Saurabh & Gaurav

Beach House
ó Bloom (Sub Pop)
Best track: Wild
Worst track: Troublemaker
Rating ****

Indie-pop duo Beach House returns from two years of touring with their highly anticipated album Bloom. The album picks up where Teen Dream left off, forgoing the more ambient signature sound of the band for more structured and hook-based songs. Alex Scally masterfully crafts entrancing, methodical guitar arrangements that pair perfectly with Victoria Legrandís delicate voice to form a dreamy, almost ethereal-sounding pop album thatís as sweeping as it is audibly beautiful. Bloom opens with lead single Myth. Itís an admittedly glorious track and sets out the Beach House stall for the remaining album. Bloom then serves up a trio of tracks, Wild, Lazuli and Other People, which all manage that same trick; each song is a mid-paced power-plod containing a viciously distinctive hook that allows Legrandís vocal to express ardor at appropriate moments. As a lyricist, Legrand builds elusive worlds where people float around each other in a luxuriant mist, always aiming for the proper connection. A track such as New Year takes the sound into more otherworldly territory as verses seem to bend and twirl rather than unfold. The vocals hover over the instrumentation and linger over the notes, and Scally builds a world around it that slowly ensnares.

Here We Go Magic ó A Different Ship (Secretly Canadian)
Best track: Hard To Be Close
Worst track: Alone But Moving
Rating **

Formed in 2008 by folk singer Luke Temple, Here We Go Magic quickly grew into a full band with Kristina Lieberson on keys, Jennifer Turner on bass, Michael Bloch on guitar, and Peter Hale on drums. The first song Hard To Be Close, on the third album by the Brooklyn band starts off as a country-tinged track before crystalline guitar washes and techni-colour synth bursts. Follow-up Make Up Your Mind furthers the ambitions of the album, featuring a repetitive guitar rhythm lifted straight from Warren Zevonís Nighttime in the Switching Yard, and sense of exigency that swiftly piles on through the extensive levelling of instruments. The charm of Here We Go Magic resides in its uncompromising expression. I Believe In Action and Make Up Your Mind amalgamate stout drums with New Wave synths, and the infectious tale of love on How Do I Know builds a colourful collage of fine instrumentation.

Miracle of Mary and Made To Be Old both expand on quirky pop sound, marrying scratchy guitars and bass-lines to hurtling drums and percussive backing vocals. A start-to-finish listen, A Different Shipís tracks dance between one another with a lustrous ease.

Jack White ó Blunderbuss (Columbia)
Best track: On and On and On
Worst track: I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
Rating ***

On his first solo album, Blunderbuss, Nashville based Jack White focuses on the pre-digital era of music, a style mastered by the Who, Faces and Rolling Stones, all of whom started off in the world of aggressive British Invasion rock but stretched out with bigger, heavier sounds as they matured. Missing Pieces, the album opener, is a melancholy outing about the dissolution of a relationship, the experience so primitive White feels like heís vanishing. "Every morning I deliver the news," he sings on Sixteen Saltines, "Black hat, white shoes, and Iím red all over." Freedom at 21 sports a mighty, Zeppelin-esque riff, a reliably raunchy guitar solo, and hip-hop styled drums. On and On and On, a dreamy psych-soul jam is built on oceans of piano and repetitive bass. The gentlest song on the album, Love Interruption is clearly written by someone whoís known the painful side of passion, as brutal images of infliction paint the story of a battered heart. Closing track Take Me With You When You Go turns from a pleading waltz to a blitzkrieg where powerful vocals and machine-gun guitar riffs suggest that a fairy tale ending is not forthcoming for Blunderbuss.

Album of the Month

Rufus Wainwright ó Out of the Game (Polydor)
Best track:
Worst track:
Song of You

One of the catchiest and most immediately accessible albums, Rufus Wainwright offers Out of the Game, produced by Mark Ronson and featuring as its backing band the Dap-Kings, best known for its work supporting Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones. On the title track, Rufus ponders contemporary superstar over a Steely Dan-style shuffle while on the Long Island-set Montauk, he addresses his one-year-old daughter with characteristic wit, "One day you will come to Montauk/And see your dad wearing a kimono." Perfect Man is a pure pop gem, the feel of which Wainwright has never previously achieved and it is this lesson in self-discipline which producer Mark Ronson brings to the table. There are echoes of Elton and Abba in Bitter Tears, and Queen in the stodgy rocker Rashida. But Rufus canít avoid his inner pop crooner taking over on Barbara, a tribute to his publicist and manager and Candles, providing a comfortable landing for his fanciful gestures. At its best, Out of the Game shines with magical arrangements, surprising solo accents and an overall sense of creative confidence that comes with experience and fervor.


Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye feat. Kimbra (CU)

Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa (CU)

Call Me Maybe
Carly Rae Jepsen (NM)

Wild Ones
Flo Rida feat. Sia (FD)

We Are Young
Fun feat. Janelle Monae (FD)

Nicki Minaj (CU)

Drive By
Train (NE)

What Makes You Beautiful
One Direction (FD)

Glad You Came
The Wanted (NM)

Dance Again
Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull

Legend: (CU): Climbing Up (FD): Falling Down (NM): Non-mover (NE): New Entry