A Great Big World and Dum Dum Girls Lead This Week's New Releases
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: A Great Big World - Is Anybody Out There (Epic) Splitting the difference between fun. and Fountains of Wayne, these cornballs A Great Big World are sincere about their dopiness, beginning with audacious piano and even more audacious high-pitched onomatopoeia and an "I was born to be a rock star" credo that makes one wonder what a rock star even entails in a post-Riff Raff age. The chord changes know the Elton John from whence they came, and the surprise synths, Auto-Tune and hair metal solos do their label budget justice. And surprisingly, they do justice to the directness of titles like "Everyone Is Gay" and "I Don't Wanna Love Somebody Else." Easily an improvement on fun., their tunes make strides toward Fountains of Wayne. If they only had a brain.
Dum Dum Girls - Too True (Sub Pop) High-generic. Kristin Gundred's made at least three records better than her third full-length as Dum Dum Girls: the whirlwind Chrissie Hynde tribute Only in Dreams, the brief arena-scale glory of He Gets Me High and, in one of her many former guises, Grand Ole Party's Humanimals, a jittery triumph of garage-soul produced by ex-Rilo Kiley axe architect Blake Sennett that beats anything Beth Ditto's ever made. Those are where the jams are. Too True has no bad songs, and also none worth mentioning, unless you count the wrap-around hook of "Rimbaud Eyes", the bite of the way she sneers "You got!" before the inexplicable title comes 'round again. Nice names like "Trouble Is My Name," "Little Minx" and "In the Wake of You" support as well as they can, beneath the mildly cavernous echo of the world's driest Cure album.
See what other albums made the list here.
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