I like albums that sneak up on a listener. Sirens, the fourth record by Christopher Bell is like that. Bell uses his looped vocals to create textures along with his cello. The result is a record that sounds like some sort of mix between Björk’s Medulla, Todd Rundgren’s A Capella, the work of Zoë Keating and some of Sean Altman’s stuff — Bell’s pop hooks is the world of Rundgren and Altman, where the artiness and interesting arrangements are similar to Björk and Keating. But the mix is all Bell’s own. Sirens isn’t going to take the place of any of these records, nor could any of these records replace Sirens. They’re all good but different, even if there is some DNA shared. So, unless you think kids are just lame rip-offs of their parents, it is an unfair slight to call Sirens derivative by any means. Continue reading
So, we’re stealin’ the idea from the Sparks Project and doing one with probably even more records out there — The Residents! And this time we’re changing it up a little bit — we’ve got two hardcore Residents fans in me and Rich, but Aila is, at best, a casual fan, who will be hearing about 99% of these records for the first time. DANGEROUS! So, enjoy, THE RESIDENTS PROJECT!
Cover of Deface the Music
Utopia’s Deface the Music is the best album the Rutles never recorded. It fits perfectly in that mold of knockoff Beatles tunes that are just as good (and sometimes better) than the originals. Like the Rutles, on this album, Utopia does sound-alikes from every stage of the Beatles’ career, though unlike the Rutles, very few are direct homages to certain songs (except for the last track, “Everyone Else Is Wrong”, which is dead on “I Am The Walrus”). It’s more about a general sound and feel, and it gets it dead on right.
Who don’t love Sparks? I suppose the folks who don’t know who Sparks are might not love Sparks, but that’s only because of plum ignorance. But REST EASY, reader — we’re here to set you straight by reviewing ALL the Sparks records — and not just by one, but TWO (and maybe occasionally MORE!) Die-Hard Sparks Fan Reviewers. We shall be your guide into the wonderful world of Mael. Check it out!