- Last Updated: 12:29 AM, June 19, 2012
- Posted: 10:57 PM, June 18, 2012
Albums of the Week
“Rhythm and Repose”
IN spite of the Oscar he won for “Falling Slowly” from the 2007 movie “Once,” Hansard remains a criminally underappreciated singer and songwriter.
He has a ridiculously soulful voice for an Irish lad with red hair, and his solidly crafted tunes rarely fail to milk emotion. On this, his first solo album after fronting the Frames and playing with ex-girlfriend Markéta Irglová in the Swell Season, Hansard delivers a mellow collection of songs partly worked out at Bleecker Street’s Le Poisson Rouge.
Hansard appears to still be smarting from his breakup with Irglová, chronicled in the raw 2011 documentary “The Swell Season,” and most every note here drips with pain and loss and longing. It’s all a bit of a bummer, but it’s still a great listen because it feels authentic, unlike something from, say, Justin Bieber, in which you don’t believe a word of the lyrics.
Hansard has plans to reunite with the Frames, which is good news. The man sounds like he could use some uptempo rock again.
LIKE Guns N’ Roses, another rock band whose heyday was decades ago, the current incarnation of Smashing Pumpkins has exactly one member remaining from its original lineup. But let’s be honest: It’s the only member who matters.
Billy Corgan, now 45, has assembled a new group of relatively unknown supporting players (there’s even a chick on bass, as always) after falling out with the previous Pumpkins to release the band’s first new record in five years.
What a pleasant surprise, sounding just enough like the Pumpkins of “Cherub Rock” to please longtime fans, but tweaking the formula to avoid staleness.
“Oceania” is reportedly part of a 44-song megawork called “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope” (no idea what that means), and Corgan has said that he wants each song to be as important as the next — no singles.
It shows. There’s loads of worthwhile stuff here, from distorted guitar-driven grunge such as “Quasar” to the progish “One Diamond, One Heart.” Climb aboard this “Oceania.”
Downloads of the Week
SO even superstar country singers have to make pathetic booty calls? In this more-pop-than-country ballad, an emotional Chesney pleads, “I don’t think that I can take this bed getting any colder.” Psst, Kenny. Just open your hotel door. There are probably groupies outside.
“Every Single Night”
THE New York City-born singer returns after (another) years-long hiatus with this sparsely arranged single into which she’s dumped more personal pain than a Goth teenager’s diary. “Every single night’s a fight with my brain,” she sings. Brutal and moving.