by Luke Baumgarten and Leah Sottile & r & Sleater-Kinney & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.447828463 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; title= & quot;Click to listen on iTunes & quot; & The Woods & lt;/a & **** & r & This isn't your angry older sister's Sleater-Kinney, though maybe it should be. Still aggressive, but in a new way, this S-K forgoes the overtly political for the allegorical, subversive and satiric. They do it with massive, loose, distorted licks and big drums (see also: an 11-minute guitar solo). "Panache," I think, is the word.
On "Entertain," they mock your favorite Cure-worshipping indie bands. S-K is reusing an entirely different movement in music, though one that isn't as well worn as New Wave. Given the riot girl thing S-K has been working through for 10 years, The Woods is either a retreat into arena rock or a final push past punk to ... arena rock. Whether you like this album may hinge on how comfortable you are pulling out your old KISS tapes.
Admit this, though: There can be no bigger symbolic feather in a feminist rocker's cap than taming testosterone-rock. And I think we can all give credit to Carrie Brownstein for the perfect Jefferson Airplane impression. --Luke Baumgarten
Black Eyed Peas & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.452096289 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; title= & quot;Click to listen on iTunes & quot; & Monkey Business & lt;/a & *** & r & Upon first, second and even third listen, the Black Eyed Peas' newest album is a glossy, flawless sophomore album (sophomore if you count from their overhaul of the BEP look/sound/style). Monkey Business is pop, disco, funk and watered-down hip-hop, and while it's easy to get into, there's something shady about it.
When you spin it a fourth time, it quickly becomes clear that the BEPeas are simply relying on their collaborators to make the album truly sing. Example: the Peas swap spit with Justin Timberlake on "My Style," a poppy, dance cut. With its faux-Latin beat, the song sounds more Justified than Peas. On "Like That," they mix with Q-Tip. What would be a genius alliance quickly turns into a thick, beating hip-hop track -- a rip-off of the entire Tribe Called Quest repertoire. "They Don't Want Music," features James Brown -- and guess what? More Brown than Peas. On Monkey Business, the Black Eyed Peas don't show their talent -- they just come off as masters of mimic. --Leah Sottile
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.