Today’s review roundup

Three reviews of interest in the indie-rock Web press today. (For the interested, I scan five indie review sites each day: Pitchfork, Popmatters, Dusted, Stylus, and Splendid. All of these from time to time review more proggy or avant stuff, especially Dusted.) Dusted reviews the new Shining album, which I just ordered from Wayside; Splendid reviews the Blackfield album, and Pitchfork (Dominique Leone, to be specific) reviews Chris Cutler’s new one.

I particularly like the Blackfield review. I have not yet heard this album, but as it’s available at BMG, I might get it even though I’m not all that interested in the idea of another Steven Wilson project. Apparently, neither is the reviewer at Splendid, who says the album is “at best, an emo record with delusions of grandeur.” Ha! “It’s not that the songs are weak; they’re just sonically anonymous,” he says, which come to think of it would be a perfectly apt description for a lot of Porcupine Tree’s music that I’ve heard (though, I must say, Deadwing excepted).

Dominique’s review of Chris Cutler’s Twice Around the Earth manages to make it sound both extremely avant-garde and extremely interesting. I know my interest is piqued, at least. I find the concept of the album — taking field recordings that musicians around the world made of their everyday lives and synthesizing them into a whole — a recipe for disaster, but if Cutler actually pulled it off well, as Dominique seems to indicate, I’d be very interested to hear the results.

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