Category Archives: album reviews

Album reviews. Most of the short-ish ones appeared in the McMaster Silhouette, and almost all of them were submitted to

CunninLynguists – Dirty Acres

(This is a review of the new Cunninlynguists’ album Dirty Acres. It seems no one wants to listen to this band because of their name, but don’t let that stop you! I haven’t written a review in a while, but lemme know what you think.)

Idlewild – Warnings/Promises

My first review for the silhouette this year.. I whipped it up while waiting for the internet to arrive last afternoon without actually getting the CD out of the shrinkwrap. That’s how hardcore I am. Idlewild – Warnings/Promises Oh, copy control. Thanks to you this CD might “encounter playback problems” on my CD player. Yay! […]

Poorfolk (s/t)

The first track on Poorfolk’s self titled debut made one thing painfully apparent: naming a CD after another genre and adding some swishy guitars isn’t always enough to distinguish an album from that burgeoning heap of mostly uniform, pleasantly mediocre indie bands, especially when Jonathan Pearce’s voice sounds exactly like half the lead vocalists already […]

Keren Ann – Not Going Anywhere

After just 2 or 3 listens Keren Ann Zeidel’s English debut had snuggled up against my subconscious. The songs all sounded familiar and I already delighted in each one while anticipating the next. Keren’s style is light, easygoing and very difficult to dislike. Her gentle voice caresses your ears as the dreamy but catchy melodies […]

Beneath Augusta: You Gotta Come Down Sometime

When listening to Beneath Augusta’s debut, it’s easy to think of Muse with the bombast knob cranked down, combined with a bit of the laudable aimlessness of Elbow-or, more appropriately, to the sound of Bends-era Radiohead B-sides. In fact track nine sounds absurdly similar to “the Trickster,” and while that’s not bad in itself, it […]


It’s easy to think this album is a little silly, or even stupid. On first listen, I was noted to raise my eyebrow in confusion and disbelief when I heard the striking couplet “Did you take tram #7 to heaven? / Did you eat your banana from 7/11?” Eventually, my incredulity was eroded away by […]

Clann Zu – Black Coats and Bandages

Despite Clann Zú being being credited with writing all the music here as a band, moreso than other groups, the driving force seems to be the singer and lyricist, Declan DeBarra. He wears his ragged heart unabashedly on his sleeve, and his distinctive voice is at the centre of every song: at times plaintive, shrieking, […]

Flogging Molly – Within A Mile of Home

Flogging Molly basically sound like The Pogues with a punk band and more predictibility. That is to say, rollicking Celtic tunes mostly on the traditional instruments (squeezebox, fiddle, pipes) with strong rock underpinnings in the rhythm section. The fiery spirit of Celtic music suits a marriage with punk, but I find the distorted guitars don’t […]

Josh Ritter – Hello Starling

In the tradition of the Bob Dylans and Leonard Cohens of yesteryear, Josh Ritter is an unashamed balladeer. His deep, enchanting voice flows over folky acoustic guitar, Hammond organ and percussion. The sound is clean, rich, and maybe you’ve heard it before. It really would be a bit silly to say he’s crossing musical borders, […]

Citizen Cope – The Clarence Greenwood Recordings

Clarence “Citizen Cope” Greenwood’s descriptively titled sophomore disc is an unfortunate step-down, or at least sideways, from his promising but not spectacular self-titled debut. Greenwood’s music is an interesting hybrid between downtempo, hip hop, and reggae. He croons and half raps lyrics about our troubled times, but they are too specific to carry universal import […]