Sound and Fury 3-01-2007

New releases from Peter Bjorn and John, MV & EE with the Bummer Road, Tyrese, and Bright Eyes


Peter
Bjorn and John
Writer’s Block Almost Gold;
February 2007

Ironically titled Writer’s Block, the third album of
Swedish group Peter Bjorn and John is nothing less than one of the
finest pop albums circulating the music scene right now. Their
catchy melodic tunes are attributed to the trio’s integration of
’60s pop, new wave, Swedish pop/rock influences, and exceptional
songwriting. The album’s standout track is “Young Folks,” which
features a captivating boy/girl love duet set to infectious rhythms
of bongos, maracas, and creepy whistling – a hauntingly nice
contrast. Also included are the lyrically poetic and enchantingly
rhythmical “Let’s Call It Off” and “Paris 2004” that keep you
asking for more.  — Alyssa Perry

MV & EE with the Bummer
Road
Green Blues Ecstatic Peace; October 2006

Matt Valentine (the MV in “MV & EE”) invented the term “Free
Folk,” and although the description has been adopted and
rechristened “Freak Folk” to describe the current crop of folk
revivalists, Green Blues is a collection of excellent
tracks. Opener “East Mountain Joint” may be the most accessible
song on the album, with its shimmering, electrified sound and
earnest lyrics. The rest of the album is looser. “Canned Happiness”
and “Mine All Troubled Blues” are standout rockers and the album
concludes with two 10-minute-plus tracks, “Grassthighs” and “Solar
Hil.” The songs offer an intimate peek inside the world of MV &
EE, a group of American originals whose unique musical vision is as
essential as it is misunderstood.  — Max Burke


Tyrese
Alter Ego J-Records; December 2006

Famous for his commercial versatility, actor/model/writer/singer
Tyrese’s third album to date is a duel-disc release. The first disc
is an ode to Tyrese’s R&B roots, and his style of contemplative
love jams continues to be strong. On the second disc of the album,
Tyrese becomes his alter-ego, Black Ty, and introduces the world to
his emcee skills. Black Ty’s smooth voice coupled with a few
industry heavyweights– including Method Man – throws a new spin on
the latest dance-club hip-hop music. Sadly, all the tracks off
Black Ty sound quite similar, minus the love song “Turn Ya Out,”
which opens with surprisingly likable shouts by none other than
Lil’ Jon.  — Nicole de Ayora

Bright
Eyes
Four Winds Saddle Creek; March 2007

Four Winds continues Bright Eyes’s EP tradition,
released just a month before the expected drop date of singer Conor
Oberst’s full-length album, Cassadaga. With its solid
hooks and poetic but restrained (finally!) lyrics, Oberst seems to
have made a successful transition from emo boy wonder to the
thoughtful folksinger the indie world has long suspected he would
become. Only “Four Winds” – a down-home country ode to the
stratification of the American West – will make it onto
Cassadaga. And though guest artist M. Ward shows up Oberst
on “Smoke without Fire,” the catchy “Reinvent the Wheel” and
rambling, tortured “Cartoon Blues” deserve a listen of their own.
— Sarah Hammill

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