Music Briefs: Mister Heavenly, Maria Taylor, Theophilus London, Revocation

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

Mister Heavenly – Out Of Love

Label: Subpop (2011)
Genres: 60’s Pop, Art Rock, Indie rock
Sounds Like: Man Man

Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director

Representatives from Man Man, Islands, and Modest Mouse get together to perform “doom wop” – the logical fusion of doom metal’s heaviness with 60’s doo-wop harmonies. And somehow, this is not the greatest album of all time. Most of the blame can be placed on the band for not following through with the punchline. While there is one song that carries the joke to fruition and a few light touches otherwise, most tracks are just retro love fests. In the end, the songs just feel like Man Man being played on a diner jukebox. Oh well. Given the talent engaged, this still makes for some great tunes.

Maria Taylor – Overlook

Label: Saddle Creek (2011)
Genre: Indie Folk
Sounds Like: Azure Ray, Orenda Fink, Now It’s Overhead

Review by Ginny Garber

Quiet your mind and lend your ears to Maria Taylor’s fourth solo release, Overlook. Written and recorded in Birmingham, this album bears songs of personal growth and change — freeing oneself from habit while also realizing the powerful and sometimes inescapable nature of happenstance and the psyche’s wiring. Taylor is the queen of subtle strength and annunciation, summoning the rise and fall of her music while remaining cool and sure. Taylor’s family and friends are featured strongly on the album, bringing rich variety in harmony, steel guitar, organ, and wire-brush percussion.

Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

Label: Warner Bros. (2011)
Genres: Hip-Hop, Electro-pop
Sound Like: Lyrics Born, Afrika Bambaataa

Review by Harrison Grimwood

It’s damn near impossible to place a genre tag on Theophilus London. You could call it hipster rap, but that’d only be accurate in the sense that “hipster” equals willfully anti-mainstream. You could call it electro-retro-rap-popfunk-rap, but anytime that many hyphens are involved the words ultimately don’t mean anything. Theophilus strikes an interesting chord in pop music as an artist that can draw heads from all walks of musical taste. London taps into the legendary roots of funk, soul, rock and jazz; then he tastefully accents it with a strong Hip-Hop background.

Revocation – Chaos of Forms

Label: Relapse (2011)
Genre: Metal, Technical Death Metal, Thrash, Progressive Metal
Sound Like: Death, Megadeth, Arch Enemy, The Faceless

Review by Duncan McKinnon

Chaos of Forms is the third album from the Boston based band, Revocation. With this album, they continue their unique blend of technical death metal and all-out thrash. David Davidson’s vocals range from growls to screams and are actually recognizable. The band even includes some interesting vocal harmonies throughout the album – unlike so many other death metal bands. The songs are tight, technical, and complex and I am left with the anticipation that they put on an excellent live show.