Jason Bowers – Never Grows Old
“Music is my life… I think that I can impact the world in bigger and deeper ways with my music career than I could, doing anything else. To me that’s what life is all about: being there emotionally for people.”
This is a quote form Jason Bowers’ Web site, which accurately portrays the tone and content of his music. His debut LP, “Never Grow Old,” is a bizarre platform for Bowers’ cringe-inducing songs about “his baby.” He careens out of control with a disgusting Americanized version of “Creep”-era Thom Yorke crossed with some dangerously Timberlakian vocal tendencies, all the while belting out his sissy hymns with a clueless enthusiasm not matched since Jimmy Eats World.
The musical backdrop is pure vanilla-funk in vein of “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” provided by his band, to whom Bowers’ graciously gives a “shout out” in the liner notes. Let’s hope he can “impact the world” with something other than this. Terrible, terrible.
Great Lakes – The Distance Between
This record is one of those albums that feels more like a term paper than a party. These recordings are typified by a strangely clinical approach to their influences; instead of getting fired up by them and creating something of their own, they coldly reproduce them in slightly different contexts. Like term papers, this kind of approach can put the original source in a new light, exposing new aspects of someone else’s work. However, also like term papers, it sucks.
The Great Lakes seem to be working on an extended explication of the sound of the Pet Sounds/Phil Spector kind of 60s pop. They manage to piece together primary and secondary documents very well, and deserve an “A” for effort.
This is a very pleasant record, make no mistake, but really, who wants to read a term paper when they could be reading something about monkeys or ninjas?
Le Tigre – Remixes
When one sees a “remix EP” of a band they already really like, they should approach with caution. Have there really been that many great remixes of songs in the history of the world?
It becomes pretty clear that the aim of Le Tigre in collaborating with the remixers on this disc is to put their neo-feminist doctrine in a more “dance-friendly” context. Unfortunately, most of these remixes are just kinda bad. They rob the original songs of the lo-fi fury they once had and either dilute or obscure the message beyond recognition. A bright spot is the remix of “On Guard”, which actually highlights the vocals and has a nice “marching-in-place” beat
Fans of Le Tigre will also note that there is a CD-rom music video of “Well Well Well” from their last album. I’m guessing we’re not going to be seeing it on MTV anytime soon. This disc is probably worth it, if you’re a fan. Otherwise, neh.