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The Big Takeover Issue #94
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Dave Heaton: June 11, 2006

  1. Alan Sparhawk – Solo Guitar (Silber)

    It’s exactly as the title says – Sparhawk of Low playing guitar. Simple, right? And amazing – his guitar burns through the air, sometimes creating waves built of empty space and sometimes searing like Eddie Van Halen’s (an allusion made concrete through his cover of “Eruption”).

  2. Ice Cube – Laugh Now, Cry Later (Lench Mob)

    Certainly not a stunning return to the form he was in on his classic first three albums (not to mention with N.W.A.), but a solid, rather enjoyable effort, showing his acting career and celebrity status haven’t lead him too far off the musical track (unlike, say, with LL Cool J).

  3. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country (Merge)

    Their best album yet – timeless music with echoes of ‘50s and ‘60s pop (the ‘girl groups’ and Motown especially) and old-time country balladry, plus of course gentle, lightly sad but bright melodies.

  4. Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 1 (Barak)

    A hip-hop classic, more or less unreleased after its creation (back in the late ‘90s), finally readily available in stores. Another example of Jay Dee’s genius, though the other group members are no slouches, either.

  5. Various Artists – Little Darla Has a Treat for You v. 24 Summer 2006 (Darla)

    Fantastic two-disc edition of Darla’s low-priced, seasonal indie-pop/electronic/just plain good music compilation, a survey of current sounds from Darla and other labels. This time it’s 36 tracks, almost all exclusive, including amazing songs by Voxtrot, Manual, Sprites, New Radiant Storm King, and many others.

  6. Beatnik Filmsters – In Great Shape (555)

    Beatnik Filmsters are on that Darla comp too, with a great song called “I’m a Soul Singer.” Their latest album, their ‘comeback’ album, is sounding quite good to my ears lately as well.

  7. Cannonball Adderley and Milt Jackson – Things Are Getting Better (Riverside)

    A beautiful, joyous jazz LP that I’ve been turning to a lot lately. Originally released in 1958.

  8. The Charade – A Real Life Drama (Skipping Stones)

    A great breezy, melancholy pop album, the second from this Swedish group, descendents of the legendary (to me, at least) group The Shermans.

  9. Smoosh – Free to Stay (Barsuk)

    This youthful duo has an especially fresh and sustaining pop sound.

  10. Frank Sinatra – Songs for Swingin’ Lovers (Capitol)

    What’s my favorite album? Man, I don’t know. So I typed ‘my favorite album’ into Google, hit the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button and a page came up with someone declaring this album as his favorite. And hey, it is a great album, so who am I to disagree?