Music Briefs: Smoove & Turrell, The Decemberists, Richard Durand, 2Cellos

Music Briefs are provided by DJs from KXUA 88.3 FM, a student-run radio station broadcasting out of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. KXUA is a non-profit station dedicated to serving the NWA community with the most eclectic blend of music possible. Listen online at

Smoove & Turrell – Eccentric Audio

Label: Jalapeno (2011)
Genres: R&B, Soul, Funk
Sounds Like: Gnarls Barkley

Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director

Accomplished beat-maker Danger Mouse Smoove teams up with powerful vocalist Cee-Lo Green John Turrell for their new R&B/Soul-pop fusion extraordinaire group, Gnarls Barkley Smoove & Turrell! While we’ve heard this basic setup before and the punchline is the same — these gents are quite talented and have some good fantastic tunes up their collective sleeve. Turrell’s a bit smoother on the ears than our stateside friend Green, but on the flipside, the sound’s a bit more generic than GB. In any case, this is a fine album and I hope that this collaboration doesn’t suffer too much from comparison

The Decemberists – iTunes Session

Label: Capitol (2011)
Genre: Alt-Country
Sounds Like: Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, Bob Dylan, Mountain Goats

Review by Ginny Garber

The only thing better than a folk album is a live folk album. Here the Decemberists deliver an 8-song EP of songs from previous albums — songs that are both lyrical and melodic, uplifting and melancholy — containing a smorgasbord of folk and country gems: eerie morality ballads, harmonica solos, driving rhythms — even a 2/4, full-band rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” pressed and ready for the Grand Ole Opry.

Richard Durand – In Search of Sunrise: 9 India (Songbird)

Label: Black Hole (2011)
Genres: Electronic, Trance
Sound Like: Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Marcel Woods

Review by José Bonilla

At first gaze, this looks like a cheap rip off of Tiesto. So what do I do? I pop this sucker into my CD player in my truck and I am truly blown away. With a deep Indian sounding intro in the first CD, the beat comes out of nowhere and blows your mind. This is what a mix album should be at its best. It’s hard to get better than this right here, enjoy this mellow yet world like House. The tunes on this disc are not all produced by Richard Durand, but they are chosen by him and mixed together by him.

2Cellos – 2Cellos

Label: Sony Masterworks (2011)
Genre: Cello covers
Sound Like: Cello covers

Review by Zeek Martin

Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hausner, the leather-clad Croatian (Youtube) superstars that comprise “2Cellos” have released a compilation of popular songs that have been repurposed as vehicles to showcase the dynamic range Šulić and Hausner have mastered on, you guessed it, the cello. Despite the fact that the pair begat their fame in the miasma of Youtube, and that there are but two cellos offering up the totality of the instrumentation, this album somehow stands on its own, only hinting at the kitschy premise. Covering tunes ranging from Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” to Guns and Roses anthem, “Welcome to the Jungle” – there is bound to be something here that any listener will be able to identify, and thus relate to. This allows the listener to feel superior to everyone else who had, up until then, been unable to guess the particular track.