July Highlights

Weird Al Yankovic Mandatory Fun

MandatoryFun

As his possibly last formal full-length release, and the last with his current record deal with RCA, the parody king skewers pop-culture once again. It’s always interesting to see who Yankovic picks to parody that aren’t of-the-now but rather bands he’s catching up to parody. This album has a Pixies pastiche as well as Crosby, Stills, and Nash ; Cat Stevens, Foo Fighters, and some band called Southern Culture on the Skids. This isn’t Yankovic’s finest LP, but it does shine above Alpocalypse and even Straight Outta Lynwood.

Standout Track: “Word Crimes

Jungle Jungle

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The alt R&B movement is in full swing this year and Jungle’s debut self-titled LP hits more like an alt-funk record. The big horn section becomes a muted synth pad and the vocals feel like they’re coming from Motown, but in reality they’re from England. The funkier the tune the better these guys croon and the new record hosts a lot of fun, mid-tempo dance tunes.

Standout Track: “Julia

Bleachers Strange Desires

Bleachers-Strange-Desire

“I Wanna Get Better” is the best thing that’s happened to Top 40 radio in a long time and this record is filled with equally positive and catchy tunes with hugely diverse and dense instrumentation. This doesn’t come as a complete surprise coming from a band fronted by the guitarist from fun., who delivers similarly ambitious tracks.

Standout Track: “I Wanna Get Better”

Sia 1000 Forms of Fear

Sia_-_1000_Forms_of_Fear_(Official_Album_Cover)

Sia’s new single “Chandelier” shines as a great cut from her new LP, 1000 Forms of Fear. Sia has been out of the limelight save for her vocals on David Guetta’s “Titanium.” Her voice is given much of the focus on the record and her power ballads do the best job of leaving plenty of room for Sia to showcase her beautiful and unique voice.

Standout Track: “Burn the Pages”

La Roux Trouble In Paradise

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There has been a strange drought in Synth Pop records so far this year, but La Roux’s new album is plenty to jam to while traveling to your next summer music festival.

Standout Track: “Uptight Downtown”

Music Video of the Month:

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