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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

44.1 kHz Archive

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Eenie Meenie

Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious musician known as Robert Schneider, who traveled far and wide from the mountains of Denver to settle in the plains of Lexington, Kentucky. The gods had blessed him with the gift of melody and many were the fine records he had made, from the Apples in Stereo catalog to his many productions for the Elephant 6 Recording Co. On reaching his new home, Schneider assembled a crew of argonauts from the local pop group Big Fresh, and once in the company of sound manipulator Robert Beatty from Hair Police, they embarked on many adventures while huddled around a microphone in Schneider's garage….

OK, enough with the Homer parody. (D'oh!) The album resulting from those garage sessions, 010, moves in the same fuzz-pop orbit as the Apples, minus the spit and polish. The rougher edges of Ulysses' music are mirrored by a darker lyrical outlook that's evident from the first song, "Push You Away": "Inside a pissed-off prostitute/ I try to get my mind off you/ ... I want to push you away, you're too good for me."

The muse of melody hasn't abandoned Schneider, but there's a definite slapdash feeling on 010 that starts with the title (guess how many songs are on the album) and extends to the intentionally demo-quality recording process. Somewhere around track 008, "Castles in Spain," the realization dawns that you could sing several Pavement songs to these chords ("She Believes" and "Loretta's Scars," for starters) and that Schneider is rhyming "Spain" with "rain" and "vain." Inane?

Some patented "doo-doot-doos" on album-closer "Her Silver Veil" offer hope for redemption, and so do Schneider's lyrics ("We're hoping for a better day/ Though it seems so far away"). I'm afraid, though, that for all but the fanatics, Ulysses will be scuttled on the rocks. The best songs on 010 at first seem like a direct hit to the indie-pop, shambling-rock nerve center, but hold them up next to Schneider's career highlights — the heartbreaking beauty of the Apples' "High Tide," from Fun Trick Noisemaker, or the ambition of Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control — and it's like comparing a cardboard stage set to a real city skyline. Schneider's talent is too big for such a small-scale album.

by Dave Renard

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