Albums: October 4, 2013 |


Albums: October 4, 2013

Reviews of new records from Icona Pop, Elton John, and more

Icona Pop, This Is…Icona Pop
The Swedish duo’s full-throated hedonism made for a smashing single in ”I Love It,” but it proves to be too much of a good thing on their full-length debut. What starts out as jubilant becomes four-on-the-floor purgatory; by the tinny, Go-Go’s-biting ”Then We Kiss,” all that open-bar atmosphere fades, and what’s left is a vague hangover. CKyle Anderson

Elton John, The Diving Board
John reteams with rootsy producer T Bone Burnett, trading Vegas-size pomp for spartan simplicity. It’s slightly overlong and noodly in spots, but the easy melody of ”Oscar Wilde Gets Out” and the rugged piano amble ”Can’t Stay Alone Tonight” stretch even further than the vistas depicted in Bernie Taupin’s road-trippy lyrics. B+ Kyle Anderson

Danny Brown, Old
The manic Detroit rapper scored a mini-hit last year with the winsome ”Grown Up.” But nostalgia’s nowhere in evidence on his bracing new album, which features guests ranging from A$AP Rocky to Charli XCX and cannily evokes Wu-Tang Clan and trap music. Old positively vibrates with Brown’s nasally helter-skelter energy. A-Nick Catucci

CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe
The recent surge of catchy female-fronted electro-pop has largely been a force for good, and these Glaswegians bring more currency (if not vowels) to the cause. Powered by Lauren Mayberry’s neon vocals, the trio earned early hype with stellar singles like ”Recover” and ”Lies,” and while their debut doesn’t always maintain those kinds of highs, it still provides plenty of charmingly straightforward indie-disco pleasures. BRay Rahman