Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Music Reviews

Low brow

Mariah CareyE=MC2(Island)

If you always wanted to get into Mariah Carey, but were often turned off by her illustriously versatile voice, then rejoice! Mariah has finally released the perfect album for you. It’s the Mariah album that doesn’t sound a damn thing like Mariah. So what does a Mariah-less Mariah album sound like? Well, it sounds pretty much like every other tepid R&B single floating around the top forty. It sounds like Mariah has decided to abandon her essence and fall depressingly in line with other middling artists like Keyshia Cole and Trina. Even the biggest Mariah fans will find little to like here, and far less to love. Only E=MC2’s closing track rises above the fray. It is a stunning ballad that strips away the cheap vocal effects of the rest of the album and allows Mariah to sore above a lone piano and the result is quite possibly Mariah’s finest song in a decade.

-Phil Lindert

Mid brow

Cut CopyIn Ghost Colours(Modular/Interscope)

You have your indie friends and you have your non-indie friends, and for my friends of both stripes, Cut Copy did not go over well at first. Whenever I played “Lights and Music,” a dancey single, for my indie friend, he cocked an eyebrow and looked at me like it was Kylie Minogue. Maybe it was because Cut Copy is not a lot of things. It’s not really danceable, at least not at the Keg. It’s not really sing-along-with-your-girlfriendsable, because Dan Whitford’s mumble is a little downbeat. And it’s not impenetrable enough for the devoted indie ear, either. Yet the record eventually won grudging admiration from them both. Amid happy synths and ethereal vocals, In Ghost Colours bounces along like a 70-degree day in mid-April. It makes you want to lounge on South Beach, close your tired eyes and bask. With your indie friends, and your non-indie friends, too.

-Peter Jackson

High brow

Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsDig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Anti/Epitaph)

Listening to Nick Cave is a bit like following Virgil around in purgatory; you’re not quite sure what he’s in for, but it’s obvious he knows his way around. Cave has made a career out of narrating the darker side of American life. The Bad Seeds, his band, work furiously in the background, cooking up molten jams, glowing garage rock anthems and slow-burning ballads. They don’t ground Cave so much as they keep him in orbit. Meanwhile, our half-crazy tour guide is spewing post-Dylan prophet poetry and spinning arresting yarns about dropouts, sinners, freaks and lovers, all while keeping his tongue plastered firmly in cheek. And as for you, poor Dante, you only have a faint grasp of what it all means, but you’re sure of one thing: You like what you hear, and you may even be willing to follow him to whatever circle of hell he insists on showing you next.

-Kyle Berlin

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Music Reviews