“Oh My Heart”

R.E.M.

Collapse Into Now

3 out of 5 Stars

“Oh My Heart,” a song about returning to New Orleans after the hurricane to start anew, is classic R.E.M. Gentle drums and dissonant chords subtly, yet expertly, capture the bittersweet emotions of coming home to a changed city. Poignant and heartfelt, with an unexpected touch of accordion and mandolin, the song delivers on both musical and lyrical fronts.

 

“Chinatown”

Destroyer

Kaputt

4 out of 5 Stars

Echoing synths, smooth jazz and ambient music soar in the background in Destroyer’s “Chinatown.” Known for unusual word choice and puzzling lyrics, Destroyer manages to use “detriment” and “squall” in the same verse, later crooning, “I stare at the sky / So I know which way / That I drink my wine / From a porcelain cup.” Finally, music that makes you think.

 

“When You Wake Up”

Best Coast

(Single)

2 out of 5 Stars

 

Surf-pop is revived in this new single from Best Coast, with monotonous chords and almost painfully uninspired lyrics. “But I need you to tell me / That it’s alright / You know I hate it / When we fight,” croons Bethany Cosentino. But is the redundancy of the song done on purpose? Is it “artfully artless,” as Rolling Stone puts it? It’s up to the listener to figure that out.

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