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Tuesday Reviewsday: Beck, Silversun Pickups and Lo Fang

Beck

Cover of Beck's album, "Morning Phase."

It's Tuesday, which means that it's time for Tuesday Reviewsday, our weekly new music segment. This week we're joined by Hollywood Reporter music editor, Shirley Halperin. 

Artist: Beck
Album: Morning Phase
Release Date: February 25
Songs: "Waking Light"

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We're actually entering the third decade of Beck, if you can believe it. It's been 20 years since "Loser" came out, and here we have "Morning Phase", which is actually his 12th studio album and his first since 2008. It actually harkens way back to 2002 in the beloved album "Sea Change". 

There's different parts of Beck that we see come out of Beck, and this is more like his sad sack, emotional side rather than the party time dance, "Vulture" side of beck. This is what he is really good at: pretty, wistful music. It's a quintessential sound to Los Angeles like it can almost work as a film score in that it's got these harmonies, these oohs and aahs, that could've easily found their way to a Beach Boys record, the swish of the surf. 

Artist: Lo Fang
Album: Blue Film
Release Date: Feb. 25
Songs: "Look Away" "#88"

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Lo-Fang is another L.A.-based artist named Matthew Hemerlein. This is a debut album on the historically adventurous label 4AD, and it's part melancholy-electro, it's part film score, it's got a little bit of a kitchen sink thrown in. It's garishly decked out, but it never gets in the way of the melodies. Just when you think it's Pop, it takes this lovely left turn. 

It's a tricky blend of electronic and orchestral instrumentation. The songs are a little on the long side, I will say. They're five minutes plus most of them. It's almost like you get two for one with this album. It's no wonder that they're as long as they are because he is a very skilled multi-instrumental. He's classically trained in violin, base, guitar and many more instruments and you can really hear his handy work on the song like "#88."

 
Artist: Silversun Pickups
Album: The Singles Collection
Release Date: Feb. 25
Songs: "Panic Switch" "Cannibal"

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The notion of a single's collection for a band called Silversun Pickups may seem almost premature. It doesn't feel like they have been around all that long, but it's actually coming up on 10 years since their first EP came out. They actually formed in 2002, so it's been a minute and they have certainly had their share of hits. Two big ones in 2007 and 2008 like this song "Panic Switch."

At the risk of angering some of our local listeners, at the time that Silversun Pickups came out and had these big songs, being a band from Silver Lake and breaking into the world stage in such a swift and massive way was a real testament to the local scene. I personally could never get over one thing, which is just the blatant Smashing Pumpkin-ness. Right down to the band's initials SP and the fact that they have a female bass player and that their singer Brian sound just like a Billy [Corgan].

But with their new song, "Cannibal," which is the only new track on this collection, and they premiered it on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, the band seems to be veering more into a sound that they can call their own and that bodes well for the future. 


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