Yeasayer & lt;BR & & lt;BR & All Hour Cymbals & r & & r & 3 STARS & r & & r & Chuck D, back in the '80s, offered the kind of sage advice that every serious consumer of music ought to mind: Don't believe the hype. The entire music industry depends upon critical, as well as word-of-mouth, buzz in order to drive all serious music consumers to the brink of financial ruin. At least those still buying music. And to be honest, how many of those individuals are left?
Even though about three bands in ten deserve the hype, Brooklyn's Yeasayer lives up to its noteworthy performance at College Music Journal's buzz-inducing New York music festival by combining disparate elements of indie experimentation with electronica ("Sunrise"), gospel ("No Need to Worry"), pop ("2080"), and even sitars ("Red Cave"). Managing such diverse musical interests can be overwhelming, but Yeasayer makes these differences compatible and complementary. Simultaneously soothing and stimulating, All Hour Cymbals confidently delves into the fecund realms of imagination where, sadly, few bands tread.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Echoes, Silence, Patience & amp; Grace
Outside of a handful of his anthemic songs, Dave Grohl writes really, really boring music these days. Familiar soft-loud song structures and heavy riffs trade places with unaccompanied guitar picking with such regularity that Foo Fighters sound like they are just going through the motions here. The album title alone hints at the musical repetition and regurgitation characteristic of the band's latest release.
Perhaps the shortcomings of the album are attributable to past successes. At the moment, Foo Fighters sound too comfortable with the niche they have created. "Come Alive" possesses none of the energy its early riffs suggest. And "Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)" is simultaneously too clever and not clever enough to be fun or funny. Only the bluegrassy "Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners" deserves a spin.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Download: "Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners"