The Vermont Cynic

[critic]al thinking

February 4, 2008

An album to sink your teeth intoRecord Review Andrew DeTullioVampire Weekend s/t(Xl Recordings)4.5 Stars With the rising critical power of the blogosphere, Internet hype can now either make or break a band before they even release a record. Already, 2008 has one of these highly coveted and hyped band...

El-P Develops a Futuristic Concept

March 27, 2007

Emerging from the roots of modern underground hip-hop with the group Company Flow, El-P is no stranger to the game - in fact, by founding Def Jux Records, he has an active role in defining it.Coming off a five-year hiatus since his widely hailed "Fantastic Damage," El- Producto is finally answering the pleas...

The Second Most Famous Mouse

March 27, 2007

Modest Mouse has avoided using a higher budget - a perk to being signed to a major label - toindulge in excesses or to muddle their sound. Instead, the band has used this luxury to explore their genre, as any weathered band should do.On their new album, "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," Isaac Bro...

[exclaim]ation points

March 20, 2007

Air Pocket Symphony(Astralwerks)Air's music often walks the thin line between sophomoric idiocy and layered classical brilliance. While never approaching the brilliance of previous albums, "Pocket Symphony" tightropes this line insecurely. The sophistication of the instrumental and trance songs is ...

Frank Miller’s Latest: 300 Blows

March 20, 2007

King Leonidas of the Spartans (Gerard Butler) and his men kill several Persian messengers by throwing them into a huge stone pit in the center of town. They are killed for "threatening Sparta" and "insulting [Leonidas'] wife." He then spends the rest of the movie rattling on about freedom and justi...

[exclaim]ation points

March 8, 2007

Dr. Dog We All Belong(Park the Van) 4 StarsDr. Dog won't be in the dog pen for this album. The group's third album is just what they needed to take off. Chock full of Beach Boys style harmonies, sweet and simple guitar melodies and voices that sound more like little boys than men from Philly, the album...

In The Beginning, There Was Arcade Fire

March 8, 2007

Album ReviewArcade Fire Neon Bible(Merge) 4 StarsLike many people just looking for some good music, I was a listener that stumbled upon experimental rock band The Arcade Fire and their hit album of 2005, "Funeral." I was unsure whether it was my scene at first, but soon accepted it as an amazing, p...

Nothing New in Chopper City

March 8, 2007

Album Review B.G. and the Chopper City Boyz We Got This(Koch) 2 StarsOne of the definitive clichés of mainstream hip-hop is the "posse album," in which a successful artist uses his credibility and namesake to push an album, full of hisless-qualified friends (a.k.a weed-carriers) and their two bit r...

High Llamas Get Warm and Fuzzy

February 27, 2007

Album Review of High Llamas Can Cladders (Drag City) 3 and 1/2 starsCan we please go for a drive today in your racing-green 1986 Volvo? Can we take the train out to Oxford and read to each other from "Franny and Zooey" and suck the dew out of the thatching on English countryside houses? Because those are...

Beauty in Background Music

February 27, 2007

Album Review of Eluvium Copia (Temporary Residence) 4 StarsAmbient music tends to conjure images of sleeping, winter and Brian Eno. It can be either beautiful or like watching paint dry, depending on the artist's abilities and the sensibilities of the listener.Movement is key in making an ambient album...

Different Strokes

September 24, 2006

The Strokes New Year's resolution: break the mold of their first two albums by releasing their third and most encompassing compilation to date, First Impressions of Earth. The boys from New York prove they have musical mobility on this one, rearranging their guitar and vocal chords to generate an excess...

In Pursuit of Reinvention

February 21, 2006

The first few months of college were hectic to say the least. Drama bubbling up from beneath me, work piling on top of me and all in this strange, new world ofVermont.Music is one of the few escapes remaining - it is far safer than merely hiding at the bottom of a bottle, so my premier form of intoxi...

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