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Sep 24, 2018







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Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming (Equal Vision Records)




Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming (Equal Vision Records) 

One could get cynical over the relatively minor degree of nepotism that launched this Partridge Family-esque indie-bubblegum group into the lower stratosphere, but it’s a reach. If anything, it might be fair to suspect the DuPree parents of forcing these kids to take on the role of house band at their parents’ part-time rock venue. Right, it’s not this space’s function to question parental motives nor even the record industry’s underbelly for that matter, but in this case I must confess being slightly mystified that the band’s uneventful single “Smarter” ever charted as high as it did. By the same token, at least it wasn’t your typical Avril Lavigne-ish explosion of musical clown-confetti where every bar was trying to be a Broadway show-stopper — it was more like a Ke$ha B-side. This new LP has some fine stuff, beginning with “Always Wrong,” an ambitious cruiser that finds common ground between Echosmith and Natalie Merchant. “Defeatist” is awesome too, a little trip-hop injected into the ’80s and ’90s quirk-chick vibe. The melodies are terrific here, way above most records that stump for the soccer mom vote. B-Eric W. Saeger




Tinariwen, Elwan (Anti- Records)
CD REVIEWS: March 2, 2017

03/02/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Tinariwen, Elwan (Anti- Records)

This world-rock band is from Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa that’s had a good amount of political turmoil. Owing to the constant string of crises in that country over the decades, bandleader-guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib is always in on-again off-again status for touring, a long story in itself, but regardless of that, he and his crew keep their musical heads held high, finding positivity among the ruins and making raw 1960s-B- movie-blues out of it. Their niche is eloquently and correctly noted as “desert blues,” a label that does nail it; the tunes generally involve Alhabib croaking over a mixture of his rawboned, scratchy electric guitar and the staunch percussive workings of his eight cohorts, most of whom brandish standard rock instruments, with the occasional calabash thrown in for good measure. A bullet description would be “music for bombing around in a cushionless Jeep in the Sahara” — yeah, it’s that cool. A+Eric W. Saeger





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