Jan 2020

Have We Met (CD)

Destroyer’s Have We Met is lush, wry, and thoroughly entrancing. Said to be inspired by the Y2K era, the album seems to have more of an ‘80s feel, with crescendoing washes of sound, moody synths, and devastatingly clever lyrics. This is Destroyer’s Dan Bejar at his best, slipping effortlessly into his role as a cynically romantic torch song crooner. As the album’s atmosphere evolves over the course of these ten hypnotic tracks, the slightly detached air of the early songs makes a surprising turn to the life-affirming, the hands-in-the-air joy of falling in love and living it up. A must-hear that should garner the talented Mr. Bejar a host of new fans.

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Cotillions (CD)

For his second solo album as William Patrick Corgan, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman directs his talents toward country music, with the help of Nashville session players. It's an unexpected turn, but it works better than fans might think, with ballads that invoke some of the sensitivity of his Mellon Collie days. The tone of the album is lighter than his usual fare, despite plenty of hard-life imagery - “Hard Times” floats on its steel guitar in a moody, but pretty fashion. “Neptulius” is particularly strong and not necessarily country: it's gentle and evocative with a melody reinforced by light but emphatically strummed chords.

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Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (CD)

Bombay Bicycle Club return after a 6-year hiatus with new album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, reviving their rhythmic brand of indie rock. The band excels at twining subtle melodies around busy percussion, exemplified in the catchy track “Is It Real?.” The cathartic title song seems to address their time off positively with the lyrics, “Yes, I found my hope again . . .Yes, I found my second wind,” chanted over and over at the end. Another highlight is “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You),” which is quietly uplifting in a way that invites listening on repeat.

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Betty: They Say I'm Different (DVD)

Betty Davis, who is known for her outsized life, fashion, and music in the 1970s, changed the landscape for female artists in America. She shattered taboos, resisting what was considered “respectable” for women by the record industry and society at large, insisting on complete control of her image and recordings, as well as in her turbulent marriage to Miles Davis. At the height of her fame in the early 1980s, she mysteriously disappeared from public life. In late 2012, after intensive research, the filmmakers discovered Betty Davis living a private life alone in Pittsburgh. Director Phil Cox and his team spent four years with Betty Davis to bring the story of her life to the screen and, for the first time, she reveals why she chose to cut herself off from everyone in her past and vanish from the limelight for three decades.

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