Groove Armada - Black Light Groove Armada's latest is a bit of a betrayal to their fans. It's not that I expect the disco/funk brilliance of Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) in every album, but the boys seem to have disappeared into a different band. What's with all the generic rock songs with a screaming lead singer? Yeah, "Paper Romance" gets a pass, but the rest is mediocre and grating. Even the tunes that aren't too bad ("Time and Space," "History") lack the luster of their previous work. I'm all for a band's evolution, but Groove Armada has been devolving lately. Boring, disappointing and un-dance-worthy.
Goldfrapp - Head First
Speaking of the evolution of a band, check out Goldfrapp. Their latest is different from all their other albms, yet it feels like a completely logical and natural part of their work. It sounds like a long-lost Goldfrapp early album from the 80s. They embrace their pop (and synthpop) tendencies, which suits Alison Goldfrapp's breathy, delicate vocals perfectly. Here's the video for first single "Rocket":
Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two
Yes, everybody paid attention when she took off her clothes in Dallas, but Erykah's latest is anything but political. This is a collection of slow-burning jams, with thick beats and a funky, old-school vibe. Feel-good music for the most part. Despite the fact that her voice is getting progressively cartoony, this is no run of the mill R&B -- just listen to "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long" or "Turn Me Away." But using politcs to buffer up a light album about love and hooking up seems like a cheap shot.