City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

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The Blueflowers’ third album, Stealing the Moon (Analog Terror) sees the “folk noir” six-piece continue where they left off on the second record, In Line With the Broken-Hearted. Again, the songs are beautifully melancholy, and Kate Hinote’s voice is heart-wrenching. To be absolutely honest, I prefer the second album but that’s not because it’s better, it just touched me a little more. But every song on here is beautifully written and performed, and there isn’t a filler track on the thing.

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You can always count on Timmy Vulgar to put out something interesting, and Raw Sewage Roq (In the Red), under the Timmy’s Organism banner, is fascinating. On one hand, a song like the opening “Cats on the Moon” sounds like a traditional punk tune, but the swirling synth going on back there, buried beneath the riffs, show that Vulgar ain’t no Cockney Reject. Think Wire, think Magazine, but to be honest, Vulgar is out there on his own.

Alesha Nicole’s Smiling Through Tears album is a welcome surprise. Seamlessly merging jazz and contemporary r&b in the manner of somebody like Des’ree, songs like “Not Like Other Guys” and “Mr. Immature” are perfectly simple, and obviously coming from a genuine place within the artist. Nicole’s joy for her music shines throughout, and that’s tough to resist.

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The Infatuations’ new album, Recorded Live in Front of a Studio Audience (Acid Groove) was actually recorded in front of a small audience at Groovebox Studio in Detroit, so kudos for the comical album title. The tunes are awesome, as anybody who has ever heard or seen the Infatuations will tell you. Perfectly executed disco rock, with “Dancin’ On My Knees” ever the highlight.

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