Music of the Week
By Lauren Harris
Look who's all growed up! With the sucrose-pop phase out of her system and a marriage to certified talent (and crazy) Ryan Adams under her belt, Mandy Moore is releasing her Serious Songwriter Record. Bearing her birth name for a title, the album is a foray into deeper, darker territory, featuring collaborations with some of country and folk's best hired guns to produce some grade A pop. 'The music is all a reflection of me now, not somebody else's choices,' Moore has been quoted as saying, which from the tone of the songs, finds the 26-year-old in quarter-life crisis mode, navigating concerns for the future while missing the past.
You know the saying: If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it was never yours to begin with. Some tough advice, but a worthwhile prescription for Grizzly Bear fans. As their band teeters on superstardom with their third full-length album, the fans ' a particularly proprietary breed of hipster ' will be forced to share the lush pop anthems with the world. The Brooklyn quartet recorded the album (named for a small, uninhabited island off the coast of Massachusetts) in the Catskills and a church in Williamsburg, working to broaden the strange, lovely and lonely pop songs that garnered them the acclaim in the first place.
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix'
It's been a minute since we heard from the synth-playing, pop-making Frenchmen Phoenix. For their fourth album, the band has decided on a neo-classical theme, evidenced in the title and the band's first single 'Lisztomania,' and the earlier giveaway '1901.' The year the band took to record the album in Paris appears to have served them well; where they have struggled in the past to marry their French sophistication with their pop aspirations, here they appear to have hit upon a hybrid that satisfies those competing identities.