MUSIC REVIEWS: Glass Candy and Jim Noir

Glass Candy
Italians Do It Better

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With Beatbox, Glass Candy craft a sonically sweet synth-pop confection. Tracks like “Computer Love,” an ode to lonely nights bathed in the pixellated glow of a monitor, and the anthemic “Candy Castle,” with its refrain to “c’mon c’mon” capture the feel of the late 70s and early 80s when disco was dying, Blondie ruled New York nights, and all music needed was a Casio and a microphone.

It’s the stripped down approach to making music that is most appealing. No one could accuse Glass Candy of being over-produced. It’s not a wall-of-sound, but two collaborators confident in their voice, and their vision.

Rare missteps, like the unnecessary “Introduction” track or the “Last Nite I Met a Costume” interlude aside, Glass Candy’s latest album is a delectable nod to a mirrorball world, lines on the mirror not required.

Jonathan Shieber

Jim Noir
Jim Noir

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Jim Noir’s second album, Jim Noir, sounds a lot like other bands’ albums. His influences are clearly discernible upon first listen. This cuts both ways: catchy tunes with poppy, psychedelic melodies, but falter as they directly invoke their predecessors. Whether it’s the Beach Boys on “Happy Day Today,” or Revolver/Sgt. Pepper on “What U Gonna Do,” the markers are unavoidable. And, with refrains such as, “I’ve broken all my cds…” and “I’m like a kid who knows exactly what he wants for his birthday,” I gotta pass.

I’ve read some interesting things about Mr. Noir and the quirkiness and likeability of this album—but I don’t get it; too many of the songs sound like they didn’t make the cut for a Bowie, Kinks, Beatles, or Beach Boys record. It’s undeniably difficult to absorb your strong influences and churn out a unique sound, but Mr. Noir seems to be letting his fandom get the best of him.

David Levin

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