Bat for Lashes
The Haunted Man
Halloween is gone, but the Haunting remains. Well…at least The Haunted Man.
Natasha Khan, also known as British songstress Bat for Lashes, has a name better fit for a Bond Girl then a singer/songwriter, but the Pakistani-born songwriter’s music does have the allure and intrigue that comes with a Bond film. This past Tuesday, Bat for Lashes released her third album in The Haunted Man, with an album very much like its cover: odd, bold, revealing, and frankly naked (or at least more so than her last two ornate efforts).
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Last week, we gave you the Best Musical Superheroes. This week, we go to the Jokers, Magnetos, and Lex Luthers of music: the best music supervillains. While music no doubt has its fair share of noble heroes, rock ‘n’ roll has a long tradition of propagating evil personas to shock and scare our culture. So in honor of our summer filled with superheroes, here are the villains in music most capable of conquering the world.
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Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
I can’t say that I’ve been completely “in” on Coldplay since the release of X & Y, and it is hard for me to put a finger on exactly why I stopped listening to them. I didn’t really enjoy X & Y all that much, but one mediocre album rarely dissuades me from completely removing a band from my musical consciousness. Never was there a moment where I said to myself “Screw Coldplay”, “They’re sellouts”, or “Chris Martin should strap himself to a bomb, go on stage with U2, and flip the switch”. I think what happened was, even without paying particularly close attention to Coldplay post-X & Y, I knew that they had begun fully transitioning into “arena-rock band” mode, while focusing less on the sparse piano and simple guitar ballads that won my affection to begin with.
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In honor of another album from outer-space from Iclandic space diva, Bjork, we figured it would be appropriate to list our top ten artists from Scandinavia, the land of the vikings, icebergs, and socialism. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland: we are looking at you. And while we didn’t have the cajones to put ABBA on the list (we aren’t that comfortable with our sexuality), here are ten artists totally worth a musical voyage.
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Going into my first listen of Biophilia, I knew it would be nothing if not interesting. But it is so much more. As with much of Bjork’s previous work, there is an overriding disconnect throughout the record between her vocals and the accompanying music. Sometimes it even seems that Bjork sings unaccompanied vocal pieces, then arranges very interesting art orchestrations, and finally just takes the two disparate parts and melds them together the best she can. But for the first time I didn’t find this disconnect to be overpowering to the extent that I simply can’t focus on what is actually going on. In fact, Bjork even seems to be singing along to her own music at certain points on Biophilia.
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