Review Round Up #29

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes The Landings' "The Landing," Ryan Adams' "Follow The Lights," "I'm Not There Original Soundtrack," Saint of the Day's "Maker Fair," and Digby's "What's Not Plastic?"

The Landing

Landing
“The Landing”
(Self-Released 2007)

Delicate, soft and hinting of indie rock, The Landing's new three song self-titled EP shows off singer and pianist Lilly Wolfson's vocals. Twinkling piano melodies gently sing from the background on the band's safe but tight mid tempo songs. But with only three tracks, it is difficult to get a real reading on The Landing, or more accurately, how far Wolfson can push her voice.

Sounds Like: Soft indie rock

Key Tracks: "Float Away"

B
buy it!
Follow The Lights

Ryan Adams
“Follow The Lights”
(Lost Highway 2007)

You certainly cannot accuse Ryan Adams of being guilty of sloth. The singer/songwriter is releasing "Follow The Lights," his new EP, just a few months after releasing "Easy Tiger," his ninth studio album. But while many musicians can barely release two decent albums within a few years of each other, Adams follows up a respectable album with a respectable EP. Loose and breezy with his mix of blues and country, "Follow The Lights" takes a break with soft, gentle tracks, including an inspired cover of Alice In Chains' "Down In A Hole."

Sounds Like: Laid-back country tunes

Key Tracks: "Down In A Hole," "Dear John"

B+
buy it!
I'm Not There Original Soundtrack

I'm Not There
“I'm Not There Original Soundtrack”
(Sony Records 2007)

Todd Haynes knows how to make a good soundtrack. The soundtrack for "I'm Not There," his new Bob Dylan bio pic, is a veritable who's who of indie rock, alt country and rock - from Sonic Youth to Sufjan Stevens, Calexico to Willie Nelson - delivering tight covers and some interesting duet combinations. At two discs and 34 tracks long, "I'm Not There Original Soundtrack" is part soundtrack and part tribute album but completely entertaining and enjoyable. The real question is how many of the artists on the album are intentionally copping Dylan's vocal style?

Sounds Like: Bob Dylan covers from the cream of the indie rock crop

Key Tracks: "Dark Eyes" - Iron & Wine & Calexico, "The Wicked Messenger" - The Black Keys

A
buy it!
Maker Fair

Saint of the Day
“Maker Fair”
(Self-Released 2007)

Big Apple band Saint of the Day proves on their debut EP, "Maker Fair," that they have some songs. With a guitar driven sound that has an undeniable underlying groove, Saint of the Day tread a fine line of predictably and, generally, come out on top. While "Maker Fair" takes listeners in the right direction, Saint of the Day never seem to arrive at their destination.

Sounds Like: Groove and guitar driven rock

Key Tracks: "Little Miss My Way"

C
buy it!
What's Not Plastic?

Digby
“What's Not Plastic?”
(Toucan Cove/Label X/Universal Republic Records 2007)

It is easy to catch glimpses of some good in Digby's "What's Not Plastic?" Recorded during a crossroads for the band professionally and personally, the EP is edgy rock and heartfelt ballads. And it is the ballads, at least on this EP, where Digby's strength lies. "Like paper you scrape her like gum from the shoes of your soul," Paul Moeller quietly observes on "How Long." Digby's experience shows as they draw you in with "What's Not Plastic?"

Sounds Like: Part edgy rock, part alt rock ballads

Key Tracks: "Bad Swing," "How Long"

B+