Maybe Today Should Have Been Record Store Day

triplethreat.jpgMore frequently these days, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Under consideration today are three other notable releases hitting stores today: The Roots’ Rising Down, Portishead’s Third, and Santogold’s self-titled debut.

The Roots – Rising Down:
• “Concerns that the Roots would compromise its eclectic style when it moved to Def Jam were laid to rest by Game Theory. Rising Down makes clear that compromise was never even an option.” [Boston Globe]
• “Without even listening to the lyrics, the majority of the tracks on Rising Down–their 10th album–have an urgent, twitchy feel to them. Their sound is still brilliantly organic–no drum machines or computers here. But it is several shades darker than their last album, Game Theory, making it less fun to listen to, unfortunately….Rising Down is not the Roots at their beat-driven, rhyming best, but it’s still solid.” [Vancouver Sun]

Portishead – Third
• “Though several doses of this languid, tension-filled music get a tad draining, taken altogether it is a suitable sound for our troubling times, and there’s an invigorating mysteriousness. Its blaring electronic peals are a wake-up call.” [LA Times]
• “There are very few moments that cry out for the single treatment –as is probably obvious from the decision to offer the metronomic harshness of ‘Machine Gun’ as first introductory piece after their lengthy hiatus–as the trio fight back against the cut-and-paste-playlist iPod age. Composing a singular piece of work, 50-minute experience free of era and commercial restraints that’ll shed the fare-weather fans from the devout followers, as a creative stretch Third isn’t likely to be surpassed anytime soon.” [Manchester Evening News]

Santogold – Santogold
• “Still, Santogold’s strength lies more in her musical inclusiveness than her cynicism. She flits from dubby bliss of ‘Shove It’ and the stop-start, bleep-synths of ‘Starstruck’ to the space-agey sound effects and echo chambers of ‘My Superman’ and the bubbly pop-rock of ‘Lights Out’ and ‘I’m A Lady.’ The genre jumping is not for the close-minded, but it’s obvious Santogold’s not here to adhere to any one pop sensibility. On the glitchy-twitchy disc standout, ‘Creator,’ she’s not afraid to express her sense of self-worth. Over the gargantuan bass drops, she chants: ‘Me, I’m a Creator/ Thrill is to make it up/ The rules I break got me a place/ Up on the radar.’ She’s definitely got our attention.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
• “‘You’ll Find a Way’ and ‘Creator’ are near-instant dance-floor gems, while the haunting downtown lullaby ‘L.E.S. Artistes’ is perhaps the best indie anthem since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Maps.’ The album is hardly flawless, but in an era that retro-fetishizes rock and whitewashed pop, Santogold feels both raw and real.” [Entertainment Weekly]

  • Maura Johnston

    all three of these albums are 100% awesome.

    today is a ridiculously good day for new releases. there’s also the robyn album (although i worry that it’s gonna suffer the same fate as kylie since it’s been out forever) and robert forster’s album and lil mama’s vyp and the estelle record, which i am curious about because i heard ‘american boy’ a bunch over the weekend and i really dug it.

  • Tauwan

    And let’s not forget about Mr. Jamie Lidell…or Phil Stacey. Or do. Yeah forget that Phil Stacey one.

  • Tauwan

    Oh and a note to record companies across America: Not cool releasing all this good music prior to the first of the month. Trying to break a brotha’s bank account. Jesus. Not a good look son. Not a good look at all…

  • NickEddy

    Don’t know when it came out/is coming out, but that Last Shadow Puppets record is fantastic. And I loathe Alex Turner’s real band. It’s pretty amazing.

    my 2 cents…

    I guess I need to look into this Santogold, then.

  • bcapirigi

    portishead and santogold also have two of the best album covers i’ve seen lately.

  • natepatrin

    @Tauwan: I hear you — especially considering what else comes out this week (HINT: it ends with a “IV”).

  • silkyjumbo

    i actually said the title of this post to a friend last night.

  • moomintroll

    @NickEddy: ITA, I can’t be doing with the Arctic Monkeys at all, but Last Shadow Puppets intrigue me.

  • Tauwan


    Tough week to be an honest to God consumer of things that cost money.

  • NickEddy


    I was very surprised. Retro-y as all hell, but not at all cloying or forced. Was almost enough to make me give a good listen to the AM’s again, but life is short.

    Very good “spring” album.

  • Julio Allison

    I initially thought “Rising Down” sucked ass, but it grew on me.

  • betablog

    Boris Smile is out today as well!

  • Anonymous

    The Jamie Lidell is top-notch — way too much to consume in one day. And here’s my Santogold review.

  • dan

    maybe it’s just me, but i’m not feeling the portishead like everybody else in the world seems to be. to my ears, it’s kinda boring.

    then again, i didn’t like the last portishead album either. i’ve always felt them to be kinda overrated.

  • bcapirigi

    i really hate the jamie lidell album. a lot. but then again i didn’t know who he was until this weekend, so maybe i’m lacking context?

  • Weezy F Baby

    @bcapirigi: here’s the only context anyone gives for jamie lidell:

    “he’s white! but he sings like a black guy!”

    he’s a novelty act. a wack one. novelty wackt? WHERE THE HOOKS AT?

  • Tauwan

    @Weezy F Baby:

    Hmm, while this may or may not be true, all I kept hearing about the guy prior to my introduction of his music, was how I just have to see him live. The black/white thing came later. Or actually, not at all.

  • Chris Molanphy

    Has anyone forwarded this post to extracrispy?

  • rogerniner

    @Weezy F Baby: What are you talking about? Have you heard “Multiply?” The song is one giant hook. And novelty act? I’ve been following his career for 10 years now. Yes, guy can sing, but sadly with the new album, I miss the bump.

  • Ned Raggett

    @Chris Molanphy: He’s busy counting his awesome number of page hits.

  • Anonymous

    @Tauwan: Love you.

    @Weezy F Baby: Forgetting you.

    @Portishead, Santogold, Jamie Lidell: Buying you.

  • Oldboy

    And a cool re-issue: The self-titled David Johansen album, his first solo after the Dolls disbanded.