Monthly Music Review: November Album Release Grab Bag


The Beach Boys/Capitol


The Beach Boys/Capitol
Oneohtrix/Mexican Summer
Atlas sound/4ad







Atlas Sound
“Parallax” released  Nov. 8

Bradford Cox, aka Atlas Sound ,has once again proved himself as one of our generation’s most consistent singer-songwriters with his new album “Parallax.” Taking cues from his recent mini-albums, the “Bedroom Databank” series, Cox crafts the same dripping landscapes that he was always loved for. “Parallax” is minimalist at best, but it’s the element that works best for Cox.

“Parallax” casts no shadow upon his past albums; with Cox, he gets better as he gets older. His love of ’60s pop and psychedelia mixed with a batch of folk-electronica somehow mesh  incredibly well together. This shines through on his new album more than in past Atlas Sound albums. “Angel is Broken” is soulful; a song that contrasts its own sound from joyous to rude to heavenly. The loneliness of “Terra Incognita” couldn’t be any more isolated yet delicate guitar-wise while “Lightworks” takes cues from The Cars. Cox may be socially awkward and shy out of the limelight, but the guy can write a damn good song like nobody’s business.

terra incognita // atlas sound by sexmusic

Oneohtrix Point Never
“Replica” released Nov. 15

There’s nothing repetitive or even replicated for that matter when it comes to Oneohtrix Point Never’s most recent album, “Replica.” To be honest, there’s nothing really too musical about it. But that’s why I’m surprised with how enveloping and fun this album is to listen to. The brainchild of producer Daniel Lopatin, Replica is cinematic in its arrangement of samples and whizzing technological sound bytes.

With “Replica,” there is a lot to miss in one listen. With that, the nooks and crannies provide some ear-opening hooks that ask you to listen closely for a subtle beat here, a vocal sample there. The album takes on gloomy ’80s electronica and pieces it together like an intricate puzzle. Songs like “Power of Persuasion” and “Nassau” are hypnotic; just when you think they are about to collapse, everything gets pulled together again at the last moment. “Replica” is a pleasant surprise and easily the most unique album of the year so far.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica by Mexican Summer

The Beach Boys
“The Smile Sessions” released Nov. 1

I’ve never met an individual who didn’t find the Beach Boys an instant match made in musical heaven. They, like the Beatles, are one of those bands that have laid the foundation for modern pop music and continue to influence everyone from Katy Perry to Animal Collective. That influence is continuing even further with the anticipated release of their lost 1966-67 “Smile Sessions.”

Complete with five CDs, two LPs, two 7’’s and a 60-page booklet, “The Smile Sessions” offer everything the Beach Boys ever wanted to you to hear and then some. “Sessions” contains rare golden nuggets with treasured outtakes that especially highlight the humor within the group. Sound clips include Brian Wilson directing the session musicians what cues to come in on as well as laughing and jokes being said. “The Smile Sessions” simply do more than make you smile; they make you become inspired yet upset at the same time knowing that another album will never be recorded like this again.

19 Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys by Universal Music UK