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Best of the 00s: Basement Jaxx, Cat Power & Clipse

Posted by October 11th, 2010 No Comments »

Best of the 00s: Gabe Joins the 21st Century
Part 10: Basement Jaxx, Cat Power & Clipse

Nada Co-founders Matt and Gabe are listening to 197 of the music press’s picks for “best albums of the 00s” for a series called Gabe Joins the 21st Century.

Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash
A.V. Club #29

Gabe: Most of Kish Kash makes me feel like I’m walking back to my hotel room after a day of marketing. I pass a night club with a long line of kids trying to convince the doormen to let them in.  The knowledge that I couldn’t get in makes me feel bad for a split second, until I remember that I don’t want to get in. But Kish Kash also contains “Cish Cash”, “Hot n’ Cold”, and “Living Room” which remind me of Outkast, Prince, and the Clash, respectively. If I held a dance party in my basement I would totally play those three tracks. But since that’s not going to happen, I’ll probably never listen to Kish Kash again. Grade: LIKE

Matt: I agree with The Angel Gabriel on this one. I recognize that’s it difficult to create disposable pop music this good, especially when it adeptly references such a wide array of sounds and styles, but ultimately Kish Kash still feels just that – disposable. I might bob my head like an aging white guy to “Supersonic,” “Right Here’s the Spot” or Deelite-ish opener “Good Luck,” but I’m never coming back to this record either. Grade: LIKE

It's pronounced "Shawn"Cat Power – The Greatest
Rolling Stone’s #26

Gabe: For better or worse, this is music for grownups. Cat Power’s torchy pop songs are tidy and tasteful, like later Van Morrison or maybe Squeeze.  At times it sounds like she’s trying for Dusty Springfield which is fine. If you owned a restaurant and were going for a sophisticated/romantic ambiance you could do worse than The Greatest for background music. So I like it. I think it’s nice. Matt probably thinks it’s boring and he is right too. Grade: LIKE

Matt: Boasting smoky vocals, patient arrangements and a big, warm, soulful sound, The Greatest is just the type of album for a rainy, indecisive Saturday afternoon. There isn’t a bad track on the 12 song record from reclusive indie chanteuse Chan Marshall, so it’s unlikely you’ll switch it off. But there isn’t a single song that will stand out enough to make your next mix tape either. This pleasant “evenness” is either The Greatest’s greatest strength of biggest weakness, I’ve yet to decide. Grade: LIKE

Gabe can't believe he slept on this joint, sonClipse – Lord Willin’
#34 on AV Club List

Gabe: Usually I can rely on my friends to tell me about all the best stuff. (E.g., four albums cracked all eight top 50 lists reviewed for this project, and I’ve got burned copies of all four courtesy of friends who realized that I wouldn’t hear them without a little help. From my friends). So why didn’t anyone burn Lord Willin’ for me?  Pusher T and Malice tell the usual ghetto tales but with unusual wit and good humor. And the Neptunes’ music makes me bounce. Discreetly. Clipse may be gansta and they are certainly natural born storytellers, but keep in mind that Malice “Could never be a thug/they don’t dress this well.” Grade: LOVE

Matt: I give up. After months of listening intermittently to Lord Willin’, in part and in full, I just don’t have any strong opinions. So I’ll leave it at this:  with tight snaps and cool beats (courtesy of the Neptunes before they were huge), this is quality hip-hop that nicely bridges the gangsta rap / backpack divide. I dig the vibe on “Virginia” and the horns on “Youngboy” are outstanding. Aside from that, nothing else grabs me. Grade: LIKE

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