The Corin Tucker Band: 1,000 Years
Who else loves Sleater-Kinney and was disappointed to hear they'd gone on indefinite hiatus after the release of one of their best records, The Woods, in 2006? In my opinion, we're one of the finer bands of their time, especially when they started to truly tap into their powers, on All Hands on the Bad One, and then emerge as a big-time force with the potent The Woods.
S-K lead vocalist Corin Tucker has laid low for a few years and has re-surfaced with her solo debut, 1,000 Years. Listening to this record will only make you appreciate S-K even more. That's not to say that 1,000 Years is bad, because it's not. It's merely just another solo record by an individual who is talented but doesn't stand out in the absence of two other people who helped make her famous.
It may not be fair to judge The Corin Tucker Band against the works of Sleater-Kinney, because Tucker is not trying to re-create the S-K sound or fill her backing band with musicians who play like her former mates, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein. But it's difficult to separate the two personas.
Tucker seems to be trying her hardest to distance herself from the woman with the gale-force warble who led S-K for over a decade. On 1,000 Years, she takes the sweet approach with her vocals, going for a melodic coo in most of the songs. It's an understandable approach, but the reality is that Tucker's not a good enough singer (in conventional terms, anyway) to pull it off with getting overpowered by her own's band's sounds or, worse, simply not evoking any reaction (in this listener, at least) other than ho-hum.
Best song: "Riley," the one song on 1,000 Years in which Tucker sounds like the Corin Tucker we know and love.
Deja vu: A long list of solo efforts that come up a little short.
I'd rather listen to: The new album by British singer Gemma Ray
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.