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MUSIC | Vol. 5, No. 41, October 27, 2005
(The Fall Arts Issue)

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CD Lowdown

Matt Pond Pa
Several Arrows Later

It's the sixth album for these soft, mild-mannered indie rockers, but their first since Chris Martin and company made calm all the rage.

Highlight: The moody, haunting reverb of "City Song" hangs over the entire album, with its flickering acoustic melody and fragile structure.   

Bottom Line: Mellow is the new amped and Matt Pond PA is the epitome of  mellow, but we feel it's our duty to warn you: Listening to Matt Pond PA may cause drowsiness. Operate heavy machinery at your own risk

Robin Stine

On her debut album, Robin Stine, a Pensacola based singer-songwriter, creates a truly unique sound infusing traditional jazz with a youthful, blusey folk vibe.   

Highlight: "Sweet Blossom" is the kind of laid-back love song that evokes another era, one where subtle was sexy.

Bottom Line: This album is a slinky and seductive listen, that makes listeners yearn for a smoky bar, a strong cocktail and good, slow dance.

Ashlee Simpson
I Am Me

We were optimistic—we really were—that Miss Simpson's sophomore effort would be a redemption song for the fallen pop tart. But it's, like, so not.

Highlight: The best song on 'I Am Me' is a toss up between "Boyfriend," where Simpson does her best Karen O and "L.O.V.E.," which is a poor man's "Hollaback Girl."

Bottom Line: Out of 11 tracks, nine fail to even qualify as guilty pleasures. That's more embarrassing than any nationally televised lip-syncing incident, hands down.