bowie-like sound of Wild Wind adds perfect balance. It’s a sonic attack that is both theatrical and visceral.










The Magnetic Fields

Album: Distortion

Label: Nonesuch

Released: Jan. 22

**** (out of five)





Even though it’s only January, Distortion is hands-down the best reverb-soaked, baroque-pop Jesus and Mary Chain homage album with a sad Christmas song you can gaze at your shoes to this year. Seriously, for newcomers to The Magnetic Fields’ off-kilter concept albums, Distortion should sound pleasant. Whenever Stephin Merritt’s gloomy baritone and whimsically disguised lyrics straddle the grandiose orchestra of feedback, Shirley Simms’ radiant voice corrals the tunes back into authenticity through classic pop lines and Spectoresque walls of sound.










The Muggabears

Album: Night Choreography

Label: Independent

Released: Jan. 15

**** (out of five)





This Brooklyn trio unleashes waves of droning guitars with aching vocals in torrents of discord that converge into some interesting and serene noise rock. Even at only seven songs, Night Choreography has a surprising range and a penchant for immersing the listener in crafty little nuance — which repeated spins can help uncover. This bleak sound is certainly an acquired taste, but if you have the time, and don’t mind the inevitable Sonic Youth comparisons, there’s a little tenderness to be found.










Cat Power

Album: Jukebox

Label: Matador

Released: Jan. 22

*** 1/2 (out of five)





Chan Marshell’s eighth album is a collection of reinterpretations of songs from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Hank Williams. Marshall’s voice is always pleasant and the bluesy, breezy flavour she adds to these covers keeps the album interesting — although New York, New York is an awfully hokey choice to start the album. Marshall’s sweet take on these old chestnuts should keep fans purring.


 
 
You Might Also Like