Saturday, July 31, 2021 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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We Love the City
Beggars Banquet

Though We Love the City's effete folk-pop suggests Darren Hayman's as much a 'burb-dwelling Neil Young as he is a low-rent Fran Healy, his commingling of social criticism and social anxiety evokes Morrissey at his most self-pitying. Ironic title in tow, Hefner's frontman sets out to gibe his native London and all its spiritual bankruptcy, but his sharp tongue usually ends up licking his own wounds. Which is understandable: When you're so busy trying to come up with pretty melodies and totally satiric conceits, it's easy to conflate sexual frustration and the slow decline of the British Empire. If, however, this kind of fagged-out shtick would seem to make for icky singer-songwriter fare or shambling lo-fi, you should know that although Hayman's nasal croon dominates, he's got a big bag of tricks for a guy so down on himself. Mellotron, synths, piano, horns and satiny harmonies (with help from Amelia Fletcher of Talulah Gosh/ Heavenly/ Marine Research fame) accompany the flavorless strum-to-skronk of his guitar; attention to detail particularly benefits the lush and endearing "Good Fruit," the rare track wherein lovelorn earnestness replaces self-conscious repartee. "The Greedy Ugly People" and "The Day That Thatcher Dies" are par for City's (dis)course, each trafficking in the sort of acerbity that comes way too easy to Hayman (in case you couldn't tell from the titles). "Thatcher" sports a kiddie choir chanting "Ding, dong, the witch is dead," and if that's not Pink Floyd enough for you, Hayman borrows Roger Waters' wicked schoolmaster's yawp for "Painting and Kissing," which recounts a doomed fling by way of a cheap metaphor, transposing a map of London over a map of the heart (both of which plot a course for grief, misery, etc.). "This is Sixth Form poetry," Hayman confides on the title track. But since his hooks are more interesting than his disaffection, it ain't so bad as pop music.

by Christian David Hoard

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