Friday, June 17, 2011

"It's A Corporate World" by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

It's A Corporate World by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was
released on Quite Scientific Records on June 7, 2011
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are much more than just a band with a quirky, attention-grabbing name.  Dale Jr. Jr. may have initially caught the attention of the masses through their namesake, but they've kept their fans through their inventive and invigorating sound.  The band picked up a bit of steam from their EP last year Horse Power (which featured an awesome cover of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows") and this album expands upon that sound that they built for themselves.  It's hard to lump Dale Jr. Jr. into a category because the stereotypical "indie pop" title just simply doesn't fit, there's too much going on to pigeonhole them into one category.  It's A Corporate World is full of captivating lyrics, polyrhythms, and instrumentation.  Each track is capable of being a summer anthem with it's infectious choruses and captivating rhythms, It's A Corporate World is certainly one of this year's standout albums from top to bottom.

The Myxem Staff Reviews "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" by Bon Iver

Bon Iver, Bon Iver, released June 21st, 2011
on 4AD and Jagjaguwar

Bon Iver, Bon Iver is an ambitious piece of work that marks not only the evolution of Justin Vernon and his band musically, but also emotionally.  While For Emma, Forever Ago was a raw and bare-boned type of album this sophomore release is far from the Bon Iver everyone came to know and love on his first release, but this rebirth of sound is an incredibly pleasing one.  Vernon's distinguished falsetto rings through amongst dense textures of sound in each track in a way that all sort of intertwines as an experimental, R&B, easy listening, soul, folk record.  The lyrics are just as strong and pertinent as they were on For Emma but my small qualm is that they're rather unintelligible while being sung by Vernon.  By no means am I saying that it's a large detractor from the album because like I said the lyrics are still incredibly powerful regardless of whether you need to be looking at a lyric sheet or not.  "Say nothing, that's enough for me", Vernon croons on "Holocene", the album has a familiar theme with it's lyrics that get you emotionally attached to every song, you get the feeling like Vernon really had something to say and knew exactly how he wanted it to be said.  In the same song he sings "And I at once knew I was not magnificent", quite frankly the world couldn't disagree more.  It's incredibly fulfilling to hear an artist grow as much as Bon Iver has over the past few years, especially when you can still hear bits of his old style sprawled about the album but with a new take on it, much like towards the end of "Minnesota, WI" when Vernon is spilling his heart out over a banjo riff that's meshing itself with a saxophone part as well.  From For Emma to working with Kanye, to Gayngs, Vernon has truly become a type of artist that I'm sure nobody would have pegged him as with the release of his debut effort.  I only see great things coming in the future for Bon Iver.

Rating: 9/10
Standout Tracks: "Holocene", "Perth", "Calgary"