MIIKE SNOW / HAPPY TO YOU
Downtown Records/ Universal Republic (2012)
review by/ LOGAN BRENDT
Happy to You is the second album by Miike Snow, which is comprised of Swedish writers/producers Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg. The two have been known for producing music for Madonna, Kylie Minogue, and Britney Spears, including her tremendously huge Grammy award winning hit, “Toxic”.
But as the band Miike Snow, they have teamed up with singer Andrew Wyatt, whose voice reminds me of Paul Simon’s. Don’t let that mellow voice confuse you though, as it’s paired with vocal distortions and marching band drums beats that don’t overpower. There are also sound creations that will remind you of rhythmic water droplets, sometimes crystallized as though it’s coming from some sort of ice castle, reminiscent of Sweden’s Ice Hotel. The songs, “Vase” and “God Help This Divorce” are good examples of this.
However, it’s not all snowflakes and snow cones. There’s a sort of twisted energy to the songs. “The Wave” has a memorable chorus with what could be the human equivalent of a bird call, while “Pretender” has injections of unnerving spaceship and dial up internet connection type sounds. These sounds are definitely not overdone though. “Black Tin Box” that features Lykke Li, is eerie with an almost anonymously muffled type vocal effect. You’ll feel like you’re running through an auditory film noir forest.
Miike Snow gets the point across that they’re anything but a typical “indie pop” band.
TURING MACHINE/ WHAT IS THE MEANING OF WHAT
Temporary Residence (2012)
review by/ LOGAN BRENDT
Turing Machine’s third album, What Is The Meaning Of What is their return to the music scene after their drummer Jerry Fuchs passed away in 2009. Jerry was a large part of Turing Machine and a large part of the music world, playing in bands like LCD Soundsystem, MSTRKRFT, and Massive Attack. The last work before his death was on this album, and exceptional work it is.
What Is The Meaning Of What is a steady album full of likably danceable instrumental rock with the exception of the minimal woozy vocals on “If It’s Gone (It’s On)”. Then again lyrics aren’t a priority in the math rock genre. With tracks like, “Lazy Afternoon of The Jaguar” and the drums and synths in “Slave To The Algorithm”, I’ll admit it was hard not to dance to it. So I did, and you will. It has psychedelic elements that are not to be confused with anything migraine inducing. It’s more so comparable to post-punk psychedelia, if you care about those kinds of titles. All in all, this is a good album to let loose to, and fans of Turing Machine will find this to be an extraordinary gem.