It’s time again to get the best new releases of the month, as Jeremy and Zack have their five best albums of the month while Dan has his rankings of the month’s new top 40 hits.
Zack’s Best of May: 5. Johanna Warren – Chaotic Good 4. Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor 3. Christian Lee Hutson – Beginners 2. Carly Ray Jepsen – Dedicated Side B 1. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Reunions
Jeremy’s Best of May: 5. Asking Alexandra – Like A House On Fire 4. Boston Manor – Glue 3. The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form 2. Deau Eyes – Let It Leave 1. Shiner – Schadenfreude
Dan’s Top Hit Singles of May: 3. Ali Gatie – What If I Told You That I Love You 2. Sam Smith & Demi Lovato – I’m Ready 1. Megan Thee Stallion – Savage
Before getting into the music on this album, a couple points of clarification need to be made. Firstly, this is not a band. It is an undefined collective led by Montreal-based icon and presumed Bond villain, Murray Lightburn. Secondly, any act that self-indentifies with Serge Gainsbourg is saying 2 things: 1) “We don’t want to be pigeon-holed into a genre”, and b) “We might be French”.
Their eighth studio release is a collection of reflective tunes that can best be described as eclectic orchestral pop. From the Bowie-esque “Is This What You Really Want?”, to the early-Weezer sounding “I Know What You’re Thinking About And It’s Awful”, to the Motown love song “Play Dead”, the instrumentation is always full and rich. This is no surprise, since the list of contributors on the album may as well be the Montreal phone book.
Throughout all of it, Lightburn’s voice shifts between styles effortlessly, doing what is needed to float, cut through, punch up and generally take control of every track. His charisma has a Neil Diamond-at-the-cabaret quality to it that’s undeniable and enchanting. The flow of the record feels more like a well-crafted playlist, easily moving from song to song without seeming repetitive or jarringly different.
FFO: Serge Gainsbourg, Broken Social Scene, British Sea Power