Review Round Up #72

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Everclear's "In a Different Light," "Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is...Awesome!," Toxic Bee Buzz's "Toxic Bee Buzz," Morning Fuzz's "Morning Fuzz," and Lisa Nola's Music Listography.

In a Different Light

Everclear
“In a Different Light”
(429 Records 2009)

Listening to Everclear’s “In A Different Light” is like taking a trip back in time...to a few years ago. The album is full of some of the band’s most known tracks: sugary pop rockers to ballads of personal anguish. But from time to time you might find yourself thinking, "Gee, that sounds different than I remember." And you’d be right. This collection is a “fresh and intimate” take on the band’s songs...by the band’s new line-up. It’s not a terrible idea but the tracks are so close to the originals it hardly seems worth it. Now re-envisioning Everclear as punk or death metal – that’s a “different light.”

Sounds Like: Tweaked versions of Everclear standards plus two new tracks

Key Tracks: “Wonderful”

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Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is…Awesome!

Various Artists
“Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is…Awesome!”
(Filter US Recordings 2009)

While I've never seen Yo Gabba Gabba! nor do I (thankfully) have any kids, I'm guessing every parent is looking for music that will satisfy them and their little ones. Enter "Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is…Awesome!," a compilation of songs from the TV show plus ones performed by bands parents might already have in their music collection (The Shins, I'm From Barcelona, Of Montreal). The comp is fairly successful in putting indie and electronic spins on the dialed down tunes to the point it's almost awkward how much some sound like currently popular "adult" music. In the end, this is for kids and you won't find yourself giving the disc a spin during nap time – the YGG! tracks are especially taxing while their indie counterparts are pretty decent.

Sounds Like: Music for Mommy & Daddy's aspiring little hipster

Key Tracks: Chromeo's "Nice 'N' Clean," I'm From Barcelona's "Just Because It's Different Doesn’t Mean It's Scary"

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Toxic Bee Buzz

Toxic Bee Buzz
“Toxic Bee Buzz”
(Self-Released 2009)

Toxic Bee Buzz’s vocalist sounds like a truly rock ‘n’ roll combination of Billy Corgan and Mick Jagger, hanging out together and partying all night. The accompanying instrumentation from Toxic Bee Buzz is alternative rock with the appropriate amount of edginess. On the band’s self-titled single they offer up three tracks strong enough to make you curious about their forthcoming album.

Sounds Like: Edgy alternative rock that isn’t afraid to get dirty

Key Tracks: “Odd Men Out”

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Morning Fuzz

Morning Fuzz
“Morning Fuzz”
(Self-Released 2009)

Morning Fuzz comes across sunny and upbeat with their self-titled EP. Theirs is a throwback to modern rock that, while not terribly original, is full of smooth melodies and ambitious lyrics. The music might pull you in while it’s playing, but once the EP clicks off, there isn’t much that stays with you. The trio is headed in the right direction but the five tracks on their EP don’t do enough to stand out from the crowded pack.

Sounds Like: Modern rock

Key Tracks: “Bedtown”

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Music Listography

Lisa Nola
“Music Listography”
(Chronicle Books 2009)

If you’re familiar with High Fidelity then you’re familiar with the premise of Music Listography by Lisa Nola. Put simply, Music Listography is a book comprised of different music-themed lists. Nola provides dozens and dozens of topics (“List your obscure music discoveries”) and then gives you ample writing space to fill in your answers. Not for the indecisive, Music Listography will certainly get your thinking although it seems like a once-and-done project.

Sounds Like: The perfect thing for a party or gift for your music oriented friends

Key Tracks:

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