Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

cd reviews uptown dec 20

  • Print

THIS WEEK'S SINGLES

SKYLAR GREY FEATURING Eminem

C'Mon Let Me Ride (Interscope)

Up to this point, Skylar Grey has been mainly a featured vocalist, providing the chorus for the likes of Diddy's Coming Home and Dr. Dre's I Need a Doctor. This lead single from her forthcoming debut is an oddly catchy slice of musical satire that sees Grey mocking overly sexualized pop, while Eminem twists Queen's Bicycle Race with an added Pee-Wee Herman laugh. Peculiar and probably polarizing. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

SNOOP DOGG FEATURING THA DOGG POUND & SOOPAFLY

That's My Work (Gangsta Gangsta Online)

It's been mostly diminishing returns for Snoop since about 2005, including most recently, a rather questionable reggae experiment under the guise of Snoop Lion. This new single from his latest mixtape does very little to buck that trend. The echoing keyboard and clackety drum are decent, but the raps are entirely forgettable. 'Ö'Ö1/2

STEVE AOKI & ANGGER DIMAS FEATURING MY NAME IS KAY

Singularity (Dim Mak Inc.)

The recently Grammy-nominated DJ and producer's latest is taken from his It's the End of the World as We Know It EP and features more or less exactly what we've come to expect from him: crunchy beats, energetic electro, and occasionally directionless dubstep. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

-- Reviewed by Steve Adams

-- POP & ROCK

Serena Ryder

Harmony (EMI)

JUNO award winner Serena Ryder's new album, the revelatory Harmony, drives past her customary singer/songwriter style to land her comfortably in the world of intense, modern soul belters. With her warm, inviting five-octave range, a great set of songs and excellent production, Harmony is a pretty incredible listen. Producers Jerrod Bettis and Jon Levine handle the bulk of the instrumentation here, with Ryder dedicated to using her awesome voice to send chills.

For You is a sample-derived take on Nina Simone's version of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins chestnut I Put A Spell On You and it's particularly haunting and evocative. It gets better too. Stompa burns fervently with a persistent repeated piano figure and heavy rhythm that sticks with you. When she hits the bridge on this song she sings as well or better than any of her contemporaries. Don't let the hippie-chick cover art fool you: this is Serena Ryder hitting it hard on urban terrain and it's a mighty hot time in the city. ****

DOWNLOAD THIS: For You

-- Jeff Monk

-- ELECTRONIC

Fairmont

Automaton (My Favorite Robot Records)

FROM his roots as a techno DJ in Toronto to his time in post-rock act Uncut, to his electro-influenced solo work as Jake Fairley, Automaton feels like a natural progression for the former producer from the Big Smoke. Under his alias Fairmont (first full-length album since 2007's Coloured in Memory), Fairley has created an intriguing batch of tracks that is heavily indebted to the past without being too nostalgic. From the slow-burning Waiting, whose 303 acid undertones work well with druggy, shoegazer feel to the more vocal driven Last Dance, whose soft pads and '80s underpinning could have fit nicely on the soundtrack to Drive, Automaton has familiar elements, but doesn't get stuck looking back. The underrated Canadian producer's return as Fairmont streamlines influences from the indie pop world, modern techno, '80s synth bands, electro, EDM and shoegazer rock into something that continues to hint at something grander. ***1/2

DOWNLOAD THIS: Waiting

-- Anthony Augustine

-- JAZZ

Erin Propp with Larry Roy

Courage, My Love (Independent)

WINNIPEG singer Erin Propp's voice can be sweet and gentle, ideally suited to a spare instrumentation, or forceful and dramatic, ideally suited to a full band.

Her debut recording showcases both over a dozen songs, seven of which she wrote in collaboration with guitarist (and CD producer) Larry Roy.

Propp's strongest song, He Cries (The Breathing), is a dramatic tale of love, performed with a full band, but more of the pieces here are performed with a sparer accompaniment, sometimes just guitar and bass, that so suits her subtle voice and lyrics.

She does a great job on a couple of chestnuts. The CD opener, Skylark, is a wistful rendition, and Propp nails the bossa fun of O Barquinho (Little Boat).

Courage, My Love, a Propp composition, is a poetic look at heartbreak. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For is a more forceful song highlighting the singer's range.

Roy is a key ingredient to the success of this disc for writing music with Propp, arranging all the tunes and for his exceptional guitar playing.

Propp is a wonderful singer, a talented songwriter and a musician to watch HHHH 1/2

DOWNLOAD THIS: He Cries (The Breathing)

-- Chris Smith

-- Rap

Chief Keef

Finally Rich (Glory Boys/ Interscope)

THIS year Interscope Records has a little surprise for us under the tree: Arriving amid the good cheer, the carolling and the mistletoe comes gangsta rapper Chief Keef's studio debut, Finally Rich.

Landing a week before the big day, the album from this 17-year-old Chicago thug offers infectious odes to nihilism and tirades against haters that are as simple-minded and catchy as they are brutal. Musically, however, the album shimmers with power, which makes the dozen songs feel even more dangerous.

Apparently unintentional is Keef's placement of a song called Hallelujah near the beginning of his album in the week leading up to Christmas. The track's not an interpretation of Leonard Cohen's gem; rather, Keef's track, produced by fellow Chicago artist Young Chop, is an offering filled with venom. Supported by bass-heavy exclamation points and the crunk-suggestive skittering high-hat runs, the track features an opening couplet -- "Bitch I'm cooler than a cooler/ Bitch shouts out to my jeweler" -- that suggests about as much effort as he probably put into freshman biology. Rather it's about how, at 17, he's "finally" rich. **1/2 stars

-- Randall Roberts / Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 20, 2012 ??65532

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Theresa Oswald Leadership Bid

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A mother goose has chosen a rather busy spot to nest her eggs- in the parking lot of St Vital Centre on a boulevard. Countless cars buzz by and people have begun to bring it food.-Goose Challenge Day 06 - May 08, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google