GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

September 4, 2014

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A& E | noise R O C K i s h RobeRt Plant Lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar aaaac Robert Plant's relentless cre- ative resurgence continues unabat- ed on Lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar, a stellar solo album featuring his diverse new band, a collective that includes musicians well-versed in world music, dub and Brit-pop. Accordingly, the record downplays rock 'n' roll signifiers (although "Turn It Up" sounds as if Tom Waits attempted to capture Zeppelin's dirty junkyard blues, and "Rainbow" and "Somebody There" feature lovely, elegiac arpeggios) and elevates hypnotic electronic drone, vibrant global rhythms and pastoral folk instrumentation. Plant himself almost disap- pears, sounding like a shivering, ghostly version of Bowie on "Embrace Another Fall" and a broken man on the heartbreak-burdened standout "House of Love," which utilizes jangly guitars and orchestral flourishes. In the end, his restraint only enhances the music; there's no shortage of pas- sion and strength beneath this vulnerability. –Annie Zaleski D A N C E P oRteR Robinson Worlds aaabc Despite benefitting richly from commercial EDM, North Carolina prog prodigy Porter Robinson grew tired of the genre's patterns two years ago, so he retreated to his childhood escapades—namely video games and anime. Worlds sounds like the soundtrack to his Japanophile fantasies, where chaos may reign but hope carries the day. We're not talking MDMA-powered bangers, but largely utopian soundscapes that go from the womb to the dancefloor with a quick acceleration of the beat or morphing of the basslines. Robinson clearly finds inspiration in indie outfits like M83 and Sigur Rós ("Sad Machine") and Passion Pit and Holy Ghost! ("Lionhearted"), and often matches those acts' melodic strengths. "Flicker" even throws in an old-school hip-hop break- beat before the chorus' emotional payoff. The narratives feel complex for a 22-year-old, but not so much that they thwart the nostalgia and idealism Robinson expertly evokes. Worlds may not carve its own musical wave, but it serves as a necessary crosscurrent to the swells of EDM. –Mike Prevatt G U i T A R R O C K tY s eGall Manipulator aaacc Could there be such a thing as too much Ty Segall? It's never seemed like it before, even when the garage-rocking Californian was churning out records at a Robert Pollardian pace with his vari- ous projects in 2012 and 2013. Yet strangely, Manipulator, his first full- length solo album in a whole year, tests the limits. It starts out sounding like a classic, maybe Segall's best work so far, with slinky standouts ("Tall Man Skinny Lady," "Green Belly") and psychedelic workouts ("It's Over," "Feel") flying from the speakers in glori- ous succession. And then … fatigue sets in. Maybe it's because this semi- heavy guitar-driven stuff—a hard right from the folky fare on predecessor Sleeper—works better in short bursts than 17-track pileups. Or maybe the second half 's writing simply isn't as strong (with the notable exception of the fuzzed-out "Susie Thumb"). Segall might have been better off splitting Manipulator's material in two and putting out a second disc next month. Not that he might not anyway. –Spencer Patterson

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