Savages & Opinions on Maxwell & DJ Shadow


The London-based quartet Savages made a stunning debut with Silence Yourself in 2013 and established a reputation as a formidable live band. On the 2016 follow-up Adore Life, the brooding post-punk band tackles something new: love songs. Savages joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and live performance. Plus, reviews of the new albums from Maxwell and DJ Shadow.

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You'd be hard-pressed to find a more emotionally and sonically intense album out right now than Savages' sophomore effort, Adore Life. In fact, that record ranks high in both Jim and Greg's Best Albums of 2016...So Far lists. The London-based quartet's first record, Silence Yourself, perfectly channeled their anger and frustration at the world via good old-fashioned art punk. On Adore Life, they tackle the frequent topic of love in a fresh, fearless, and powerful way. The band was a guest on Sound Opinions back in 2013, so it was a pleasure to welcome then again for an interview and live performance.

View our exclusive photos from the taping here.

blackSUMMERS'night Maxwell


Neo soul artist Maxwell does things his own way and on his own schedule. Over his twenty year career he has put out five albums, sometimes with long periods of time between them. In 2009 he released BLACKsummers’night and announced it as the first of a trilogy. Seven years later, he has finally released part two of that series with the confusingly similar title blackSUMMERS’night. Jim and Greg both say Maxwell's sensitive style on this album is well worth the wait. Greg notes that Maxwell bucks the R&B trend of loading up on guest appearances and star producers. Instead he does it on his own and creates a sound that is unique and complex. And that complexity carries through to the album's "bedroom jams" adding a level of "lyrical density" to the genre. Jim hears echoes of Prince on the album as "gender gets lost in the mix" and notes an overarching respect for love and relationships. blackSUMMERS’night gets a double Buy It.

The Mountain Will Fall DJ Shadow

The Mountain Will Fall

DJ Shadow emerged in the early ‘90s as a major figure in the northern California underground hip-hop scene. His debut 1996 full-length Endtroducing..... was one of the earliest and greatest of sample-based albums. But when you make a masterpiece your first time out, where do you go from there? His latest album The Mountain Will Fall features fewer samples, more synths, and more collaborations – notably with rap luminaries Run the Jewels. Jim says the album is not an easy listen – there are tracks that seem frivolous or intentially grating. But after spending time with it, he finds the record a great soundtrack for ominous times and calls it a Buy It. Greg appreciates that DJ Shadow never repeats himself. Instead he's nodding to contemporary EDM, Italian classical music, and old school hip-hop and turntablism. Greg calls The Mountain Will Fall a fine record that isn't as cohesive as Endtroducing....., but still worthy of a Try It.

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