Album Review – Crawl Space – Tei Shi

Crawl Space is the first studio album from Tei Shi, the pseudonym for Valerie Teischer, an artist from Argentina by way of Brooklyn.

An impressive debut, Crawl Space is a mix of R&B and electronic infected pop music that stands out from the crowd.  Filled with the hooks and catchy melodies we’ve come to expect in the modern pop album, Crawl Space provides a mix of hypnotic pop ballads and slinky almost dance numbers, with a couple more straightforward pop tunes. While I’ve seen her compared to Charlie XCX and Mø, listeners of Läpsley and even Sara Barielles would also find her work comfortable.

Standout songs include the opening “Keep Running”, the groove heavy “Creep”,  and the languidly hypnotic “Sleepy”. And if they ever release “Say You Do” as a single, it should challenge the current radio dominance of ballads from groups like Fifth Harmony.

Recommendation: Buy it

Songs I have a playlist for: Keep Running, Creep, How Far, Say You Do, Lift Me, Como Si, Sleepy

Songs I would Thumbs Down: Year 3K

Album Review – After Laughter – Paramore

Well, it has finally happened. Paramore fully admitted that they are the pop band we always knew they were.  And you know what? They put together one of the best records of 2017 so far to announce it.

After Laughter is the best of Paramore’s five studio albums. It’s first Paramore album to really use Hayley Williams’ terrific voice and the first album on which the band was sufficiently free as to not drag back Williams’ vocals. But it’s not an album that the fans who think Riot’s punk pop angst is the epitome of Paramore will like. Still, if you like pop and give it a chance, you will find something that gets you dancing, or at least listening raptly.

The thing that marks a great pop album for most people is a lot of great hooks and catchy melodies, which After Laughter has in abundance.  The lead single “Hard Times” is a perfectly fine pop song with hooks and catch galore, and a fine leadoff. But the payoff is later on the album, with some really great songs like the sardonically cheerful “Told You So”, the honestly introspective “Forgiveness”, and the gorgeous acoustic “26”. There are 12 tracks on this album and I honestly love 9 of them.

Recommendation: Buy It

Songs I have a Playlist for: Hard Times, Rose-colored Boy, Told You So, Forgiveness, Fake Happy, 26, Pool, Grudges, Tell Me How

Songs I would Thumbs down: None.