GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

September 12, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | NOISE We Cater to Your Crowd $ 5 Starting at DA N C E KASKADE Atmosphere AABCC Anyone hoping for an album full of the euphoric club anthems we associate with Kaskade may only be half-satisfied here. The same could be said of fans who know and prefer the California producer as a West Coast house stylist. Atmosphere incorporates both sides of his musical id, Kaskade wanting a more personal album, rather than one bulging with Top 40 collaborations. Guests nonetheless abound—the most notable being Alejandra Deheza of indie band School of Seven Bells ("Missing You")—but they're hardly the most interesting aspect here. Three deep house instrumentals named after flights ("MIA to LAS" is surprisingly subdued for being inspired by a Las Vegas trip) actually bring Kaskade back down to Earth and offer Atmosphere some dynamic. The bangers ("Last Chance," the title track that features Kaskade as a firsttime vocalist) boast alluring melodies and will please devotees, but sound too safe and undistinguished. But that could be said for most of Kaskade's big tunes. EDM won't evolve until he and his headliner peers do. –Mike Prevatt per person Scan QR Code for more information about our 30 Las Vegas Locations R& B JANELLE MONÁE The Electric Lady AAABC Besides boosting her reputation, Janelle Monáe's stately appearance on Fun.'s mega-smash "We Are Young" seems to have influenced her second album. Although the record is no less diverse (or android-focused) than her previous work, it's far more subdued and less self-consciously weird. That's both a good and a bad thing. Much of The Electric Lady's second half focuses on ornate R&B tunes—the schmaltzy '70s soul number "It's Code," Bond theme-caliber "Look Into My Eyes" and a standout, the Esperanza Spalding-featuring "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes"—that let Monáe show off her lovely honeyed voice. Those songs can be sleepy, however, and they pale in comparison to an energetic front half, which boasts collaborations with Prince (on the nasty funk-rock sear "Givin Em What They Love"), Solange (the TLC-like title track) and Erykah Badu (freak-flag-encouraging anthem "Q.U.E.E.N."). In the end, only a lack of consistency keeps The Electric Lady from achieving transcendence. –Annie Zaleski B R I T- R O C K ARCTIC MONKEYS AM AAAAC Mention Arctic Monkeys to the average American music fan, and they'll likely recall the feisty, shaggy-haired British kids who blew up in the mid-'00s with frenetic dance-punk hits. Though the band has enjoyed demigod status across the pond since then, American audiences have never seemed to get what all the hype is about. Consider AM, the quartet's fifth studio album, a reintroduction. The record highlights the group's maturation from buzz band to great band with a pummeling 12-song onslaught of R&B-soaked hard rock that leaves no fat to trim. Drummer Matt Helder and bassist Andy Nicholson drive tunes like "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" with voluptuous rhythms that stick in your head. And frontman Alex Turner continues to deliver the clever lyrics that initially popularized the band while showcasing his developed talent as a singer. Five albums into Arctic Monkeys' career, AM is the sound of a band that knows exactly what it wants to be. –Andrea Domanick 45_Noise_2_20130912.indd 45 9/11/13 4:17 PM

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