Showing posts from August, 2014


ALCEST/Shelter (Prophecy)  - The infectious grooves and gorgeous harmonies of Alcest’s Niege (guitars, bass, vocals) and Winterhalter (drums, percussion) are hard to resist. On their album, Shelter, they incorporate influences ranging from U2 and Death Cab For Cutie to Kitchens Of Distinction, and the results are very impressive. From the U2 stylings of “Opale” to the Kitchens-informed “La Nuit Marche Avec Moi”, this music sweeps you away with its dreamy, guitar-driven pop and flawless arrangements. I only wish that, with the exception of “Away” (which sounds like a musical postscript to Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You”), more songs were divided between English and Niege’s native French. Franco-pop doesn’t sell very well on American radio, and Alcest bring a freshness to the genre that deserves to be heard. And enjoyed.  (Grade: B+)

LANA DEL REY/Ultraviolence (Interscope) - If the folks at Interscope were banking on finding the next Amy Winehouse with Lana Del Rey, they chose commerce over a…