Review Round Up #24

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes The Sadies' "New Seasons," Kaz Murphy's "Home For Misfits," Orba Squara's "Sunshyness," "Halloween Original Motion Picture Soundtrack," and Where's Moo's "Dear Friend Dopamine."

New Seasons

Sadies
“New Seasons”
(Yep Roc 2007)

On the fifth full-length studio release from Toronto's The Sadies, the band offers carefully crafted, intriguing songs with smooth harmonies and a lush psychedelic swirl, not to mention an extra helping of bluegrass. "New Seasons" sounds whole with each track well rounded and The Sadies sounding as though they just stepped out of the '60s"¦with some additional assistance from today's studio technology, of course.

Sounds Like: Swirling psychedelic meets folksy country for a retro result

Key Tracks: "The First Inquisition (Part 4)," "My Heart Of Wood"

A
buy it!
Home For Misfits

Kaz Murphy
“Home For Misfits”
(Self-Released 2007)

Simply honest or a little quirky, it is a difficult call to make regarding Jersey boy Kaz Murphy. Luckily, Murphy's third solo album, "Home For Misfits," is that perfect combination of pop that offers memorable lyrics here and there with catchy hooks that keep your ear interested. Bringing Elvis Costello to mind with Murphy's straightforward style, "Home For Misfits" avoids the bells and whistles of over production and cheap gimmicks.

Sounds Like: No frills pop singer-songwriter

Key Tracks: "Waitin' On Elvis"

B+
buy it!
Sunshyness

Orba Squara
“Sunshyness”
(Res Freq Recordings 2007)

Get ready for an unadulterated ray of sugar-coated sunshine from Orba Squara. The band's debut album, "Sunshyness," is light, bright and always upbeat. From twinkling melodies to plucked and strummed strings, it is a dreamy mix of indie pop that plays like a music box. But while "Sunshyness" hits the mark later in the album with some more developed instrumentation, much of the album seems too loose despite remain brief.

Sounds Like: Upbeat twinkling indie pop music box

Key Tracks: "So Comfortable"

B-
buy it!
Halloween Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Various Artists
“Halloween Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”
(Hip-O Records 2007)

Say what you will but Rob Zombie has a good sense of humor. He must to have produced the soundtrack for his remake of the classic horror film "Halloween." The remake's soundtrack is twenty-four tracks split evenly between brief audio clips ("Are you saying Michael did this? He loves animals!") and good ol' music. Tracks like Blue Γ–yster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" mingles with Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way (Live)" before Iggy Pop comes crashing in with "1969."

Sounds Like: A fun-loving soundtrack for a horror film

Key Tracks: Blue Γ–yster Cult ' "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," Iggy Pop - "1969"

B
buy it!
Dear Friend Dopamine

Where's Moo
“Dear Friend Dopamine”
(Orange Hand Records 2007)

With a number of early and mid '90s bands reforming to record albums or hitting the road one more time, it seems completely appropriate that Where's Moo pay tribute, even if it is unintentional, to those old favorites. Nada Surf, Teenage Fanclub, Sebadoh and others come to mind while listening to Where's Moo's "Dear Friend Dopamine" as quirky tracks rail recklessly while still keeping a pop appeal. Add to that smooth vocal harmonies and Where's Moo make "Dopamine" a sweet treat.

Sounds Like: Edgy indie rock with a nod to the β€˜90s

Key Tracks: "The Adventurers"

B+
buy it!