Album review overview: Vincent Mason, Roísín Murphy and more

Photo (c) Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Dozens of new albums arrive at Maxazine’s editorial staff every week. There are way too many to listen to them all, let alone review them. It ensures that too many albums are left behind. And that’s a shame. That is why today we post an overview of albums that arrive at the editors in short reviews.

Roísín Murphy – Hit Parade Remixes

“Hit Parade Remixes” by Roísín Murphy is exactly what it promises to be: a collection of remixes from the recently released album “Hit Parade”. Unfortunately, this is a superfluous album that adds little to the brilliant original work. While Murphy’s music is always innovative and exciting, this remix compilation feels more like a commercial rip-off than a creative extension of her oeuvre. Each track is present twice, reinforcing the sense of repetition and lack of originality. It seems more like a way to make fans pay twice for the same songs in a slightly different packaging. This album lacks the fresh, original flair that made “Hit Parade” so special. Fans of Roísín Murphy will likely feel cheated by this unnecessary addition to her discography. In short, “Hit Parade Remixes” is best skipped unless you are a die-hard collector who wants to have everything by Murphy in your collection. (Jan Vranken) (3/10) (Mickey Murphy’s Daughter)

Aquaserge – La Fin de l’Économie

Aquaserge’s new album “La Fin de l’Économie” is a delightful, danceable experience that evokes positive nostalgia for times when dancing in clubs was pure pleasure. This French collective is known for their unique avant-rock sound that draws from chanson, free jazz, soundtrack music, and prog-rock, and this album is a brilliant example of that. With twelve tracks full of energy and humor, Aquaserge weaves quotes and influences from a rich musical past into their songs. Their music, influenced by icons from the Dada movement and free jazz, offers an eclectic mix that feels both innovative and familiar. This album continues their tradition of experimental yet accessible music, showcasing their creativity and versatility. “La Fin de l’Économie” is not only an ecologically poetic work but also a feast for the ears. For fans of avant-garde and well-crafted music, this is a must-listen. Aquaserge proves once again why they hold a unique place in the music scene. (Elodie Renard) (8/10) (Crammed discs/Aquaserge)

Fenix Flexin – Back Flexin

Fenix Flexin’s latest album “Back Flexin” comes with much bravado, but unfortunately, the content falls short of expectations. Despite his rapid rise as one of the hottest rappers on the West Coast, this album disappointingly falls flat. The production is lackluster and lacks the energy needed to truly captivate. His flow, delivered with confidence, is too easy and offers little variation or depth to really grab listeners. The album clearly shows that Flexin struggles to find his own voice. Many tracks sound like copycat attempts, trying to follow in the footsteps of the great West Coast icons he admires. This results in a collection of tracks that feels more like a heavily financed bedroom project than a serious rap production. Although he aspires to measure up to legends like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Soulja Boy, Flexin still has a long way to go before he can even stand in the shadow of his idols. “Back Flexin” offers little new and mostly confirms that Fenix Flexin is not yet ready to leave a lasting impression on the rap scene. (Elodie Renard) (4/10) (Flexxd up/Empire)

Vincent Mason – Can’t Just Be Me

Vincent Mason’s new album “Can’t Just Be Me” unfortunately leaves much to be desired. With only six tracks and a runtime of just twenty minutes, it feels more like a rushed EP than a full-fledged album. What we are served is typical singer-songwriter music with a heavy country twist. Mason’s voice has that southern twang, but the ramblings about whiskey and dusty roads feel clichéd and predictable. The songs are well executed but lack originality and deeper emotional layers. It seems like Mason clings to the clichés of the genre without really putting his own stamp on it. Any Uber driver with a porch and a guitar in the southern states could make this. Although Mason clearly has talent and his influences from artists like John Mayer and Parker McCollum are audible, “Can’t Just Be Me” offers nothing new under the sun. It is a decent listening experience for fans of the genre, but don’t expect any hosannas. Maybe the next album will be more than a fleeting acquaintance. (Anton Dupont) (5/10) (Music soup/Interscope records)

La Luz – News of the Universe

La Luz’s latest album “News of the Universe” is a fresh and lively addition to their discography, where their signature psychedelic rock perfectly blends with recognizable surf influences. The album, characterized by multiple vocal harmonies, raises the question of whether these are the secret daughters of the Beach Boys on acid. The modern production, which brings forward the open and bright sounds, makes it a joy to listen to. With tracks like “Dandelions” and “Close Your Eyes”, the album offers a perfect soundtrack for a quirky farmhouse party where friends enjoy life without electricity. The playful guitar lines of Shana Cleveland and the flowing rhythms create a carefree atmosphere that feels both profound and introspective. Producer Maryam Qudus has done a fantastic job reflecting the band’s feminine energy in every note, making “News of the Universe” both innovative and true to La Luz’s roots. This album is a must-listen for anyone who loves a mix of psych rock and surf with a contemporary twist. (Jan Vranken) (7/10) (Sub Pop Records)

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