I'm sorry to say that Putting the Days to Bed proves that the Ultimatum EP was a singularity. The EP's title cut is here reworked with a robotic allegiance to precision, a quality fans love Roderick for abandoning. As a whole, John Roderick playing with a band is just too restrictive for anything other than straight AM pop bangers. True, he can do that style well, but the strummy, oddly affecting one-man epic is his bread and butter. The more attention to the lush stickiness the better, as rocking-by-numbers gets a little boring. PtDtB is a fine collection of songs that improves upon TLW's last LP, When I Pretend to Fall, but it could've been a bigger statement. -- Andrew Matson & r & Check out: "Pushover"
Girl Talk & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp;RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fi%253D169249474%2526id%253D169248858%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30 & quot; & Night Ripper & lt;/a & 4.5 STARS & r & This is a frenetic skip through the last 30 years of pop. A mash-up of the most thoroughly pureed variety, the release's apt title hints at its two most salient features: 1) Gregg Gillis has shredded 150 separate cuts ranging from Lil Wayne to Neutral Milk Hotel and 2) done it all on the super-sly, avoiding the need to pay royalties on any of the sampled tracks while giving profuse liner-note thanks to everyone.
So it's nice that he's pricking the RIAA's whiskers, but that's nothing new. Mash-ups are an illegal and clandestine art form by definition, and these facts have also made them rather prodigious lately. So what sets Night Ripper apart -- more than the insane number of samples crammed into a roughly 40-minute run time -- isn't the project's illegality. It's that each track is filthy. Like, exceptionally so. The beats and anthemic and thematic juxtapositions (three decades of male/female pop relations spin simultaneously on "Bounce That") create what's essentially a game of Trivial Pursuit at 180 bpm. -- Luke Baumgarten & r & Check Out: "Smash Your Head"